Grand opening today – featuring Alex & the Gypsy, The Bad News Bears and All the Presidents Men. So read the ad for Ogden 6 when it first opened back in 1976.
44 years later, the theater, which has become a well-loved part of Naperville, is closing its doors. Tomorrow will be the last day of operations.
Costco Causes Closure
The announcement of a second Costco in town moving into the Ogden Mall sealed the fate of the theater, which was hastened by the closures due to COVID-19.
“We absolutely loved running the Ogden 6 and wanted to run it for years to come,” said CEO of Classic Cinemas, Chris Johnson. “But with Costco coming in and not being able to continue there, you know we were done at the end of July.”
Classic Cinemas took ownership of the theater in 1996, and spent about $1.5 million on new renovations in August 2018, becoming a first-run theater.
But with the strip mall the theater sits in being demolished to make way for Costco, it was time to move out – or move on. Owners began looking for a new location while continuing to play movies until March 16, when COVID-19 forced them to stop. With viewings at theaters prohibited until at least the end of June, and a move out date to make way for Costco imminent, it didn’t make sense to hang on any longer.
Final Concession Call
The theater will remain open over the weekend for curbside concession pick-up, so fans can get just one more bucket of popcorn.
“We really just thank you know the patrons who’ve been so loyal over the years,” said Johnson.
And there are a lot of them – a petition to save the theater garnered over 21,000 signatures.
Though this location will close – the show *could* go on. Classic Cinemas teased in an email to patrons that they are hoping to share some news in the coming months.
In the meantime – memories made at Ogden 6 can be viewed in an online tribute on the theater’s website. They share common themes – you brought us joy, made moments special, and above all – you will be missed.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc and Casey Krajewski report.
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