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Theater hopes to open in March

There have been rumors about town that Showplace Cinema has closed for good. Like many rumors on social media, that is incorrect.

President of Showplace Cinemas Mick Stieler said they are not closing and plan to open back up around March.

“We are not closing, I am not sure where that rumor was started,” Stieler said. “We are just waiting on the stimulus to come through. The Small Business Association handles that, we check daily to see when it can become available to us.”

The theater closed in March of 2020. At that time, the theater had zero income. It reopened in August for a brief time, showing older movies and a limited number of first-run films.

“Showing the older films didn’t do very well. We do have enough product right now that we can play new movies,” Stieler said. “We tried bringing back the old movies and it didn’t go over as well as we thought it would. People want to see new products.”

Stieler said they plan on opening theaters up one by one again and Connersville will be the second one to open.

“The stimulus will help get us through this time because it is a grant, once we get it I will open up our theaters one by one. I plan on spending time at each of them to make sure things are going well.”

Local manager Rick Stanbrough is patiently waiting to reopen.

“Rick does a fantastic job, he is dedicated and works hard as the manager,” Stieler said. “He is ready for the theater to be back open too. It is hard to find good management, we are lucky to have him.”

Keeping fingers crossed, Stieler and Stanbrough hope once they get the stimulus they will be able to open the doors again in March.

Fade to black

COVID-19 and the times have been difficult on many industries and businesses in the past 10 months.

The local entertainment business has been hit particularly hard.

Movie theaters have closed their doors temporarily, in hopes that a rebound in the movie industry will lead to a rebound.

Video rental stores have not had it as well.

Fighting against the current as long as it could, one such store in Connersville, Family Video, is going to close its doors for good, along with the rest of the chain, next month.

“We had a conference call this past Monday (Jan. 4) with corporate,” local manager Martha Slagle said. “They informed us during the call that they had decided to close all of their remaining stores. That’s somewhere between 220 to 250 stores.”

Streaming services offered on smart TVs took its toll on the movie-rental service.

“Those streaming services definitely had an effect on us,” she said.

But it was COVID-19 that might have been the last straw, she added.

“When COVID hit, we closed for six weeks, I believe it was sometime in March,” Slagle said. “After that, we re-opened, but since that point, we have not been receiving any new movies.”


Trying to wait out the pandemic, Hollywood is taking a very patient approach at making films, leaving a gap that is hard to fill by theaters and movie rentals.

“The movie industry is not releasing movies,” she said. “They’re not making them, which means they’re not releasing anything.

“With no new movies, the foot traffic has really slowed down. Without those new movies, it’s really hurt, not only the movie stores, but theaters as well.”

Blockbuster preceded Family Video by closing its stores nationwide in 2014.

So how did Family Video outlast that company by six years?

“I think we were able to outlast Blockbuster, because of the personal relationship we have with our customers,” Slagle said. “We have always greeted everyone as they came into our store, and I think little things like that made a difference.

“Our service helped us to beat (Blockbuster) out.”

The projected closing date for the local store is the end of February, but that will depend on inventory and how long it lasts.

A sale has been going on in the store since the announcement, and a steady stream of customers have come through the door, seeking deals on their favorite movie or video game.

For Slagle, it’s been good to see some of those familiar faces one final time.

“I have developed a good relationship with our customers and many, many employees,” she recalled, adding with a touch of emotion, “I had a customer bring me in a small bouquet of flowers today. He had been coming in here for years, and he just wanted to thank me.

“That’s touching, and you get a little teary-eyed over things like that.”

The closing will affect four employees at the Connersville store.

“I’m not upset that they are (closing the store),” she said. “I can understand in these times why it might be necessary to close them. But, I have been here since it opened in November, 2000, so I have been here for all 20 years.

“I’ve seen different district and regional managers during my time here. You just develop relationships, so losing the store is like losing a part of my family.”

Does Slagle see a return to video rentals in the future?

“It’s hard to say,” she said after some thought. “I can’t say that it won’t happen, but I really don’t see it happening, due to technology.

“This is what you’re going to continue to see now, people streaming movies on their televisions at home.”

Maintaining recovery in the New Year

The beginning of each year always comes with conversations about new things people will start doing. People will adopt new hobbies, try new foods, travel to new places, and a whole host of other things. But what does recovery look like in the New Year?

The New Year is just as good a time as any to start your recovery journey. This time of establishing resolutions can go hand-in-hand with taking control of your life and committing to sobriety.


Starting new habits is a crucial part of early recovery. Taking the time to establish new habits will redirect where you focus your energy, keeping you mindful and motivated to achieve your overall goals.

While establishing habits that directly counteract your substance use are practical and helpful, starting unrelated habits can be just as helpful. Things as simple as making your bed daily or keeping a gratitude list can prove beneficial to your recovery.


“There is a saying in recovery to ‘keep it green,’” says Courtney Pence, Manager of Residential Substance Use Disorders & Recovery Housing Services for Centerstone. “This means to keep your past fresh in your mind so that you don’t forget where you came from and all you had to accomplish and overcome to get to where you are now.”

Your past does not define you, and you can let it strengthen you to become who you are meant to be. If you have already been on your recovery journey for some time, think about where you started and take a moment to feel proud of yourself.


If you don’t follow your new habits perfectly, extend grace to yourself. One day of stumbling does not throw away all of your progress. “The good thing about life is that you can start over at any moment of any day. Time is not defined by days, but rather when you choose to start over,” says Courtney Pence.

Try to remember that you are stronger than you think you are. Be kind to yourself and don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. You are worthy of becoming who you want to be and you have people who believe in you. Take your recovery one day at a time and remind yourself of your progress as you go.

If the New Year begins to feel too overwhelming, remember that help is just a phone call away. Connect with Centerstone today by calling 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123).

Commissioners set appointments for 2021

The Connersville Board of County Commissioners held its first meeting of the year, and the agenda focused on setting up the government that would run things in Fayette County in 2021.

Commissioners Dale Strong (President), Mark Nobbe (Vice-President) and Dale Munson voted to appoint the following individuals to their posts heading into the year:

Area Planning Commission (4-year appointment) – Dale Munson (replacing Gary Naylor).

Fayette County Board of Finance (1-year appointment) – Dale Strong (replacing Naylor).

Fayette County Economic Development Board (1-year appointment) – Strong (re-appointed).

Fayette County Alcohol Beverage Board (1-year-appointment) – Ed Herrell (re-appointment).

Fayette County Extension Board (1-year appointment) – Mark Nobbe (re-appointment).

Fayette County 4H Council (1-year appointment) – Nobbe (re-appointment).

Fayette County 911 Advisory Board (1-year appointment) – Munson (replacing Naylor).

Community Corrections Advisory Board (1-year appointment) – Nobbe (Board re-instated at the request of Director of Community Corrections Michelle Dudley).

Fayette County Tax Abatement Advisory Committee (1-year appointment) – Jane Downard (re-appointment).

Public Defender Board (1-year appointment) – Nobbe (re-appointment).

Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (5 members, all of them 1-year appointments) – Scott Bevington, John Clarke, Carol Hunter, Dan Parker, Strong.

The commission also heard department reports, including a COVID-19 vaccination update from Matt Sherk from the Fayette County Health Department, to close out the remainder of the meeting.

“First meetings of the year are organizational in nature, there isn’t a lot of business that goes on,” Strong said.

The Board of Commissioners is the county executive body and county legislative body.

The Board meets at 2 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month, inside the courthouse.

Learn to take care of you

Finding our way, emotionally and mentally, during this incredible time in history, has been an ongoing challenge for so many.

Besides being in the midst of a pandemic, we have also seen our nation become very divided, both related to the pandemic and the role of government in our lives or on the political stage, which has garnered the attention of so many over the past year and has become seriously divisive.

And what a year it has been.

We have felt separated, alone, powerless, unguided, and uncertain. I would like to think that it is not our nature to feel so penned in, with spontaneity severely limited and social contacts (including hugs, but also just the freedom to visit others, be in person together with others) greatly reduced.

Even something so routine in our lives such as school, has undergone and continues to undergo changes. But here we are and here we have been for 10 months now, and while we might think we should be used to it and have adjusted, our brains continue to shift and readjust so many times that it is exhausting.

So how are people feeling? The list is long: Irritable, bitter, lost, confused, alone, angry, empty, intolerant, disappointed, frustrated. Note that there is an abundance of negative or helpless feelings in that list. Our normal ways to manage these feelings would be to gather with others and share our feelings (vent), attend events, meals or other things that would distract us.

We would typically find activities to engage in or we would have a busy calendar of things that require our attention; but unfortunately, many of these typical, ‘normal’ coping strategies are not available to us in the same way they have been in the past.

That leaves so many of us having to find our ‘space’, find our ways to navigate this canvas that lays before us and develop the new coping strategies and mechanisms to get through this very difficult time.

Then add to this dilemma (trying to develop new ways to manage or cope) if you are in a family with children. School is not the same, attendance is crippled by quarantine and illness, either having children home more (and often without adults available to them in the same way they might be if it were not a pandemic) or the children themselves frustrated because trying to stay on top of schoolwork when one’s attendance is continually changing (due to the virus numbers) takes a massive amount of self-motivation, self-understanding and ultimately self-esteem to get through this difficult time.

For those of us in the mental health field, we know raising children with a strong sense of self is difficult enough to not have it magnified in significance when our children’s routines have become so disrupted.

So, where does that leave us?

The one area that is still a strength in peoples’ lives is how they think about themselves and their situation, how they can shift their thinking to adjust to the massive changes in their lives, and then using those thoughts in creative ways to bring ‘life’ back when so many of us are feeling constrained or trapped and need new ways to unlock feelings of excitement, energy, enrichment or encouragement back into our lives.

One great technique to consider is how we can still assert ourselves and bring meaning to our lives during this unusual time. If we were to consider different areas to make an impact, we can look at our mental, physical, spiritual, creative, contributive and emotional selves.

One can consider their own lives and decide how they can impact each of these areas so that they can again feel in control, feel as if they can bring new things into their lives or find ways to bring more normalcy into our existence.

Here are a few examples of how we can meld these categories into our daily lives and make some shifts and changes to bring normalcy back.

Mental: read a book, send snail mail letters, send emails. Make phone calls…in other words, find a way to connect to others.

Physical: Move (walking, running). I can’t stress this enough. Any movement, even just 5 or 10 minutes, has the power to alter our brain chemistry and release endorphins, or the positive hormones/chemicals in our brains. Do yoga or do something with weights that keep muscles moving. Get plenty of sleep when you can. Cook and create in the kitchen, pay attention to nutrition.

Spiritual: attend religious meetings (in person or zoom), listen to podcasts, read spiritual books, explore spiritual topics with friends. Take and share pictures of meaningful things. Go for walks and pay attention to your environment.

Creative: draw (coloring books are great), sing, play music, listen to music. Watch a play or a movie. Cook or plan a garden. Grow some things in your house (avocado pits, celery nubs in water…check online for ideas).

Contributive: Volunteer at food distributions or food banks. Offer to go to grocery or help a neighbor. Pick up trash on the road. Donate to causes. Exert extra effort to be kind to others wherever you go.

Emotional: Zoom meetings with loved ones or friends who live at a distance. Meditate. Take breaks. Share feelings with others or consider counseling. Journal. Hug those you live with (if you do), or a pet. Pets have been extremely comforting during this time.

One thing in common in each of these areas is that you as a person, have control. The problem with the pandemic, politics, divisiveness is we feel we have no control. But in essence, each of us has control over our own lives and the more we assert that control or find ways to impact our own lives, the more we will feel less helpless and more in charge of our lives.

Those other things will still exist and at the same time, we can feel as if we have ‘done’ something about it. Because the pandemic will come to an end, we will learn how to heal the divisiveness, and politics will always be something that has the potential to pull us in different directions if we choose that.

Choose instead to be kind to yourself. Choose instead to find peace within your own sphere. Choose instead to be proactive as opposed to passively accepting this difficult time.

When we are able to harness our own energy, we end up finding our way, feeling more empowered in our own lives and our challenges seem manageable.

Most of all, reach out to others if you are having a difficult time. Remember that you are not alone. And, if you are doing well, reach out to others as much and as often as you can.

You never know how a simple act of kindness can make another person’s day.