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DeWitt Opera House Theater halting showings

Theater cited lagging sales and lack of new release titles in pandemic
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:47 PM CST
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DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) - The silver screens at DeWitt Opera House Theater will have to read, “To Be Continued.”

The over 140-year-old establishment announced they will be closing their doors for the time being as a means of self-preservation amidst the pandemic. In an interview with TV6, manager Laura Miers said the reasoning was due to a lack of new titles being released by film studios for theaters, and lower sales due to those titles not being available.

With the pandemic restricting audience sizes across the country, many movie studios have opted to send their new films straight to Video-On-Demand services such as Disney+, Amazon, and others. The move has stressed some area theaters like the DeWitt Opera House Theater for the duration of the pandemic.

“We were open but we had very small crowds. There were very few releases for us to show. We kept seeing the movie companies push their dates back and not just a little bit.”, said Miers. “I believe it was with Mulan in August, Disney decided to release on Disney Plus instead and that hit us hard because other movie companies followed, releasing to streaming services instead to us.”

The shutdown of the storied theater is only meant to be temporary, and they plan to come back once the pandemic has calmed down, and Miers is optimistic that those closest to the theater will be able to keep it alive and well when they come back.

“I don’t think our community will let our theater go away. I’m very confident we’ll be back it’s just a matter of when.”

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