Smitty’s Cinema announced Monday that it will close its Biddeford movie theater because of financial impacts stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

The family-owned movie theater’s decision will not affect Smitty’s theaters in Sanford, Windham, Topsham or Tilton, New Hampshire. Those theaters will reopen as soon as they are allowed and can do so safely.

“The COVID-19 crisis  that has hit our country has been difficult in many ways. In addition to the personal challenges it has presented, it has been devastating to many businesses, especially those in the cinema and restaurant industries,” Smitty’s said Monday in a post on its Facebook page. “The crisis has been especially destructive on Smitty’s Cinema in Biddeford. We regret to say that due to the unprecedented damages this pandemic has inflicted upon our Biddeford location, Smitty’s Cinema in Biddeford will not be reopening.”

The post did not explain why the Biddeford location was hit harder than its other theaters.

Smitty’s Cinema said it is looking forward to serving families and movie lovers at the four other theaters. Smitty’s said it will honor previously purchased gift cards at all its locations. Smitty’s Cinema in Biddeford is located at the Five Points Shopping Center.

The movie industry finds itself in a huge pause because of restrictions on large gatherings at indoor locations.

The pandemic has delayed the release of several movies that were set to debut in 2020. Disney’s new movie, “Mulan,” was scheduled to be shown in theaters on March 27, but Disney has delayed its release to July 24. “No Time To Die,” the new James Bond movie scheduled for release in April, won’t be shown in theaters until Nov. 25, according to MGM and Universal Studios.

Smitty’s Cinema theater in Sanford posted a May 1 tweet from Maine-based author Stephen King: “God how I wish I could go to a movie tonight. Popcorn, Junior Mints, big old soda, sitting in the third row watching some action flick or goofball comedy. I’d love that.”

“We’re right there with you,” Smitty’s replied.


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