The Regal UA Broadway Faire movie theater is closed effective Thursday. Image via Google Street View
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Fresno’s Broadway Faire movie theater unexpectedly closed for good Wednesday night after 26 years in business.
The news was shared by email with local moviegoers Wednesday afternoon, stating that the Regal Broadway Faire at Shaw and Valentine avenues would be closed effective Thursday. No reason was stated for the closure, but the announcement follows a bankruptcy filing last week by U.K.-based Cineworld Group, the parent company of Regal Cinemas.
Always sad to see this town lose a movie theater, just got an email from @RegalMovies that Broadway Faire is closing down tomorrow. Saw THE MATRIX there for my first time 🙁 (cc: @BethanyClough) pic.twitter.com/C4WW5mYLu1
— Roqacconie (@brodiemash) September 14, 2022
The email directed moviegoers to check out other Regal-owned theaters in Fresno, including Regal Marketplace @ El Paseo, Regal Manchester and Regal Edwards at River Park.
Real estate news website CoStar reported Tuesday that a U.S. bankruptcy judge had approved $785 million in financing from lenders for Cineworld to continue operating as it navigates the bankruptcy reorganization process. The total was less than the $1.94 billion requested by Cineworld, which operates 747 locations and 9,139 screens in 10 countries, reported CoStar.
When the 10-screen Broadway Faire opened in February 1996, it was hailed for its “cutting-edge movie presentation” in advertising that boasted two auditoriums with THX sound, “wall-to-wall screens,” cupholder armrests and child booster seats. Among the first movies to be shown at Broadway Faire included “Jumanji,” “Heat,” “Black Sheep” and “Sense and Sensibility.”
Opening two years before Edwards Stadium 21 at River Park, the two theaters ushered in a new era of cinema in Fresno with their large-format screens, digital sound systems and stadium-style seating. Several of Fresno’s legacy movie houses along Blackstone Avenue and Clovis would go on to close soon after.
Movie theaters were among the hardest hit businesses by pandemic closures in 2020. Broadway Faire was one of the first theaters in Fresno to temporarily close due to Covid shutdowns.