Cinema Chatham movie theater closes its doors

Samantha Chatman Image
Thursday, February 1, 2024
Cinema Chatham movie theater closes its doors
Cinema Chatham movie theater has permanently shut its doors, Alderman Ronnie Mosley said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- People in the Chatham neighborhood are disappointed after learning their local movie theater has shut its doors permanently.

Twenty First Ward Alderman Ronnie Mosley confirmed the closure of Cinema Chatham with ABC7.

Known by many in the community as the "Chatham Theater," the cinema has been a staple on the South Side since the 90s.

The theater closed near the beginning of the pandemic and reopened in 2021 after being purchased by Emagine Entertainment.

Alderman Mosley expressed his disappointment in the theater closing.

"The closure of Chatham Cinema has dealt a major blow to the arts and entertainment scene of the 21st Ward. Despite the decline of the movie theater industry in the US, further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing popularity of streaming services, Chatham Theater made a valiant effort to stay open, and their efforts are appreciated.

"Unfortunately, our ward has faced numerous setbacks, and recent incidents in the 87th & Dan Ryan Business Corridor have made it necessary to organize a forum with the local business owners. The goal of this collective effort is to gather valuable insights and develop strategies to improve the area and ensure a thriving business community.

"We just less than a year ago lost Walmart now Chatham Cinema. We need the leaders of that area, those business owners to step up and share their insight, their input about what they want to see to make sure this area is a great place... to do business.

"It makes me sad because this was a big part of me growing up. You don't want to see something that holds so many memories, gone."

With Chatham Theater now closed, there are only two movie theaters on Chicago's South Side: AMC Ford City 14 and Harper Theater in Hyde Park.

Emagine Entertainment released a statement, saying, "It is with deep regret that Cinema Chatham, a franchise operator under the Emagine brand, announces its closure. The decision comes as a result of the business at this specific location no longer being economically viable. When our franchise partner reopened the theatre in 2021, they were hopeful they could continue to carry on the legacy of serving this community, so we understand that this news may be disheartening.

While Cinema Chatham bids farewell, we encourage valued guests to continue their love for movies and entertainment by visiting our company-owned theatres in Batavia and Frankfort, IL. These locations offer a wide range of cinematic experiences, ensuring that the magic of the big screen remains accessible to all. We have already reached out to all guests to provide refunds."