The Fox Theatre has been in business, operating solely as a movie theater since Oct. 31, 1929. Misty Hunter’s family has owned it for most of those years. Her grandfather, Stanley Dewsnup, purchased the Fox Theatre in the mid 1960s and made the single auditorium downstairs into two auditoriums.
Dewsnup built the upstairs Penthouse auditorium through the late ’70s, and it opened Christmas Day 1980 with the film Private Benjamin. Hunter’s parents, Michael and Meredine Hunter, purchased the theater from her grandfather in 1985.
She has been their business manager since 2005.
Her parents worked for her grandfather at his various other theaters, and Misty spent her entire childhood growing up in the movie business. For showtimes and tickets, go to montrosemovies. com.
Montrose Business Times: I understand you have some changes to the theater in the works. Tell me about those.
Misty Hunter: We will be installing brand new highback rocker theater seats in the Penthouse auditorium the week of May 15, and the auditorium will be open on May 19. In the late summer, we will be installing new seats in the Fox #1 auditorium. We’re very excited about these updates and hope our patrons will be too.
MBT: Since people got used to streaming and stayed away during a pandemic, it seems folks are starting to flock back to movie theaters. Is that your experience? And if so, why do you think that is?
Hunter: I would definitely say the movie business is on the rebound. It still has a way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels but we are seeing a lot of promise in the upcoming films and interest in some of the recent releases have renewed our faith for recovery. The movie business has always been a little hit and miss.
To quote my father “Good movie, good business. Bad movie, bad business” It’s an interesting dynamic of this business to really have no control over your main product. We can control the building, staff and concessions but the main product is out of our hands.
MBT: what do you think going to the movies offers that you can’t get at home?
Hunter: I think people are ready to get back to normal and enjoy the movies with an audience, with a big picture and big sound and have that unique collective experience that you can only have in a movie theater. Plus we have amazing popcorn!
MBT: As someone who runs a movie theater, what are your favorite types of movies?
Hunter: Personally I like all types of movies. I would say comedies or action movies are my favorites. Films like ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Grease” are some of my earliest memories of films. I’m also a huge James Bond fan.
MBT: What does Lhe future of movie theaters look like, and specifically for small community theaters like your own?
Hunter: I hope the future of movie theaters is bright and robust. A lot of surrounding communities have had their theaters close, or they’ve had to reinvent themselves. I hope the Fox Theatre can continue to exhibit motion pictures and bring joy, entertainment and a family experience to our lovely town. This is a small community with limited entertainment choices. It brings me and my family joy that people love coming to this theater, and we love hearing stories from people about their experiences at the Fox.