The Williamston Post
By Gabby Burbary
The Sun Theatre has been bringing the people of Williamston together since 1947, and continues to do so as they persevere on year 69 providing residents with the entire nostalgic movie experience- complete with buttery 50 cent popcorn.
Most historical theaters of this age are not in working order any longer, but due to the support of the community in 2012, The Sun Theatre was able to raise $80,000 to switch from old reels to digital projectors so that the residents could keep enjoying their beloved movie nights.
“Going to see a movie is ‘an event’ in Williamston because you bump into a lot of people you know,” said Sean Bertolino, Williamston City Council member.
Bertolino said visiting The Sun is a regular occurrence for him.
“I’ve been attending The Sun for about five years and I usually go with my wife,” said Bertolino, a resident of the city.
When it comes to the theatre only having one screen, Bertolino said it’s a great fit for their community.
“We only have about 5,000 residents and not everybody will want to see the selected movie playing or may have already seen it,” said Bertolino.
Williamston’s city slogan is “Discover The Charm,” and Bertolino said the theater helps residents do just that.
“I think it’s absolutely a good thing keeping a historic theatre in town and not a big chain,” said Bertolino. “It encourages the small business economy we currently operate.”
Other local residents such as Riley Lewis, a Williamston High School senior, have been enjoying The Sun Theatre for a long time too.
“It was definitely the hang out spot when I was younger,” said Lewis.
Lewis said that he thinks it’s good for Williamston to have a unique place such as this theatre.
“I think it’s awesome for Williamston to have because it goes along with our close knit community,” said Lewis.
When it comes to great popcorn, Williamston local and Sun Theater goer, Laura Rosekrans said they’ve got that covered too.
“They have the best popcorn,” said Rosekrans. “Sometimes my family will just get the popcorn and take it home.”
Rosekrans said that The Sun offers an experience every age can look forward to.
“Everyone in town loves it because they do family movies but also adult ones as well,” said Rosekrans.
Since the theater has been around for decades, there has been several residents that have taken their family there growing up such as Sue Neller, President of The Williamston Depot Museum.
“It’s a great community type of draw,” said Neller.
Lisa Robitaille, owner of The Sun Theater, said that she and her husband like to make sure that this is an activity that everyone can participate in.
“We want to make sure that there’s an affordable place that families can go that maybe can’t afford to go to the big cinemas,” said Robitaille.
In terms of keeping a close knit community, The Sun Theatre does just that.
“Everyone is always just so happy to be there because they always run into someone that they know,” said Robitaille.
The Robitaille’s purchased the theater from Dan Robitaille’s parents in 1979 in hopes to keep the tradition alive.
“It’s nice to know that one day that when they grow up and have a family and grandkids that they will be able to take them there and say ‘this is where I saw my first movie’,” said Robitaille.