SAVOY — As the AMC Champaign 13 prepares to open today with masks required and seating limited to 40 percent capacity, the former Goodrich Savoy 16 remains empty.
After Goodrich Quality Theaters announced last month that the Savoy 16 wasn’t among the locations that would be reopening soon under new ownership, village officials have been unable to get in touch with the property’s owner.
“We had tried to make contact with different people, and we get answering machines,” Savoy Zoning Administrator Dan Davies said. “The village would welcome somebody with open arms and work with them as much as we can to get a viable business going again.”
Goodrich filed for bankruptcy protection in February, and a new partnership was created to operate one Illinois location, in Peoria, plus 21 others in Michigan, Missouri and Indiana.
The Savoy 16 wasn’t included.
“GQT was not able to reach lease terms with that location and it is unclear as to whether another company will be reopening that location,” GQT Movies Vice President Matt McSparin said in a statement issued to The News-Gazette last month.
The property at 232 Burwash Ave. is owned by 30 West Pershing LLC and is listed as an investment of Kansas City, Mo.-based EPR Properties, which specializes in “experiential properties.”
30 West Pershing LLC bought the property last year for $13.9 million, according to county records.
Davies said the theater was “a great calling card.”
“They drew people from miles and miles away,” he said. “It’s a good draw.”
And he’s hopeful that with the 2013 renovation that added an Imax theater, another chain may be interested in reopening it.
“I would assume somebody’s going to reach out to us at some point. They’re not going to want to sit on an empty building,” Davies said. “But I don’t know what the future of movie-going is going to be like with this virus.”
In addition to requiring masks and spreading out viewers, AMC is encouraging cashless transactions, providing condiments and popcorn toppings only by request and not offering refills.
The nation’s largest movie-theater chain had previously scheduled a reopening on July 15, then delayed it until July 30.
While some movies, such as the Christopher Nolan blockbuster “Tenet,” are opening soon, the AMC Champaign 13 is also showing some older films this week, such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Inception” and “Rocky.”