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TOPIC: One Way to sell a Theater-Chillicothe Illinois

One Way to sell a Theater-Chillicothe Illinois 16 Nov 2009 02:26 #32813

  • rufusjack
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CHILLICOTHE — The Chillicothe Optimist Club is on track to purchase the Town Theater next month and begin raising money for youth organizations in the area immediately.

"We'll buy it during the day on Friday, Dec. 4, and the Friday-night shows would be our shows," said Irvin Latta, treasurer of the club.

Said club president Michael Mahoney: "It's the most amazing project I've ever been a part of."

The Optimist Club has agreed to buy the first-run movie theater for $200,000 from its current owner, Vern Reynolds, who purchased it in 1999. The theater was built in 1927.

The club will pay a manager, an assistant manager, part-time employees and all of the theater's operating expenses. Profits will be turned over to youth groups such as Girl and Boy Scouts and athletic organizations such as Little League.

The money will be distributed proportionally among groups based on the number of ticket stubs each collects during a set time period. The idea is to encourage Chillicothe-area residents to patronize the theater not only to see a movie but to help a slew of causes.

"That's the beauty of this business plan," Mahoney said. "It gets people motivated to come back to the Town Theater and redirect the business back downtown from the Peoria movie theaters."

Mahoney said 90 to 95 percent of the profits will go to youth groups. The remaining 5 to 10 percent will go toward maintenance and early debt retirement.

The city has kicked in $50,000 for new, stadium-style seating and other building improvements. Fundraising is well under way, and one needs look no further than Optimist Club members for inspiration to donate.

"We had a meeting (recently) and we brought our checkbooks," Latta said. "We raised $5,730 from members right then and there."

The club will put down $20,000 on the property from its own account. Then the plan is to raise $25,000 in private donations from individuals, businesses and clubs. That includes almost $6,000 raised from club members and $1,000 donations each from Edward Jones Investments, Bill Prather and Rhonda Tank, Hair Masters Unlimited, the American Legion and the Lions Club.

Latta said four more such contributions are anticipated and 10 to 12 others are strong possibilities, a number that puts his group close to its goal.

Club members also are selling $75 tickets for dinner and a movie Dec. 10 and a spaghetti dinner and silent auction Jan. 17.

"We've heard from the manager who told us that traffic at the theater has already gone up dramatically just on the news that we're going to buy the theater," Mahoney said. "We're really super-excited about this."

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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Re:One Way to sell a Theater-Chillicothe Illinois 16 Nov 2009 10:04 #32817

  • dsschoenborn
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Sounds like a great plan. Has Vern told them to get the contracts from the Film companies in line or they won't be able to book prints? They may be dead in the water until Jan. if they have not started the contract process.
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