The Flick Theater
Living Legend: Community Comes Together to Save Historic Movie Theater
By Savanah Mandeville
Friday, 7 pm
Saturday, 7 pm
Sunday, 6 pm
All tickets are $5!
The Flick Movie Theater in Anderson, Missouri, 105 W. Main Street, has a whole lot of history.
It was built in 1939, showing stage productions and plays before a silver screen was installed for talkies and moving pictures.
Stacy Lilly, who owns The Flick today with her husband Chris, said the theater has a special place in her heart.
“My grandparents went to the movies here, then my parents did, and I did growing up,” she said. “I have relatives that saw ‘Snow White’ here when it first came out. And I will never forget seeing the first ‘Jurassic Park’ here when I was a kid.”
Six years ago, Stacy and Chris took the plunge and bought the theater when they saw the previous owners were either going to sell it as is or piece off the equipment one-by-one.
“I knew that if they sold off the equipment, it would probably never open as a theater again,” Stacy said. “With all the history behind the building, I couldn’t bear to think of it shutting down.”
A visit to The Flick is a step into the past as the building still has almost all the original furnishings. It still has the original ceiling tiles, light fixtures and signage as well as many amenities we don’t see today such as the Cry Room, where mothers can take crying babies and watch the movie through a glass window, and a tiny door in the lobby through which one could buy cigarettes.
But recently, an alarming incident almost put a stop to the tradition.
“We were broken into on October 5,” Stacy said.
According to surveillance cameras, an intruder broke in the back door in the middle of the night and shut off the breakers to disable the alarm. He then spent two hours sitting behind the screen before slashing through the screen and climbing through to access the rest of the theater. The incident was especially strange because he didn’t appear to have taken anything, Stacy said.
The following morning, two employees discovered what happened and Lilly called the police. The police were eventually able to locate the vandal, but Stacy and Chris were left in distress about what they could do to replace the screen.
“My heart sunk because I thought there was no way we’d be able to buy a new screen,” Stacy said.
She posted on the Flick Facebook page about what happened, and word spread like wildfire.
Local man Johnathan Hunter was inspired to help. He started a fundraiser on Facebook and raised $5,000 in just four days.
“I was shocked and amazed,” Stacy said. “We didn’t ask for it or expect anybody to do anything.”
The new screen was installed in late November, and The Flick Theater will go on to entertain moviegoers for years to come.
“We’re so excited to have our new screen, and we’re so appreciative of this great community that came together to help us out!”