The New Owners Of the Movie Theatre in Huntington are Well on Their Way to Creating a Shining Star
The Star Theatre in Huntington is now a bright spot along Main Street. Percy and Janice Mounteer have been the new owners since March 15 of this year. Percy said, "We have replaced the carpet in the lobby and down the aisles. We have been painting the outside of the building. We have installed new lights on the marquee out front and a new sign. We have had people tell us they thought the theatre was closed, but it has been an existing business since it was built in 1944-46. We've tried to draw attention to it so people will know we are open.
"We have changed the seats and remodeled the bathrooms. The building now has hot water for the first time. We've replaced the movie screen and replaced the coal furnace with new gas heaters. The coal heat was pretty dirty and it's taken a while to clean everything up. We've also been painting the furniture," said Percy.
Janice said, "We have remodeled the lobby area. We have expanded the snack bar to include a larger variety of treats. We also have pop and juices and hot dogs. We purchased a new popcorn machine and the popcorn tastes great. We have gone through 600 pounds of popcorn since March. Brett Tucker works selling concessions and my mom, Betty Wardle also works here. We've had a lot of help from family and friends throughout this project.
"We have plans to have some daytime activities in the future. We would like to have a hypnotist and maybe a magician. We would like to open the theatre for some community theatre productions as well. Our first obligation is to the movies, but we plan on trying some different activities. We would like to get to where we can run two movies at different times. I would like to get some older movies and run them sometimes. We have a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. We have a cry room available for mothers with small children.
"The movie changes on Friday's. We've had a lot of support from the community and are getting a good turnout at the movies. We have families from Price that are coming over to the movie. Some tourists traveling through the area are stopping in to see a movie as well. Craig Parker is our projectionist and he's an expert. It takes nine and one-half hours to inspect a movie. I'm going to learn how to put the movies on too. We try to get new releases but sometimes you have to commit to showing the same movie for four weeks and we don't like to do that. If we wait for the movie then we don't have to show it as long.
"We are offering some incentives to kids to help them read books. We have a card they can pick up at the library and after they have read a certain amount of books they can get free popcorn and a drink at the show. We will be doing other similar things.
"We plan on having the theatre open to the public during the Heritage Days celebration so people can come in and see all the new things we have done," said Janice.
Percy said, "We do have plans to expand but we'll just have to wait and see. But, things are in the works."
"We have had so many positive comments on what we've done here. It's like a hobby and it's been a lot of fun. We're excited to be here. We enjoy seeing the kids enjoy it. Grandparents have been bringing their grandchildren to the show and it's fun to see. It is a labor of love for the community," said Janice.