Globe Gazette Editorial: Help save Forest City movie theater

2013-02-03T01:28:00Z Globe Gazette Editorial: Help save Forest City movie theater Mason City Globe Gazette
February 03, 2013 1:28 am

Generations of people in and around Forest City have fond memories of watching movies at the Forest Theatre. They remember the great prices for a flick and a bag of popcorn, and the gentle reminders to “get your feet off the seats” as owner Gary Compston patrolled the aisles. Sometimes the reminder was less than gentle for repeat offenders.

The theater closed in 2011 when Compston and his wife, Cathy — ready to retire — were unable to find a buyer to keep it open.

Now, happily, the work of a group of Forest City residents who joined to reopen the theater appears to be paying off.

Forest City Entertainment Inc., a non-profit committee, is spearheading efforts to renovate the Forest. The Forest City Council gave that effort a boost last week when it agreed to contribute $50,000 in TIF funds toward the purchase and improvements.

Forest City Entertainment is tackling the project in two phases. The first is to purchase the building and install digital sound and projection equipment. Improvements will also be made to restrooms, the concession stand and other areas. That phase — estimated to cost about $300,000 — is hoped to be finished before the school year ends so movies can start to be shown again.

The second phase includes a new screen and general renovations to the building, including a new roof, new air-conditioning, etc. It is expected to cost about $200,000.

Lots of other community non-profit groups have been able to take over a closing local theater. Lake Mills, Belmond, Northwood and Clarion all were successful. Garner is in the middle of the process.

They made the effort because a movie theater is an important quality-of-life attribute for a community. In addition, it can help drive economic activity through increased traffic to restaurants and retail stores.

Forest City Entertainment plans to kick its fundraising efforts into high gear this month, to give people, businesses and organizations an opportunity to help save this important business.

We wish Forest City Entertainment well in its efforts and urge area people to consider a gift to this worthy cause.

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. rivercityfan
    Report Abuse
    rivercityfan - February 05, 2013 9:49 pm
    Couch potatos & cell phone addicts find it hard to believe other people know of a life beyond TV & texting.
  2. JB Johnson of Britt
    Report Abuse
    JB Johnson of Britt - February 05, 2013 1:21 pm
    when did facing facts become negative thinking?. 16 trillion in is not negative thinking.
  3. iowafarmgirl
    Report Abuse
    iowafarmgirl - February 04, 2013 8:25 pm
    Small towns do have their problems--Negative thinking people are the main problems. I remember going to this theater way back--first date with a new guy---we saw Bombers B52LOL LOL--Movie theaters are coming back, if only people want them to! I live in a town of 8000 and we have three theaters--they are running fine!
  4. JB Johnson of Britt
    Report Abuse
    JB Johnson of Britt - February 03, 2013 8:09 am
    Netflix, Redbox, HBO, Tivo and 52 inch home flat screens all fly in the face of spending tax money to prop up a old system of entertainment.
    I'm sorry but that is just the way it is.
  5. xxx
    Report Abuse
    xxx - February 03, 2013 6:11 am
    Forest City's main street business area is becoming a ghost town. It is striking how little commerce is there compared to just a few years ago. School enrollment has plummeted, too. Waldorf is no longer locally owned and is now a mere shell of it's former self. I think they better focus on more basic problems than a movie theater.
Comment Policy
Keep it clean. Avoid language that is obscene, vulgar, lewd or sexually-oriented. If you can't control yourself, don't post it.
Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
Be truthful.Don't lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK, and forgive people their spelling errors.
Let us know if it's getting out of hand. If you see offensive comments, don't quote or respond to them. Please use the "Report Abuse" button to bring it to our attention.
Share what you know, ask about what you don't. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history. What more do you want to know about the story?
Stay focused, and ask questions. Keep on the story's topic.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Follow Us

Activate subscription button gif

Deals, Offers and Events

Low cost, convenient, and fast Refund Transfer: Direct Deposit, Cashier's Check, and Prepaid Card. Pay NOTHING out-of-pocket! Call us for appointment 641-423-3200

At D & S Services we offer Refund Transfer! Your tax prepa…

Refer another customer to Garden Time Sprinkler Services and earn a $50 credit! (518) 745-7445

If you've had Garden Time Sprinkler Services install your lawn…