Closing of Miracle 5 Theater Saddens Community

By: Lanetra Bennett; Donnitra Gilbert Email
By: Lanetra Bennett; Donnitra Gilbert Email

August 12, 2011 10:50 PM

A local theater that's been around for decades will fade to black this Sunday, August 14th.

But before its curtains close for good, folks say they'll pay their last tribute to Miracle 5.

The Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals put together a tailgate event starting Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

More than 200 members already said on Facebook that they'll be attending.

A Regal Cinema spokesperson says Miracle 5 was an under-performing theater.

It's been around since the 60's. Network members say they're not letting the doors close in silence.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Many in Tallahassee say first their favorite reading spot was taken away when Borders announced it was closing.

Now, their one-of-a-kind movie theater is leaving town.

They say it's another blow to the community.

Eyewitness News has confirmed that Miracle 5 movie theater in Tallahassee will be closing.

Movie-goers are finding out that they only have a few days left to come to the decades-old theater.

Now showing: Page One, A Better Life, Beginners, Tree of Life.

These are ironic movie titles for a theater that's about to close.

"I think it's an amazing tragedy." Says, Tallahassee resident Jeff Peters.

Peters comes to Miracle 5 Movie Theater in Tallahassee every Thursday.

This will be his last visit, because the theater is closing on Sunday.

Peters says, "I think it's really wrong they didn't give any notice to let people have some closure. What about the people who have been faithful coming all these years."

A spokesperson for Regal Cinema says the company's lease on the building at 1815 Thomasville Road is ending and that it won't be renewed.

The spokesperson says Miracle 5 was targeted as an under-performing theater.

Miracle 5 patron Janis Courson says, "It's heartbreaking. This is the only theater in town that offered art film every day, independent film every day. it was fun to come here and watch the films before the Academy Awards and make sure that I saw each one that I felt would win. It's just a terrible disservice to the community for this theater to close."

The theater has been around since the 1960s.

Randi Buchanan says, "I grew up coming to this movie theater. I remember when it used to cost a quarter. It's the one and only place that i go for movies. That's where I find all the indy films and the arty ones."

Employees say the curtains close for good after the 7:00 showings on Sunday.

A spokesperson for Regal Cinema says most employees at Miracle 5 were offered jobs at the Governor Square Movie Theater.

The Regal spokesperson says they will try to show independent films at Governor Square theater if there are screens available.

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  • by anonymous Location: Tallahassee on Aug 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM
    Didn't the theatre have some form of insurance to cover the recent theft - plus really we were so lucky to have this theatre and really we probably took it for granted. most of these movies are not shown in regular theatres and I seriously doubt the other theatres in town will be rushing to show the movies shown at the Miracle.
  • by Yankee on Aug 13, 2011 at 08:31 AM
    This is just the beginning of the end of Tallahassee. City leaders can do what they want, but at the end of the day they're just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. At least New Orleans has tourism.
  • by Hank on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    This city needs a locally owned theater, not a national one always focused on the bottom line. The kind of movies shown at Miracle 5 will most likely not be shown elsewhere; how many screens at Governor's Square were devoted to Harry Potter and Transformers last week? Local theater - someone in this town with the means, make it happen!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM in reply to Hank
      Your point is well taken, but how much money will that screen make? It is all about business, and if they can't make a profit, it won't happen.
      • reply
        by Hank on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM in reply to
        Which is why the method of also playing classic features on the big screen, to include 80s, cult, etc, bring in viewers and cost less to screen than newer reels. Many theaters in Texas and California function perfectly well with this model. The FSU campus theater does this to some extent, but does not really have the family friendly atmosphere of a public theater.
        • reply
          by ex-Projectionist on Aug 12, 2011 at 01:44 PM in reply to Hank
          The problem with that idea is that many of the old prints are either in terrible shape or have been pulled from the studio inventories and replaced with digital copies. The cost to equip just one theater with a digital projector is still very high let alone an entire theater like would have been the case with the Miracle theater. A brand new locally owned theater would need a lot of upfront investment just to get going let alone keep operating for any length of time. Your idea is good just not realistic in this economy.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 02:17 PM in reply to Hank
      Im sure that no one will be against you putting your money up for this project. That way when it fails, and it will fail, you will be the only one out tons of money.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 05:08 PM in reply to
        I'm all for a locally owned theater themed around non major motion picture like films (continuing Miricle) but like said, the price just to start one would be quite steep. As well as getting performance licenses per some. Despite having one of the top film schools in the country right here, I don't feel Tallahassee has a strong enough interest is movies to keep afloat a full time business as such. SLC is FSU funded. I would love to see something like that done, just needs the upfront investments.
  • by Tallahassee Lassy Location: Tallahassee on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM
    Recently, my sister drive all the way from Pensacola to see the documentary "Buck". Miracle 5 was the only theater in NW Florida to show the documentary. My entire family (parents, sister, nephews) attended. It was so good, that I went back the next day with a friend who owns horses. I am sad to see the theater close, because I too grew up going to Miracle 5!
    • reply
      by Derp on Aug 12, 2011 at 06:30 PM in reply to Tallahassee Lassy
      Um, "the only theater in NW Florida" isn't really saying much. Lol.
  • by Moviefan Location: Tallahassee on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM
    "The Regal spokesperson says they will try to show independent films at Governor Square theater if there are screens available." A platitude at best.
  • by John Roberts Location: Live Oak on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    We drove 180 miles(RT) frequently to see the fine & classey films offered. There is no longer any reason left to drive to Tallahassee anymore, except to get a corrupt traffic-camera ticket bad, costly meal! All this film theater's employees are special people and are worth their weight in Academy Award gold! Someone: hire them ----ASAP. We thank you and wish you all well.
  • by Tallahassee Native Location: Tallahassee on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM
    This is sad news, I remember the first movie I saw at Mircle 5 was Star Trek the Motion Picture in 1979. Now Mircle 5 will become one of the many places that I have come to miss in Tallahassee; The Hotel Floridian, Tuckers Inn, the Drive-In at four points, and so many other places that made Tallahasse unique. Respond and list some of the places you miss in Tallahassee.
    • reply
      by J on Aug 12, 2011 at 01:51 PM in reply to Tallahassee Native
      I miss being able to walk down the street in Tallahassee without fear of being robbed by a bunch of dark-skinned thugs.
      • reply
        by another Tally native on Aug 14, 2011 at 03:27 PM in reply to J
        I agree!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:17 AM
    Now at 35, I remember the only time my father ever took me to see a movie, was at the Miracle 5 theater. He took me and my younger sister to see The Little Mermaid. I was a teenager, but I will never forget it. Thanks Miracle 5 for that memory!
  • by Maritza Location: Tallahassee, FL on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    It's a great pity. Miracle 5 was the best place in town to see an intelligent film. It will be sorely missed! (BTW - why do these topics always have to turn into platforms for hate-filled sub-humans? It's this kind of intolerance that makes the world a hard place to be for the rest of us!)
  • by Natty Bumppo Location: Tally on Aug 12, 2011 at 08:49 AM
    I love the guy who wanted more warning so he could have time for "closure." I am now offically rooting for the coming zombie apocalypse. We deserve it.
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