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Hey, Let’s Go Downtown For a Movie

 A downtown movie theater is closing in one Sacramento Valley town, and a downtown theater in a different town appears on the verge.

The State Theater in downtown Woodland will close on Labor Day after 73 years. The even older Colusa Theater in downtown Colusa may also close as soon as next week.

The closure of downtown movie houses is old story, but it’s still a disappointing one – especially when the building involved has a history. Cinema is crucial for the mix of a healthy downtown. A movie theater provides a destination and nighttime energy. Many cities have subsidized construction of a multi-screen movie theater as part of larger downtown revitalization efforts.

Redding is lucky to have the restored Cascade Theatre in operation, but it’s mostly a live performance venue that shows films only once in a while. I understand why. The Cascade would have to sell an unrealistic number of movie tickets simply to cover the cost of opening the 1,000-seat building for business. And no one wants to see the Cascade revert to the chopped up, sticky-floor, second-run movie house that it was back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Still, am I the only person who thinks downtown Redding could use movie theater? It wouldn’t have to be large. It wouldn’t have to operate every night of the week. It wouldn’t need every 3-D, stadium seating, mondo sound, high-tech bell and whistle. Just a clean, comfortable, dependable place to which you could walk after grabbing a pizza at Angelo’s and before stopping for a nightcap at Vintage Wine Bar. Surely, there’s an empty space downtown that could serve such a purpose.

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• Low-income households with overdue Pacific Gas & Electric bills may be eligible for up to $1,500 in credit through a program provided by the state and federal governments, The Salvation Army and utility companies. September 21 is the deadline to apply for the Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF) program.

• Gene’s Drive-In on South Market Street in Redding has teamed up with the group Pets Without Partners. On the first Monday of each month, Gene’s donates 20% of sales to support the group’s homeless dog rescue and adoption efforts. Labor Day, September 6, is the first Monday of September.

• Shasta County is seeking new members for the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board, which provides program oversight. For details and an application, contact Selena Colson at (530) 225-5900.

Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and wonders whatever happened to midnight movies. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.