Hamburg Palace Theatre offers free movies as 'thank you' to neighbors

Posted at 12:00 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 00:00:30-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — A week after reopening under New York State COVID guidelines, the Hamburg Palace Theatre is seeing a steady stream of neighbors every night.

The theater may not be filled because of COVID capacity restrictions, but Friday night, it was filled with a buzz of excitement to finally be back in front of the big screen.

“We’re just really happy to be finally open,” Hamburg Palace Theatre manager Todd Ruof said.

For six-year-old Erin, it was a night out to the movies with Grandmom, Sandy.

“I just haven’t been here in forever,” Erin said with a smile. Sandy added: “We’re here to support the Palace because I’ve been coming here since I was her age and we want to make sure they stay. It’s a Hamburg tradition."

The two came out as part of 30 days of free films. Friday night’s ticket was the 1933 classic “King Kong.”

“We’re doing it basically as a thank you to everyone that supported us,” Ruof said. It was things like curbside concessions, which will continue, that Ruof said certainly helped during the struggle of COVID.

Movie lovers Candy and Danek Ditkowski came back to theater for the first time since it reopened.

“This is great. This is just one more piece that helps us come out and support our community,” Candy Ditkowski said.

Ruof said he is excited for the future of the theater with construction on needed renovations set to start next year, and the joy of having customers back in person after a long hiatus.

“Having the community come together to see a film it’s something that people do everyday but once you can’t do it, it’s something that you really treasure,” Ruof said.

The 30 days of free films was set to extend through November 21st, but the owner tells 7 Eyewitness News he is hoping to show free movies through the end of November.

To see a full schedule of the free movies, click here.