B&B Theatres faces potential looming bankruptcy months after opening Topeka location

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The B&B Theatres located in Topeka’s Wheatfield Village.

LIBERTY, Mo. (WDAF) — B&B Theatres is on the verge of bankruptcy, despite its best efforts of reopening and attracting customers, the Kansas City Business Journal reported.

The family-owned theater chain has reopened 44 of its 48 locations, including the Topeka location, but sales remain starkly less than typical years.

The Topeka location opened to the public for the first time on Friday, June 19 with a premier matinee of Batman. Since then, the theater has made adjustments to continue following coronavirus protocol.

From June to August, the U.S. movie theater industry’s revenue declined about 93%, Brock Bagby, executive vice president of B&B Theatres, said.

B&B has climbed to 25% of its normal revenue, he said. The chain has enough cash to last six more months. Absent a revenue boost or additional help from federal grants and loans, it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, he said.

The biggest challenge for B&B and the industry is a lack of new titles from the studios.

Another challenge: Patrons assume the theaters are closed, said Paul Farnsworth, B&B’s director of public relations. It’s not uncommon for people to peek in the windows and act surprised when the doors are unlocked, he said. 

Although the theater company is in a tight spot, there are some silver linings, according to company leadership.

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