Reel Trouble

Owner of North Austin luxury movie theater files for bankruptcy

Owner of North Austin luxury movie theater files for bankruptcy

iPic Theater seating
The company that owns iPic has filed for bankruptcy. Photo courtesy of Wade Park

The financially troubled iPic Entertainment dining-and-movie theater chain, which operates one location in Austin and another in Houston, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, August 5, and is seeking a potential buyer or a court-supervised restructuring. In the meantime, the chain’s 16 theaters remain open.

“Our brand is thriving and leads the industry in popularity, but our balance sheet needs to course correct,” founder and CEO Hamid Hashemi says in a release issued Monday by Boca Raton, Florida-based iPic. “Our theaters will remain open during this transition, our employees are being paid, as are our vendors and suppliers.”

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which seeks to reorganize the company’s finances, lists nearly $291 million in debt.

The iPic chain, founded in 2010, operates 16 upscale theaters throughout the U.S., including one in Austin at 3225 Amy Donovan Plaza in the Domain development and one at 4444 Westheimer Rd. in Houston's River Oaks District.

The company says it plans to open more iPic theaters in Texas, but the prospective locations of those new theaters couldn’t be determined. Representatives of iPic couldn’t be reached for comment.

The iPic bankruptcy filing comes on the heels of big news about another dine-in movie theater chain. 

Late last month, Austin-based chain Moviehouse & Eatery was purchased by Dallas-based Cinépolis USA, part of a conglomerate that operates movie theaters in 17 countries. Moviehouse & Eatery has five theaters in Texas — two in Austin and three in Dallas-Fort Worth — with another theater set to open in The Woodlands in November.