The Edge closes its doors with plans of re-opening

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Last week the VIP Edge 8 movie theater closed its doors. Community members have been speculating why, and how long one of the town’s only sources of entertainment will stay closed, and if it will reopen. 

Mayor Dexter McLendon shared insight into these speculations, explaining that the owner of the theater, Craig Atchison, lives in Midland, Texas and has no prior movie business experience. The President of VIP Cinemas, Mark McSparin, managed Greenville’s Edge theater. 

According to McLendon, the theater had not been financially profitable for some time.

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“We had been working with the owner to have incentives at the theater to keep it open,” McLendon said. “We had good conversations with both the owner and manager about everything. The manager and owner had some differences of opinion that led the manager to pull out of the theater suddenly.”

Lisa Bell, an avid movie goer at the Edge, said she is hoping the theater will open again soon.

“To say I was shocked and very disappointed to hear our movie theater was closed would be a huge understatement,” Bell said. “My 16-year-old daughter and I go together almost every Tuesday, it’s been a wonderful tradition since she was a little girl. She actually had tears in her eyes when I told her it closed. I can’t even imagine having to drive an hour to Montgomery and an hour back just to watch an hour and a half movie at the theater.”

The Mayor explained that losing McSparin was a game changer for the Edge in Greenville, due to the fact that he had all of the professional connections to bring the movies to the theater. He explained that Atchison does not have the same knowledge of the business, and wishes to sell the building. 

“I still think there is a chance to keep the theater open,” McLendon said. “But, we have a bump in the road. Maybe the owner will be able to sell some movies and re-open, or maybe someone else will come in, buy it and open it back up. We’re waiting until Jan. 6 to reopen to try again. We don’t just give up on things, we never have and we’re going to keep trying to keep it.”

Denise VanCor said Greenville really needs the Edge theater. 

“It’s one of the few things we could do as a family around here with our son being in a wheelchair,” VanCor said. “We sure miss it already, and we will miss all the Christmas movies they put on every year. I hope someone reopens it. I know it needs a lot of work, but Greenville really needs this!”

The Mayor will discuss further action and updates about the Edge theater at the city council meeting on Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.