SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Cinemark movie theater has closed at Springfield's Eastfield Mall.
The 16-screen complex has closed its doors for good and will not be reopening.
Eastfield Mall management said that the move caught them by surprise. The company abruptly moved out without notifying them.
They noticed the theaters closed up last week and items were trashed in an outside dumpster.
Eastfield Mall said they will now aggressively pursue a new tenant for the space.
Property Manager David Thompson said the closure came as a complete surprise to them. He said communication with Cinemark was good until there was complete silence.
"I'm very upset about this," he said. "We've been working hard with the mall and the whole COVID shutdown was challenging as you may guess. But we were holding our way, but this is a big hit."
This reaction came after Thompson saw for himself the emptied out theater. He said the first sign of trouble was when they attempted to discuss reopening plans with the company.
"We found it odd that we received absolutely no replies," he said. "So that was a red flag."
Then something else happened.
"Last week, mid-week, I got a call from my crew telling me there was a bunch of 30-yarder roll outs coming in and out of the property."
After that, he saw crews taking out screens and speakers.
"The next day, I came in and sure enough they were demoing the place without our knowledge, without any communication with us whatsoever," he said.
Thompson said the mall will take a hit form this loss.
"It's going to negatively affect us," he said. "We're not in panic mode. We will search out a replacement theater tenant, as a matter of fact we already started. It makes it problematic for us to take a potential replacement theater tenant in here and there's no screens, pretty much the place has been gutted."
He is hopeful, however, with plans to bring new businesses into the mall where Sears and Macy's used to be. Details about that are expected soon.
Western Mass News has reached out to Cinemark for comment. We have not yet heard back.
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.