Local movie theatres turn to popcorn sales to make money

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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Iowa (KCRG) -Some local movie theaters are struggling to draw business as major attraction films are skipping theaters. Vinton’s Palace Theater was hoping to reopen for the first time since March for the premiere of Disney’s Mulan. But with the film going straight to streaming services, the single-screen theater won’t be open anytime soon. 

“We’re hoping we’ll get some new content for next year, but that’s just hopeful. Maybe later this year we’ll do some live performances, or musicians, speakers, stuff like that,” says Grace Horst, a volunteer at Vinton Palace Theatre. 

With no new movies to show Vinton Palace Theaters is getting creative by keeping concessions open and selling popcorn for donations to make money. Palace Theater staff says between weekly popcorn sales and donations, they’ve been able to pay their bills this summer. “We’re actually really surprised by how people have been so generous. We’ve had extreme support from everyone and they’re so happy we’re doing it, and we’re happy to do it for them,” says Horst. 

Collins Road Theatres opened in May, but Owner Bruce Taylor it’s only seeing around 10 percent of its normal crowd. Taylor says the extra money they make from food sales has made a big difference this summer. He says he’s hoping the theater’s first new release in months will bring more people in. “It’ll be great, because all summer we’ve been without new movies. And though the old classics have been a lot of fun, it’s time for some new movies. And we’re looking forward to it,” says Taylor. 

Unhinged is coming to Collins Road Theatres on August 21st. 

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