(Frequently Asked Questions)

Table of Contents

1. What are you playing next week or on a certain date?
  • Film company booking policies are such that we often don’t know for sure if there is a print of the film available until the Monday before the Friday start date (most movies start their runs on Fridays, sometimes on Wednesdays. The film distributors dictate this). On the “Coming Attractions” web page, those films listed with run dates will either have the notations “Confirmed” or “Tentative”. “Confirmed” films are those whereby the distributor has reserved a print for us and we have a contract to show it on those dates. In some rare cases, films we’ve booked (confirmed) may become unavailable at the last minute, so please check the web page or phone recording prior to coming to the theatre. “Tentative” means we’ve requested that film for those run dates, but the film distributor isn’t sure if there is a print available, or we haven’t come to terms yet. Movies that don’t have any dates associated with them are those we are considering for later in the season, but we haven’t decided when and haven’t yet requested the film. Please note that for any number of reasons, we may elect not to run a particular film we’ve listed on the “Coming Attractions” page, so please check back frequently.

2. Why don’t you show more family movies? Why do you show ‘R’ movies?
  • We are a family-oriented theatre and show as many family movies as we can get. Unfortunately, there are not enough good family movies being made (we define family movies as those rated “G” and “PG”.) to fill our summer schedule. In selecting which “PG-13” or “R” movies to run, we balance the success of the movie at the box office (or our estimate of its potential success if it’s first run) with how good the film is or how appropriate it is for this theatre. This is an inexact science and based mainly on our judgment, but we will say this: we will not book any “PG-13” or “R” films that, in our opinion, contain excessive or gratuitous violence, profanity, sexual situations, drug usage, or the like. We will occasionally show “R” movies. Our policy is to show R movies together or second if combined with a PG-13 movie, but again, there may be exceptions to this rule.

3. Why don’t you change your movies more often?
  • During the summer months, we often book our lead features on-the-break (when they are first released). By contract, we must hold these movies a minimum of two weeks. In the case of some blockbuster movies, the studios may require a three-week minimum run. Occasionally, we’ll hold over a film, either as a lead or second feature, if that film is doing strong business through the second week, and we feel there are no other available films that will do better for us. These business decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. We generally only keep movies that we show off-the-break (usually 3 - 6 weeks after release) for one week.

4. I went to your website, and it was out of date. What gives?
  • We do keep our web site updated during the season. However, if you access our site through a search engine or a link from some other web site, you may be directed to a cached (historical) version of our site. There have been cases where people have been directed to versions of a web page that were years out of date. We suggest you directly type in/bookmark our web address. Also, at the bottom of our main page is the date the web site was last updated. If you’re not sure you’re seeing a current version, check our phone message (1-815-246-9700) (we answer all inquiries except solicitations or anything that lacks a civil tone).

5. Why don’t you have a discount/carload price night? Why don’t you give out/honor free passes?
  • We are required by our licensing agreements (legal contracts) with the film distributors to charge admission per person. Our admission prices must also be filed with, and agreed to by, the film distributors. No movie theatre can honor free passes in the first two weeks of a film’s run. Since we play first run product throughout the summer and rarely keep any movies for longer than two weeks, this restriction applies to us.

6. Are you open/do you show movies in the rain or bad weather? Will you cancel the show if too few cars show up?
  • Yes, we show the movies regardless of weather. No, we will not cancel the show due to low attendance. The only time we will not run the show is if we experience mechanical/electrical problems (e.g. a power outage) or if the projectionist can’t see the picture due to heavy fog or snow. In these cases, we will give everyone a refund (see our refund policy for more specific information). We can, and do, show movies in heavy rain and thunderstorms. We will not give a refund because someone decides they don’t like watching a movie in the rain. In general, our philosophy is: The show must go on. We will run movies even if only one car shows up (provided its within ten minutes of normal start time).

7. How do I hear the movie?
  • Tune your radio to 87.9FM to hear a fine stereo presentation of the film’s soundtrack. We also have old-fashioned speakers on poles in the first six rows. We do not loan or rent portable radios. Please note that our primary means of providing sound is via FM radio transmission and we do not guarantee that a speaker will be available. We will not give a refund because a speaker is not available. Please plan on arriving with a workable car or portable radio.

8. Will my battery go dead if I use my car radio without running the engine?
  • Your radio draws very little power and, for most vehicles, leaving it on for the duration of the show should not wear down your battery (unless your battery is damaged or old/weakened). It’s important that you turn your ignition to the ‘accessories” position and not to the “ON” position (refer to your owner’s manual). In the “ON” position, you are operating all of your vehicle’s equipment and this will run down your battery. Note that in some recent models, the battery cannot be operated separate from other accessories and hybrid/electric cars may have unusual requirements in this regard; please refer to your owner’s manual on the operation of your car radio. If your battery goes dead, come to the concession stand and we’ll give you a free jumpstart.

9. What time is dusk? Why don’t you publish show times?
  • Dusk is whenever it gets dark enough to get a good picture on the screen. Generally, it occurs about twenty minutes after sunset, but can vary depending on weather (Cloudy, rainy, sunny). Note that in June and July, it doesn’t get dark until 9:00 p.m. or later. In late August or September, it gets dark around 7:30 p.m. or earlier. We don’t publish show times because it can vary from night to night for any number of reasons (including delaying a few minutes on crowded nights to get cars on the lot). But once again, the show will start around the time it gets dark.

10. How long is your season?
  • We are open from late April/early May through October. We are open on weekends only. Please check our web site for our opening and closing dates.

11. Why don’t you give out empty cups, utensils, or ice?
  • We do not give out cups, utensils, or ice separate from the sold product because we know that people want these items for food/drink they’ve brought from outside sources. The economics of the movie theatre business (indoors and Drive Ins) is as follows: a high percentage of the box office admissions goes back to the film companies to recoup the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to produce and market a film these days. Theatres heavily rely on sales from their concession stand to stay alive. Given that our costs continue to rise (e.g. taxes, insurance, labor costs, cost of goods sold, among others) and we are loath to significantly raise prices (thereby placing further burden on our best customers), we’ve enacted this policy as a rational business decision. Restaurants, bowling alleys, sports stadiums, and most other businesses that rely on concession sales to stay in business do not allow patrons to bring in their own food and drink.

12. Some other patron is spoiling my enjoyment of the movie. I’ve observed another patron sneaking in or stealing/vandalizing theatre property. What should I do?
  • If someone disturbs you or interferes with your enjoyment of the movie, please see someone in the concession stand and tell one of our staff members. We will take action. Do not confront the offending patron yourself. We also ask patrons to report to us instances of theft of service (sneaking into the theatre without paying) or stealing/damaging theatre property, so we may take appropriate steps. Theft and vandalism hurt us and makes it harder for us to keep this place going.

13. Why can’t we sit on our vehicle’s roof?
  • Our insurance policy requires us to enforce this policy.

14. What difference does it make if I play my radio loud?
  • Other theatre patrons don’t want to get their teeth rattled by your 100+ watt sub-woofers.

15. Why can’t I bring my own alcohol or glass bottles?
  • We are a family friendly theatre. Our insurance does not cover any alcohol related accidents. We also know that alcohol brings out the worst in some people.Glass bottles can get broken and create a hazard for other people, our staff or while mowing the grounds, not to mention car tires!! For everyone’s safety we prohibit alcohol and glass bottles of any kind! If you are caught with either we will eject you from the property or call the police.