DeMarce Theatre will close in May unless community finds a new owner

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By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

In a letter to Benson’s City Council, DeMarce Theatre owner Tim Kletscher wrote that he plans on closing it May 28.

 “I have tried many different options to try to keep the theater running, but I am losing too much money,” Kletscher, who is also a Benson Elementary School teacher, wrote. “This has had a negative effect on my family, my health, and my personal retirement account. It is time for my family to cut our losses and try to regain some of the thousands we have put into it.”

Benson’s council acknowledged it had received the letter but took no action on it Monday night. However, Benson’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) met Monday morning and said it would invite Kletscher to a meeting to discuss future options.

Over the past nine years, Kletscher wrote that he has lived up to the pledge to improve the theatre’s operations with the latest technology. Those improvements have been helped by financing from local business advertisers’ dollars. However, the operating losses at the theatre have continued to mount, he wrote.

Kletscher has received funds from the EDA to help with theatre improvements, but says he has no intention of continuing to borrow money to sink into the theatre. “I will not continue to borrow money or steal from my retirement accounts to keep the movie theatre going,” he wrote...

 

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