BLANCHESTER — The newly renovated Blanchester Movie Theater was packed with anxious “Star Wars” fans for the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” late last week.
The theater at 115 E. Main St. has been open for around a month now, said Manager Jasmine Pilot, but “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the first big film the theater is showing.
It was also the first time the theater was doing pre-sale tickets.
“That’s really exciting (and) something different we haven’t done,” Pilot said. “It’s kind of cool to see how that goes.”
In summer 2014, Pilot’s parents purchased the theater and the building next door, with plans to reopen the theater and open Spanky’s Fried Chicken at the same time.
Spanky’s opened before the theater, though, due to the amount of renovations the family planned on doing.
“We have new seats, new screens (and) digital projectors,” Pilot said.
The family renovated all three theaters, which vary in size, and use two theaters for first-run, or premiering movies.
The third theater, which seats around 30 people, will be renovated and used for something else, Pilot said.
“There’s nothing done with that because we still have a lot of ideas,” she said.
One of the ideas the family had for the third theater was a game room, but that idea might be scrapped because the family opened a game room a few buildings down from the theater, Pilot said.
The third theater could potentially be used specifically for birthday parties “We do definitely want to host birthday parties,” she said. Currently, the family is hosting birthday parties and has birthday packages available.
That space could even become a theater with booths so people could bring Spanky’s food into the theater, she said. Right now, people who purchase Spanky’s cannot bring in the food, although patrons are allowed to bring in drinks from Spanky’s.
Pilot said the movie theater plans on showing two movies at a time, and the amount of time they show the movies for depends on the contract the theater has with the film company.
Right now, the Blanchester Movie Theater is showing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Trip.” Pilot said “Star Wars” will be shown for four weeks while “Alvin and the Chipmunks” will be shown for two.
“It really depends on the contract,” she said on how long the movies are shown.
In addition to first-run movies, the Blanchester Movie Theater plans on showing second-run movies like “Goosebumps,” “The Martian” and “Hotel Transylvania 2.”
Second-run movies, Pilot said, do not stay in the theater as long as first-run movies. The theater plans on showing more second-run movies during the summer when kids are on summer break.
The theater is currently open only during movie times — typically Thursday through Sunday — but Pilot said the hours should change come summer time.
Movie times can be found on the Facebook page at Blanchester Movie Theater, or on the website at blanchestertheater.com.