By Kim Walter
Community members are invited to experience the all-new Apple Blossom 12 movie theater before its official grand opening on Friday.
The theater, which features "dimensional sight, dynamic sound and deluxe seating" is hosting a pre-grand opening charity event on Thursday in partnership with Carmike Cinemas and Chick-Fil-A.
For $2 per ticket, people can see a movie in one of the 12 theaters. Popcorn and drinks also will be available for $2 each.
All proceeds will benefit the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley.
Paula Siburt, the local United Way's director of resource development, said Carmike and the Apple Blossom Mall actually approached the organization about being a part of the event.
"It's a good, affordable opportunity for the community to experience this new theater, but it also gives these businesses a chance to give back," she said.
Tickets will go on sale online and at the box office starting at 11 a.m. Thursday. There are 2,400 seats between all the theaters, so spots are limited.
From 5 to 7 p.m., ticket holders can listen to the Shenandoah Valley Jazz Band as they wait for the movie to start at 7 p.m.. There also will be plenty of fun activities for the whole family.
"We'll have face painting, balloons, a chance to meet the Chick-Fil-A cow ... this is a family oriented event," Siburt said.
Even though she hasn't been told what movie will be shown, Siburt is assuming it will go along with the family friendly theme. According to the theater's website, "movies shown at 7 p.m. for Charity Night are recently released blockbuster hits."
"I guess that part will be a surprise for all of us," she said. "But really, where else can you go around here to see a movie and get popcorn and drinks for $2?"
The proceeds will specifically go toward the United Way's 2013 impact grants, which fund 42 area agencies dealing with education, health and income. Siburt said the organization would like to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000.
It might not seem like much, but Siburt said the amount could definitely make a difference.
Last year, the partner agencies requested more than $800,000 in impact grants, but the United Way had about half of that amount to distribute.
"You never know. That money could fund a scholarship for a child to go to day care, or it could get a senior citizen additions to their home to make life easier," she said. "And when it comes to feeding families, $5,000 can do a lot."
To order tickets online, go to carmike.com. The theater box office is located at the Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or email@example.com