In Chicago, the country’s third-largest city, around 1.2 million people live on the south side. Until recently, it was served by three movie theaters with 32 screens total, making it an underserved area by industry standards. Today, there are two theaters and 18 screens.
Remaining are the AMC Ford City 14 and the four-screen Harper Theater. The just-closed Cinema Chatham 14 was centrally located on a major expressway. It leaves a huge void, particularly for films aimed at the large Black community in adjacent neighborhoods.
Per a statement from Anthony LaVerde, CEO of Emagine Entertainment, the Chatham was no longer “economically viable.” The numbers bear him out: Last year, total U.S./Canada movie ticket spending per capita was around $24 ($9.1 billion tickets sold, population 370 million). On that basis, the South Side, not including the significant suburban draw of the Ford City, should have grossed $25 million; the actual gross for all three theaters was less than $7 million.
Cinema Chatham represents the latest in a disturbing trend of population centers across the country where it’s increasingly difficult to find a nearby multiplex. Much of the press around theater closings focuses on New York and Los Angeles, but far more poisonous to exhibition is the drip, drip, drip of closures of cinema complexes nationwide. When they’re gone, many people have nowhere to watch current movies other than their homes.
New theaters still open or…
Read full article: American Cities Without Movie Theaters Continue to Grow – IndieWire
The post “American Cities Without Movie Theaters Continue to Grow – IndieWire” by was published on 02/12/2024 by www.indiewire.com