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Films finding foothold in Blackduck

Keeping the Blackduck Theater a family friendly business has been the goal for new owner Bob Mabe of Bemidji.

Mabe has a large family of his own, so trying to maintain family oriented films and lower prices has been important.

"I hope to keep the people coming in so we can keep those prices down low," Mabe said. "My goal is to keep entertainment down so it's affordable for the family."

Business has been going pretty well for the theater, according to Mabe, who said the most popular showing they've had was Despicable Me 2.

"It really depends on the movie," Mabe said.

Being able to play the movies Mabe wants to show isn't always the easiest task. Some of the bigger film suppliers request the theater keep them playing for two to three weeks and that isn't always an option for a small town, according to Mabe.

Since opening the theater July 5, several improvements have been completed, including the transition from 35 millimeter film to digital projection.

"That's why a lot of these smaller town theaters close the door, because they couldn't make that step up to digital," Mabe said.

Future enhancements Mabe has in mind include replacing the seats and carpeting.

"That's another huge investment though," Mabe said. "It all takes time."

Now showing through Nov. 14 is 'Free Birds.' A special showing of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' will be held 8 p.m. Nov. 20. Advance tickets are available. For ticket information, email the theater at

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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