I had a discussion with a fellow employee a couple of weeks ago reminiscing about the RC matinee. We didn't grow up in the same town, but we both remembered taking our RC bottle caps as admission to get in. I went to many RC matinees, movie nights, and other afternoons at the Mall Cinema in Hartford. And although I didn't go as often, there was a trip to the Tri-City Drive-In in Beaver Dam.

Fast-forward to 2016, and both theaters are finally getting long overdue upgrades.

Last week, the Ohio Co Fiscal Court along with the OC Economic Development Alliance (OCEDA) approved a loan for longtime theater employee Luke Burden to purchase and upgrade both the Mall Cinema and Tri-City Drive-In. The OCEDA Board of Directors approved a $50,000 loan for Burden, who plans to spend an additional $100,000 to upgrade the Mall Cinema to digital standards including new projector, speakers, screens, and other upgrades to the building itself.

While Burden admits the process will require some patience, the upgrades to the sound and picture will be first. Digital upgrades to the drive-in will be at a later date. In the last couple of years, the theaters in Ohio Co. have started showing first-run movies which gives folks a price break on both tickets and concessions. The only price increase Burden is proposing for now is an adult ticket price would be raised to $6.00, which is still very reasonable. Children's tickets, which are currently $3.00, will not be increased, and concession prices will remain the same.

James Frizzell, who ran the theaters for as long as I can remember, is selling the business to Burden. According to a new Facebook page, the Mall Cinema will be renamed "Cinema 33", which is a heck of a lot better than "Sticky Floors"!

(Source: SurfKy News)

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