SALEM - A Salem landmark shut down this week, with the Salem Twin Cinema rolling credits for the last time on Saturday.
A message posted on the movie theater's Facebook page on Sunday noted its demise, along with the sign at the entrance to the Salem Plaza.
"Thank you for the years of support. We really appreciate the memories that all of our customers made with us. Like all great movies It must come to an end. The Salem Twin Cinema is now closed. So once again to all our customers and to the city of Salem. Thank you, Stay Safe and may all your movie going be joyful," the Facebook posting said.
The cinema apparently fell victim to the digital age. According to a Letter to the Editor written by owners Geoff and Kim Goll, the film industry is no longer going to make films that can be run on the old film projectors.
In order to survive and show the new movies, theaters have to buy digital projectors at a cost of about $60,000 a piece, they wrote. The Salem Twin Cinema would have had to buy two digital projectors and they were soliciting suggestions on how to raise the funds to get the projectors.
According to the letter, the Golls bought the cinema more than 15 years ago and financially subsidized it. If not for the cost of the new projectors, they indicated in the letter they would have continued to operate the cinema.
At the time, they wrote "The Twin is the last movie cinema left in Columbiana County. At one time there were seven. We have kept the Twin open because we believe Salem needs a safe place for kids and older adults to gather and enjoy a night out and to have provided employment for many high school students, all of which we are pleased to say went on to higher education."
A message was left for Geoff Goll at his law office on Wednesday, but the call was not returned. What will happen to the space now is unknown. A fax had been sent to local papers for movie ads which said, "The Salem Twin Cinema has closed. Thank you for the memories."
Many people were sharing their memories about movies they saw at the Salem Twin Cinema on Facebook after learning the theater had closed. The theater opened in the early '70s, with city records showing a sign permit issued for the Salem Twin Cinema on Nov. 22, 1972.
Many a classic film filled the screens of the Salem Twin Cinema, with admission lines sometimes stretching nearly to the doors of the old Grants Department Store or Murphy Mart. Movies like "Jaws," "Saturday Night Fever," "The Exorcist," "Rocky" (pick one), "E.T.," "Titanic" and more recent showings attracted movie-goers from all over the area.
For the Twin, like the former drive-in on State Street and other movie theaters in the area, the show's over.