Halls Cinema 7 has closed

Sandra ClarkHalls

A landmark Halls business is no more. Halls Cinema 7 closed on Feb. 20, 2024, with an announcement on social media.

Paul Wylie (file photo)

Paul Wylie of Johnson City, Tennessee, bought and operated the theater in 2009. The notice said under his leadership the business has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the local community in the areas of renovation and supplies and employed more than 230 “of the area’s most talented and unique staff.”

Prior to Wylie’s ownership, former state Sen. Danny Wallace owned and operated the Halls Cinema. If we can catch up with Danny, we’ll update this story for the record with his dates of ownership.

The Halls location was the remaining theater of a chain of drive-ins started by Wylie’s father, Bernie Wylie, in the late 1950s, according to a June 26, 2020, story in the Johnson City Press.

The decision to close the Halls location was based on economics, according to the company’s statement. “Revenues simply did not keep up with the cost of operation.”

The statement was clear-eyed: “As an independent theater, we are constantly combatting the struggle between our desire to provide customers with what they deserve and expect with the cost of providing the latest in technology, meeting ever-changing consumer preferences and, in recent years, dealing with a drastic reduction in available quality programming.”

Interestingly, the owners ended on a positive note, saying the closure is not a reflection of how they view the future of the industry overall.

“We continue to believe that nothing replaces the feeling of going to your local theater with family and friends to see a newly released movie. … Movie theaters positively impact the world through the sheer happiness they bring and the memories they provide individuals and families. …”


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