Local entrepreneurs Daniel Yates and Lynn Patterson have owned Playhouse Cinemas Theatre in Alexander City since 2001. Originally built in 1978, PC boasts three theater rooms and can seat a maximum crowd of 500 moviegoers.
Being dropped off at Playhouse Cinemas on your own for the first time is a rite of passage for a kid from Alexander City. I bet if you took a poll, more than half the locals might admit that they got their first kisses in the back row. I personally remember a lot of sweaty palms back in the late ’90s. Let’s just say I was not there to watch The Matrix. If it wasn’t PC’s back row, it was the back row of the Strand Theatre, which was downtown and ran by Daniel Yates’ grandparents, along with the old drive-in theater.
Playhouse Cinemas is equipped with the latest technology, including Christie Projectors, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and RealD 3D.
Classic refreshments are sold, including sodas, candy, fresh cotton candy, nachos, and of course, the best popcorn in town. I would suggest dumping the M&Ms into the popcorn for maximum enjoyment.
Q&A with Daniel Yates
LH: What’s your favorite movie?
DY: Forrest Gump
LH: What do you love about being in the movie business?
DY: We just want people to come and enjoy the movies. We keep it clean, show good movies and make good popcorn.
LH: Describe your popcorn in three words.
DY: Amazing, wonderful and extra-buttery
When discussing the ever-changing technology that impacts the movie business (including formats such as Netflix), Yates said it really has not affected their crowds. People still love getting out and going to the movies as a family. And in a small town, it’s very affordable entertainment. General admission is only $7 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. 3-D movies increase all admission tickets by $2.
Every Tuesday this summer, PC will host a 10 a.m. children’s show for $1 admission. An older kid-friendly movie will be played, and it is always listed online. Yates said his favorite part of this business is seeing the kids come in and watching their faces while they talk about the shows. There is a Saturday and Sunday matinee showing at 3 p.m. every week and also on Fridays throughout the summer months.
You can bet PC will be playing all the anticipated kid-friendly blockbusters this summer, as well, including Toy Story 4 3-D, The Lion King 3-D and Spider-Man: Far From Home 3-D.
In Alexander City, Patterson and Yates also own Who’s Diner, Huddle House, Kona Ice, Cherokee Quick Stop, Lynn’s Quick Stop, Papa John’s Pizza, Movie Rack and Buck’s. Yates said they are always looking for their next business venture, and it’s all about timing.
If you are looking for ways to beat the heat this summer, make plans to go to the movies. Follow Playhouse Cinemas on Facebook and check its website for showings and times at www.playhousecinemas.net.
PC is located about five minutes off of U.S. Highway 280 at 1236 Cherokee Rd., Alexander City.
Top 5 highest-grossing movies of all time:
Avatar (2009): $2,788,000,000
Avengers: Endgame (2019): $2,720,500,000
Titanic (1997): $2,187,500,000
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): $2,068,200,000
Avengers: Infinity War (2018): $2,048,400,000
~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine (but isn’t afraid of boxed wine). She is still bothered that Brad and Angelina broke up. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @LaceyHowell.