|By Kaitlyn Schroyer, Staff Intern|
SOUTH HADLEY On July 3, a unique area theater will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Tower Theaters on College Street in South Hadley first opened its doors in 1989 and continues to show major pictures to this day.
A theater that first started out as a two-screen art house specializing in independent films has upgraded to showing major studio releases, but continues to provide the family friendly, safe, low-key atmosphere that it has always had.
"Our big thing is giving back to the community," said Bob Adam, owner of Tower Theaters since 2000. "We have donated to Baystate Medical Center for their blood and platelet drives and have also donated over $20,000 in movie passes to area schools, local charities, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and many more organizations. The staff is very active and we are specially involved in donating to cystic fibrosis foundations."
The theater has been actively involved in the community for 15 to 17 years. They run their own can drive over the summer and deliver all the food to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. So far, the theater has collected over one ton of food.
From the theater's beginning in the 1990s, they have been making and selling quality popcorn. There are no substitutes and all of the ingredients are high quality.
"The few extra pennies just make it a better experience," Adam commented. "We use only fresh corn, better oil and only real butter."
Along with the fresh popcorn, Adam has worked hard to make the theaters more energy efficient and green. There are new lamps for projectors that are smaller and use less energy, but still project the same bright picture. They have also replaced the lighting, including that of the marquees, the outdoor signs, all interior lights and the popcorn machine, with high efficiency, low energy LED and florescent lights.
"This year most of the remodeling has taken place," said Adam. "From this point forward, we are active in making the theater more energy efficient. We hope to go fully digital next year."
Not only does Tower Theaters show almost all the Oscar-nominated pictures for the given year and many of the major pictures on the release date, but they are also the only area theater to show the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Shown every Saturday night at midnight, the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is something the staff has been very active in. Geared towards young adults who dress up in costumes, the show has been around for many years.
"We hope to keep things running and keep the traditions going for many more years," Adam said.
The theater can be located at 19 College St. For reservations or directions, Tower Theater can be reached at 533- FILM.
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