FRACKVILLE — The Pearl Theatre Stadium 8 will remain open through the end of the year.
The future of the movie theater at the Schuylkill Mall was unclear after an announcement in May of the mall’s closure by year’s end. At that point, tenants were encouraged by the mall’s owner, NorthPoint Development, Riverside, Missouri, to leave within 60 to 90 days. The theater announced it would stay open until September.
“We were the fly on the wall that would not die,” Zach Gilbert, general manager of the theater, said Tuesday.
He said the theater’s owners were in frequent contact with NorthPoint. Gilbert received a phone call Monday from the owners saying they could stay until the end of December.
“We haven’t reached an official closing date,” he said.
“It’s like a 50-pound weight got pulled from our chest,” he said.
The theater currently employs between 30 and 40 employees, mostly part time.
It has not been determined where the theater will move in the new year.
“We are trying to push toward the Pottsville area,” Gilbert said.
Several locations in Schuylkill County have been looked at, but the owners have yet to find a place with adequate parking and high ceilings for the screens. Gilbert said constructing a new building is possible, but it would likely be cost prohibitive.
The theater’s owners are committed to staying in the county.
“Schuylkill County can definitely support a movie theatre,” Gilbert said.
When the theater does vacate the mall, Gilbert said he will be sad because it was his first job. He started by sweeping floors.
A customer appreciation day is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 20. Movies will be $5. For every $5 spent, customers will receive tickets to enter into a basket raffle. The event was planned before the announcement of the theater’s extended life.
The extra time to see movies was good news to patrons Tuesday.
“I’m happy. There is not much here left in Schuylkill County,” Coleen McGuire, Frackville, said.
Chelsea Moran, 21, of Minersville, was equally enthusiastic.
“I think it’s awesome,” Moran said. She was at the theater to see “Kidnapped” with her boyfriend, Dylan Sensenig, 23, of Ephrata, Lancaster County.
Like the theater, the future of the few remaining tenants is not known.
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