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AMC sells shuttered Harvard Square theater in Cambridge

Posted by Brock Parker  July 23, 2012 03:08 PM

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Just two weeks after the AMC Theater closed in Harvard Square, the owner of the Charles Hotel has already stepped in to buy the building.

Cambridge-based Carpenter & Company Inc. has purchased the building at 10 Church Street for $6.5 million, shortly after AMC Entertainment closed the theater on July 8.

Richard Friedman, the president and chief operating officer of Carpenter & Company, said the company bought the building last week and he expects a plan will be place for the future of the property within two months.

“We have no plan at this time,” said Friedman, who added he was sad to see the theater close. “We know it’s a great piece of real estate.”

AMC had run the theater since 2006 when it purchased it from Loews, according to the Kansas City-based theater chain. The building has been used as a theater since it was erected in Harvard Square in 1925, opening first as University Theater.

AMC announced it was closing the theater and putting it up for sale in June. The closure brought to an end a 28-year run of weekend showings of cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” that drew costume-clad fans every Saturday night. In a statement announcing the closure, AMC said it is always striving to upgrade the quality of its theater circuit by adding new screens and by disposing of older screens through closures and sales.

Denise Jillson, the executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, has said that because of its age and smaller size, the theater on Church Street doesn’t fit the mold of the more conventional, large movie theaters today, and she doubts another movie theater would move in.

Friedman said there would be significant operation issues for another movie theater to move into the space. But he said re-using the building as a theater is one of many options that will be considered.

“We’ll consider everything,” he said.

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