The Kaysville Theater, located on Main Street in Kaysville, has been serving up discount movies in Davis County for more than 20 years. This past spring, the theater received an upgrade to its equipment to keep up with changing technology.
Nelson Call, whose family has owned the theater since 1987, helps run the theater. The need for the equipment upgrade came because of the changing technologies in the industry, Call said.
“We got new projectors in March,” Call said. “They are digital projectors, and they became pretty mandatory within the last two months.”
Originally, the films were sent to theaters on long film reels with, at times, more than four miles of film. Call said he has heard of one foot of film costing $300-$400.
Now, instead of the giant film canisters and the work of running the film through the projector, the theater receives a hard drive from the studios and ingests them into the new projectors. The employees then input the provided key codes, and the show begins.
“The millions of dollars that these films make is not paying the actors, but it is paying for the film and distribution,” Call said. “On a big movie, it will appear on over 3,200 screens in America alone. The digital projectors are a whole lot cheaper.”
Since the switch to digital projectors, moviegoers will be glad to note that the prices have not changed, and they have more films to choose from.
“At the most, we can show nine movies in the digital aspect,” Call said. “The most we have had so far is seven, although six is pretty typical.”
Jenny Heath, a former Weber State University student, has been working for six and a half years at the theater.
“I love it,” she said. “People are fun to talk to, and it is cheap.”
In fact, the Kaysville Theater is the most inexpensive theater in Davis County. Tickets are $3 on Friday and Saturday nights and $2 any other night. The popcorn, drinks and candies also have low prices, ranging from $1 to $3.
Kate Haven, also a former WSU student and current theater employee, said the experience keeps her coming back.
“You have to come for the Kaysville Theater experience,” she said. “It is awesome.”
The Kaysville Theater experience also includes a fond tradition for moviegoers. Before the showing of any film, a commercial encourages patrons to pick up their trash.
“It is of people watching a movie, and all you see is their feet and the ground,” Haven said. “One has their trash nice and clean. The other person is all messy and drops his gum. After the movie, he ends up stepping in the gum, and you see this big string.”
Following the close of this commercial, the more seasoned moviegoers yell “Ew!” to the screen.
“Everybody that comes with me knows there is no way I will sit there and not say anything,” Haven said. “I am the loudest person in the theater. That is my favorite part!”
Call said he does not know when this tradition started, although many have tried to take credit for “Ew!” through the years.
“We have had it (the commercial) forever and converted it digitally because people love it.”
The films the theater shows depend on demand. The theater gets movies anywhere from six weeks to 2-4 months after their original box-office premiere.
“There have been a few films in October that did really bad, and we are already getting those films,” Call said. “It depends on the general population, and if they see the film a lot, we get it later.”
The theater boasts three screens. The main screen’s room can hold 274 people. The other two rooms hold 130. The theater also holds a museum of relics from film projection that moviegoers pass as they exit the theater.
“They (WSU students) should come because it is a fun spot,” Heath said. “It’s fun to come see a movie and eat popcorn for cheap.”