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ICE Theater In Chatham Closes Its Doors After 15 Years

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Located in West Chatham on 87th Street, ICE Theater has closed. CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker reports.

Now people living in the community must travel 11 miles north to the south loop, seven miles west to Ford City, or 13 miles south to South Suburban Lansing.

Tyler Perry's new movie was scheduled to play almost every hour at ICE theater. But when Elaine Keys showed up for today's matinee the theater was dark and the doors were locked.

"I'm disappointed. I live on 22nd and I always come here. It's my theater. I'm just surprised it's closed," Keys said.

Keys was among the many customers forced to return to their cars or leave the property after seeing signs that said the current owners had been evicted.

"I didn't know anything was wrong with it. They ran it right, kept it clean," said Corey Harris who was planning to see a movie with his sons.

Don and Alisa Starks opened the theater back in 1997. Sources say in 2007 they partnered with businessman Michael Silver and that the partners are now in the middle of a financial dispute.

Signs on the door said the theater will reopen under new management.

Sources told CBS2 the Starks could be forced out of their share of the business. Community activists don't want to see that.

"We know that this management has the community sensitivities, the connection and the heart."

Attorney and community activist Jeanette Foreman said their commitment to the community included free events promoting health and education.

The theater has hosted screenings of the last two presidential debates for free. And a live showing of the inauguration was a huge hit.

"What other theater do you know on Michigan Avenue or all over the city is doing that kind of thing."

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