New ownership takes over West Cinema
Cedartown’s movie house has been around for decades, and will continue on for years to come as movie lovers of all ages fill the seats on evenings in the dark, immersed in the imagination of filmmakers.
Not much has changed since it first opened in the 1940s — though the layout is different in the theater itself — and the family-owned business has kept what improvements they have done to ensuring the longtime business thrives.
That tradition has been handed on to new hands as West Cinema is now under new ownership, and that isn’t the only change ahead for the historic Cedartown landmark, though they’ll be minor for now.
Mike Tinney, who officially took ownership at the end of October, said that his love of business and the building provided him with a perfect opportunity to buy out the Andrews family.
“I see a really good opportunity there for the business to grow and prosper,” he said. “I see a landmark in Cedartown, and I see how I can improve it and make it better.”
He added that “it is more about love of the community than it is just a business.”
Tinney said he plans to continue to keep the movies he runs at the theater family-oriented, but that action movies and war movies he feels are appropriate for older audiences are likely going to be added to the features the theater will screen in the future.
“I’m going to try to stay away from movies with extremely strong language,” he said.
Tinney said that adjustments to the schedule are also coming up. He plans to start running feature films on Thursday through Sunday nights, with a Sunday matinee and a Tuesday Family Night.
However, Monday nights at West Theater are likely going to come to a close, since Tinney said based on the sales figures he’s seen in the past, it isn’t a great night for movies.
His plans for Tuesday’s to become Family Night is ongoing, and his hopes are to keep prices at $2 for tickets to help allow for those who usually can’t make it to the movies.
“I’m keeping prices low and want to show wholesome movies that the whole family can enjoy,” he said. “I want it to be something that can be affordable to everyone in the community.”
Additionally, he plans some minor renovations — removing the curtains on the wall and replacing them with sheetrock and paint. Plans also include providing some more modern touches for movie goers to enjoy, and maybe in the long term refinish balcony spaces for the twoscreened theaters for private parties.
Tinney is also looking into providing the space for renting for large corporate events, and hosting live sports within the theater as well.
He also wants to offer additional items for concessions like coffee, hot dogs and nachos, but said those plans will require more research about health codes before he moves forward.
“I want to do a lot, but I’m also keeping in mind the historic value of the theater,” Tinney said. “I’m open to a lot of ideas, so long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on the community.”
Former owners Ken and Teresa Browning had previously finished a number of renovations on West Cinema over the years, including closing off the balcony and switching to two screens in the 1980s, and in 2013 repainting the exterior of the building.