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Theater owners wants studios to continue sending movies, amid bankruptcy

Greg Chandler

Staff Writer

The owner of the Hastings 4 movie theater is asking a federal judge to force movie studios to continue sending films as it tries to stay in business.

Goodrich Quality Theaters filed documents with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Grand Rapids Wednesday claiming that “several studios have threatened” to stop sending movies to Goodrich because of the debts the chain owes. Goodrich, which has owned the Hastings 4 since 1998, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 25.

“The debtor's business relies on continuing access to and relationships with various movie distributors and a network of other vendors and service providers,” the filing said. “Any disruption in the debtor's access to newly-released movie titles and the provision of critical goods and services to the debtor would have a far-reaching and adverse economic and operational impact on their business.”

Goodrich would pay up to $300,000 to so-called “critical vendors” that include movie distributors, to go toward paying debts incurred prior to the bankruptcy filing.

“The debtor intends to pay the critical vendor claims only to the extent necessary to preserve the business as a going concern,” the filing read. “To that end, in return for paying any critical vendors claim, the debtor proposes that it be authorized to require that a critical vendor provides favorable trade terms for the post-petition delivery of movie titles, goods and services.”

Among the movie distributors Goodrich owes are:

Universal Film Exchange, $303,523

Sony Releasing, $224,570.

Warner Brothers, $121,048

Walt Disney Studios, $81,063

Goodrich is the nation's 17th largest theater chain, with 30 multiplex theaters in five states, including Michigan, and 1,150 total employees. The company cited liabilities at between $10 million and $50 million in its filing.

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