The historic Star Theatre in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia has been sold to the owners of the Fairfax Coffee Shop – Trey Johanson and Paul Fogarty.
At auction, the new owners put in the minimum bid – and took the theater without a competing offer.
“In 2018, the nicest family, with three young kids had just bought The Star from the couple who ran it with love for the last 42 years of its 91 year history,” Johanson wrote on the Star Theatre Unity Project website.
“Everyone in town was so happy that this family – who we all know and love – was bringing the next generation into the Star,” Johanson wrote. “In 2019 they finished renovating and upgrading The Star and re-opened to ooohs and ahhhs. It was stunning! A return to its former glory and then some.”
“And, then came 2020.”
“The Star went up for auction in the fall. And, after much deliberation in our home, we made a bid. The minimum bid.”
“And no one bid against us.”
“In a classic case of ‘be careful what you wish for,’ we won the auction.”
“Our goal is simple. We intend to preserve and re-open this gem, this center of our small-town, in the safest way possible, when it is possible. After all, they say we have the best popcorn in four states thanks to The Star’s vintage 1949 Manley popcorn machine.”
Johanson says that the Star Theatre Unity Project will begin “by surveying our neighbors to find out their favorite old movies.”
“Then, we’ll show those movies for free.”
The new owners have set up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the Star Theatre Unity Project.