In Business: Blackduck Theater Set To Re-Open Soon
The owner of the Blackduck Theater is bringing back the nostalgic cinema experience that has been in the area for decades.
The United States census estimates that Blackduck, Minnesota has a population of about 832 people. The only entertainment for miles around is a bowling alley and the Blackduck Theater, that has been around since the 1920s.
“1920 is when I think that it initially opened, so probably next year it’s going to be almost 100 years old,” said Robert Mabe, owner of the Blackduck Theater. “I used to come here as a kid, I used to watch movies and I always thought this was kind of a – I love the the ambiance of the place and stuff. The smell of popcorn, the old lights, the old wood.”
A quick Google search says the theater is permanently closed, and Mabe says the theater closed down in September of 2018 due to a family emergency. But just a couple of days ago, their Facebook page says it’s opening back up soon.
“I’ve been thinking about it for the last six months, just getting everything lined up and ready to go,” Mabe said. “I just recently made the decision, and kind of want to get back into it again. I kind of miss it, it’s a lot of fun. We do a special events and stuff with movies. I miss the Halloween, the trick-or-treaters, we miss the people here at Blackduck.”
Blackduck Theater has gone through numerous ownership changes over the years. Mabe bought the theater back in 2013 and has been running it ever since. He says he’s always wanted to run his own theater, so he jumped at the chance.
“It got actually sold to me really cheap because they went from 35 millimeter [film] to digital and the previous owner didn’t want to go up to digital,” Mabe said. “So, I purchased it from him and I put all-new digital equipment in here – new sound system, subwoofer – and gave it a good quality picture and good sound.”
The theater has one screen and can seat up to 140 people. Mabe says the theater holds a lot of nostalgic memories, and he hopes that re-opening the theater will take people down memory lane.
“Remembering the past, you know when you’re a kid coming here. I hope they get that, like I do. I’m gonna try and keep the prices the same, it’s just going to be a lot of the old,” Mabe said.
Mabe says the Blackduck Theater will be open sometime in November, and people can expect a lot of the same atmosphere.