673 Main Street,
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The Aurora Theatre opened in 1925 with a screening of “Madam Sans Gene” starring Gloria Swanson. Bob and Helena bought the Aurora Theatre in 1981 and ran it very sucessfully until 2001. It was then sold to a very wealthy businessman who kept both Bob and Helena on to oversee the theatre’s operation. Bob recently retired but Helena is still there.
One of the first things the new owner did was a beautiful architectually designed renovation. The integral ticket wicket was removed and a free standing ticket booth installed. An adjacent storefront was incorporated into the lobby area which increased its area by several times.
The exterior had been sort of Art Deco but is now Neo-Classical. The beautiful marquee and all its lovely neon was left untouched. An upscale candy store occupies the remaining storefront in the theatre complex.
I first went to the Aurora Theatre around 1984, and even by then a false ceiling had been installed and all the interior walls covered in pleated sound curtains. Despite (what I consider) these shortcomings, you still have the feeling that you’re in a real theatre. Its DSS, large screen, and spacious auditorium make seeing a movie at the Aurora a memorable experience.
The Aurora operates seven days a week, usually incorporating sixteen shows per week. It’s generally a second run house but because of its proximity can often get first run films. Like now, for example the Aurora is in its second week of showing “The Terminal”. You’ll generally only see mainstream non-R-rated films at the Aurora. The East Aurora Film Society does, however, lease the theatre for matinee showings about eight times a year for showings of semi-mainstream films. I saw “Whale Rider” at one of these matinees
I’ve been to the Aurora probably more than a hundred times and had I owned the theatre I definitely would have been pleased with the attendance every time I was there. East Aurora is full of movie-goers who have a great theatre in which to see movies.
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