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Falls Theatre still among best deals in town

A large, buttered popcorn is still just $1.50 at the Falls Theatre. Owner Mickey Maher continues a tradition started by her father, the late Stan McCulloch.

One of the most beloved institutions in River Falls is the Falls Theatre located at 105 South Main St. in the city's downtown.

A relic of a bygone era and built in a 1927 brick building, this charming theatre was owned by the late Stan McCulloch, who began a family tradition of making an outing to the movies affordable for River Falls area residents and college students.

Along with her four children, Stan's daughter Mickey Maher manages the theatre. With the support of her family and long-time staff of 20 years, Maher continues to offer moviegoers the same great deals her father once did.

"My family has always worked hard to keep our theatre prices as affordable as possible," she said. "Our intention is to maintain the quality of the movie experience at the lowest possible price."

Prices are very low with adult tickets at $3, and seniors and children 12 and under at $2. The theatre still serves popcorn with real butter, and candy and pop are still priced as reasonably as anyone can find. The most expensive concessions item is the large buttered popcorn at $1.50.

While the tickets and amazing variety of treats are inexpensive, the real shockers are the up-to-the-minute films shown there. Maher said she often shows first-run films, and others that have generally been in theatres nationwide for only a few weeks before coming to River Falls. Movies are usually swapped every one to two weeks, depending on demand.

"The single-screen theatre becomes more extinct with every year," Maher said. "Competition gets stiffer all the time, but we focus on more family entertainment."

Maher has installed modern film booth equipment, a new popcorn machine, curtains, floors, carpets and a new set of cushiony, spacious seats. The exterior has also seen improvements and she has plans to further renovate the theatre's entrance.

In keeping with the community support philosophy, the Falls Theatre always hosts a free Saturday children's matinee before Christmas, usually with a surprise first-run movie for kids, along with treats and a visit with Santa practically next door at the Main Street park.

To learn more about the history of the Falls Theatre and how area residents helped shape what has become a family and community tradition, Maher is selling a hardcover tribute to the years under her father's direction entitled Stan's Legacy. It is available for purchase at various locations in River Falls, and can also be ordered on the theatre's Web site. n

For movie times or further information, call the Falls Theatre at 425-2811 or log on to