SC’s Richland Mall Regal Cinema Closes Permanently

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The Regal Columbia 7 cinema in the Richland Mall has closed.

The curtain has closed at a long-running Columbia-area movie theater.

The Regal Columbia 7 at the Richland Mall at 3400 Forest Drive in Forest Acres is permanently closed, with a message to customers posted on its door.

“We deeply regret to inform you that this location is now permanently closed,” the note read. He directs patrons to visit one of three other Regal theaters in the area, including Regal Sandhills to the northeast, Columbiana Grande near Harbison Boulevard, or Regal Northlake Village in Lexington.

Showtimes are no longer listed for the Regal Columbia 7 on the company’s website or app, and movie posters have been removed from lightboxes outside the theater.

The theater’s closure was first reported by The Post and Courier.

Columbia 7, which has seven screens, was unique in its location, in that it was located on the roof of the Richland Mall. It opened in March 1990 and was then owned by Litchfield Theatres. A March 1990 newspaper ad touted it at the time as “South Carolina’s most unique theater” and told patrons, “You’ve seen the rest, now see the best!”

Films that played this first weekend included ‘The Hunt for Red October’, ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and ‘Ski Patrol’, among others. (This reporter’s first visit to the rooftop theater was in the summer of 1991. A Saturday night preview of “The Rocketeer.”)

The cinema’s closure follows news that Richland Mall, which has long struggled to retain tenants, is under consideration for a redevelopment. The mall is under contract to be sold, but officials have warned the deal is still in its infancy. If sold, the property could be redeveloped into a mixed-use project with residences, retail, offices and more.

A Belk department store and the Barnes & Noble bookstore remain open in the mall.

Sarah Ellis contributed to this story.

Chris Trainor has worked for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 17 years, including previous stints at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the South Carolina Press Association, including honors in column writing, government reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage, and more.

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