The Pittsburgh Mills cinema reopens

The closed cinemas in the Pittsburgh Mills shopping center in Frazer will reopen this spring under new management, which promises cheaper cinema tickets.

Mark McSparin, President of GQT Movies in Michigan, confirmed Thursday that the company is taking over the former Cinemark division.

It has a preliminary opening date on March 1st.

The move comes a little less than a year after Cinemark announced plans to leave the struggling mall that has struggled to find and keep tenants for the past few years.

“I think it will do a lot for the mall,” said McSparin. “I think there will be a lot of traffic in this area.”

GQT Movies was founded last July, a few months after Goodrich Quality Theaters filed for bankruptcy, according to the company’s website. According to its website, GQT Movies now operates 22 of the 31 former Goodrich Quality Theaters in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

The film company is owned by three partners: Mark McSparin, Igal Namdar and Elliot Nassim. Namdar is the CEO of Namdar Realty Group and Nassim is the President of Mason Asset Management.

These companies own and manage the Mills Shopping Center.

McSparin also owns VIP movie theaters and has done business with Namdar and Nassim in other malls.

“We were familiar and I gave them this opportunity at GQT Movies,” said McSparin. “I knew Goodrich Quality Theaters was bankrupt and I brought them the deal and we put a deal together to partner and buy.”

McSparin believes the partnership could help revitalize the Mills mall.

“I think this is a very nice mall. I know malls have problems everywhere, but … I’m just a little surprised that the mall does not do any better than it because all of the surrounding retail appears to be there and doing business, ”said McSparin. “I think we could hopefully revive the mall. Especially the food court, which sits right next to the theaters. “

The current space is an 18-screen theater. McSparin said the room was in very good shape and did not need renovation.

Starts with 6 screens

The company will open six screens to start, assess market and theater traffic, and proceed from there.

“Like everything else, we all deal with Covid, of course. … That will affect our future activities in terms of the number of screens open and the time frame in which we open them, ”said McSparin. “The goal is to have all 18 screens open, probably within a year.”

McSparin said the theater will sell typical movie dishes like popcorn, candy and soda, as well as finger foods like popcorn chicken and popcorn shrimp, chicken tenders, pusher, fries and onion rings. There are no immediate plans to offer alcohol.

“My personal opinion and belief is that people should go to theaters to see a movie,” said McSparin.

Ticket prices are $ 6.99 for an evening movie, $ 5.99 for a matinee, and $ 4.99 for pre-noon screenings.

“We are entering the market as an inexpensive alternative,” said McSparin. “We’re cheaper than Cinemark. We’ll have the same amenities, we’ll have the same theater, we’ll have the same seats.

“We’ll have everything they had before, only we’ll probably be 30% cheaper on tickets and we’ll probably be 40% cheaper on concessions.”

Frazer supervisor Lori Ziencik said GQT Movies will be a welcome addition to the mall, which has recently been attracting other entertainment-based renters. The ScareHouse was chasing the attraction and Turf Attack, an indoor Nerf gun arena, moved to the mall last year.

“A lot of people missed the cinema,” said Ziencik. “I hope it’s a great addition.”

Mason Asset Management officials told the Tribune review in December that they were in the process of filling the former Cinemark and had discussions with retailers who had expressed an interest in acquiring the former JC Penney and Sears premises.

“We remain optimistic and look forward to the opportunity to continue to identify new and diverse tenants for Pittsburgh Mills,” said the officials.

GQT Movies is also planning to open new theater locations in Montgomery, Alabama, and North Forsyth, Illinois, according to its website.

Madasyn Lee is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702,, or on Twitter.

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