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Examiner
  • Theater chain finds and enjoys its niche

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  • Grain Valley Marketplace 8 has been open for a little more than a year, sitting at the northeast corner of Interstate 70 and Buckner-Tarsney Road where retailers and restaurants are expected to fill in.
    The company that owns and operates the theater, B&B Theatres, likes the spot. It has 33 theaters, mostly in the Midwest, generally in places like Grain Valley where the bigger theater chains might not locate.
    “That’s always kind of been our niche,” said Brock Bagby, director of programming and business development. It’s a family-owned business. Bagby is one of the two “B’s” in “B&B.”
    Those 33 theaters have 237 screens, and one in particular was on display Tuesday, as Grain Valley Marketplace 8 hosted the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.
    The theater’s “grand screen” is 54 feet wide. The average screen is 30 feet by 50 feet, the company says.
    “It’s actually the biggest screen in Jackson County,” said Paul Weiss, a marketing assistant who works in the company’s corporate office in Liberty.
    The company works on several promotions, including $2 popcorn and drinks on Tuesdays, renting out theaters for fundraisers, a loyalty program, and, once or twice a month, digital versions of old movies on Retro Night. Coming up: “Meet Me in St. Louis” on Feb. 20, “Ghost” on March 20, and a John Wayne favorite, “El Dorado,” on April 17.
    Bagby also promoted – and showed previews – of two upcoming movies with Biblical stories. “Son of God” – the story of Christ, birth through resurrection – opens Feb. 28. “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, is set to open in late March. To help promote both movies, B&B will offer blocks of tickets to churches.
    “We’re excited about it,” Bagby said. “We’re going to make a big push.”
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