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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-Edwards Theatres Circuit Inc., the movie-house chain that filed for bankruptcy protection last Wednesday, has now identified at least 28 theaters it will likely close or give up. Its Orange County home would be hardest hit, losing at least six.

Many of the theaters are located in shopping centers, which means owners of the affected developments must now hope to get paid as the bankruptcy proceedings progress. But their chances of collecting payment may be hurt by several factors, including a provision in the bankruptcy law that generally permits a debtor to reject leases it has signed and pay only a fraction of what is owed on the remainder of the rental agreements.

When the Newport Beach-based firm filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana earlier in the week, it said it ended 1999 with a net loss of $40 million on revenue of $299 million.

Two of the six OC complexes–the Lido in Newport Beach and the Woodbridge 5 in Irvine—are still operating. A third is part of a planned expansion into the Huntington Beach Mall, which Edwards now wants to cancel.

Edwards officially closed its Village Center complex in the OC community of Stanton last week, following other closures that took place earlier this year. Until the most recent closures, the company had about 70 theaters with 736 screens, most of them in the five-county Southland.

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