A night at the theater, with a twist

The downtown Cinema in Eau Claire is adding alcohol to their menu when they open up after renovation


Photo by Lauren Kritter

The downtown Cinema located at 315 South Barstow is getting ready to re-open with many changes to the old theater

Story by Lauren Kritter, Staff Writer

The Cameo Budget Theater in Eau Claire has been closed the past few months for renovations to the outdated theater. With its opening expected to come around mid-March, many changes including alcohol being added to their menu will hopefully attract old and new customers to visit the theater.

The downtown cinema is an affordable place for everyone in the community to enjoy, with movie tickets being $3 for children and seniors and $4 for adults.

Dan Olsen, the general manager of Micon Cinemas, which owns The Cameo Budget Theater, said they want to keep these prices low and are hoping by adding beer and wine choices to their menu that more revenue will be brought in to the theater.

The cinema is not getting a full liquor license because there was no room to add a full bar into the theater. Beer and wine will be the two alcohol choices available to the public for purchase.

Olsen said because the theater is in a college town, he hopes the new additions, including alcohol, will attract more college students to come, although this addition is not directly correlated to college students. The idea was to attract more of the community as a whole.

Like any movie theater, the majority of revenue is created by the money made off of concessions so the cinema has also added a kitchen where sandwiches and pizzas will now be available for purchase.

“We needed other areas to bring in revenue because the old ways were going stale,” Olsen said.

To be able to accommodate customers who want to enjoy a meal and drink while watching a movie, the cinema has taken out some seating in the theaters and added counter space for convenience purposes.

Along with this new available counter space, other renovations have been added, such as new projector screens, seats in the theater and updated bathrooms.

“The theater was really outdated and stuck in the times,” Olsen said.

These new additions are anticipated to make the theater stand out in a city where there are multiple theaters the community can attend. Olsen hopes adding alcohol options to the menu will make the cinema attractive to the public.

The theater is in no rush to reopen because they want everything to be done right before bringing people back in.

“People are curious and we don’t want to open up unprepared,” Olsen said.