Market Square Theatre 1-06282018083224

Market Square Cinemas, Madison’s budget movie theater on the city’s west side, closed its doors permanently Thursday night.

General manager Deana Thorsen confirmed the closing Thursday but declined to comment further, referring questions to the theater’s parent companies. Market Square is owned by Silver Cinemas, which in turn was owned by Landmark Theatres.

"We will forever be grateful to have been able to bring affordable movies to the big screen for the Madison area for over 30 years," the theater posted on its Twitter account Thursday night. In response to a well-wisher online, the theater responded, "It was sudden for us as well, and we’re still in shock. Wish we had a silver lining for you but at this point we are still waiting to hear more details from corporate."

The theater had been announcing on Tuesday that “West Side Story” would be opening there on Friday. The theater at 6604 Odana Road offered movies at $3.50 per ticket, and in recent years repositioned itself with an emphasis on screening independent films that might have gotten short shrift at Madison’s largest theaters. The theater’s final night of showings including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” and Mike Mills’ “C’Mon C’Mon.”

Market Square closed with every other movie theater in the country in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and didn’t reopen until last September. A December Bloomberg.com article estimated that over 600 theaters nationwide remained closed nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, with many likely never reopening.

Twitter users reacted to the news Thursday night:

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