HOUSTON (AP) _ The owner of a honky-tonk made famous in the movie ''Urban Cowboy'' filed for protection from his creditors one day after he was to pay a $16 million judgment to the club's namesake, country singer Mickey Gilley.

Sherwood Cryer, owner of Gilley's Club in Pasadena, on Friday filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. The petition said Cryer had $500,000 in assets and owed $18 million, including the judgment a Houston jury awarded Gilley last month.

The filing automatically froze any legal proceedings involving Cryer or his company, which also filed.

Gilley sued Cryer in April 1987 claiming he was not paid his half of about $17 million in revenues received by Gilley's Enterprises Inc., a company he and Cryer founded in the 1970s.

Gilley claimed about $11 million of that money was missing.

State District Judge David West ordered Cryer to pay Gilley nearly $8 million in actual damages and $8 million in punitive damages for breach of financial duties.

Cryer also was ordered to change the name of the bar.

On Thursday, Gilley filed a lawsuit in state district court accusing Cryer of giving property, including corporate stock, business enterprises, cash and inventory, to friends and relatives to avoid paying the judgment.