January 20, 2021

Oswego's Kendall 11 theater to remain closed through the end of the year

Owner hopeful to reopen in late February or early March

The Classic Cinemas - Kendall 11 movie theater at 95 Fifth Street in Oswego will remain closed through the end of the year, the theater announced on its Facebook page.

"We wanted to reopen in December, but it's just not feasible with so much uncertainty and continued Tier 3 mitigations in Illinois," the Facebook post reads. "Many theaters will not make it. Let your representatives know how important it is to #SaveYourCinema at saveyourcinema.org."

Classic Cinemas owner Chris Johnson said in an interview he hopes to reopen in late February or early March.

"The good news is we've been very busy being frugal," Johnson said. "But at the same time we're reworking relationships - making it so that for sure we'll make it through for when we're able to reopen."

Johnson added that a lack of new movies coming from film companies prevented the theater's reopening just as much as the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The biggest thing is we want to open up safely, and we can. But we need new movies," Johnson said.

While the theater did not qualify for Business Interruption Grants through the state of Illinois, it received a grant from the village of Oswego that helped keep staff paid and theatre technology in working order.

The theater did open briefly back in the summer. Though Johnson didn't expect the pandemic to last an entire year, he is confident the theater will one day return.

"It is my life and I don't plan on going away anytime soon," he said.