Home Economy Last picture show: iPic Entertainment closing Dobbs Ferry theater

Last picture show: iPic Entertainment closing Dobbs Ferry theater

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The iPic theater at Rivertowns Square in Dobbs Ferry will be showing its last movie on Sunday, after its parent company, iPic Entertainment Inc., announced it would be closing the site.

In a filing with the state Department of Labor, iPic Entertainment said that all 126 theater employees would be let go as of Nov. 11. The affected employees did not have union representation.

The theater had been screening the movies “Midway,” “Harriet,” “Motherless Brooklyn,” and “Terminator Dark Fate.” 

iPic theater hobbs ferry
The theater featured two-person pods stocked with blankets, pillows, a table and reclining leather chairs. Photo by Aleesia Forni

The theater,, which opened in May 2017, featured eight screens with a total of 580 seats. At the time of the opening, Hamid Hashemi, founder of Boca Raton-based iPic Entertainment, told the Business Journal that the theater would add to the attraction of the mixed-use development at Rivertowns Square while being its own attraction. “People want to know that they are maximizing the experience they’re paying for. At iPic Theaters, every visit is as memorable as the last, thanks to extensive staff training and uncompromising hospitality (that) ensures a comfortable and unique outing, all at a very affordable price,” Hashemi said.

The site featured a restaurant and bar in addition to in-theater service that let customers  eat and drink while the movie was being shown.

According to a bankruptcy filing in August, the chain had 240 full-time and 1,770 part-time employees. Approximately $205 million in unpaid principal was owed in a loan agreement along with interest and fees. Various vendors, suppliers and other unsecured trade creditors were owed approximately $13 million to $15 million. On the list of unsecured creditors were, among others, Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, Universal and Paramount.

iPic
The theater includes an adjoining 4,600-square-foot restaurant, City Perch Kitchen and Bar. Photo by Aleesia Forni

The chain operates at 16 locations in 9 states, with a total of 123 movie screens. It showed an additional two locations under construction and leases for an additional nine sites in California, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, Connecticut, New York, Texas and Florida.

The company made a public stock offering at $18.50 a share in Feb. 2018 and had a market value of $216 million at that time. On Nov. 7, several websites showed that the stock’s price was 25 cents.

The Chapter 11 filing said that the debtors “operate in both the motion picture industry and restaurant industry, each of which are highly competitive and fragmented with no significant barriers to entry. The U.S. motion picture industry has been subject to periodic short-term increases and decreases in attendance and box office revenues and is cyclical.”

The filing said that iPic depended on food and beverage service for a majority of the revenues. It also said that the debtors believe that their underlying business model remains strong and that they want to see restructuring, recapitalization or sale of the company.

The company’s Form 10-K year-end report for 2018 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed an operating loss of $39,657,000 on revenues of $148,345,000.

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