The Skyline Cinema theater in Dillon has changed hands, and the new owner has been busy upgrading auditoriums and putting the focus back on locals.
Mitchell Theatres, a third-generation family-owned business involved in farming, commercial real estate and movie theaters, took over the business July 20. The company owns 10 other theater complexes in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The cinema was previously owned by Storyteller Theatres Corporation; representatives from which could not be reached for comment.
"It's a very nice theater, very nice location, great staff," said Mitchell Theatres owner Brian Mitchell. "We just felt like it would fit into our family-style business."
Since its takeover, the Mitchell company has been busy with upgrades. The auditoriums have all been converted to 100 percent digital projection - previously, only two of the eight were digital, according to theater manager David Blake - and upgraded to 7.1 digital surround sound (only one was equipped with the audio technology before).
"The pictures look a lot nicer," Blake said.
Locals' Tuesday is also coming back. Gone for at least six months, the promotion allows Summit County residents to pay matinee prices all day. Popcorn tubs are being reintroduced (bags before were messier, Blake said), as is special combo pricing for concessions. They're also working on getting candy that customers frequently request, Blake said.
The "family" approach to running the business, as opposed to the corporate, "is a nice change," Blake said.
Another change movie patrons will notice: no more commercials before features. Instead, there will be "slide" advertising for local businesses, sold for $100 a month.
"It's a way we can add a little local flavor," Mitchell said.
The staff is remaining as is. Mitchell said they do plan on hiring more people as busy season dictates.
"We don't like to stand in line as owners, and we know customers don't like to stand in line either," Mitchell said.
Ticket prices are not going to increase, but Blake said that as of Aug. 31, the theater will stop accepting Storyteller passes. If they're not used up before then, customers can bring them in to trade in for gift certificates.
For more information about Mitchell Theatres, go to www.mitchelltheatres.com