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 Thursday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2013. There are 19 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Two boys who haul coal from Coal Valley to Davenport were arrested yesterday for running their teams through the city street at a furious rate. 1888 -- 125 years ago: E.H. Barker dislocated his left wrist and suffered a compound fracture of the right wrist when he fell from the roof of his icehouse. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Lou Harris was elected county superintendent of schools to fill the unexpired term of the late S.J. Ferguson. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a state must give equality in educational privileges to white and Negro law students. 1963 -- 50 years ago: About 300 employees of the Augustana Book Concern, staff members of the Board of Publication of the Lutheran Church in America, as well as friends of the community and out-of-town guests honored Dr. Birger Swenson at the annual Christmas dinner of the Augustana Book Concern last night in Westerlin Hall on the Augustana College campus. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The Christmas shopping season began early this year and continues to bring out shoppers in record numbers, according to Quad-Cities retailers interviewed today.