MANATEE -- Teicher Theaters of Sun City Center has closed the DeSoto Dollar Movies and all of its other theaters as the owner begins retirement.
Alan Teicher, 80, told the Herald digital projections and theaters have hurt his business to the point where finding movies on film was too difficult.
"I've been in business for 58 years, I'm 80 years old and think it's time to retire," he said. "It was nice going for a haircut during the day and going swimming."
DeSoto's theaters closed Monday along with his other remaining theaters in Troy and Greenville, Ohio, and Winchester, Ind. His theater in Palm Bay, south of Cocoa on the east coast, closed June 3, he said.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The decision to close the remaining theaters now was because students are heading back to school and a popular fair in Greenville would take away audiences.
"Each screen costs at least $50,000," Teicher said. "Charging two bucks at the theater, you'll never get your money back."
The DeSoto theater did so-so business, he said.
"It wasn't the greatest theater I had," Teicher said. "It was different than most theaters because we could sell out at one or two in the afternoon if we had the right films for the snowbirds. Nobody sells out at one o'clock in the afternoon."
Richard Bedford, general manager for the DeSoto mall, said he is working with another company to take over the theater.
"I expect an agreement within a week or so," he said.
The last lease on file for the theaters with the mall ran from 2009 to 2012 for the 18,545-square-foot space. The theater is the latest tenant to leave after Macy's announced it would shutter its 132,208-square-foot Bradenton store in favor of its new 160,000-square-foot location at the Mall at University Town Center. The DeSoto Square Macy's is expected to close in late September or early October.
Macy's announcement came the same day -- July 26 -- an undisclosed bidder offered to pay $33.75 million for the mall from owners Mason Asset Management of Great Neck, N.Y. The deal has not closed and no plans for the mall's future have been announced.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.