Emagine Entertainment Inc. has acquired Birmingham 8 and plans to reopen the historic theater over the next three months.

The Troy-based chain owns both theaters in downtown Birmingham and a total of 15 screens through Emagine’s purchase of the theater, which is known for both art house films and blockbusters. The company took over the currently open Palladium in 2015.

Birmingham 8 has been closed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be renamed Birmingham 8, Powered by Emagine. Paul Glantz, chairman of the company, said Emagine bought the company and signed a long-term lease at 211 S. Old Woodward Avenue with owner Ted Fuller.

The terms of the contract, which Glantz described as “win-win”, were not disclosed.

“I think Ted can do what Ted does best again,” said Glantz. “Ted is a great landlord and a great developer. It enables us to operate with our leadership skills.”

The deal brings the company’s theaters to 22 in the Midwest, including 11 in Michigan. Glantz has told Crain’s that the company is on track to lose $ 40 million in revenue due to the coronavirus and government-mandated shutdowns, which he firmly opposed and struggled in one unsuccessful way legal action versus Gov Gretchen Whitmer.

Despite the tough times for cinemas, Glantz has doubledExpand chain and plan $ 10 million to bring more theater under the Emagine umbrella.

“For better or for worse, I’m an optimist,” Glantz told Crain on Tuesday. “I’m optimistic about the future of film.”

Emgine said no changes will be made to Birmingham 8 other than an expanded concession menu, craft beer and cocktails. The theater’s iconic marquee will remain, as will its reputation for making independent films that are unique in the market.

The 1920s theater was last renovated in 2015 with luxurious seating that has become the industry standard.

“The Birmingham community is comfortable knowing that we want to keep all of its charm in our possession,” Glantz said in a press release. “We understand the value this theater has in the community and are committed to continuing that legacy while enhancing the customer experience with all of the virtues our brand will bring.”