5 Questions for Dennis Markaverich
When Dennis Markaverich was a teenager in the 1960s he would get bored at parties and go off to the movies to watch classic like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Miracle Worker.” Eventually he wound up working part-time at what were then the grand movie houses in Nashua and Manchester.
When Markaverich left the military in 1973 he took over Sam Abbott’s Wilton Town Hall Theatre and has been here ever since, showing movies in two screening rooms in the 18th century building.
Q. What are your favorite and least favorite movies among the Oscar-nominated Best Picture movies this year?
A. I liked “Boyhood.” It took 12 years to make and you see the character mature and change. Also “The Imitation Game and “The Theory of Everything.” I didn’t like “Birdman” although I think I’m the only one. And “The Grand Budapest Hotel” did great, but I didn’t like it. I’m old-fashioned.
Q. In general, what kind of movies do your audiences like to see?
A. Period pieces tend to be big, like “The Imitation Game” playing now. In the summer, light movies, like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Over the years my biggest audiences were for “Lincoln” “Slum Dog Millionaire” and “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.”
Q. Your biggest challenge?
A. Not to whine, but Netflicks is killing us. People’s viewing habits changed. In the past they would wonder where to see a movie (if they didn’t see it on the big screen). Now they catch it at home. I used to have an employee here every night, but now on weeknights I can work alone.
Q. What happened to the movie trivia questions that used to be posted on the counter?
A. Technology. I used to love doing it. It was supposed to test what you know, not what you can find on your phone.
Q. Do you have any plans to retire?
A. No. They’ll find me kibbled on the floor here someday. I love what I do most of the time. (Our patrons) are great folks, loyal. We get more adults and senior citizens and fewer teenagers than the other theaters. I am so grateful. I get real moviegoers. When we were showing “Destination Tokyo” there was an elderly gentleman, during an emotional scene crying, and I went upstairs and cried my eyes out. And once there was an elderly woman in a walker here for “Top Hat,” with Fred and Ginger. She said that she and her future husband saw it together in 1935.
5 Questions is an occasional Cabinet feature focusing on interesting people in the Souhegan Valley.