Local theater adapts for region

Lori Allen/The News The Cheri Theatres is a family owned business that has been open since 1966.

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Lori Allen/The News The Cheri Theatres is a family owned business that has been open since 1966.

Lori Allen/The News
The Cheri Theatres is a family owned business that has been open since 1966.

When it comes to a night out with friends or something to do to relax, going to see a movie can be just the thing.

In Murray, Cheri Theatres is one of the places to be. Cheri Theatres began as a family owned business in 1966 with only one screen and seated 620 people, said Chris Hopkins, general manager and son of the owner.

Over the years, the family expanded the theater. In 1968, the original one screen was split into two, giving each auditorium 300 seats per screen. In 1970, a third auditorium was added with a capacity of 300 seats, he said.

Beginning in 1970 and going through 1987, Cheri underwent several small remodels as well as splitting two of the existing auditoriums in 1988. Hopkins said after the split the theater consisted of five screens that could hold 300 people each.

The lobby, concessions and box office were expanded in 1997. During this renovation, two additional screens were added.

Cheri Theatres purchased two digital projectors in 2007 to keep up with the changing times.

In September 2010, Cheri became the first independent theater in western Kentucky to convert to an all-digital format after it converted all of the original 35 mm projectors to digital cinema projectors.

As of 2013, the theater has a total of 1,340 seats in seven auditoriums.

“The Cheri is a sweet little place to go with your friends or family to see a movie,” Erika Glauber, sophomore from Murray, said. “It’s full of smiles and great snacks as well as having great values for your dollar. You’ll always feel welcome and attended to.”

In 2016, Cheri Theatres will celebrate its 50th anniversary. To celebrate, it will undergo renovations to add an eighth auditorium.

When going to a theater, most people only expect to buy a ticket to view a movie in one of the hundreds of seats inside one of the many auditoriums.

With cooler temperatures just on the horizon, sweatshirt and hot chocolate time is just around the corner. When planning to pop a movie into the DVD player and cocooning yourself in a fleece throw blanket seems like the perfect plan, usually, a movie theater doesn’t come to mind. But Cheri Theatres offers something special.

According to Hopkins, in 1983, Cheri Theatres opened a movie rental business inside the lobby of the theater. A few years later in 1990, an addition specifically for renting movies was built and named Movies-To-Go.

This year, Movies-To-Go, where you can rent movies and video games, celebrates its 30th year in business.

Recently, Cheri announced its plans to show digitally restored films on the big screen during the month of October. Each week will be a different movie shown on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Each ticket will be only $6.50 per person, per movie. The price will be for any movie during any show time.

For almost 50 years, Cheri Theatres has provided Murray with a source of entertainment and family-style service.

“The (employees) were extremely friendly,” Thomas Isaak, senior from Murray, said. “Very clean for a movie theater as well, and the seats were nicely spaced out.”

It has become a place for not only a night out with friends and loved ones, but a place to rent your movies on the go if you would rather have a more intimate setting.

Cheri Theatres began as one screen and has grown into seven separate auditoriums providing the city of Murray with movies for the last five decades while they continue to adapt with the changing times.


Story by Katrina Yarbrough, Contributing Writer