The chain of 15 historic movie theaters is among waves of small businesses getting creative to try to withstand the economic blow caused by the new coronavirus, which has all of Illinois under an order to stay at home except for vital errands. Downtown movie houses such as the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, the Lake Theatre in Oak Park and the York Theatre in Elmhurst have been dark since mid-March. Aside from a few gift card sales, there is no revenue and no clear view of when normal life might resume. Classic Cinemas has kept its approximately 110 full-time employees, such as headquarters employees and on-site managers, on the payroll. Johnson had to furlough about 300 part-time hourly employees, such as concession stand workers and ushers, but said he plans to bring them back May 1.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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