Kenner's Hollywood Cinemas 9 movie theater has closed



Kenner's Hollywood Cinemas 9 movie theater closed abruptly Friday, according to a report.

"One local moviegoer said he went to the theater to catch the locally shot heist film Now You See Me, only to see employees carrying supplies out of the darkened building."-
Vishu Mandava, the theater's owner for over a decade, couldn't fund renovations and had trouble passing inspections. The worst thing for Mandava, however, was the impending opening of The Grand, a 2,400-seat, 14-screen movie theater. The Grand is slated to open around August (years after Memorial Day 2009, the opening date authorities originally gave) near The Esplanade, only a seven-minute walk away from where Hollywood Cinemas 9 was.

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What may be the twist of the knife for Mandava, is The Grand's principal source of funding: a Go Zone federal loan, designed to reinvest in communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. According to The Lens' Ariella Cohen, more than half of the GO Zone funding went to oil, gas and chemical companies.

To say I patronized Hollywood Cinemas 9 often would be a lie. The last time I went there was in 2002 or 2003 to see Brown Sugar with my Aunt Cheryl. It wasn't the best theater, but it wasn't the worst, like The Joy in the '90s. The Joy in the '90s was like the movie scene in Cooley High. To lose Hollywood Cinemas 9 — especially so suddenly — seems to go against what Mandava's idea was in reopening the theater in 2002 — providing Kenner residents with a nearby, inexpensive movie theater.

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