The Great Escape Theaters in Moline have a new owner.
On Thursday, Tennessee-basedRegal Entertainment Group -- the nation's leading motion picture exhibitor -- announced it has completed the acquisition of Great Escape Theatres, including the 14-screen multiplex at 4100 38th St., Moline.
Regal acquired a total of 25 theaters, representing 301 screens, for $91 million in cash. The acquisition will enhance Regal's presence in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, according to a company release.
"The acquisition of Great Escape Theatres and the special dividend of $1 per share clearly demonstrate Regal's commitment to delivering shareholder value," Amy Miles, Regal's CEO, said in the release. "We are extremely pleased with the addition of over 300 high quality screens to our industry-leading portfolio and expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to both earnings and cash flow."
Regal owns the largest and most geographically diverse theater chain in the United States. As of Oct. 25, it had 6,607 screens in 521 theaters in 37 states and the District of Columbia. More information is online at REGmovies.com.
The sale marks the second ownership change for Quad-Cities movie theaters this month.
About two weeks ago, Cinemark USA Inc. -- a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cinemark Holdings Inc. and the third-largest theater chain -- announced it is acquiring all of the assets of Rave Cinemas for approximately $240 million. The group includes 483 screens at 32 theaters in 12 states, including an 18-screen cineplex in Davenport.
Today is Sunday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2014. There are 101 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We hear that Col. Reynolds has employed C.D. Merrill to drill for water to supply the Rock Island Barracks. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Billy Catton, famous billard player, returned to Rock Island with a view to making this city his home in the future. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The belief is growing that a great decisive battle of the World War was being fought at Verdun, a strong fortress of France on the Meuse near the French frontier, according to a London dispatch. 1939 -- 75 years ago: William Stremmel, 91, Rock Island's last Civil War veteran, died. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Workmen of the Midwest Wrecking Co., Clinton, have begun razing the historic old office building of Deere & Co., 1325 3rd Ave., Moline. The site will be used by the Deere Plow Works for its shipping and receiving department. 1989 -- 25 years ago: East Moline developer Jim Massa says the financial package for the proposed $34.5 million Quad City International Motor Speedway is down to making sure "all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Finalizing this will give the green light to see if NASCAR and CART, the auto racing sanctioning bodies, approve race dates.