The STAR Theatre resurrected a small-town movie house in 1977 after a decade of decline and a year of dark screen. Today, after nearly 2000 films, the STAR is still shining bright.
The brick theater, on a main corner in Berkeley Springs, showed its first movie in 1928.
Some things haven’t changed since 1949 including the Manley hot oil popcorn machine, striped silk wall coverings, 325 red leather seats and friendly faces welcoming all guests. In the ’50s, there were three theaters in town; today, the STAR is the only one within 40 miles.
Improvements have been made — a stereo sound system, air conditioning, an upgraded projector (the Star went digital in 2013) and the former telephone exchange transformed into a living room-style concession stand. There are star shirts and gifts, dancing star stained glass windows by local artist, ragtime and an art kiosk out front created by local metalsmith, Glen Horr and erected by the Morgan Arts Council to advertise local art activities.
Husband and wife team, Jeanne Mozier and Jack Soronen, take their “mom and pop” status seriously. Jack greets all comers, sells tickets and shows the films. Jeanne dishes out popcorn and candy, and keeps order with simply a look. She is also a font of information about what to see in do in Berkeley Springs. The couple, and their vintage movie theater, provide dinner conversations and childhood recollections for countless visitors to Berkeley Springs. Generations of local folks make a movie at the Star their favorite night out.
The movies, which change each week, are a few weeks past first-run and selected by Jeanne with an eye to the STAR’s status as the only family entertainment in town.
The historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia has been named one of America’s 100 best small art towns — and the STAR Theatre played a part in that honor. Visit Berkeley Springs for a one-of-a-kind experience, year ’round.
READ: The Day Our Star Went Digital — http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/news-and-features/features/cinemas/e3ibaaa998fe66e7ae0ea6459b49db8a38b
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write: 3041 Pine Grove Rd. Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.