Iconic Theater to Close

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JEFFERSON CITY - A local entertainment landmark will close its doors Sunday after 43 years in business. The owner of the Truman 4 Theaters on Jefferson Street said the cinema does not have the funds to make the digital conversion necessary to stay in business. 

Moviegoer Connie Wade said she has gone to the Truman 4 Theaters since it opened in 1970 as the "Ramada 4." "It is part of the history of Jefferson City," said Wade. "It's part of my history and my children's history."

Wade said she is a regular at the theater. "Over the years, I am sure we have spent a lot of money here," said Wade. That means many movies, because a ticket costs no more than $3 dollars. 

"I used to come to see movies here when I was in my twenties along with my father," said 32-year employee Kenny Roods. 

Some of the first movies shown at the theater were Oliver and Change Of Habit, but soon there will be a different kind of change.

When originally reporting this story, hotel managers said the Puri Group was buying the theater as part of its purchase of the hotel complex. Puri Group officials refused to discuss the sale at that time, but did e-mail after the television story aired saying the company was not buying the theater, only the hotel. A second check with hotel managers ended in their changing positions on the sale issue, saying the Puri Group was not buying the theater as part of its deal.

The current owners of the Truman 4 Theaters said they must have everything out of the building by midnight on Sunday.

"My thoughts were sad," said Wade. "I was wondering if there was something I could do to write to someone, call someone or get a petition. Whatever it takes to keep it open, but they said that to go digital would be too much money."

"We have a lot of memories of this place and of course hate to see it go," said the theater's first manager, Charles Dunn. "But I can understand not spending money here. It just isn't a good business decision."

Truman 4 Theaters is the only theater in Jefferson City to still use film instead of digital.