Cinema 4 is a labor of love for Maysilles family

Katina Rose • Jul 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM

One summer, two married Michigan school teachers were planning their summer travel plans when a friend suggested they visit Rogersville, Tennessee.

Larry and Kathy Maysilles had never heard of the area but thought, since it was close to their other destinations, they would pay the town a visit.

They had always discussed moving south for warmer climates and four seasons, but needed to find the right location. When they entered Rogersville, they immediately fell in love with the gorgeous landscape and the friendly people. They made the decision right then to call Rogersville their home and have since 1997.

The Maysilles quickly settled into the area. Kathy was offered a teaching position at St. Clair Elementary School and Larry a teaching job at Cherokee High School. Both of the Maysilles have since retired from teaching, but their "retirement job" also consumes many hours each week. Their passion to provide family entertainment for area residents is a labor of love.

It started one day when Larry was attending a CASA board member meeting in Kingsport. Someone mentioned that the move theater in Rogersville had recently closed. The Maysilles immediately realized the need to keep the theater open and started making plans to purchase it. Ironically enough, the Maysilles had been working on a business plan to open a drive-in move theater in Rogersville when this opportunity presented itself.

"Rogersville needed a theater and we always wanted to try operating a movie theater. We had no idea what we were getting into but decided to do it and opened the theater as the new owners in December 2005," said Larry Maysilles.

The Maysilles learned the movie business as they went and took it day by day.

"Our learning curve was vertical about everything, including the films, how to book a movie and even the concessions," said Kathy.

"We’ve come a long way from knowing absolutely nothing about the equipment to where we are now and it has been a fun experience," Larry added.

The Maysilles are enjoying their time working in the theater and know their hard work has been appreciated each time visitors and local residents thank them for keeping the theater open.

Meeting people, talking and sharing stories with movie-goers is the best part of owning the theater for Larry and Kathy. They want to continue providing a safe family entertainment center with reasonable prices for residents but, unfortunately, are feeling the pressure of the movie industry to switch to digital equipment.

The Maysilles are uncertain about the future of Cinema 4 if the industry stops making 35 mm films. It would cost approximately $250,000 to convert to digital technology in the theater. But, if there is anyway possible, Larry and Kathy are committed to keeping the theater open in Rogersville.

Local school and church groups often take advantage of the special group rates and the theater has a devoted group of faithful patrons.

Hard work, devotion to community and a sense of humor has assisted the Maysilles over the years to serve the local Rogersville residents with a safe, clean and friendly-family theater. Eric, Kathy’s son, manages the theater while attending college and the entire family strives to provide the best experience for their movie-goers.

For more information or to view a complete listing of current movies, as well as ticket and concession prices, go to www.MyCinema4.com, or call 423-921-0460. Cinema 4 is located at 1287 E. Main Street, Suite 10 (Food City Shopping Center), in Rogersville.

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