ELKHORN, Neb. (KMTV) — During a year when many movie theaters are struggling, Main Street Theaters, owners of Aksarben Cinemas, has opened a new theater in Elkhorn.
Six months after it was originally planned to open, ACX Cinemas12+ is finally able to welcome moviegoers inside.
The brand new theater hosts 12 auditoriums, including a screen that is seven stories wide and five stories tall - one of the largest in the state of Nebraska. Concessions and cocktails are offered, or you can drop by the Backlot Pizza + Kitchen restaurant located inside.
The theater has many state of the art features, but owner Bill Barstow says first and foremost, he wants guests to feel safe when they visit.
“We were one of the founding people, theater circuits, to sign on for Cinema Safe," said Barstow. "And it just establishes a protocol that makes sure you have a safe environment to watch a movie in when we do have movies, and right now we do have movies.”
The movie theater business has been slow this year, less because of safety concerns and more because movies just kept getting delayed. Because of a lack of content, ACX has only opened two of its 12 auditoriums at this time.
“This isn’t what it’s going to be, it’s just a little taste to show people that, 'You know what, we persevered and we’re going to continue to stay open and we’re going to roll this until the pandemic clears,'" Barstow said. "But it’s going to be a long road, theaters took a beating.”
The theater opened on Christmas Day with Wonder Woman 1984, a movie that oddly enough was scheduled to be released in June when the theater had planned to open. Along with Wonder Woman 1984, the theater is also showing News of the World featuring Tom Hanks.
Barstow says while its been a rough year, he thinks there will be a boom in business in a matter of months.
“We truly believe that there’s going to be a sugar high of content," Barstow said. "And when these movies start popping, all these ones that have been delayed come April, May, June, July, you’re going to see a lot of interesting stories about theaters and coming back."