Metropolitan Theatres Files for Bankruptcy, Arlington Theatre Unaffected

Downtown Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre serves as the hub of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Photo by Fritz Olenberger)

The Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, a 100-year-old theater company based in Los Angeles, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,

However, the iconic Arlington Theatre and the Metro 4 theater in Santa Barbara are expected to remain unaffected by the bankruptcy proceedings as the company owns these buildings outright.

Dave Corwin, the president of Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, acknowledged that there may be potential changes or downsizing in other facilities. However, he assured that the Arlington Theatre and Metro 4 theater would continue their operations as usual as the company owns these properties outright.

Metropolitan Theatres Corporation also operates Fiesta 5, Paseo Nuevo Cinemas, and Hitchcock Cinema & Public House in Santa Barbara, as well as Camino Real Cinemas and Fairview Theatre in Goleta. The only theatres in Santa Barbara that are not operated by Metro is The Riviera theatre and Ensemble Theatre’s New Vic.

In total, Metropolitan Theatres Corporation operates 16 theaters and 87 screens across California, Colorado, and Utah.

According to documents filed in bankruptcy court, Metropolitan Theatres Corporation has approximately $313,882 in rental payment obligations to various landlords, with an annual rent expenditure of about $2.6 million and debts totaling $7.3 million. However, the filing states that Metropolitan Theatres Corporation is not in default on its loans.

The movie theater industry has been grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased competition from streaming platforms. Box office ticket sales nationwide have decreased by 20% compared to the same period last year, according to Metropolitan Theatres Corporation’s bankruptcy filing.

The court filing also cites the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strikes as additional factors straining the theater industry.

The theatre company aims to streamline its operations and potentially renegotiate or terminate leases that are putting a strain on its business. By doing so, the company hopes to free up significant cash flow previously allocated to rent obligations.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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