nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe

Local News arrow Economy and Jobs arrow Entertainment arrow Frederick County arrow Winchester

| 0 | 3 Comments

Delco Cinemas opts not to renew lease, shuts down

By Sally Voths - voth@nvdaily.com

The curtain has fallen for the final time on Delco Cinemas in Winchester.

After 14 years in Winchester, the sub-run movie theater closed on Sunday, owner Daniel Kleeberg said in a Friday afternoon phone interview.

"Basically, just the lease was up," he said. "We didn't want to commit to another five years because of money we would have to spend for digital conversion."

Plus, the cinemas' Delco Plaza neighbors, Body Renew Fitness, hopes to put in an indoor pool in that spot, according to Kleeberg, who owns four other theaters in North Carolina where he lives.

"We just went ahead and let our lease expire," he said. "We've been here pulling equipment out and seats."

Converting to digital movies would cost the theater about $75,000 per screen, or around $150,000 total, Kleeberg said. He said all movie theaters have to switch from film to digital by 2014.

About 80,000 patrons watched movies on the cinemas' two screens last year, Kleeberg said. Tickets were mostly $2 -- the same as they were 14 years ago -- although they have ranged from $1-$3 "basically based on trying to make money and pay the bills."

Had he borrowed the money to go digital, Kleeberg said he wouldn't have been able to keep the $2 price for tickets. And, he said he doesn't think people would pay $4 for a "sub-run" movie, or one that had already completed runs at mainstream theaters.

Switching to digital movies will save Hollywood a great deal of money in production and shipping costs, although it will put many mom-and-pop theaters out of business, Kleeberg said.

"You can't pay that debt unless you raise the ticket prices or do something, charge more for popcorn," he said. "A lot of theaters are just saying when that time comes we're going to shut down. While it will be sad, the truth of the matter is only the strong will survive in this business.

"Most of us mom-and-pops are in our 50s and 60s, and probably don't feel like going in debt for a quarter-of-a-million, half-a-million dollars at our age."

Kleeberg said he enjoyed his time in Winchester and the people he'd met.

"It's sad to leave," Kleeberg said. "We've been here for 14 years. It's just time to go. I think it will be better for the shopping center with the gym having the swimming pool and stuff. I think over all, it's going to help the shopping center.

"Certain times it just comes in life [when] things just don't make sense to stay. Five years to commit to a long-term lease is just not something I'm willing to do. We figured it would be best to let the gym take over the place because swimming pools don't ever go out of style."

A manager with Renew Fitness couldn't be reached Friday evening to discuss plans for a pool.


Thanks for the memories.

That's a shame. I certainly understand why, but I'll miss the rainy Sunday afternoons we've spent there as a family.

Sad to see another local business gone. Please keep this from happening to our local Drive-In! The Family Drive In in Stephens City faces the same fate. However, you can help just by going there, frequenting their snack bar and/or making a donation toward the digital conversion if you're able. Best of luck to Mr. Kleeberg in keeping his other theaters open.

Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)


Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. If you feel that a comment is objectionable, please click on the Report Abuse link above and in your e-mail to us include the comment. We will review the reported comment and make a decision on deleting it if we feel that it contains inappropriate content.

Look Who 'Likes' nvdaily!

Daily readers: Click the "LIKE" button above to get Daily news and breaking news alerts on your Facebook page.

Activity & Recommendations

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Homes In The Spotlight Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Quicksburg Religion RSW Jail School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com