Batavia officials say darkened movie theater has new operator, may reopen this year
The former Randall 15 movie theater in Batavia could be showing films again by the end of the year.
Batavia city administrator Laura Newman told aldermen at a committee meeting Tuesday that a business has signed a lease.
Mayor Jeff Schielke confirmed Wednesday that Emagine Entertainment would be the new operator.
Newman said the new operators plan to remodel the interior and add a new auditorium. The new space will feature a 94-foot-wide screen called an Emax, she said.
"I let them know that Batavia is definitely going to show up the minute they turn the lights on again. Because we can't wait to have a movie theater again," Newman said.
"That has been a great hue and cry," Schielke said, with people asking him every week about the status of the theater.
Schielke said Michigan-based Emagine, which has theaters in several states, put a theater in a former Dominick's store in Frankfort.
Goodrich Quality Theaters built the Batavia theater at 550 N. Randall Road in 1994 with 10 screens. It expanded to 16 screens, then dropped to 15 when it built an IMAX auditorium.
Goodrich sold the property in 2006, but rented it until 2020. Goodrich filed for bankruptcy Feb. 25, 2020.
The theater closed in March 2020 when the state ordered movie theaters to close during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It never reopened.
Newman and Schielke said the new operators of the theater have indicated they will seek a liquor license.