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Second screen coming

The Morris Theatre will open its second screen soon, cooperative board members said. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

More screen time in Morris could happen soon.

Two members of the Morris Theatre Coop Board said July 24 the second screen is almost ready to open.

Sheldon Giese said "we are still in the process..." The movie theater needs a "different point of sale system," Giese said.

The second screen will have 18 regular seats and wheelchair accessible seat. Giese said the theater needs a way to track ticket sales for those seats. There are a few other details to be worked out before the second screen can open.

Before the second screen is open, the theater may provide sneak peaks. "We may have trailers playing in the little theater between 6:30 and 7 p.m. so people can stick their heads in an get a sense of what it looks like and sounds like," board president David Erickson said.

A second screen will greatly expand the options for movie goers, Giese and Erickson said.

"A second screen means more movies," Erickson said.

When the theater books a movie on opening day, it's usually required to run that movie for two to three weeks. Because the Morris Theatre only has one screen, no other movie can be shown during that several-week time frame to meet what movie companies call a "clean screen."

The movie theater can now move the opening day movie to the second screen in the second or third week after opening day.

The theater can also schedule more opening day movies when it has a second screen.

"In the past few years we've had six, seven or eight openings a year," Giese said. "I'm hoping we get up to 12, 13 or 14."

Erickson said Thanksgiving and Christmas are frequently when expected to be popular movies are released. "You may have a 'Star Wars' movie opening at the same time as a 'Harry Potter.' It's times like that where we get killed," Erickson said.

The theater loses ticket sales because it can't run both movies, he said. Instead of coming to the Morris Theatre, people go to an out-of-town theater, Erickson said.

A second screen also allows the theater to show more different types of movies, Erickson said.

"We have people who want to see foreign language films, Independent films, art films and Christian films," Erickson said. "This loosens things up a little."

The cooperative raised money for the second screen. It also borrowed money from cooperative members, Erickson said. It also used money it had saved for several years.

A second screen will increase sales so the cooperative can pay back the loan and make additional improvements to the theater, Erickson said.

The cooperative wants to remodel the concessions area and the restrooms. And possibly add a third screen, Erickson said.

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