Chillicothe Optimist Club buys Town Theater; will operate as non-profit

posted by CSWalczak on November 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

CHILLICOTHE, IL — The local Optimist Club has purchased the twin-screen Town Theater which opened in 1920 as the Sunset. Consistent with its mission as a service club dedicated to the youth of the community, the organization will show films that appeal to children and teens.

If all goes according to plan, the Optimists will close on the property at 1029 Second St. in Chillicothe’s downtown before the end of November. The service agency has agreed with the current owner of the Town Theater, Vern Reynolds, to purchase the building and the business for $200,000. It will buy the property with a $20,000 down payment from the club’s account. Latta, who is a Realtor, and Jim Maloof Realty waived their fees for helping with the sale of the property.

The theater will be run as a not-for-profit, with all proceeds going to area youth groups, such as the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Little League sports programs.

Read more in the Journal Star.

Theaters in this post

Comments (2)

danpetitpas on November 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

I hate to be cynical, but will there be any profits to donate to local charities? I mean, the Optimists are taking on a mortgage, building stadium seating, hiring additional managers and staff, all while attendance has dropped from 41k to 21k a year. I’m guessing that’s about $300-$400k in revenue. The current owner was losing money at that level. And the group is going to hire more staff than is there now. It doesn’t seem profitable.

Also the theater will only show movies that appeal to kids and teens? Well, admittedly that’s most of what Hollywood is putting out these days, but are you just going to open for matinĂ©es?

I think they’re hoping to get attendance back up to the 41k level, but I’m afraid we’ll be reading a closing notice for this theater in a year or two.

danpetitpas on November 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Correction: I got my numbers crossed in editing the piece. My guess is that it use to gross $300k-$400k a year at the 41k rate, but now it’s grossing $150k-$200k at the 21k attendance, which might barely cover the employees pay, especially if they add an assistant manager and some part-timers.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment