Micon Downtown Budget Cinema welcoming back movie-goers Sept. 10

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:14 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -You can nearly smell the popcorn from here, well not quite yet, but that will be the case in one day’s time at Micon Downtown Budget Cinema in Eau Claire.

After a tumultuous year and a half, brought on by both the pandemic and building mishaps the downtown theater, known for discounted prices and classic movies is reopening its doors beginning Friday, September 10.

Lights, camera, action.

“It’s been closed and opened and closed and opened,” laughs Connie Olson, vice president of Micon Cinemas. “Here we are, opening again.”

The beloved Downtown Budget Cinema built in 1942 has seen its fair share of turbulence in the past year and a half.

“New Year’s Eve of 2019 we get the call, that there’s no heat, and the boiler system is out and so we have to shut it down because of course it’s winter time,” starts Olson.

She says the hits kept coming.

“Over a month later we closed for COVID, we tried reopening in June, June 12th for a short time playing the classics and after a few weeks we realized that everybody was showing classics because that’s all we could get for movies,” Olson says. “Even at our main locations.”

Fast forward to August, the theatre took on immense flooding from heavy rains delaying the theatre’s planned reopening until September 10.

“We just love the downtown theatre, its a part of a city’s history and everybody loves the downtown location,” Olson says.

Olson adds no one is more excited to welcome movie-goers back more than longtime manager Tom Klemmer.

“Everybody knows Tom down here, because he’s been here—he’s been a fixture of this theatre for over 40 years,” says Olson.

“It’ll be 45 years, November 22 of this year,” Klemmer says.

Even as a kid, Klemmer says he was drawn to the showmanship of the theatre, and that he’s here to stay.

“Seeing people come in the door, I missed people that whole year and a half, I didn’t see a lot of people on the street for a while,” starts Klemmer. “Just people coming in the door, I want to get that again.”

The reopening of a downtown gem, coming soon to a theatre near you.

“You can walk to the theatre, you can remember what it was like when people went to the movies years ago,” says Olson.

For the time being the theatre will be open Friday through Sunday as well as on Tuesdays.

You can find upcoming showtimes and tickets here.

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