at the East Brunswick Square Mall is no more.
On Wednesday, owner Howard Grant informed the East Brunswick Patch that mall management would not be renewing its lease after almost two decades.
According to a statement from the mall’s management, Simon Property Group, Starplex Cinemas will be taking over the theater’s operation starting Thursday, May 3.
The Dallas-based company plans to remodel the theater without business interruption. Changes are expected to include new “luxury” seating and 100 percent digital projection.
Grant said he had told mall management that he was moving toward being 100 percent digital in the near future, but needed some time. Grant would not go into details Wednesday regarding the change, but said the decision by the mall was very sudden. He said he does not know if the new management would accept current sales and promotions by Mega Movies.
The 13 screen theater in East Brunswick has three 3D auditoriums, and one with seats that move in synch with a movie, also known as the D-Box Experience. Grant also is the owner of the Nathan’s Famous and Ben and Jerry’s located in the theater lobby.
At about noon Tuesday, the mall's management office said the theater was closed for maintenance. Both Ben & Jerry's and Nathan's were empty of product and televisions that usually show previews were off, however, the D-Box Experience exhibit was operational.
Grant was one of the area's few independent movie theater operators. He opened his first theater in 1971, Movies 1 and 2 in Red Bank. After that he was the person running Movie City 5 in East Brunswick, which he did with longtime manager John DeNicola.