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Renovation planned at Corydon Cinemas

The Corydon Cinemas will undergo some dramatic changes after the first of the year, including a change of ownership.
Chris Byrd said his father, Edsel Byrd, has talked off and on the last three or four years about selling the four-screen theater.
‘It’s open every day of the year, except Christmas Eve,’ Chris Byrd said. ‘It takes a lot of time.’
The younger Byrd said he didn’t want to see the business leave the family, so he decided to purchase it.
‘Dad deserves to relax and do the things he wants to do,’ said Chris Byrd, 36.
That includes spending time with his wife, Betty, who ran the theater with him.
The cinemas first opened in August 1984 as the Corydon Twin Cinemas. Two additional screens were added in 1989.
Renovation work is slated to begin Feb. 1 and should take about two months. A grand reopening is planned for April, just in time for the big ‘summer’ movies, Byrd said.
James L. Shireman Inc. is the contractor for the project.
Byrd said theaters one and two will have the most work, with the installation of ‘stadium seating’ ‘ high-back, rocker chairs ‘ and digital sound.
The new configuration will reduce the number of seats. Theater one now seats 200; it will be reduced to 151. Theater two will go from 300 seats to 213.
New seats will be installed in the other two theaters but won’t change seating capacity, which is 120 and 80 for theaters three and four, respectively.
Other changes are also planned.
‘The lobby will be completely remodeled,’ Byrd said ‘and a point-of-sales computer system will be installed.’
The computer system will allow patrons to purchase tickets and concessions at the same time, and they can use a credit card if they want.
Currently, Corydon Cinemas doesn’t accept credit cards.
The enhancements won’t change the dimensions of the lobby, but the area for patrons will be larger and have a new color scheme.
Byrd plans to install a video monitor in the lobby that will ‘constantly show previews.’
The Corydon Cinemas has developed a loyal following since opening in 1984, Byrd said, possibly due to lower admission prices than most theaters. (Ticket prices are expected to go up slightly after the renovation.)
‘We also realize we have to give people the amenities to go along with that,’ he said.
Despite rental businesses and cable television, movie theaters still attract customers.
‘People want to see (movies) when they first come out,’ Byrd said, adding that the length of movie runs isn’t as great as it used to be.
So, Byrd said, the stadium seating and sound upgrade is a ‘significant’ investment that allows movie-goers to not only see a new movie but have an enjoyable experience, too.
‘We have to keep up with the times,’ he said.
Other changes might include a late afternoon matinee.
‘I plan to do some different things to see how the public reacts,’ Byrd said. ‘If they work, we’ll keep doing them. If not, we’ll try something else.’
Persons who received gift certificates to the Corydon Cinemas need not worry. They will be honored after the theater reopens, and they don’t lose their value.
‘If the certificate is good for admission for one adult, it will still be good for one adult when we reopen,’ Byrd said.