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After a long wait, back to the movies

Opening night for the renovated Sterling Theater

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Sterling Mayor Skip Lee (left) and Tim O'Brien, the Sterling Theater general manager, stand outside the movie house Friday night and discuss the light display. The Sterling Theater opened Friday for the first time since being renovated.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Bethany Wright, 24, of Sterling, purchases her ticket to the 7 p.m. showing of the movie "The Way Way Back" Friday at the Sterling Theater. The theater reopened Friday for the first time since being renovated. The theater serves wine and beer in addition to popcorn, pop and candy.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Moviegoers get their food, drinks, and popcorn before the night showings of "The Way Way Back" and "An Unfinished Song" Friday at the Sterling Theater Friday. The theater also offers beer and wine.
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
The Sterling Theater reopened Friday with showings of "The Way Way Back" and "An Unfinished Song."
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@saukvalley.com)
Melissa Kinchiuso, 33, of Decatur, fills a bag of popcorn before Friday night's movies.

STERLING – The projectors were finally running Friday night at the Sterling Theater.

The theater, 402 Locust St., showed movies for the first time under its new ownership, with two movies, “The Way, Way Back” and “An Unfinished Song.” Each movie had two showings, with the later times drawing about 37 people combined, but owner Skip Huston was pleased.

Mayor Skip Lee was in attendance, and said he was happy to have the theater open in the downtown.

Lori Kurtz, of Sterling, went to the 7:15 p.m. showing of “An Unfinished Song.” She grew up in Sterling and said she remembers waiting in line at the old theater.

“I grew up coming here, and we were so happy when we saw it was reopening,” she said.

She enjoyed the experience of the brew-and-view and the small, intimate atmosphere, she said.

Micki Dettman and her husband Mike, both of Sterling, attended the 7 p.m. showing of “The Way, Way Back.”

“I like it,” she said. “The place is beautiful. They’ve done a wonderful job.”

The Dettmans started watching the movie in the cabaret seating area in the back of the 200-seat theater, they said. They ate and then moved down to the seats to watch the rest of the movie.

The theater will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the first month, before switching to a 7-day schedule. It was granted first-run status and will show “Gravity,” starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Oct. 4, on the theater’s 3D screen, Huston said.

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