New York-basedentertainment company Madstone has shut down operations, according to reports.

A statementissued by Madstone earlier this week said: 'The company was not able toachieve its business goals.'

Goldman Sachspartner Chip Seelig and distribution veteran Tom Gruenberg founded the group in1999.

Exhibition armMadstone Theaters has closed down its leased arthouse theatres in Albuquerque,Cary, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Denver, Baltimore and San Diego.

Companyspokesperson Erin Owens said stiff competition made it hard to secure first-runpresentations and it is understood new managers are being sought for the venuesin Cary, San Diego and Tampa.

The company'sproduction arm, Madstone Films, has also closed down after its directorsprogramme produced only one title in four years - Aaron Woodley's RhinocerosEyes.

Madstone acquiredindependent distributor New Yorker Films in 2002, however that outfit will notbe affected and will continue to operate under the stewardship of Dan Talbot.