What does popular movie theater’s closure mean for Epicentre?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Studio Movie Grill located on the second floor of the Epicentre shut its doors Monday without notice. It opened in 2013 touted as the first movie theater and restaurant combo in Charlotte.

When you walk up to the theater’s door, a sign shows it’s closed for business.

“I’m actually upset the movie theater closed,” said Arkeim Owusu, who added he visits the Epicentre nearly every weekend.

He and other patrons are drawn to the restaurants and active nightlife.

“They have a lot of attractions downtown now, a lot of different restaurants, a lot of different businesses and new forms of entertainment,” Deion Alexander said.

Some people who live and work uptown are worried the closure may be a trend we’ll see more often.

“It was one of the biggest attractions the Epicentre had, so I think they’re going to kind of take a hit,” Alexander said.

In a statement released to Channel 9, the Studio Movie Grill said the location closed because of “an unusual amount of operational challenges.”

Channel 9 asked for clarification on the statement, however; the closure does follow a troubled past at the property such as the deadly shooting in November after a fight broke out between two men.

Channel 9 also reported on a stabbing and another shooting both in the same weekend in April at the Epicentre. A massive fight was also caught on camera, where officers said a man attacked a security guard at a nightclub and others joined in.

“The crime down here has taken a rise and safety has become an issue,” Alexander said.

Residents and customers said the crime stems from a larger issue than just the Epicentre, but they said local leaders and police officers need to work together.

“It can be dangerous down here,” Owusu said.

Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura asked the Epicentre if there are any plans for the movie theater’s spot or if any other businesses will leave the property, but they have not responded back.

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