BREAKING NEWS: Curtain rising on Willows theater?
Plans to re-open the once popular movie theater in Willows are back on track and the curtain could rise again as soon as the end of next month.
The Sycamore Street building housing the defunct AMH Films Opus Theatre has been taken off the market after nearly six months, according to Heather Boer, a real estate agent and friend of the Kessler family, who purchased the theater in 2009.
Boer confirmed today the family has decided to push ahead with plans to re-open Glenn County’s only movie house by the end of October. Boer also has agreed to help the family operate the business.
“It’s time to get it going again,” Boer said.
The on-again, off-again efforts to restart the business seemed to be on hold indefinitely after the Kessler family put the building up for sale in April.
Beverly and Ronald Kessler purchased the building in 2009 after the sudden death of long-time owner and operator Andy Huston in 2008.
However, the Kesslers were struck with tragedy a short time later when Ronald Kessler, whom many described as “the backbone” of the theater effort, passed away just a few weeks after closing escrow.
Plans to re-open stalled, but the family made huge progress toward cleaning up and revamping the building’s interior. Several potential buyers expressed an interest in taking over the theater, but those plans fell through and Boer said she became inspired to get involved.
“I have kids in high school and I just think that this (theater) is something that really needs to happen for this community,” Boer said.
Willows High students have already gotten involved with the reopening, principal Jerry Smith confirmed.
“A lot of our students have volunteered their time after school because they know this is going to be a very positive thing not only for them, but for everyone,” Smith said.
The plan, according to Boer, is to call the theater “Andy’s,” after the late-former owner, and there will be a greater focus on a lunchtime menu targeting high school students.’
“We’ll have really excellent cheeseburgers and hot dogs and tri tip on Fridays,” Boer said.
Boer said there is still much to clear up and a lot of electrical and mechanical equipment that needs to be checked, but said she is confident the new theater will be opened by the end of October.
“I just think it’s very exciting and positive and we’re hopeful the community will support it and enjoy it.”