Springfield, MO

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Attendance up following sale of two local theaters

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by Christine Ballew-Gonzales

SBJ Contributing Writer

There have been some changes since Dickinson Theaters sold its two Springfield holdings the Dickinson 8 (now the Springfield 8) and the Town and Country 6 to Goodrich Quality Theaters. Among those changes are free drink refills, 25-cent popcorn refills and an increase in attendance.

According to Matthew Johnson, marketing manager for Goodrich Quality Theaters, the company is pleased to ease the concession costs of those taking in a movie at either of their Springfield theaters.

"We're very proud of offering those free and 25-cent refills," Johnson said.

Goodrich purchased the Dickinson 8 and the Town and Country 6 as part of a 10-location Dickinson-theater buy in January. Johnson said Goodrich now owns six locations in Missouri and a total of 36 locations across the country.

Movie ticket prices will be holding steady, Johnson said.

"We're very pleased with our current price structure," he said. "Our next closest competitor, Campbell 16 Cin?, is priced slightly higher."

Johnson said Goodrich has added stereo digital sound to both the Springfield 8 and Town and Country 6, and it has performed some modest renovations to the Town and Country 6.

Patrons of the north Springfield theater can expect to see an updated storefront, a new concession stand and a new box office within a year.

The Springfield 8 could also get some sprucing up, Johnson said, adding that Goodrich is considering a new box office and concession stand for the south Springfield theater.

Robert Mabary, an 18-year Dickinson employee who began managing the Springfield 8 in January, said movie attendance has gone up since the sale.

"Overall attendance has increased," he said. Mabary attributed the increase to Goodrich's move to upgrade the sound in the theater to a stereo digital system. A more customer-oriented approach has also helped to bring more moviegoers through the doors, Mabary said.

"People have responded well to the change in ownership," he said. "I think the sale has been positive."

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