Good news from Wilton theater

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We were so pleased to hear from Dennis Markaverich, owner of the Town Hall Theatre in Wilton, that he is determined to survive, and convinced that he will survive, the advent of moviedom’s digital age.

If you read last week’s Cabinet story, you will know – and might already have known – that theaters all across the nation are either converting to digital (because movie studios are phasing out film), going out of business or finding new and clever ways to survive.

It is one thing for a major chain of multiplexes to absorb the high cost of conversion, but it is another thing for a small independent theater renting space in a town hall.

But Markaverich assured us he will not go out of business and we believe him. He loves movies, and his theater (and his audience) too much to allow that to happen.

We won’t repeat the details from our story (you can come to our office in Milford and get a copy of the paper or read the piece at www.cabinet.com), but we want to emphasize what struck us most about this man who has run the theater for 39 years: It is clearly a labor of love.

And it isn’t just the films, although anyone who can tell you what essential scene was cut out of “The Fall of the Roman Empire” clearly loves movies. It is also about the people who come to his theater. He knows – partly because they tell him, partly because he is naturally observant – how much they appreciate the existence of the Town Hall Theatre and he appreciates them for that.

Indeed, during the discussion on the future of the theater, he spoke of his audience as often as he spoke of his plans for the future.

We can’t imagine that there is anyone in the region who hasn’t been there at least once, but if you just moved into the area, do yourself a favor: Go. Both screening rooms are great places to see films. We still remember seeing “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” in the small room and “Bread and Tulips,” “The Shipping News,” the Mel Gibson “Hamlet,” and (God help us) “Eyes Wide Shut” in the bigger room.

And some of us often attend his Saturday afternoon free classics and drop some coins into one or more of the five collection jars he has for various local charities (but no one has to; really, the movie is free).

And he’s always there and always willing to talk movies.

We hope he always will be there.

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