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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Keokuk, IA: Plaza 3 Re-opens with New Management|
The Plaza 3 Cinema in Keokuk, Iowa reopened on December 10, 2010 under the management of Eisentraut Theatres, based out of Hillsboro, Illinois. The three-screen theater closed in November 2010 after AMC Entertainment decided not to renew its lease due to poor performance, and the owners of the River City Mall started to pursue other companies to operate the location.
The Daily Gate City in Keokuk published an article on December 29, 2010 about the change in management:
An Illinois movie theater operator came to the rescue of Plaza Cinema in Keokuk just a couple of weeks after AMC Entertainment closed the theater. Eisentraut Theatres’ agreement with River City Mall earlier this month made Plaza Cinema’s shift in ownership one of the top stories of 2010.
AMC, a company that bought out Plaza Cinema’s prior owner Kerasotes Theatres in June, announced Nov. 5 that it would close the theater when its lease expired Nov. 28 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving).
[mall owner Shannon Zetterlund] contacted several small theater holders about the possibility of re-opening the theater under new operation. A “community-friendly” approach and the lure of cheaper concessions and ticket prices made Eisentraut Theatres of Hillsboro, Ill., Zetterlund’s choice for a new operator.
The family-owned company announced Dec. 2 that it had reached an agreement with the mall to operate the Plaza Cinema. The theater re-opened Dec. 10 with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of Dawn Treader,” “Tangled” and “Burlesque.”
Owned and operated by Jeff Eisentraut, his wife Julie and their children Carey, Madison, Alexandra and Bailey, Eisentraut Theatres’ small franchise also includes four theaters in Central Illinois.
In mid-January, a new stereo sound system and acoustic panels will be installed in Cinema 1. Eisentraut said Cinemas 2 and 3 have better sound quality, so all they need are the acoustic panels.
“We’re going around and trying to work on areas that have the highest customer impact, (things) that customers will notice most,” Jeff said.
The Eisentrauts also plan to remodel the bathrooms and install new carpet and theater floors in the coming months. The concession area may need new equipment soon. Because every customer now gets popcorn with his or her ticket, the current popcorn machine (which served about 25 percent of the customers under previous operation) can’t keep up.
Jeff said Tuesday that he and Julie are considering interior decorations that will give Plaza Cinema the glitz and glam of Hollywood.
“I guarantee you in six months it’ll be a totally different place,” Jeff said.
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