2010-02-08 / Front Page

Now playing at Starmax theaters: Nothing

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Staff Writer larry@gaffneyledger.com

Weekend movie-goers were greeted by a “Temporarily Closed” sign at the entrance to Starmax. Weekend movie-goers were greeted by a “Temporarily Closed” sign at the entrance to Starmax. The curtain has dropped — temporarily — on Starmax.

That same curtain could quickly rise again on the local movie theater and entertainment center if the building landlord, Perry Enterprises, and bankruptcy trustee Kevin Campbell reach an agreement for Perry to acquire the center’s remaining personal property. The parties had scheduled a 9 a.m. meeting today.

“We’ll talk to the trustee to see how quickly Mrs. Perry (of Perry Enterprises) can enter into an agreement that can lead to re-opening the business,” Perry Enterprises attorney Charles Summerall said.

Summerall declined to pinpoint an exact date when the facility might re-open, saying only within “a fairly short time.”

As the largest creditor, Perry is the logical person to acquire Starmax owner American Family Entertainment Centers’ (AFEC) personal property, the attorney said. “Perry’s goal is to acquire the equipment and reopen,” Summerall said.

Summerall has said AFEC owns the kitchen equipment in the sports bar.

Today’s talks between Perry Enterprises and Campbell was a result of Friday’s ruling by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia that AFEC change its filing to Chapter 7.

A bankruptcy trustee now will sell any assets AFEC has and use the proceeds to pay its creditors. In court filings, Perry Enterprises claims AFEC owes it $1.5 million. Perry Enterprises owns the building and land, and leases it to AFEC.

Weekend visitors, unaware of Starmax’s ongoing financial troubles, were greeted by a “temporarily closed” sign taped to the building’s front door.

The closing is also bad news for Starmax’s 46 employees, who are now out of a job.

Late last year, AFEC filed for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11, which allows the company to reorganize and develop a payment plan for its creditors. AFEC also tried to strike a deal with Perry Enterprises, but those talks failed to produce a settlement to the financial dispute.

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