Couple Buys Strand Theater

PAW PAW – Blame the baby.

Pregnant with her first child, Amy Sons knew she wouldn’t want to work full time after the baby was born.

And realistically, a part-time position would still require paying for daycare and a 60-mile daily commute.

So she and her husband, Casey Sons, bought the Strand Theatre in downtown Paw Paw, which has been for sale for about a year.

“I’m sure a lot of couples had the same conversation about how fun it would be to run a theater” after learning the 1927 movie house was available,” said Amy Sons, 32. “We asked (owners Brian and Denise Nugteren) if we could spend a couple nights with them to get a better feel of what the job would take. … We took lessons on how to run the projector.”

Neither member of the Paw Paw couple have previous experience running a movie house.

But after a couple of months of research, behind-the-counter training and weighing their options, the Sons put in a bid, which was accepted.

“I guess overall it’s because we’re having a baby” that they bought the theater, said Amy Sons, who declined to state the sale price.

Casey Sons, 33, will keep working at his job at Whirlpool Corp. and help out on the Thursday through Monday evenings the theater is open. Amy has quit her human resources position at Kaiser Aluminum in Kalamazoo.

They took over the 304-seat theater Nov. 11 and showed “Secretariat.” It ran all weekend without a hitch, but that first day was “one of the most nerve racking days of my life,” Amy Sons said, until the film showed up that morning and she knew it was properly loaded on the projector.

“By Sunday we had all the big glitches worked out,” she said. “We learned it was more important to make more popcorn and let the next person wait 15 seconds so we don’t run out for the next 20 people.”

The new owners are thinking about adding show times or possibly even a second movie in the spring or summer, Amy Sons said. Currently, the theater shows one movie five nights per week at 7 p.m.

This is the posts comments

  1. How much house can I afford April 17, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    are you on linkedin?

    • amy April 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

      Personally, my husband and I are both on linkedin (Amy Sons & Casey Sons) but The Strand Theater is not on there as it’s own entity.

  2. shane July 6, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    to Amy and Casey Sons congrats on the baby and the theatre hope everything keeps going well for the family… If posss. 2 showtimes on certain days would be nice. thanks again shane

  3. amy September 23, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    Hi –

    Thanks for the note. I am not very savvy, but I will pass your message onto our web administrator and will update you on what I hear.

    Thank you for watching out for us – I appreciate the support!

  4. 1099 form January 5, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    whats your facebook profile?

    • amy January 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      There’s a like button for Facebook at the bottom of the homepage. Thanks!

  5. Ruth February 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    We just moved to Paw Paw from Indiana just over 3 weeks ago. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I found out that Paw Paw was a village with a functioning Main Street and am thrilled that there is your movie theater! Though we haven’t been able to explore downtown yet due to still recovering from our move and the snowy weather, we look forward to visiting your theater and everything else that Paw Paw has to offer!!!

    • amy March 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Welcome to Paw Paw!! We hope you love it as much as we do here. Hope to see you soon at the theater!!