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Planet Hollywood files for bankruptcy

ORLANDO, Fla. — Planet Hollywood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, a day after the movie-themed restaurant chain closed nine of its 32 U.S. restaurants.

The Orlando-based company and 25 of its subsidiaries sought protection from its creditors while it reorganizes its finances with the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The company said Monday it would release its reorganization plan in the near future.

"Today is the first step in our plan to position Planet Hollywood for a return to long-term profitability and healthy growth,'' said Robert Earl, chairman and chief executive officer, on Monday.

The company's plan calls for upgrading several of its movie-themed restaurants and menus, Earl said.

The restaurants closed Monday were in Chicago, Costa Mesa, Calif.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Gurnee, Ill.; Houston; Indianapolis; Maui, Hawaii; Miami and Phoenix.

There may still be a couple of additional closings or franchise conversions, the company said.

As part of the reorganization, Planet Hollywood International Inc.'s two largest shareholders and a trust for Earl's children have agreed to provide a $30 million cash infusion to help keep the international chain of glitzy restaurants going.

The bankruptcy filing was the latest setback for the operator of nearly 80 Planet Hollywood restaurants.

Former president William Baumhauer resigned in June, just three months after the company's co-founder resigned his board position. Keith Barish, who started the venture with Earl and actors Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, left the company in March.

The company has been trying to cut operating costs by reducing corporate overhead, putting in cost-control systems, streamlining store-level operations and disposing of nonessential corporate assets.

Despite those moves, analysts have said aggressive expansion and increased competition have hurt the company.

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