Danville Cinemas 8 already in top 5 in ticket sales in region


What do you do with half of a huge building just begging for renovation and change? If the winds are in your favor, you turn it into a new movie theater and start raking in the greenbacks.

That's what the six owners of the old Lowe's building - Mike Bartley, Bob Mayfield, Madar Bux, Tom Serey, Anjum Bux and Arthur Rivard - did. Danville Cinemas 8 opened May 7 and there's been no looking back for them.

Madar Bux said when the building was bought, there were no plans for the cinemas. A convention center went in but left a large space still unfilled.

"Nina Kirkland approached us with the idea (for a movie theater)," Bux said. "I knew the town needed one. It's a great thing for Danville and Boyle County."


Owners of independent cinemas in Mount Sterling and Bardstown, Bartley and Mayfield got hooked up with the Danville owners, and now are part of running the new show here.

He knew a lot of people who went to Lexington to view films

Bux said he knew of a lot of people who went to Lexington to view films, as his family and he were doing.

"I thought, 'Why not bring a new theater here?'" he said. "I've been surprised by the response."

Rabid film fans have catapulted Danville Cinemas 8 into the top 5 in ticket sales in the central Kentucky region, which includes Lexington and Georgetown, both Bux and Bartley said.

"We can see the response, especially on Friday and Saturday nights," Bux said. "It's great for children and teenagers - they can come in and play video games" before viewing a film, he added.

"Hollywood is bragging about how we're in the Top 5 in sales in just three weeks."

Added Bartley, "It's busier than we expected in three weeks."

The new Danville cinema is busier than his theater in Mount Sterling, which he has been working at for 3 1/2 years, Bartley noted.

"This is the type of business you build," he explained. "It takes time to change people's habits. It takes several years."

Plans are in the works to add more video games.

Two largest cinemas have 208, 209 seats

The movies are first-runs. There are eight cinemas and 1,054 seats. The two largest cinemas have 208 and 209 seats, Bartley said.

There is stadium seating for better viewing, Bux said, and 22-inch seats, rather than the standard 18- or 19-inch.

"And there's leg room," Bux said. "You don't have to get up to let someone else in.

"We designed this with an eye for comfort."

There are cup holders on both sides of each seat, and the arm rests move vertically. The theaters have Dolby digital surround-sound. The concession stand offers a variety of beverages and snacks, including deals for families and couples.

In the lobby near the concession stands are several kitchen-type tables and chairs at which early arrivers can sit, sip their sodas and munch their popcorn.

"People who are waiting can sit and eat (in comfort)," Bux noted, adding the Mount Sterling cinema has a similar setup. "In Lexington, they don't have this. If we had more room, we would add more."

He grinned, then noted that a large percentage of the theater's income derives from concession sales.

Owners are working on adding open-caption

Bux said the owners are working on adding open-caption for the hearing impaired. That should be up and running by summer. They're also working on getting restaurants to locate near the theater, and are in talks with various restaurant chains.

Patrons are coming from all over central Kentucky, such as Stanford, Lancaster, Harrodsburg, Perryville, Springfield and Lebanon, to check out the new cinemas, Bux said. Matinees are shown after noon every day and will continue even after school starts up in the late summer.

Matinees are popular among older patrons, he added. The owners are considering offering the occasional special showing at 10 a.m. for groups of senior citizens.

The theater is in the process of posting a site on the Web at

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