YELLOW SPRINGS — The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs has named Kristina Heaton as its new managing director, with its first community event since the advent of the pandemic at the end of this month.
Moviegoers are invited to gather on the lawn of the John Bryan Center at sunset on July 31 for popcorn and a showing of the movie “Ghostbusters.” The outdoor show is the first since the Little Art closed its doors temporarily in the summer of 2020, the longest hiatus in its history.
“It’s a way of saying ‘thank you for your patience,’ ” Heaton said. “Everyone’s really excited.”
Heaton, a longtime Beavercreek resident, has taken her family movies at the Little Art for years before becoming director. She graduated from Wright State University and has a background in local arts education. She also operated a small business that closed due to COVID-19, and said that in coming to the Little Art, it was time to “get her feet wet again” in the business world.
“It’s such a beloved institution in town. It’s a charming theater,” Heaton said. “I just want to keep going with that rich history, to continue that tradition of providing world class entertainment in a small town environment.”
Heaton said she is in the process of getting the theatre ready for reopening. The staff hopes to have movies safely back in the theatre by early fall.
“Everything looks good as far as that happening,” she said. “Throughout this whole process [of COVID-19] you never know what to expect from week to week. We want to make sure we do this safely.”
Heaton encouraged moviegoers to bring a blanket or lawn chair on July 31 for a “fun, low-key community event.”
The theater was established in 1929 and showed its first film at this location in February 1930. In 2009, it transitioned to a non-profit organization under the leadership of Jenny Cowperthwaite. Cowperthwaite stepped down in late 2020, according to a statement from theatre trustees.