CineBowl remains open for now

Kyle Cooke

A day after the sign for Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille was stripped down, Blacksburg APF Partners, LLC, the owners of the First & Main shopping center, announced that Dallas-based cinema company Cinergy Entertainment would become its newest tenant.

Already being referred to as Blacksburg Movie & Bowl in a First & Main press release, Cinergy’s newest location is expected to provide much of the same entertainment as Frank Theatres, perhaps even more. Cinergy’s current locations, all of which are in Texas, include laser tag, ropes courses, and food delivered to moviegoers’ seats.

“I went there a lot for the six dollar movie nights,” said Virginia Tech student Garrett Richey about the now-closed CineBowl & Grille. “From what I saw online the new place sounds cool, but I hope they have deals like that. It’s really only here or the Lyric (theatre in downtown blacksburg), and the Lyric is pretty cheap.”

Unlike CineBowl, none of Cinergy’s locations include IMAX screens, but they do tout Cinergy EPIC, a similarly sized screen.

Frank Theatres’ doors were chained shut Tuesday, with employees of the CineBowl waiting outside confused as to whether or not they still had a job.

APF Partners posted a notice on the door with the same message they posted on their Facebook page, indicating that Frank Theatres failed to meet the obligations of their lease despite “many opportunities.”

“The addition of the Frank Theatres facility in 2015 generated considerable excitement in the local community,” the note read. “We have nurtured that relationship a great deal, but our ability to continue to operate under current conditions has been exhausted.”

The initial posting also stated that APF Partners took legal action against Frank Theatres. Court documents found that APF Partners claimed that Frank Theatres owed $450,000 in rent dating back to November 2016.

Frank Theatres filed an injunction Wednesday that APF Partners failed to give proper notice in regards to overdue rent. On Thursday, Judge Marc Long upheld the injunction. Long ordered that the chains be removed from the CineBowl & Grille’s doors, and that business continue as scheduled.

A hearing for APF Partners’ claims has been scheduled for May 19.

Patrons of the CineBowl & Grille were wondering what was in store for them. Many concerned customers posted on First & Main’s facebook posts that they had pre-purchased movie tickets and reservations that they worried were void following APF Partners’ announcement.Nate Kiser, who works for Chrysolite Management Group, LLC, the company that operates First & Main, announced that they plan to address these customers’ concerns.

The former employees of Frank Theatres are in luck as well. A statement provided to WSLS 10 said the new entertainment center plans to rehire as many of the workers as possible during a 10-day closure period.

However, with Long’s ruling, it would appear that those employees have a job once again.

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