The scent of fresh hot buttered popcorn filled the lobby. Chocolate raisins, candy bars, and assorted sweet treats filled the glass case. The soda fountain was ready, the cups stacked. The feature posters were lit with bright blinking lights. Red tickets wrapped on a large spool allowed admittance to the red velvet curtain entrance. Inside the large screen awaited the feature presentation. This was no ordinary day at the movies, this the official ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked Center Theaters grand re-opening!
The ribbon-cutting was held on July 26th at 4:30 p.m. In attendance for the ribbon-cutting was Owner TJ Rudman, Shonnie Tornow owner, Laron Burdick manager, Emily Keetch manager, Bobbie Leinhardt City Council, and Austin Fisher Montpelier Chamber.
A drawing for prizes was to take place on July 27th after the matinee. One movie ticket equaled one raffle ticket. The prizes included Lion King Pop action figures, T-shirts, and movie tickets. The feature presentation for the re-opening was the Lion King.
In 1923 Standley Rich went into partnership with his brother Joseph and started the Rich Theatre in the same building Centre Theatre is now. He and his wife, Kathryn operated the theatre for 25 years and then sold out to the Voller Theatre Circuit. The Kozy Corner an ice cream and soda establishment, was located on the west side of the building. It was run by the Collipriest sisters. This business had a soda fountain, and ice cream parlor and glass shelves stocked with candy. People that attended the movies would often go there for treats before and after the show.
The Centre Theatre has made several improvements, not only to the outside of the building but the inside as well. The bathrooms have been updated and remodeled. The swamp cooler is now up and running, allowing movie goers a cool and relaxing experience. The bottom of the walls inside the Theatre has been repainted, and the movie seats against the back wall have been reinstalled. The improvements continue. Hats off to all of the amazing people who made this possible and are helping to restore our historic Centre Theatre.
“The theatre is magic except it’s true. A fixed projection of light on a screen, the same basic contraption performing the same basic shtick in tens of thousands of little windowless rooms all over the country, it transforms into something it isn’t and wasn’t and won’t ever be again in the presence of people…” Graham Ambrose