ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A couple of longtime metro movie theaters are closing for good. Movies 8 and Movies West, Albuquerque’s “dollar” theaters, are closing permanently after 30 years in the business. Many Albuquerque movie fans can remember nights with friends and family at the longtime local theaters.

“Growing up, I went to Movies West with my friends all the time and we would hang out and enjoy movies there,” said Stephanie Anthony. “I remember taking my daughter there. I remember going to the movies, we would have date nights even, and go to the movies, we’d meet friends and go to the movies.”

Theaters like Cinemark’s Movies West and Movies 8 closed along with many others when the coronavirus hit. However, unlike those others, they’re not preparing to reopen.

“When I found out they were shutting down, it really impacted me,” said Anthony. “So I thought, okay, we still have one dollar theater, we still have Movies 8, so I wasn’t too worried until I found out just recently that they’re no longer going to be around either.”

Local customers never really saw a formal closing announcement from the theaters, with the exception of an updated marquee outside Movies West. Customers like Daniel Vasquez were surprised to drive by the locations, finding the signs removed, ticket boxes empty and concessions vacant.

“I’ve been a huge fan of going to the movies since I was like 10 or 11,” said Vasquez. “I’ve been watching movies at home and it’s sad that Cinemark Movies West and Movies 8 is shutting down permanently.”

When you look up the Cinemark locations for the Albuquerque metro, both theaters are now listed as “permanently closed.” Before COVID-19 hit, a night out at the movies can be costly between tickets and snacks. Anthony says these “dollar theaters” like Movies 8 and Movies West made it affordable for families to enjoy a night out at the cinema.

“When it was on Tuesdays, we would go to the regular movie theaters, a lot of times we would wait until movies go to the dollar theaters,” said Anthony, who also says they will now likely just stick to matinee and $5 kids’ day showings in the future. “It helped ease the cost for being able to go enjoy a movie and meet with your family.”

As for Cinemark’s other Albuquerque theaters, Century Downtown is listed as “temporarily closed” while Century Rio 24 says it’s opening next week on July 3. Other theaters around the metro like AMC and Regal are planning to reopen in mid-July. The current public health order expires at the end of June but the governor has not announced if that will be extended and when theaters may reopen across the state.