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44-year-old Northern Hills Cinema will close September

The Spearfish theatre will close its doors on Sept. 6.
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:30 PM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - A Spearfish business is closing its doors after 44 years in what the owners are calling a "heartbreaking end" for the Northern Hills institution.

The Northern Hills cinema will close its doors on Sept. 6, and the owners said it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

The theatre was the first four-plex and the first to have Dolby Surround Sound in South Dakota. The owners said the decision to close came after a handful of blows that built up over the years: Movies moving to DVD quicker, the dawn of streaming services and the strain of the COVID pandemic.

The owner and operator, John Steele, said this is his way of life. He could be found at the theatre every night of the year except Christmas Eve.

“I’ve been around this ever since I’ve been two years old, and so consequently, that’s like taking life support system away from yourself. It’s the end of an era, it’s the end of my lifestyle, it’s the end of everything because it’s such an ingrained ingredient in my life,” said Steele.

Steele said it will be hard not saying “see you next time” to customers when they turn down the lights for the last time.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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