PEMBROKE PINES, FL-Given the sad state of the movie theater business nationally, a shopping center in this southwest Broward County suburb will likely find it difficult attracting a new operator for one of the seven complexes recently shuttered by General Cinema in South Florida. But that may only be the start of property management’s leasing headaches.

In the less than two weeks since the Pembroke Pines 8 rang down its final curtain, nearby restaurants and ice cream shops have seen their business nosedive. So there could soon be more vacated space to fill here.

Mom-and-pop operators appear to be the most seriously threatened. The staying power of such tenants is always problematic. The departure of a prime attraction could be especially disruptive to certain types of tenancies.

For example, closing the Deerfield Beach General Cinema multiplex in northeast Broward couldn’t have come at a less opportune time for the Rubbo brothers. They opened their Spanish-Mexican restaurant less than three months ago in the Deerfield Mall specifically with the theater traffic in mind.

Yet another tenant in the same center that never depended on the multiplex for business is actually pleased by General Cinema’s leaving. The reason: there’s more close-by customer parking available, especially in the evening.

Nor is the movie house carnage over. Theater chains like Fort Lauderdale-based Muvico is readying a December opening for a 20-screen location in Downtown West Palm Beach’s CityPlace mixed-use complex.

How such a facility might impact older and mostly smaller multiplexes in the vicinity can be seen in southern Palm Beach County. After Muvico opened a 20-screeen complex in Boca Raton this past summer, a well-established property operated by the AMC theater chain in nearby Mizner Park is reported to have suffered a 30% revenue decline.

Muvico offers more than just movies at its giant complexes. Amenities include sit-down dining for the price of a $15 ticket. But even those enhancements may not be enough to offset what is now widely recognized as the overscreening of America.

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