As winter approaches and families crave warm, cozy activities, what better outing than a night at the movies? The locally-owned Whitewater Cinemas in Whitewater, WI may be small, but it has big heart. Aside from Owners Jake and Elena’s love for movie-watching and eating popcorn, Elena shared with us why they invested in our small town theater:
“We want to add value to the community in whatever avenue we can. Even beyond the theater. We just want to give back. We want to provide affordable family entertainment. We’d love to become the hub of that, and we want to give the youth something fun to do!”Elena, Owner of Whitewater Cinemas
Since the UW Whitewater graduates, Elena and Jake, bought the theater in December of 2018, they’ve steadily grown into a theater that does provide that fun and provides a richer experience pre and post-movie, whether with a photobooth for photos ops with your kiddos dressed up in their favorite character’s costume, candy and crafts for Halloween, movie-themed games, and even some fun for the adults with a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Q&A’s after educational movies.
“The most fun experience so far was the Avengers Premiere. We knew it was going to be busy and sell out. We sold out all three screens for multiple showtimes in a row when we were only going to use two screens. That’s 500 seats! We had a line out the door and around the corner. The next day, people were outside in the cold waiting to get in for the showing. People dressed up. One family had each kid dressed up as a different character. One guy came in over the weekend and had seen the show five times from when it premiered Thursday!”Elena, Owner of Whitewater Cinemas
Whitewater Cinemas also partners with non-profits for free or educational entertainment. They’ve done food documentaries/presentations with the Whitewater Grocery Co., a free showing of a movie with UW-Whitewater Community Optimist Club for Youth Appreciation Week, a movie about early childhood education with the Greater Whitewater Committee, UW-Whitewater Early Childhood Conference, and Whitewater LEADS. They also did a feature film for Black History Month with UW-W Student Diversity, Engagement and Success.
“We’re invested in the community and want to work with other businesses to make our community a better place.”Elena, Owner of Whitewater Cinemas
Whitewater Cinemas prides itself on the specials they offer to make a night out at the movies as accessible as possible for all people:
• Tuesdays: $5 movie tickets and $5 regular combos
• Wednesdays: $4 tickets for students (with ID) and 1/2 Price Gaming in the Nintendo Switch gaming lounge- $5 for an hour of play with up to 4 people
• Thursdays: Dinner and a Movie special- if you bring in a receipt from a local restaurant, you get a $1 off any combo
You can enjoy Frozen II this weekend for their Frozen Princess Party “We will have Olaf-approved activities, a snowy photo backdrop, plus get entered to win a SweetSpot Bakehouse gift card if you wear your princess gear!” says Elena.
2020 will be an exciting year for Whitewater Cinemas. They plan to offer beer and wine as well as kombucha from local maker Kombuchoo Brewing. They’re looking to collaborate with La Piazza Pizzeria to hopefully offer mini pizzas or individual slices. The theater will also undergo a few small renovations–painting and changing up decor on the walls. Elena is hopeful for a sensory-friendly movie, too!
“I want to thank the community,” says Elena with a smile. “We really value the feedback we’ve received. We love hearing suggestions. We thrive off of feedback because that’s how things get done! If you want to see something change, tell us!”