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Chatham 14 Theater to reopen a week after closing its doors

Updated: October 26, 2012 9:11PM

Just a week after unexpectedly shutting down, the South Side’s only movie theater will reopen Friday night under new management, with plans to upgrade in the near future.

Last Friday, hundreds of movie fans showed up at the ICE Chatham 14 Theater, only to find the theaters closed and locked up with an eviction notice from the Cook County Sheriff’s office slapped on the front door.

On Friday morning, the owners of the theaters in the Chatham Ridge Mall at 210 W. 87th St. announced they will reopen immediately.

The theater, a staple in the Chatham community, was closed for one week due to a change in management, according to a Friday statement.

The theaters are owned by Inner City Entertainment, a local company run by husband and wife team Donzell and Alisa Starks. It opened in 1997 with help from Tax Increment Financing money, and is the only movie theater left on South Side.

Day-to-day operations will now be handled by F&F Management, and F&F vice president John Scaletta said in the statement the firm “recognizes the importance” of the theater as a member of the community.

“[We] will continue working with local organizations that have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Chatham Theater,” Scaletta said in the statement.

The theater employs about 30 people, and the Starks remain part-owners of the building.

Venisha Johnson, general manager of the theater for the past 10 years, said in the statement that “plans are in the works to revamp the theater ... including digital projection with 3-D capabilities, new carpeting, seating upgrades and an enhanced menu.”

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