SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) — The bankrupt parent company of one of the two movie theaters in the Champaign-Urbana area announced new plans that do not include their Savoy location.
The Goodrich Quality Theater in Savoy has been closed since March due to the pandemic. Since then, the theater’s future has been up in the air. GQT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, owing $33 million to it’s creditors.
For them, the pandemic could not have hit at a worse time. For one local family, the Savoy theater has been the backdrop to a lot of their weekends.
“You dropped them off, then they went to Dairy Queen after the movie, then you’d pick them up after Dairy Queen and bring them home,” says Joe Kriegel. “It was a standing joke that all these kids should be movie critics because they’d come to the movie every week. That was the thing to do.”
It is unclear what the Savoy theater’s future is at this point. But now a new company, New GQT, is buying up Old GQT theaters. But Savoy is not one of them. Of their 30 locations, New GQT has bought 21 of them. The closest being in Peoria.
Businesses in the area have said previosuly they would be worried if the theater decided to shutter it’s doors for good. With no inkling of what might become of the theater after the pandemic, movie goers hope it will not come to that.
“I think it’d have a major impact because there’s nothing to do for kids,” says Kriegel. “Movies were a nice thing for kids to interact and go have an ice cream, and have fun.”
The other theater in C-U should be open by early August. AMC says they hope to have all 660 of their theaters in the country open by then. Some are even opening as soon as July 31. Previously the theater chain wanted to open in the middle of July, but pushed back the date to wait for more blockbuster releases.