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Show house offers big movies at small town prices
elroy theatre marquee
The Elroy Theatre has been open since 1937. Owner Kari Preuss, her children and her friends strive to provide affordable entertainment for residents of Elroy and surrounding communities. - photo by

Elroy and its surrounding communities are delighted that its classic, old movie theatre has been rescued by Kari Preuss and her children, Paige and Dane, just when screens all over the country are going black due to the rise of the digital cinema experience.

Since Preuss purchased the theater in 2005, she has been renovating the interior and upgrading the projection system, including the digital improvement.

Preuss initially invested in updating the building, including a new roof, updated electrical system, replacing all the theater seats, repairing the marquee, insulating the building, and installing new lobby carpeting, and air conditioning.

At that time, she also purchased new theatre equipment,  including a new sound system, projection lenses, movie screen and, perhaps most importantly, a new popcorn maker.

All of which pales in comparison to the new $75,000 digital projection system.

Preuss understands the high cost, and she explained why to the Sentry Enterprise.

“It offers the audience clarity and detail,” she sadd. “People can enjoy the movie the way that its creators wanted them to see it.

“And, it always looks the best because digital movies are immune to scratches, fading, and jitters that regular film is prone to after repeated screenings.

“The time has arrived when all movie theaters are being forced to purchase the new equipment.”

Established in 1937, the theater has been in continuous business for more than 75 years.

Located on Main Street in downtown Elroy, the single screen theatre has the charm of many small town theaters that were very popular before the cinematic upgrade of today’s modern movie experience.

The friendly and relaxed atmosphere includes a small staff of family and friends, including Preuss’ boyfriend, Bill Dedrick, who handles all the mechanical issues in the business.

Their continuing goal is to provide affordable entertainment for all.

“We have a very loyal group of people, who enjoy seeing a movie here and we do our best to accommodate all of them.”

The neighborly attitude at the Elroy Theatre is reflected by the fact that the theater is available for rent to organizations or for special parties at reasonable rates. There also are options for advertising on the marquee or on a slide during the previews.

Special gift certificates are also available at the box office or at Mark’s Jewelry.

A movie phone line is available at 462-4990.

Film fans would have a tough time finding a more reasonable place to enjoy a movie. Tickets are $5 for all seats at all times for all people.

You will also find the concession stand features lots of goodies, especially popcorn, at old fashioned prices.

Show times are usually on  Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Don’t be surprised if you know the people sitting around you during the show. Neighbors are everywhere at the popular community theatre.

With the large expenses for the purchase of the digital equipment, the family is carrying some of it with a loan. So, they have decided to leave donation boxes in the lobby for folks who are so happy to still have access to the theater they want to feel a real part of the success.

“Mostly, however,” Preuss said, “we truly appreciate having folks in the theatre who are more like family.”