CHATHAM — A massive redevelopment planned for the Chatham 14 Theaters will add a sports bar in the lobby, eliminate the concession stand and allow customers to drink alcohol and eat dinner while watching a movie.
The renovation is set to begin in February and expected to end in April, according to Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), whose ward includes the movie theater at 210 W. 87th St.
"The theater will have bigger seats, wider aisles and allow customers to purchase tickets and reserve seats online at no additional cost," Brookins said. "The renovations are supposed to start around Feb. 2 and end by the end of April."
Ticket prices would remain the same at $10 for adults and $7.50 for children 12 and under, Brookins said.
Customers will be able to buy all the traditional drinks served at a sports bar, including beer, wine and mixed drinks.
The theater will stay open during the renovation, which is expected to be finished in May, said Lynne McQuaker, spokeswoman for Studio Movie Grill.
The theater will eliminate its game room and replace it with meeting rooms. Customers still will be able to order popcorn, candy or soft drinks, but must place their order with a waiter.
The redeveloped theater would resemble the ShowPlace ICON Theatre, 1011 S. Delano Court, where customers can order drinks and food inside and reserve seats online but at a cost as much as $19 for adults.
"Why drive Downtown to the ShowPlace when there is a theater on the South Side providing the same services at a cheaper price?" Brookins said.
Melinda Kelly, executive director of the Chatham Business Association, praised the upcoming renovations and predicted the investment would pay off.
"The CBA is glad to hear of the investment Chatham Theaters is making. In line with industry standards, Chatham Theaters plans to combine upscale dining and a movie to attract a mature clientele while still providing entertainment for the whole family," Kelly said.
"Of course, CBA is always glad to hear when a business owner is investing in their business that will result in jobs for our community. The CBA congratulates the ownership of Chatham 14 Theaters for making a wise investment in the Chatham community," she said.
The theater is owned by Studio Movie Grill, which also has a theater in suburban Wheaton.