A LOCAL M(ICON): Micon Theater To Open in Oakwood Mall on Dec. 9
since AMC’s abrupt closure of mall movie theaters, Micon owners have vast plans for the space
Sawyer Hoff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |
When Eau Claire’s Oakwood Mall first opened in 1987, it contained a movie theater that was originally managed by Mike Olson. Thirty-five years later, Olson and his wife, Connie, own their own theater business, Micon Cinemas, which will soon take over operations of the theaters in Oakwood Mall.
Slated to open on Friday, Dec. 9, the Oakwood Micon Cinema will show older classic Christmas movies for free, since that is what Mike did for the opening weekend of Carmike Cinemas years ago because specific movies were allocated to different local theaters at the time. Connie also said that they plan on showing the upcoming sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, premiering on Thursday, Dec. 15.
When AMC Theatres, which had operated the mall’s 12 screens in recent years, closed the location in October, Mike and Connie decided it was a meant-to-be, full-circle moment for them. Their history in that space means a lot to everyone in their family. In fact, they found several old photos of the crews that worked there over the years, including one photograph showing Connie’s brother and their kids when they had worked at the theater years ago.
“I couldn’t believe it but the cushions and colors are still the same from when (Mike) was there,” Connie said. “It’s kind of like deja vu walking around.”
As for the theater space, Connie said that the Micon team has many plans and is working with architects to establish what kinds of seating and concessions will be there, although for now, each screen will maintain the current stadium seating. While the duo wants this theater to be similar to the other Micon locations in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, they also enjoy the fact that each of their locations has unique things to offer, so they won’t be looking to completely replicate any one theater.
The mall and the stores within it were ecstatic to get someone else into that space, especially since Mike had been there at its very start. Connie said they are going to be offering movies later than the mall is open, so there will be a separate entrance to go straight into the theater soon.
“We’re very happy to see that the community is supporting us,” Connie said. “And continuing to support us at our other locations.”
To learn more about Micon Theaters, you can go to miconcinemas.com.