W. MI theaters set up GoFundMe to keep them afloat

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner of Fremont and Harbor cinemas says he could end up closing both theaters for good because of the economic shutdown.

“It seems like there’s no hope on the business side of it because there’s just no plans in place,” said Dan Taylor, owner of Taylor Theaters, the operating body.

He says money from the federal government aimed at keeping small businesses afloat is running out.

“We did get the paycheck protection loan through the SBA (Small Business Administration),” he said. “But that’s only meant to last for payroll and some expenses for eight weeks. Eight weeks is up here in two weeks.”

He has made a GoFundMe page to keep the movies playing in Fremont and Muskegon.

As of Saturday evening, more than $7,000 has been raised toward the $15,000 goal.

“If we were able to reopen a lot sooner than that, then we might use the money for some renovations or even do like a customer appreciation weekend or something like that,” said Taylor.

The money would help his theaters survive through June because he is convinced that a broad opening of the economy will take a while. 

“What I think is going to end up happening is once we get closer to the 28th, she (the governor) is going to extend it further and further and further,” he said. “And we could be into July, August, September — we don’t know.”

At this point, he says any sort of state guidelines for reopening will do.

“You know, 10, 12, 15 people would be fine for us per show,” said Taylor. “It’s just that kind of a dire situation we’re in right now.”

In the event the theaters do reopen, they plan to run classic movies as they wait for Hollywood to catch up with the next big release.