The Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14 cinema in San Isidro Plaza on Zafarano Drive did not open Friday and likely will not open at all.
“We locked the doors the day before yesterday [Wednesday],” said Jeff Branch, CEO of Santa Fe-based Columbus Capital, which owns San Isidro Plaza and the Regal building. “We’ve taken over possession of the building.”
Earlier Friday, Regal Cinemas indicated the originally scheduled Friday opening would be delayed until Thursday, but there was no “confirmation from operations on that,” Regal spokeswoman Hannah C. Whitson wrote in an email.
“It was completely unforeseen circumstances that shouldn’t take more than a few days to resolve,” Whitson wrote Friday morning. “We received a notification this morning that a few processes were delayed to ensure we were able to provide the highest quality picture, sound and audio in all of our theaters.”
Branch dismissed the Regal explanation Friday evening.
“They owe 15 months’ rent,” Branch said. “There was not even an attempt to try. They knew what the time frame was. It was May 19. They chose to ignore it.”
Whitson was not immediately available by email or phone Friday evening.
“I’m moving forward,” Branch said. “I’m talking to other operators to open a movie theater.”
Branch does have ambitions to reduce the number of screens at the Regal building and introduce new uses.
“That’s a longer-term plan,” he said.
The Regal website as of Friday evening still had several movies scheduled for Tuesday at Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14, the largest movie house in the city.