The Community Remembers Dixie Theater

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV)-- Dozens of people have been grabbing their tickets and popcorn to watch the final performance of many classic movies at the Dixie Theater in downtown Staunton. It's their way of remembering this iconic staple of downtown.

Jul. 27 marks the end of a storyline in downtown Staunton as the Dixie Theater prepares to close its doors. Christina Sayer Grey has lived in Staunton for 14 years and used to come to the theater all the time.

"Before Staunton kind of blew up as a tourist destination, it was one of the few night spots we had something to do," said Grey.

She thinks this part of downtown will be different once the screens fade to black.

"I walk past this corner all the time to and from work and there's going to be a bit of sadness to see it with nothing going on,' said Grey,'it's really sad to me that Staunton is going to lose, a, a business,but, something I love so much, a movie theater. We're sort of forced to close because of the expenses," said Grey.

Kajun Waybright is the manager of the Dixie, and says the closing of it partly has to do with money and trends.

"I think people are sort of like, even subconsciously, in a multiplex state of mind these days, they gravitate more towards the eight, ten, twelve screeners rather than focusing on the little indie theaters downtown," said Waybright.

But they plan to go out in classic theater style; showing many classic movies from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to 'Jaws'.

After Jul. 27, the Staunton Performing Arts Center will be taking control of the theater. Grey thinks the community will be sad to see it go.

"They're also going to see something that they maybe did and enjoyed when they were a kids, that they enjoyed taking their kids to isn't here anymore," said Grey.

She's excited to see what's in store for the building's future.There's been some talk that they plan to transform it into a live performance theater, but nothing has been confirmed yet.


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