Historic Dublin theater set to show movies again for first time in 4 decades

Theatre Dublin will begin showing movies again next month / Evan Watson (WGXA)

DUBLIN, Ga. -- The historic Theatre Dublin will begin showing movies again next month.

Built in 1934, the venue was a popular movie theater for decades, but in the late 1970s, it closed.

The building was on the verge of being destroyed, but in 1996 the city of Dublin bought it and turned into a 620-seat performing arts center. Since then there have been hundreds of musicals, plays, concerts and recitals at Theatre Dublin.

The Downtown Dublin Authority manages the theater. Tara Bradshaw, Director of the Downtown Dublin Authority, said the for the past year they have worked to once again play movies at the venue.

Next month, that vision will become a reality. Bradshaw said projectors and a 40-feet wide screen were installed last week. Bradshaw said the screen is the nicest retractable electric screen in the state.

The upcoming movie "Justice League" will be the first movie shown at the theater in the new millennium on Nov. 17.

But it won't stop there. Bradshaw said they plan on showing both new releases and old movies at Theatre Dublin.

"We're going to show everything from first-run to classic movies," she said. "You can come here and see a Hollywood blockbuster or come here and see your favorite 1980 cult classic on the big screen.

However, that comes at a cost. They have to buy the rights to movies before showing them. Bradshaw said that about 90 percent of the revenue from ticket sales will go toward movie rights. One dollar of each ticket sold will also be placed in a fund for theater upkeep.

The main way the theater itself will make profits is from concessions, according to Bradshaw.

Jennifer Shaffer, owner of Deano's Italian Restaurant, said she's glad to see another form of entertainment downtown. She said that she has customers drive an hour to eat at Deano's and then want other things to do downtown. When the theater begins showing movies, she can send them just two blocks to Theatre Dublin.

The movie schedule is not set yet, according to Bradshaw, but she plans to show movies as often as possible.

"I'd like to say that the doors aren't open for a live show, we're going to be playing a movie," Bradshaw said.

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