Blacksburg's Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- In April of 2017, the doors to the Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille stayed locked for three days due to outstanding payments of nearly $500,000 dollars.

Less than a month later, the CineBowl finished paying off those debts and business went on as usual.

That is, until this past December, when 24 entities tied to the Frank Theatres group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"It's a unique venue for the New River Valley," said James Oliver. "So you've got the bowling and the movie theater and, despite the fact that the Frank's corporation has had to do some restructuring on their top end, this location has always done very well, and it's been very well received by local residents."

Oliver is a partner of McClain's at First and Main, the restaurant inside the CineBowl that operates separately from Frank Theatres.

He said this latest news doesn't necessarily mean the end for the Blacksburg location.

"There's different kinds of bankruptcy," Oliver said. "So there's liquidation, which means they're going away forever and it's going to be an empty shell, and then there's reorganization, and the Frank's corporation, I think, is going through a reorganization."

When news broke of the filing on Wednesday, the company posted on Facebook, acknowledging the situation but saying, "business will continue to operate as normal."

While it remains unclear what the fallout of this latest turn will be, Oliver said he's confident the company will come out OK in the end.

"I'm disappointed that there's a negative connotation to the reorganization that they're doing, just because it infers that the spot's in trouble, and it's not really," he said. "They're just reorganizing so they can come out stronger in the end."

The Blacksburg Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille declined to comment for this story.