City to consider deal bringing first-run films to Marion Theatre
By Susan Latham Carr
Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 1, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.
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OCALA – For the first time since the 1970s, the Marion Theatre downtown could be showing first-run movies.
The Ocala City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday whether to give city staff the green light to enter final negotiations with Eastwynn Theatres, Inc., a subsidiary of Carmike Cinemas, to manage and operate the Marion Theatre.
“It would be great for downtown if we could do it,” said Tye Chighizola, the city’s director of development and planning. “They have, in the past, done something like the Marion Theatre in a smaller downtown one-screen theater.”
What is being proposed is a one-year agreement with Eastwynn Theatres Inc. to manage the theater and select, book and buy first-run films and offer other entertainment, such as concerts and televised sporting events. The company will staff the theater, and operate and maintain it on a daily basis, including being responsible for utility costs.
“They are going to do minor changes at this point,” Chighizola said.