Editor’s Note — This article has been edited to include the reduced price of admission.
As movie production studios continue pushing back the release dates for new movies, Star Cinemas in Hillsboro is drawing from the classics.
During the week of June 29, the movie theater showed “Trolls 2” (2020), “Jaws” (1975), “Field of Dreams” (1989) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). The previous week, it featured movies like “Jurassic Park” (1993).
Star Cinemas co-owners Susan Davis and Steve Thompson and the theater’s assistant general manager Karen Riffee told The Times-Gazette that part of the reason classics are returning to Hillsboro is due to the fact that movie production studios aren’t currently releasing new movies. Riffee added that production studios have even pushed back the release dates for movies like “Mulan,” a live-action version of Disney’s 1998 animated film which was originally set to be released on March 27 and has since been pushed back at least two times.
Though smaller films are being released digitally, larger films, including installations in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are “either moving to next year or delayed indefinitely,” according to a late-June article that appeared on Vulture, a culture and entertainment site from New York Magazine.
“We can’t get any new movies at this point, so we’re having to go back into the archives and what we think were some old hits that somebody might really enjoy seeing again,” Thompson said.
“We were hoping people would enjoy at least getting out,” Davis said. “We’re social distancing as much as possible — we have the screens and masks and all that. We’re the only ones who handle the food before it gets to the person. We’re just hoping people can get out and enjoy themselves for a while, but the main theaters aren’t going to release any new movies until, I think, the end of July. They pushed it back again.”
Though Riffee said Star Cinemas employees have not had to enforce social distancing guidelines at this point, Davis, Thompson and Riffee ask movie-goers to leave space between themselves or their group and others.
Classic movies aren’t the only things showing at Star Cinemas, though — on Saturday, July 11 beginning at 2 p.m., the Eagle Riders DAV and Bring Cruisin’ Back to Uptown Hillsboro will host a car, truck and bike show at Star Cinemas.
The show will include a 1950s style “Guys and Dolls” pin-up contest, a cornhole tournament, food, entertainment, door prizes, raffles, a 50/50 drawing, and a $250 cash giveaway. Proceeds will benefit the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 123 and the VFW Post 9094 Relief Fund.
“There was a car show in Wilmington that was canceled in May, so they’re combining this here,” Riffee said. “They were telling me 50, 60 cars, but now they say they need to find parking somewhere else because they barely have room for the nice cars.”
Riffee, who selects and requests movies that will show at Star Cinemas, said she selected a few car-related movies for that week in honor of the car show. During the week of July 11, community members can see “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977), “The Fast and the Furious” (2001), and “Grease” (1978) at Star Cinemas.
“Something for everyone, not just a fast car, not just a ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ car,” Riffee said.
Riffee also selected “Secret Life of Pets” (2016) and “The Blind Side” (2009).
According to a list provided by Riffee, she has requested movies like “Scream” (1996), “Shrek” (2001), “National Lampoons Vacation” (1983), and “Beetlejuice” (1988). Though whether or not these titles will appear at Star Cinemas depends on production studios’ permission, Riffee is looking at showing classic movies through the end of July.
Davis said they’re also looking toward movies to show during the Christmas season.
“We’re thinking about putting ‘Elf’ out there for Christmas, even though it’s not a new movie,” Davis said. “I know I would love to go see ‘Elf’ again on a big screen.”
“Elf,” a Christmas movie starring Will Ferrell as a man adopted by elves who seeks to reconnect with his human family, was released in 2003.
Though Davis, Thompson and Riffee are looking forward to new releases, they said they and Star Cinemas employees do appreciate one coronavirus-related change: the Plexiglas window in the concessions area.
“The employees kind of like it now,” Davis said. “I think we’ve all become more aware of trying to stay clean, so they just think it’s a good practice anyway.”
Davis and Thompson said the theater may keep the Plexiglas in the concessions area, even once they’re no longer required to use it.
In the meantime, Davis and Thompson said Star Cinemas needs the community’s support.
“We really do hope they will come out for the old retro movies,” Davis said. “We’re just three families — started out seven — but we just did it to help the community. For us to stay in business, we need support. We really appreciate people coming in even during this slow time.”
“We just really appreciate the community and the support they’ve always shown us in the past,” Thompson said. “We look forward to continuing to offer the community a nice product at an affordable price.”
The movie theater offered carry-out concessions like popcorn during Ohio’s stay-at-home order, but community members are able to purchase carry-out concessions anytime.
The price of admission has been reduced to $5 for any day of the week.
Star Cinemas is located at 211 Harry Sauner Rd. in Hillsboro. For showtimes, visit www.starcinemas-ohio.com/hillsboro.html or call 937-393-8400.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.