Local movie theaters hope for support from former AMC customers

Missing movies? You may want to try these theaters.
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 7:27 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W. Va. (WVVA) -With the closing of the AMC in Bluefield, West Virginia, movie-goers will have to seek other options to get their fix of films. And while some may turn to streaming services like Netflix, others may prefer a traditional theater experience with big screens, fresh popcorn, and first run movies (movies just released). But you may not need to drive for hours to get that experience. There are several options in the area for those wanting to watch first run movies while supporting small businesses.

You may be familiar with the Granada Theater in downtown Bluefield, WV, but you may not know that the historic theater has started showing first run movies alongside their lineup of classic reruns. This almost century old theater is growing even bigger with two more theaters opening in the lower level of the Granada which will also show first run movies. Nicole Thompson, the Granada’s House Manager and Programing Director for the Bluefield Arts and Revitalization Corporation, says the beauty of the ornate theater sets it apart from the AMC and, hopefully, helps it be a welcome replacement for former AMC customers.

“You walk into the place... and it’s an experience... It’s not like going to an AMC. Nothing against... those newer theaters, but this has a really nostalgic and historic quality about it and that part of it is an experience itself,” says Thompson.

In Summers County, another local theater showing first run movies is The Ritz Theatre in Hinton, West Virginia. The theater lives up to its name with modern equipment including a brand-new Dolby Digital sound system and digital projector. Despite its contemporary technology, the theater has history and is a long-standing staple in the community.

“We have people in their 60s and 70s come in here and telling us about their first date at the Ritz and, you know, how they met their husband here on their first date at the Ritz... They very much are thankful to have the Ritz as part of the community,” says Ronnie Lester, The Ritz’s Theater Manager.

In addition to its first run movies, The Ritz shows reruns one Thursday a month, every Thursday of December, and every Tuesday during summer break – all for free.

If you are interested in checking out either of these theaters, more information can be found on their websites:

The Ritz Theatre

The Granada Theater