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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Ashland theater hopes to become an event hub for the community 

The theatre opened just after students completed the 2022-23 Academic Year
Brynn Meisse
After months of renovations, the Ashland theatre opened in May 2023. The seats are spread out, designed for comfort among patrons. 

From a hollow shell of “good bones” to a refurbished multiplex with three theaters, The Ashland movie theatre has become a favorite entertainment venue amongst the community.  

“When I got here, it was stripped all the way down to the brick walls,” said Executive Director Chris Skinner. “Business has been good, [it’s] picking up every day.”  

With the grand opening on May 5 of this year, Skinner hopes more Ashland University students will visit the theatre now that the fall 2023 semester is up and running. Currently, the theatre has 15 employees with some of them being AU and Ashland High School students.  

“I applied to work at the theatre because I thought it would be a fun summer job to help pay for college,” junior Leanna Uselton said. “So far working [here] has been a wonderful experience. I also love making popcorn—some of my co-workers say I make the best popcorn.” 

Uselton reflected on the renovations and the overall revamp of the theatre, saying workers did “a fantastic job at keeping the retro aspect intact while making it new at the same time.”  

“Long-time Ashland residents, people who were here in its heyday, they were just thrilled with how it turned out and glad to have it open again,” Skinner added. “I’m glad to be here now, enjoying what it is.” 

Even with all the renovations and construction, Skinner still has expansion plans in mind, with the exterior brickwork a planned project.  

Much of the renovation was funded by a generous donation from Bob and Jan Archer. From this donation, Skinner says most of the money the theatre makes goes back into its constant upkeep.  

Skinner says he also plans to incorporate some of the adjacent facilities into green rooms, dressing rooms or hospitality rooms for the theatre’s event and office spaces.  

For now, the theatre has upcoming films lined up on its three screens as well as some live events and musical performances for the community to enjoy.  

“I talked to Ashbrook [center] about maybe having them do one of their own productions here as well,” Skinner said.  

With the university so embedded in the community, Skinner says he likes to include things that the older community would enjoy as well as college students.  

“I try to pick [movies and events] for the college kids,” he added. “What old people wanna see is different than 20 year olds.” 

What started out as a hollow, brick building has become a shining beacon of entertainment in the community with a bright future ahead.  

The Ashland theatre is located at 212 Center St. More information about the theatre as well as a list of upcoming showings, can be found online at 

“Let’s have some fun,” Skinner concluded.  

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