The Ogden 6 theater in Naperville will never again light up the silver screen, so its owner, Classic Cinemas, has taken its projectors to Oswego.
Ogden 6 Closes Its Doors
After more than 40 years in Naperville, the Ogden 6 theater was forced to close in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But the theater knew earlier it would need to close permanently when the Ogden Mall shopping center agreed to sign and lease space to Costco.
Since then, Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson had been looking for options in and around Naperville, finally finding the Kendall 11 theater in Oswego.
“I’m super excited I got it. And it’s the first time I’ve acquired a theater that I’m not 100% sure when I’m opening” Johnson said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still an ongoing problem, movie theaters not only have to contend with a hesitant customer base returning to an indoor venue, but with movie studios delaying blockbuster films.
Classic Cinemas Temporarily Closed
Classic Cinemas announced on July 9th it would be temporarily re-closing all of its locations while waiting for production studios to release their movies.
“It’s a bit nerve wracking to, like you said, normally you put a date and you work backwards – how much time this will take, that will take – we just don’t have that luxury” Johnson said.
Despite having a moving target date to open, Johnson went ahead with the acquisition, excited about the opportunity to purchase the property. Johnson has 15 theaters, eleven of which he owns outright. It was an issue with the lease that caused Classic Cinemas to close it’s doors at Ogden 6, a difficult departure from a theater near and dear to Johnson.
“I had personal memories of that theater. My first one was going to my first birthday party ever at a movie theater and that was before we were ever in the movie theater business as a family.”
Despite a petition to save Ogden 6 that has garnered 21,550 signatures as of the publishing of this article, as well as attempts by Johnson to re-home the theater in Naperville, the theater in Oswego will still serve South Naperville and reside close, though not on, Ogden Avenue.
Kevin Jackman reports for Naperville News 17
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