The enormous Navy Pier IMAX screen and its dramatically sloped auditorium have closed after 26 years of providing immersive cinematic experiences.
After first opening in 1995, the theater and its enormous 60-feet high and 86-feet wide screen was acquired by AMC and turned into a state-of-the-art IMAX-branded venue. With AMC struggling due to the pandemic, Chicago’s biggest screen has now closed permanently.
The news broke after people attempting to book tickets were greeted with a brief statement on the theater’s website reading: “AMC Navy Pier IMAX Has Permanently Closed. We hope to see you at our next nearest location: AMC River East 21.” Confusion over the beloved movie theater’s fate was cleaned up by AMC via Twitter who confirmed the location had permanently closed.
Stories have been circulating about the struggle of the world’s largest theater chain since mid 2020. In November of last year, Business Insider reported that AMC had sustained a loss of over $900 million in just 3 months and US tickets sales had plunged 97%. Last month, Los Angeles Times published an article claiming that AMC’s full-year earnings report showed a total loss of $4.59 billion in 2020.
Chicago’s other IMAX movie theaters have not shown any signs of following suit just yet and at the time of speaking Skokie’s AMC Showplace Village Crossing 14 and Regal City North near Logan Square are safe. Time is up for AMC’s huge Navy Pier auditorium and the expansive screen to match, however, and we will have to wait and see what happens to the iconic setup.
[Featured image from Unsplash / Jordan Lomibao]