ANDERSON — The new owner of the Mounds Mall has purchased the movie theater located in the iconic building.
The Mounds 10 movie theater will be closed indefinitely as ownership changes hands between Florida businessman Mark Squillante and the Cook family.
Squillante said Friday the theater, which opened in 2009, was part of the purchase of the Mounds Mall and the Cook family decided they no longer wanted to operate a theater.
The change in ownership will cause some delays in the reopening of the theater.
“The Cook family owns expensive equipment and that has to be removed,” Squillante said. “I don’t want to use their equipment.”
He said the Cook family is indicating they are considering removing all the seating and screens.
“I might have to open a few theaters at a time,” Squillante said. “I want the theater to remain under local control. I want to have community events there.”
A sign was posted Friday on the doorway to the movie theater stating it was under new ownership and would open again soon. A locksmith was there changing the locks on the building Friday afternoon.
Squillante purchased the Mounds Mall building at the commissioners’ certificate sale for $12,000 earlier this year, and the Cook family decided not to redeem the property.
The Mounds Mall was closed on April 1, 2018.
After the closure, the movie theater and Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care continued to operate inside the former mall because they have exterior entrances.
Squillante is hoping to repurpose the enclosed mall for retail and commercial development in the future.
“I’m excited,” Squillante said at the time of the purchase. “I’m looking forward to the possibility of working with the mall.”
He said they intend to reach out to the Anderson community and he wants input from local residents on a future use for the facility.
“I want it to be a place for kids to come after school,” Squillante said. “My hope is to have some retail.”
The Mounds Mall opened in 1963 as the first enclosed mall operated by the Simon Property Groups. Simon, the largest shopping mall operator in America, sold the mall in 2003 to Coral Gables, Florida-based Bayview Financial LP.
Bayview sold the Mall in 2009 to Anderson siblings Virgil E. Cook II and Natalie Campbell, who already owned the land the mall was built on.