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Local theaters are open and generating revenue in new ways

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Some businesses are bouncing back from the forced closures recently, but others still have a lot of challenges to keeping their doors open. Theaters are one of them.

The forced closures caused many businesses to come close to closing their doors permanently over the last few months. This local business is doing everything it can to stay afloat. Barry Cinemas-owned theaters started selling popcorn-to-go on certain nights of the week as a way to boost spirits and generate a little income in the process.

Adam Barry, owner of Barry Cinemas, shared, ”Initially I started that off, it was just that i didn’t have anything to do. It was the first time since I was 15 that I didn’t have a job. So I put it out on facebook that if you didn’t have a job or you couldn’t afford it, just come and I’ll give you popcorn for free.”

Barry’s generosity also shined in others, when customers who came in to buy popcorn would ‘pay it forward’ and purchase the snack for the next person.

Barry has owned these three theaters for 5 years, with one in Lander and two in Riverton. These businesses have kept employment opportunities in the area. Not wanting to lay off a single employee, Barry took on a second job in order to keep all of his employees on staff. When it came time for the big day to actually reopen, there still wasn’t any new releases to show the viewers.

“We just started playing older movies because there aren’t new releases right now. We just started opening and doing those for free just to get people out. I know people are going crazy sitting at home. So we just had people come in for free and buy concession,” said Barry.

The next idea born was to show a mystery matinee. A community sponsor came up with the idea from his time stationed in Germany with the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps veteran and financial investor Mick Pryor said, “You didn’t know what you were going to watch. It could be of any type, so there were occasionally documentaries, rom coms, action movies, the whole works. So it was a really fun thing to do. We’ve kind of taken that and run with it.” Pryor, a financial investor with Edward Jones, has been to these theaters since he was young and wants to see them thrive in the years to come. That’s why he decided to sponsor for the mystery movies.

Along with the mystery movies, Barry has some new releases that are coming to the big screen, as well as showing those older flicks for free with hopes to sell concessions. Barry is hoping to keep the doors open despite the challenges, and could use more community sponsors of the free movies to stay in business. For up-to-date movie information, visit www.barrycinemas.com.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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