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Theater chain serving Santa Barbara County for decades files Chapter 11


Company operates 7 theaters in region.

A 100-year-old theater chain which operates all of the commercial movie theaters in the Santa Barbara area has filed for bankruptcy.

Officials with Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Theaters say the chain was hit hard by the pandemic, and more recently the Hollywood labor actions which slowed the release of new movies. They also noted that tickets sales are expected to be down by double digits this year.

Metropolitan operates 16 theaters in the Western United States, including seven in the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas.

The Chapter 11 filing is intended to give the family owned chain a chance to reorganize its financial obligations. In paperwork associated with the filing, the company said it will try to modify some of its theater leases.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.