GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – One of the area’s last remaining downtown movie theaters reopened Friday night to what can be considered red carpet treatment — in Grove City, anyway. The Guthrie is showing first-run movies again.
The marquee lights went on, the popcorn was popping, the soda was flowing and the tickets — were gone.
A sold-out showing of “Avengers: Endgame” brought 450 happy people inside of the remodeled Guthrie Theater.
Although the new owner may look young, Spencer Folmar, from Clearfield County, is now a director and producer in L.A. but he is no stranger to the Guthrie.
“I ended up going to Grove City College so during my college career, I would come to the Guthrie as often as I could and see movies here,” he said.
Folmar is pleased with the crowds showing up to the revamped theater.
The Guthrie Theater, built in 1927, had fallen on disrepair last year and was sold for the sixth time. It had been closed since its roof collapsed last May.
“I knew Eric Thomas, the previous owner. Went to school with his son,” Folmar said. “So I reached out to Eric and said, ‘Is there anything I can help y’all do to reopen?’ and he said, ‘Well, you can all take over and become the new owners.’ And, literally two weeks later, we had the deed.”
The Guthrie has modern digital technology and much of the historic building has been restored.
Grove City Mayor Randy Riddle said the Guthrie can begin to restore memories for a newer generation.
“We have got new ownership now so the queen of Broad Street is back open again, bringing back the memories that some of us had of the ’60s and ’70s.”
The response for Friday night’s opening was so overwhelming, they added a second showing of the Avengers.
Folmar said he will maximize the entertainment at the Guthrie — not just with first-run movies, but with live entertainment, comedy shows, showcases and a Veritas Film Festival.