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Examiner
  • Jeff Fox: Blue Springs 8 Theatre ready for a close-up

  •  At a Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce event the other day, there was instant and loud applause at the mention of the Blue Springs 8 Theatre – the only theater in the city – being under new ownership and management.

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  •  At a Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce event the other day, there was instant and loud applause at the mention of the Blue Springs 8 Theatre – the only theater in the city – being under new ownership and management.
    It’s amazing what a little TLC can do.
    I caught up with general manager Kevin Barnett by phone this week.
    “Everybody has been happy that we’re here,” he said.
    The new operator, Colorado Mountain Cinemas, took over a month ago from Dickinson Theatres, which in September filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed some sites. Amid the struggles that led up to all that, things such as maintenance had slipped.
    “It was in pretty bad shape when we took it,” Barnett said.
    So what do you do? The basics. Steam clean the seats and carpets. Done. Align the bulbs in the projectors and hire the right person to run that part of the operation. Done. Make sure the movie starts on time, the lights come down, and the sound is right. Done.
    “I actually cut the grass myself,” Barnett added.
    It all adds up.
    “A little bit of tender loving care goes a long way,” he said.
    It also helps to love the business.
    “It gets in your blood. I love doing it,” said Barnett, who got into the business in 1990.
    He added that concession prices and admission prices – $8 for adults, $7 for a matinee, $6 for kids – are lower than those of competitors. And digital projection is coming after the first of the year.
    I suggested that a well-run, eight-screen movie house ought to do gangbusters in a city of more than 50,000, and Barnett agreed.
    “I think the community’s been waiting for something,” he said.
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    Helping the cause
    The 50 KFC restaurants in the Kansas City area raised more than $20,000 in October for First Downs for Down Syndrome, which works with the Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Line to raise money for Down syndrome organizations and raise awareness of Down syndrome.
    Customers were asked if they wanted to give $1 for the cause. The store at 4210 S. Noland raised more than $4,500.
    Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_Fox.
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