WICHITA — Mitchell Theatres has purchased another theater, this time in Woodward, Okla.
The ever-busy Brian Mitchell knows it’s a lot.
“I’ve got to get this done here pretty quick because we’ve got corn harvest coming,” he says.
The Mitchell family — which includes Brian Mitchell and his siblings Brent, a lawyer at Martin Pringle, and Kendra Ramsey, who lives in Texas — is a farming family that bought its first theater in Newton five years ago and has been steadily acquiring new theaters ever since.
The Woodward acquisition, which includes an expansion, means the family will have 58 screens.
The Woodward City Commission approved an $800,000 incentive package for the theater deal.
The Woodward theater is the former three-screen Lakeside Theatre.
Brian Mitchell says it appears to have been built in stages, with one screen across the lot from two other screens.
“It’s the craziest deal.”
The Mitchells’ plan is to open the single screen by the end of this month.
“Those people have not had movies since last April,” Mitchell says. “We’re going to catch them up on movies. . . . We’re just going to go through the whole big hits of the summer, and they are thrilled.”
The closest theater is about an hour away.
The family will renovate the other two screens and add four more, along with an arcade, party room and lobby.
When that’s complete, most likely by next summer, the single screen will close.
“Heck, we may have a restaurant come in,” Mitchell says of that space. “Who knows.”
The family continues to consider other theaters to purchase as well.
Mitchell says someone asked him what his long-range business plan is.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll tell you after we get done, I guess.”