FORT WAYNE – Brad Pitt is still battling zombies at Coventry 13.
The movie theater in the Village at Coventry is under new ownership as of Tuesday, the date Dallas-based Starplex Cinemas sold the business to the buildings landlords, JSMN International Inc.
Movies playing there this week include World War Z, The Heat and The Lone Ranger.
JSMN, a New Jersey-based partnership, is now operating the theater under the name Apollo Cinemas, said Matt Gebhard, first assistant manager.
The second-run movie theater still charges $3 admission every day except Tuesdays, when entry falls to $2. Concessions prices are also unchanged, Gebhard said.
The theaters former owners caused a minor local panic Wednesday with an online message that the theater was closed as of Oct. 1.
Starplex Cinemas would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of our employees over the years for their exemplary service and performance of duties and to our many loyal patrons that shared more than a generation of entertainment experiences with us, the posting said.
Gebhard, who has worked at Coventry 13 for more than 3 1/2 years, wonders how many customers were scared off. He thinks Starplex fumbled the ownership handoff.
But the assistant manager is excited about coming improvements to the business, which will start accepting credit cards in a couple of weeks. Currently, the theater runs on a cash-only basis.
Apollo Cinemas partners are also talking about launching classic movie nights and upgrading to digital projectors.
Numerous major film distributors have stopped making 35 mm film reels, preferring the less expensive digital format. The change has pressured small theaters and drive-ins to raise tens of thousands of dollars for each new projector.
Cinema Center, the downtown art house movie theater, in August installed a new $50,000 digital projector paid for with donations.
Its unclear whether the digital shift pushed Starplex to shed the location. A corporate spokeswoman couldnt be reached for comment.
As of August, Dallas-based Starplex operated 32 theaters with 326 screens in 12 states. The majority are first-run theaters, which show new movies as soon as they are released.
Gebhard had been bracing for bad news from the parent company.
The thought was always there that we could be shut down at any point, he said.
Mike Dague and his girlfriend stopped in to check movie times about 6 p.m. Wednesday. The local couple was relieved to find the theater open after reading the Starplex statement online.
We come here a lot, Dague said, adding that its an affordable family night when they go out with their three children.
If they paid $9 apiece for tickets, he said, thats like going out to eat.
Coventry 13 reopened in May 2004 as a second-run movie theater, charging admissions as low as 50 cents at times. Evening and weekend admissions were $1 when the theater first reopened.