Why is a Theater Important to an Entire Downtown?

Why is a Theater Important to an Entire Downtown?

The silver screen has been one of the best ways to experience a film for over a century. The large picture and the surround sound are immersive to the point where the experience envelops the participant. But a locally run movie theater serves more than one purpose of showing films. Here is why a locally owned movie theater is essential for a downtown district.

The Ultimate Movie Experience

We live in a world that is now dominated by streaming services. It is easier than ever to watch a movie at home on your television, computer, or even your phone. Despite that, this doesn’t necessarily make movie theaters obsolete. The screen’s sheer size and sound system are hard to replicate at home. The other advantage is that theatrical releases are still the main way to watch a film when it first comes out, as you would still have to wait for the film to become available on streaming months after the theatrical release.


It is important to understand that a locally owned movie theater differs from a cineplex. A cineplex, or multiplex, is a movie theater with several separate screens owned by larger movie theater chains. Another significant difference that separates a local movie theater and a cineplex is that a local theater can be an excellent venue for concerts or plays. It offers plenty of seating and has superb acoustics for the music.

Most smaller movie theaters have a retractable screen, which opens up more space on the stage area when the screen is lifted. This adds to the versatility of a movie theater, as opposed to being the one-trick pony that a cineplex is. A local movie theater can adapt better to change if the movie industry moves further away from theaters and into streaming.

Serving The Community

Theaters can host various community events, ranging from speakers to classes to private rentals. They’re also a great place to hang out with friends, be with family, or go on a date. A movie theater constantly provides entertainment for the downtown area, which is crucial for a downtown district to thrive.

An Integral Part of History and Culture

Let’s take Albion’s treasure, the Bohm Theatre. The Bohm has been around since 1929. There are tons of stories and memories that Bohm shares. From the premiere of Gone With the Wind in 1939 to Star Wars in 1977, people have made many memories of watching classic films at the Bohm. And there are still more memories to be made!

Many movie theaters, like the Bohm Theatre, have been around for a hundred years and serve the same purpose in their respective community. Many of these theaters are recognized for their history and preservation. The Bohm was fully restored to its original glory and received the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in May 2015. These older movie theaters have played a huge role in their communities for generations and should still be preserved as they are often iconic to the community’s culture and history.


Another advantage of a local downtown theatre over a cineplex is that it allows people to connect before or after at local dining establishments. It is quite convenient if a restaurant is also located in the downtown area, as it should be within walking distance. It is also a crucial establishment for community gatherings and entertainment.

A locally owned movie theater can do more than just movies. It can be a place for concerts, meetings, convocations, and many other events. These theaters hold a lot of value to their community and downtown district, given the history behind them. In a changing world, there is still room for small and local movie theaters to thrive.