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1.9.14

The Gentry Cinema


Even though the Gentry is a fine facility for movie exhibition, it could also be used for a multitude of other uses if someone needs a different type of facility.  The zoning is such that the building could be used for just about anything you could dream of putting in the downtown area.  It could be retail, commercial, residential, multi-family residential, hotel, restaurant, medical, etc. 

The Gentry was a modest success shortly after re-opening in 2008 and 2009. The business made some money, but we spent more than expected to remodel and re-open the place. Since it takes a few years to establish a new business, and we were left with little cash reserves to cover the slow periods, the result was that we put the theater up for sale. 

After being on the market for some time, contractors proposed to operate the theater while I still owned the property.  This arrangement has not been a success either.  The theater hasn't generated enough money to finance or even justify the conversion to professional grade digital projection and sound equipment required to continue operations into the future. 

If a new owner were to come along with enough resources to make the digital conversion, it might be a different story.  But for now, the Gentry can do no more than struggle to survive.  Contractors are attempting to draw crowds with live entertainment and have rented out an auditorium to a local area church for use on Sunday mornings.  This has not yet provided adequate funding to make a significant difference for me as the owner.  I still need to sell.  But these additional revenue streams could help a new owner. 

The Gentry Cinema was twinned and renovated in 2008. All new: facade and building exterior, windows and doors, plumbing, restrooms, electrical system, heat and air system (including ductwork), fire sprinkler system, insulation in attic and walls, marquee, draperies, screens, sound. Replaced and upgraded projection equipment. New concession counter with enough equipment to start a small restaurant. Old seats were replaced with modern lumbar supported types with cupholders.

We were showing first run films. The theater is located in a market area of 20,000 people and is the only theater in McIntosh county. Competition is over 20 miles away.

Checotah is the largest city in the county and boasts a new Wal-Mart Super Center. Lake Eufaula is only a few miles away. It has great fishing and water facilities, and draws lots of vacationers.



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