CHATHAM — The ICE Chatham 14 Theater will reopen Friday under new management and a new name, following a business dispute that closed it for a week.
"We will be open for business tomorrow [Friday, Oct. 25]," said John Scaletta, vice president of F & F Management Inc., which will run day-to-day operations for the theater, now renamed Chatham 14. "All employees who lost their jobs due to the reorganization will be hired back too."
Despite the new management, ownership of the 14-screen theater at 210 W. 87th St. remained unclear Thursday, based on interviews with those involved in the business.
According to Alisa Starks, founder and president of Inner City Entertainment, which owned ICE Chatham 14, ownership is split between her company and business partner Michael Silver. Starks and her husband remain the sole owners of the ICE Lawndale Theater on the city's West Side.
"As of Friday, Oct. 19, ICE Development LLC, ceased its operation of the ICE Chatham 14 Theaters," Starks said. "ICE Lawndale 10 Theaters remain open and unaffected by the changes at ICE Chatham 14."
Last week's closure came after a months-long dispute between Starks and Silver, which ended with an eviction notice. Starks said she wanted to buy Silver's portion of the theater, but was unable to come up with the cash in time. Her future with the Chatham theater remains unclear.
"She signed a court order that said she must vacate the premises by Sept. 26, which she did not," Silver said. "So she knew that anytime after this date the eviction could be carried out by the sheriff."
Nora Sheahan, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff's Office, confirmed that an eviction was entered in court on Aug. 16 against ICE Development LLC.
Silver said that moviegoers won't see much evidence of the business dispute, aside from the name change.
"Everything else remains the same, from prices to discounts for seniors," he added.
Nell Howard, 83, a Chatham resident, said she is glad the theater will reopen soon.
"I did not want to travel to the suburbs to go see a movie. I like staying in my community and hope there are no more setbacks that causes the theater to close again," she said.