Brock Bagby, the executive vice president of B&B Theatres, next to his father Bob Bagby, the CEO.
B&B Theatres, the sixth-largest cinema chain in the U.S., has been operating for nearly 100 years. Its owners now say it is months away from filing for bankruptcy protection.
The family-owned business has 48 theaters in eight states and was forced to shutter all of those locations in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. A handful of the company’s theaters were able to reopen to the public in June, but the majority didn’t until August.
During that time, B&B Theatres was unable to pay full rent and had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair its projectors because the machinery had sat unused for so long. With Hollywood delaying the release of major blockbusters until next year, Brock Bagby, an executive vice president at B&B Theatres, said there’s little hope the business can keep running.
“We are probably a few months out if nothing changes,” he said. “If we run the course that we are running now, we are probably a few months out. It’s bad.”
Bagby is part of the fourth generation of his family to operate the theater chain. His father, Bob Bagby, is the CEO, and his siblings, Bobbie Bagby Ford and Brittanie Bagby Baker, also hold executive vice president roles.
Brock Bagby has been working with the National Association of Theatre Owners as well as with rival theater chains to get relief for cinemas. He said his sister Bobbie, who oversees the company’s marketing, has made hundreds of calls to government officials lobbying for financial aid.
“The government shut us down, so we would hope they’d help us,” Bagby said. “I mean, we didn’t shut ourselves down. And that’s the thing that’s so hard, and