The Cinemark 10 movie theater in Aurora has closed permanently, according to Cinemark’s website.

The theater has anchored Barrington Town Center, along with the Heinen’s grocery store.

According to Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin, the building permits to build the theater were approved in 2003.

Officials from Cinemark did not respond to attempts to reach them for comment on the story. Also, officials from Headwater Capital, which owns Barrington Town Center, and Guggenheim Commercial Real Estate Group, which manages the shopping center, did not respond to requests for comment.

Womer Benjamin said the financial cost to city coffers won’t be too significant, but the loss will still hurt.

"Financially, I don’t think this will be of significance to Aurora, but I think the social and personal impact is more significant," she said. "People like going to the theater, and they like having it nearby."

Holly Harris Bane, Aurora’s economic development director, said city officials learned about the possibility the theater was closing late last week when they heard that equipment was being removed from the theater.

Trudy Capel, owner of the UPS store at Barrington Town Center, said she anticipates a loss of foot traffic in the plaza as a whole but doesn’t believe it will hurt the UPS store.

"The clientele [at the theater] is mostly the younger generation who do not use our services," she said. "It’s sad for the community."

Bane said Barrington Town Center remains a "healthy plaza," but added filling large spaces like the movie theater space can be difficult.

"I think whenever you have a large entity that is a destination draw like a movie theater, its leaving is potentially going to be a challenge for a plaza," she said.

Capel agreed, pointing out the former Doogan’s location, also at Barrington, remains empty.

However, Bane said the plaza is balanced since it also has the Heinen’s grocery store as a draw, as well as several unique restaurants.

Between the increasing pressure and popularity of streaming along with the social distancing requirements of COVID-19, movie theaters at large are struggling; still that won’t make it any easier for residents to lose their own theater, said Bane.

"I think it’s going to be a personal loss in terms of the ease of going to the movies and in terms of the theater being a destination for people outside the community," she said. "Living outside of Aurora, I have gone there for a movie, and when I came to Aurora for a movie, I come for the restaurants, too."

Bob Gaetjens can be reached at bgaetjens@recordpub.com