The theater has ceased operations after the chain’s lease with the building expired

The final credits have rolled at AMC Star Southfield. 

The 20-screen multiplex, a gem of Michigan theater-going when it opened in the late 1990s, has permanently closed its doors. 

A sign in the window of the theater complex reads, “Theatre closed. AMC Southfield 20 has permanently closed.” 

An AMC spokesperson said Wednesday the theater chain’s lease with the Southfield location, located at 12 Mile and Northwestern Highway, has expired, and the decision was made to end operations at the location.

“This decision is in now way related to the current COVID-19 situation,” AMC’s Ryan Noonan said in an email. 

All other AMC locations in the Detroit area will reopen when appropriate and in accordance with local directives, Noonan said. 

AMC Theatres closed across the nation on March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A statement released at the time said they would remain closed for six to 12 weeks, “in compliance with local, state, and federal COVID-19 directives.” 

The Southfield theater, which cost an estimated $40 million to build, opened for business in June 1997 with much pomp and circumstance, and was the flagship of the Star Theatre chain. 

Designed after the grand movie palaces of the 1920s, the 185,000-square-foot, 6,000-seat multiplex was the first theater in the area to feature all-stadium seating, and was the first and largest theater complex in the nation to feature THX-certified sound in all its auditoriums. 

Its lobby featured large cutouts of popular movie figures and a nine-foot-tall, 12-foot-diameter bucket of popcorn designed to keep basketball-sized popcorn kernels bouncing in the air. 

The decor also included movie memorabilia (Tom Cruise’s uniform from “A Few Good Men,” Brad Pitt’s shirt and hat from “Legends of the Fall”) and other touches. The building also included space for a half-dozen restaurants.

The theater was just as much a star of the show as the movies themselves. 

Over the years, however, upkeep on the building slid; broken seats in auditoriums were never fixed and customers complained of dirty theaters and poor projection. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @grahamorama

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