Don Akin, who started Medieval Manor 43 years ago in the basement of the Eliot Hotel, says the reason he's shutting down what had become a Boston institution for a fairly simple reason: "We were not able to keep up with the rising cost of business."
In an e-mail to customers yesterday, Akin announced Medieval Manor would be closing forever at the end of the year.
Akin said he's sad, but not bitter. So many people have passed various personal milestones at Medieval Manor that telling them they could no longer celebrate their birthdays or other life events there has been "very, very awkward," he said.
Although increasing rents were one of the costs that made him decide to close, Akin had nothing but praise for his landlord. "The past five years, he's been so patient with us," he said.
He said the landlord is willing to consider having another operator come in and run a similarly themed theater, rather than immediately cashing in and selling to a condo developer like everybody around him seems to be doing in what is no longer the desolate area Medieval Manor relocated to from the Eliot.
Akin continued he did not consider looking for a less expensive venue for Medieval Manor.
"At 65, it's probably time" to retire from the Camelot business, he said. "I'm not up to the task" of starting over, he said, adding very few people have been as fortunate as him to be able to do something they love for so long.