Radford couple trying to save old movie theater - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Radford couple trying to save old movie theater


Each day, for more than three decades, Frankie Kirk has been feeding film at the Radford Theater and projecting motion pictures for the people who live there.

"I have people that say you know, I set up so and so when we came to the movie theater, our first date was here together," said Kirk.

But Kirk, who has worked just about every job in the business will soon play his last picture, and the credits will role on his career.

His lease is set to expire on April 30th and he plans to retire. A pair of local filmmakers recently started an online campaign to raise money to buy the business.

"This is just about keeping history, and if it doesn't happen it's going to be sad and I thought to myself you know, better to try and not be able to raise the money, than to not try, because not trying is failing," said Angela Caldwell.

Caldwell and her husband Joe, are even cutting commercials as part of the Third Act Project," as a reward for top donors. They are asking for $150,000 to buy the business, upgrade to digital equipment, and renovate the theater.

"Keep it going so that we can keep the low prices, we can keep the popcorn, we can keep everything the same. We want to just be able to streamline it and make improvements," said Caldwell.

The building owner, Jeff Price, says he has spoken to a handful of prospective buyers, and wants to work with the new owners to keep the theater alive. As for Kirk, he is working on his next act.

"I'm used to coming here every day for 30 years, and I'm going to have to take a couple of weeks to figure out a new routine," he replied.

But as the curtain closes on his career, he is backing the Caldwell's, and anyone else who would like to preserve the silver screen at the Radford Theater.