Pagedale is getting a movie theater of its own. It must be the first movie theater ever named after a collaborative effort between 24 municipalities that all feed students into the same school district.

It’s the 24:1 Cinema, located at 6755 Page Ave., and it opens on Friday, November 6 with four movies on the big screen – “The Martian,” “Woodlawn,” “Sceptre” and “Snoopy and Charlie Brown,” for starters – and 375 seats.

The owner is the 24:1 Land Trust, which is part of Beyond Housing. Beyond Housing convened the 24:1 collaboration in Normandy public schools and has been transforming Pagedale with a new supermarket, bank and (of course) housing.

The goal is long-term, systematic, comprehensive change that empowers the community from within, said Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing. But that is all hard work. And there is more to community than work.

“People need to see activity and successes to stay committed,” Krehmeyer told The American. That’s where the movie theater comes in.

“When people see a new building, a new grocery store, a new movie theater, all that activity is an indicator things are happening,” Krehmeyer said. “It’s a little energy and hope that things are getting better in the place you call home. It’s like: ‘Wow, there’s a movie theater. It’s ours.’”

Beyond Housing worked collaboratively with the community to envision the theater. Krehmeyer said community members were concerned with security – a movie theater is, after all, a place for people to meet at night, when most trouble goes down – and jobs. They hired from within the community. One employee is a resident of the senior building across the street, and four are youth who participate in 24:1’s college savings program.

The 24:1 Cinema will bring the community new movies and concessions, both at “slightly below the market rate,” though not for free. “We have to make some money,” Krehmeyer said.

For one thing, it’s expensive to open and operate a movie theater – especially one that serves popcorn.

“Do you know how much it cost us just to serve popcorn?” Krehmeyer said. “Because we had to put in a grease trap. But people wanted popcorn, so we’re serving popcorn.”

24:1 Cinema is located at 6755 Page Ave. in Pagedale. Tickets are available at www.24-1cinema.com as well as the box office. For more info, call 314-721-2242.

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