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The blockbuster movies on the big screen and the smell of buttery popcorn will soon be fading away at the Plaza Twin Theater as management prepares to close Blackfoot's only movie theater on Aug. 9.
The Plaza Twin Theater (currently a $2 discount theater) has been owned and operated by the May family for the past four years. Manager Bradley May said that while the community did support the theater, they [the family] have collectively made the decision to close the theater for a variety of reasons.
"We're kind of a victim of the digital age," May said. "Two of the major movie studios are going all digital at the end of this year...and the rest of the studios will be all digital by the end of next year."
May said that digital conversion of the two movie screens at the theater would cost $180,000.
He also noted high rent, difficulty getting movies, a turnover in employees and some personal reasons as factors for closing down the theater.
The Plaza Twin Theater opened in Blackfoot's Riverside Plaza in 1974 and has struggled to make a good profit the past 10 to 12 years, mostly because of competition from the bigger theaters in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.
May and his sister Rachel May say they have both loved working at the theater and are a bit despondent that it is closing down.
"But...on the positive side, we are going out with a bang...with some great movies...," Rachel added.
For its final week, the Plaza Twin Theater will be showing blockbuster hits: "Hunger Games", "Prometheus", "Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" and "Men In Black ll"l.
May said, his father Mark May, who is the owner of the theater, has moved to South Carolina and is possibly in the early stages of talking to potential buyers; however, for the foreseeable future the theater will remain closed.