It's showtime at The Glen Theater
WATKINS GLEN--A staple of N. Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, the long-closed Glen Theater has reopened and is showing films under new ownership. While running a movie theater is something she has never done before, owner Julie Krause has jumped headfirst into the business with the March 5 opening of the animated film, Tom and Jerry.
"I was looking at some things for next door, but we are going to leave this as a theater as long as it can financially support itself and give it a few years to make sure that happens," Krause said. "It's great for a small community, (especially) for kids in the summer."
While getting everything up and running has been difficult and sometimes even stressful, once the theater opened Krause has been left awestruck by how powerfully movies can impact people, especially children.
"The best part was last week when the kids were coming out and one kid said that it was the best experience ever and thanked us for opening," Krause mentioned. "That's my favorite part so far."
Instead of being driven by a love of film, Krause has been driven by a love of Watkins Glen.
"You hate to see empty buildings (on N. Franklin Street)," Krause said.
Watkins Glen Mayor Luke Leszyk agreed with that sentiment and said he is happy another business is open in Watkins.
"I think every community needs a theater and I am delighted to see that ours is back open, it has been a part of the community for so many years," Leszyk stated.
Along with the draws of a local movie theater, Krause is trying to differentiate The Glen Theater by having hot pretzels and fresh popcorn topped with real butter.
Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director for the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, said having a theater is integral to any community, especially in what will hopefully soon be a post-COVID world.
"Going to a movie theater is one of the most authentic experiences that a person can have, especially kids, so I think they are going to come back... and some movies are just meant for the big screen so I am just glad that Julie is taking this on," McKinney Cherry said.
Going forward, Krause said she plans on experimenting with different kinds of movies, perhaps some events and concerts.
"But the one thing the previous owner told me, is that the family films tend to do the best," Krause added.
Inside the theater, everything has been repainted and given a new feel while all current COVID protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing are being enforced.
"There is spacing and they are staying within the limits they are allowed to," said McKinney Cherry.
Aside from being happy that the theater has been reopened, McKinney Cherry said she is even happier that local business leaders like Krause are thinking about how their business can contribute to local culture.
"It's a labor of love...she is an entrepreneur learning a new business for the benefit of the village. I admire it greatly," McKinney Cherry said.