Luray remembers Page Theatre owner Jerry Spencer

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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) -- Just about everyone in Page County has a memory of the Page Theatre.

"I could go on forever and ever and ever," Luray resident Larry Stroupe said. "All the 'Harry Potter' movies I've seen at this theater."

"Back to the Future, the opening of that," Jason Wood of Luray, who worked at the theatre for seven years a teenager added. "And dancing with wolves."

Last week the theater closed its doors.

"It's been tough the last couple days knowing he's gone," Wood said.

77-year-old Jerry Spencer, who owned and operated the theatre since 1988, passed away on Saturday.

Wood's mother worked for Spencer, he began working for him when he was 12-years-old and his mother fell ill.

"He's like a father to me," Wood said. "We all grow up and get older and have kids and family but he holds a special place in my heart and I'm gonna really miss him."

With no kids of his own, the community was Spencer's family.

"We hope that he did understand and knew just what he meant to the community and what this business meant to the community, because it meant quite a bit," Stroupe said.

Since his passing, people have paid their respects at the theatre, leaving flowers and special messages. One person left a popcorn box with roses in it, while another placed flowers in a movie theatre souvenir cup.

The FedEx delivery man even left a note which read, "I'll miss you Jerry! You are irreplaceable."

"He'd feel very happy about it now and everything like that," Wood said.

Spencer dedicated his life to not just his movie theatre, but also his community.

"We have so many small businesses here in town," Stroupe said. "He was more than just a business owner."

Now, the people of Luray are remembering a man that gave them so many memories.

"We would come here and be the only one in the theater and he would still run that movie," Stroupe said. "For one or two people, simply because he loved his community."

Wood and Stroupe both say they hope someone takes on the job of running the theatre.