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Downtown Seattle shoppers feeling the impact of recent big business closures

The Nike store and the Regal Meridian 16 are two downtown staples that announced they were shutting their doors.

SEATTLE — Time is running out for another downtown Seattle staple. 

One of downtown Seattle’s longest-standing movie theaters is closing its doors next month. The Regal Meridian 16 movie theater is one of 39 that will shut off screens across the country.

"It's terrible because it's common that I would come down and eat someplace and have the movie. (It's) a nice theater and convenient," said Geri Cooper, a Seattle resident.

The company that owns the theater, Cineworld, filed for bankruptcy in September.

Meridian 16 and the downtown Nike store location are now added to the list of businesses that have shut their doors downtown over the last couple of years.

"Less people, and yes there have been a lot of closures, a lot of retailers, a lot of stores that used to be staples aren't here anymore," said Florence Vollmer, a Seattle resident.

Officials with the Downtown Seattle Association sent KING 5 an emailed statement that said in part:

“For several years, retailers have been evaluating changing needs for space and scale. We’ve seen that in urban areas since before the pandemic. We never like to see a downtown retailer choose to close and Niketown has been a great part of our retail mix through the years. 

"We are excited about several newcomers who have opened their doors in recent months with more on the way. To help foster their success we need to ensure a safe and welcoming environment, something that’s been improving in downtown and is top of mind for our city leaders.”

According to the association, 2.2 million visitors came downtown last month which is an increase of 8 percent compared to December 2021. Its dashboard also revealed December 2022 marked the third consecutive month of improving numbers of workers returning to the office.

"I want it to survive and thrive, you know I love Seattle," said Cooper.  

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