Historic Houlton Movie Theatre Set To Close

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 6:13 PM EST
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) -Movie Theatres across the country are struggling to recover from the pandemic and rising costs, Now, Temple Cinema in Houlton is the latest theatre to announce their closure. Newssource 8′s Corey Bouchard has the story

Charlie Fortier - Owner - Temple Cinema " I did a lot of stuff, as much as i could to keep it going for as long as i have”

Charlie Fortier, the owner of Temple Cinema in Houlton says he has seen a decline in attendance due to Hollywood’s focus on streaming services that started during the pandemic.

Charlie “we’ve seen a sharp falloff of attendance, people aren’t coming to the movies like they used to...Hollywood has been prioritizing trying to get people to go stream online so they’ve been releasing stuff closer and closer to the day its in the theatres but on the other hand they’re making us run stuff for more and more weeks”

In addition to declining attendance, Fortier says costs are going up, including the price of popcorn.

Charlie”Popcorn before all the bad stuff hit was $24 for 50 pounds and now its $39 for 35 pounds just as an example.”

Despite the challenges, Fortier is determined to keep the theater open as long as he can

Charlie”I looked at the numbers and decided I would try to keep going until june 29th if people keep coming to the movies, if theres even more of a dropoff we may close sooner than that”

Even though he can’t continue to run the business, Fortier hopes this isn’t the end for Temple Cinema

Charlie”The idea is maybe someone could take the place over, I’m just looking to cover costs, so if somebody wanted to run the theatre, i would lease it to them for what my costs are and they could run the theatre and hopefully make money”

Fortier expressed deep gratitude to the community for their support over the years.

Charlie” I’m deeply deeply grateful for the support of the community and for anybody that has ever bought a ticket here, I very much appreciate the 7 years I got to run the place and I’m very very proud of all the people who have worked for me”

The hope is that with enough support, the theater can continue to provide a place for people to come together and enjoy the magic of the movies for years to come, CB,NS8