NEDCO armed with a camera went to the movies at Carmike Cinemas in Nacogdoches. They returned with over a hundred photographs. Evidence to prove the, "Condition of our local theater is absolutely deplorable." That's what Donna Maisel says after receiving numerous complaints. Torn seats and movie screens, inoperable air and heating systems, exposed wiring, dirty carpeting and stopped up toilets to name a few. "It is really a blight to our community," the woman in charge of the city's retail development.
Over a month ago NEDCO visited Carmike Corporate headquarters. They were promised conditions would change in 30 days. There is some new tile in the lobby, but not much more in the way of improvements. NEDCO Director Judy McDonald said, "The screens have holes in them. The equipment breaks down frequently. And in one case in the middle of the week the theater just closed. The theater just arbitrarily didn't open that night."
About the same thing happened on Friday afternoon with customers. The marquee outside read the box office opens at 10:30 in the morning, but the young man working behind the desk couldn't open because there was no manager on duty. He didn't have a key to open up the money box and he couldn't get to the ticket box. The manager finally showed up. She explained, "The box office will open at 11:30. I forgot to change that last night, so I'm fixing to change it." She didn't change the showtime phone recording either that Jennifer Luna called before bringing the kids to a matinee."Kinda messed our day up. We were planning to go to the movies."
Poor management and building deficiencies can ruin a movie date pretty fast. Missy Luna said to her grandson, "It's closed Trenton. We're going to have to go somewhere else. They closed. We can't see Over The Hedge right now. I'm sorry. We'll go to Lufkin and watch it, okay."
NEDCO doesn't blame them. McDonald said, "If we did not have Carmike than we could attract another theater to the area that would be much better than what we have." And then keep the other business a community gets before and after a show in Nacogdoches.