East Aurora Advertiser

The Aurora Reopens Friday

The news spread across town in a matter of hours: Town of Aurora resident Scott Bieler, owner of West-Her auto dealerships and a noted philanthropist, was buying the Aurora Theatre. For most locals and regional movie buffs the news that an iconic centerpiece of upper Main Street would endure well into the future was a welcome ray of sunshine in the chilliness of early February. 

The theatre, closed for renovations right now, will reopen on Feb. 25 with a showing of the new MGM film, Dog, a family drama and comedy directed by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin.

As far as Bieler’s plans for the Aurora, he says, “We’ll crawl before we walk; we won’t be making any big changes. I’m having the marquee fixed up, replacing some carpet, painting and remodeling the bathrooms in a Roycroft style. Of course, we’re keeping the popcorn store. We want to build on the good work the Kinsellas have done over the last 11 years, honor the 97-year history of the building and the business and expand our charitable offerings. We’ll screen first-run films five days a week, then offer the theatre for charitable events on the other two. I’m thinking we would invite seniors or kids on an off day for a free movie and popcorn.

We’ll be happy to invite ideas from the community for ways we can open the building and provide that space for meetings, movies, whatever. We might have music, too, rentals for private parties. Let’s see what people want to do.”

Lynn Kinsella and husband Paul have owned the theatre for 11 years.  “The entire sale and transition has been seamless,” Bieler said. “The Kinsellas have been great folks to deal with. Through the whole process I’ve felt like it was meant to be. Bieler won’t be a hands-on owner at the Aurora; he’s brought in West-Her employee Julia Foit to manage the theatre and he convinced former owner Lynn Kinsella to stay on as a special projects director and consultant.

For East Aurora Advertiser Columnist’s full story, see eastaurora ny.com or subscribe to the East Aurora Advertiser at eastaurora ny.com or by calling 716 652-0320

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