The decision to close the Roxy Theatre has not yet been finalized. There is still a chance to keep the theater doors open but it is going to require some work on the community’s part. What can you do? Go to the movies!
“The Roxy has been losing money for the past 10 years,” said co-owner Becky Dupuis, who owns the Polson Theatre chain with her husband, Gary. “We don’t like to close theaters and are definitely open to giving things a try.”
One option they are in the process of trying is applying to Shelby’s Tourism Improvement Business District (TBID) for funding to fix an electrical issue. To fix the problem will cost $6,000, which is money the theater simply does not have right now. Currently the lights are on and movies are playing with a temporary fix, to the tune of $1,000. But that fix is only temporary and sometime in the next six weeks it needs to be fixed permanently in order for things to work.
Another issue the Roxy has is the $20,000 worth of work needed to fix the façade and front of the building.
“This isn’t something that needs to be done immediately,” said Dupuis. “But it does need to be done at some point, sooner than later, so we don’t end up with pieces of it falling off or something else happening.”
The Roxy costs approximately $30,000 a year to keep open, which is approximately $600 a week. Dupuis shared the theater doesn’t need to make $600 a week in ticket sales, but it does need to generate about $400, which averages out to at least eight people a day attending the show.
“Of course some movies bring in a lot of people and that helps the slower weeks,” said Dupuis. “But the bottom line is, people need to start going to the movie again and buying snacks!”
The Dupuis need to make their final decision in regards to the Roxy by the end of the year. If awarded some funding to help cover the electrical fix and the number of tickets sold increases dramatically during the upcoming months there is a chance the community can save their theater. They are also open to hearing any other suggestions people might have.
“We are open to any other ideas people might have for us,” said Dupuis. “Call and let us know and we will definitely take it into consideration.”
Anyone with ideas can call (406) 883-5603 and ask for Becky or Gary or write them at Polson Theatres, P.O. Box 999, Polson, MT 59860.
Hearing the theater was closing in September generated a lot of disappointment throughout the community. Hearing that there is a chance to keep it open will hopefully get as much attention and people will realize it comes down to the old adage of “use it or lose it.”