Mobile’s Crescent Theater to close

The Crescent Theater, the single-screen arthouse cinema that’s been a staple on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile since 2008, will close its doors early next month.

The Crescent Theater Film Society, the not-for-profit organization which has helped keep the theatre open, announced the news via social media Wednesday.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of the Crescent Theater, which has been an anchor on Dauphin Street since 2008,” the post read. “We are unable to renew our lease with the landlord at 208 Dauphin Street, and will be forced to close the theater in early May.”

Mobile’s Lagniappe reported that lease negotiations broke down over a rent increase. The theater has used grants and other fundraising to pay its rent since 2010, but lacks the resources to afford the new rent imposed by landlord John Switzer, who told the paper he’s been taking a loss on the building for the last eight years.

Theater operator Max Morey, who owns the theatre’s furniture and equipment, told Lagniappe he plans to relocate the theater elsewhere.

The Crescent nearly closed in 2012 after the industry moved to digital projectors and the theater couldn’t afford the $75,000 cost, but a Kickstarter campaign raised more than $84,000 to buy the projector and keep the theater open.

The original Crescent Theater opened its doors in the same building on Dauphin Street as a vaudeville theatre in 1885.