Flatwoods City Building has blast from the past



ASHLAND Flatwoods Councilman Buford Hurley remembers when the Flatwoods City Building had a whole other function, and he’s helping to remind the community about the building’s history while doing some good for the community.

The building was a movie theater for about four years during the 1980s and now the city’s auditorium is once again a place where movies will be on display, said Hurley, who is also director of Greenup 911 Center.

“I was there when I was a kid,” he said. “The people who had it let me come in and work. They were very gracious. It was a good time and the theater was a lot of fun.”

He said the owners were Don and Kitty Farson and Mike and Sharon Edmons, all of Flatwoods.

“They let me take tickets and make popcorn,” Hurley said. “It was kind of like living in Hollywood when you’re that age.”

His favorite movie memory of what was called Flatwoods Cinema: Seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

The movie series showing in the city building’s auditorium now recalls some of those memories from Hurley, who suggested to Mayor Ron Fields the city show Christmas movies for free. Fields like the idea, but added a fundraising aspect: Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food to help stock local food pantries.

The first movie, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” was shown last week; donations were accepted to benefit Russell Family Resource and Youth Services, which provides backpacks of food for needy children.

Hurley’s 911 center provides the equipment to show movies; Hurley said the center has it for their educational programs. Movies are provided by the city, which deals with licensing issues. First Pentecostal Church provides free popcorn and the city’s park board helps present the program.

Movies are shown at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Fields said the first showing of “Grinch” drew about a dozen viewers, while the 7 p.m. show brought in 35 or 40.

The next movie in the series will be “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” which will be shown at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; food collected will go to Advance Memorial United Methodist Church’s food pantry. The final movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” will be shown at the same times on Dec. 22, with food collected going to First Pentecostal Church’s food pantry.

Hurley said the city showed movies in the park during the summer and the program was well received. The Christmas series is kind of an extension of that.

“We would have 250 people in the park watching a movie,” Hurley said. “It was so good, we decided to use the auditorium to show movies.

“It’s a great opportunity to give people in the community something to do and to see a movie on us. ...If people have a good time in their community, if they’re staying at home, they’re spending their money at home, it benefits everyone in town from top to bottom.”

(606) 326-2661 | lward@dailyindependent.com

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