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Dear Customers,

            One of the things I enjoyed most about growing up in Smethport was the occasional trip to see a movie whether it was in the theatre or a drive-in double feature.  There were at least three movie theatres in Olean in my youth; the Palace and the Olean theatres on North Union and in later years, The Castle Cinema down by St. Bonaventure – all of which are gone now.  The Bradford Theatre was in the same location it is today, but it was a single, huge theatre rather than two smaller venues.  During the mid-1970’s the Olean Center Mall added four theatres located on both sides of the mall concourse at the north end.  This was a move to smaller, more intimate seating which also allowed for more movie choices. 

            Drive-in movie theaters saw their heyday in the 50’s and 60’s though they’ve been around since 1933.  In our area there were drive-ins in Allegany, Limestone, Kane and Roulette with Portville opening a double theatre a few years later.  My grandmother lived in Roulette and we’d often get dressed in our pajamas, go visit her for a while and when my dad deemed it dark enough, we’d head over to the drive-in.  If we fell asleep during the 2nd feature it didn’t matter – we were already dressed for bed!

            What made movies such a beloved destination was the fact that theatres were the only place you could watch a Disney classic – or just about any movie for that matter.  There were no VHS tapes, Laser Discs, or DVD’s with which to build your own personal library.  There was no HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, or any of a hundred different channels specializing in movies at home.  You often had no more than a week or two to “see it” or miss it.  Disney was famous for threatening, “see it now before it goes back into the vault”. 

            My earliest recollection of paying for the movies was when my dad would give my sister and me each 50¢ at dinner on Friday night to go to the Star Theater across from the Catholic church.  There were no ratings back then because there wasn’t any nudity and not much violence – so we could see just about anything that came out.  When I first learned to drive, tickets in Bradford when I was a teenager were $1.50.  I know this because in 1972 when the Godfather came out, the cost ballooned up to $2.00 and I took particular notice of this 33% increase!  In 2018, a night out at the movies with your favorite girl will set you back about $25.00.  Unless she wants popcorn and a drink then you can figure on spending closer to $40.00.  Add to that, the cost of a baby-sitter, gas and if you’re real fortunate, a meal and the total can approach $100!  Of course, all bets are off if you have to take the kids.  Its usually cheaper to leave them with a sitter!  It’s no wonder most families don’t get to the theatre very often.

            However, there’s an economical solution close at hand.  For a mere $2.49, you can swipe your credit card and take home a new release DVD from our Instaflix kiosk.  If you don’t get a chance to watch it, you just keep it another day.  The kiosk already has your information and will charge you accordingly.  The entire family can enjoy the film – over and over if you like!  Add a party pan pizza, hot and fresh from the deli, a 3pk of microwave popcorn, a few drinks and you’ve fed and entertained everyone for less than a third of what a night at the movies would have cost you!  And saving money is something we can all enjoy!