Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WBEZ: South Side movie theater Chatham 14 expected to re-open Friday

Credit: Zol87/flickr
I'm not certain this is the story JP heard yesterday on Chicago Public Radio, but here's a write-up about the Chatham 14. They have been closed since Friday and it appears after a full week they will re-open.
Now the theater may be re-opening. In an e-mail, owner Alisa Starks (who along with her husband Donzell opened the theater in 1997) said, "It's been a challenging process. But the theater is expected to be open by Friday." Starks also said a new company will manage it.

The rift that apparently caused the original closure, a conflict between the Starks and their investor, Michael Silver, seems to have been smoothed over, at least temporarily. Starks told me, "Most positively, our investor has recently committed to making needed capital improvements."

What led to the shuttering of the Chatham had been hard to sort out. In the immediate aftermath of the closing, there were various reports, starting with this community blog. A Chicago Sun-Times article claimed the Starks have a history of not paying city amusement taxes and had been to court with movie distributors. And CBS2 quoted sources saying things went sour between the Starks and Silver.

The Starks own outright their Lawndale 10 theater on Roosevelt Road and a shuttered property at 62nd and Western. At Chatham both Starks and Silver have discussed plans for digital convergence and other improvements, but those can't proceed without some sort of resolution between the partners.
 BTW, this community blog is in fact The Sixth Ward.

In any event, let's hope that the conflict between the Starks' and Mr. Silver is smoothed over and that the theater will reopen this Friday or in 10 days.

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