LINCOLN -- The city's only movie theater will close after Sunday's showings but reopen days later under new local ownership and a new name.
Lincoln businessman David Lanterman said he organized a group of local investors and approached current owner Carmike Cinemas about buying the four-screen property. Lanterman and another private partner will become the new owners if the deal closes as expected Monday. The price was not disclosed.
Lanterman said the purchase was prompted in part by fears Columbus, Ga.-based Carmike might someday close the theater. In 2010, Carmike closed two of its three Twin City movie theaters.
Lanterman said the new local ownership will also create greater flexibility to focus on community causes, such as school parties or other special events. Lincoln has about 14,500 residents.
"Having a theater in a town this size is important," he said, citing impact on downtown commerce and quality of life. "With strong community involvement, we will pull off some surprises and will have people taking notice in 2011."
The theater, which dates back to 1922, will continue to show first-run movies, Lanterman said.
There are no major changes planned initially, and existing management will keep their jobs, he said. Lanterman, who works in information technology, is also co-owner with his mother of Beans & Such in downtown Lincoln.
Lincoln Cinemas 4 will close after Sunday. It will reopen as the Lincoln Theater 4 "a short number of days later," Lanterman said. The theater should be completely up and running again by the Jan. 14 weekend, he said.
Gift certificates from Carmike will be honored until June 30. Efforts to reach a spokesman for Carmike, which acquired the Lincoln theater when it purchased the GKC chain in 2005, were not successful Friday.