Write a short essay to win this movie theater in Maine

After attempting to sell his two-screen, $350,000 theater through a traditional sale, owner of the Temple Theatre, Mike Hurley, has decided to take a more non-traditional approach to passing along the property to a new owner. Utilizing an essay contest, Hurley plans to give away the 400-seat theater to the person that writes the most convincing 250-word essay on why they should own the theater.

Of course, the owner isn’t doing this for free. To submit an essay, anyone interested will also need to pay a $100 entry fee. Hurley is requiring a minimum of 3,500 entries before he will consider selling the theater. That would cover the original $350,000 purchase price and possibly add to the purchase price if additional entries are collected. If 3,500 entries aren’t collected, Hurley plans on returning all the money to everyone that entered.

To date, Hurley has collected approximately 200 entries, but that number is likely to grow dramatically as the deadline in mid-January approaches. Hurley is also considering extending the deadline to the end of January to attract more people as news of the giveaway spreads around the country. Interestingly, if Hurely does manage to collect more than 3,500 entries, the winner will also receive $25,000 in cash to help get started with their new movie theater.


According to the details of the theater giveaway, the theater has been converted to digital projection after a November 2014 upgrade of the projection system as well as the sound system. Other recent upgrades in the last renovation include new seats and carpeting as well as a new concession stand. Like many small town theaters, Hurley has kept concession prices more reasonable than large chains. The theater allows a “bring your own popcorn” night during the middle of the week and only charges a couple bucks for a small bag of popcorn the rest of the week.

In addition to the theater on the first floor, the second floor offers over 4,000 square feet of office space as well as a 2,000 square foot apartment for either the new owner or an on-site manager. That apartment could also be rented out. There’s also a third floor in the building that’s being used by a local organization under a condominium agreement.

Regarding the selection process, Hurley and some of the staff members will select 20 favorite essays and submit those to a panel of three judges. That panel will judge the essays based on the quality of writing and choose a grand prize winner. Hurley is serious about choosing a winner based on the skill of the writer and has contacted lawyers as well as the Maine State Police to make sure everything was above board.

Whoever does win the theater will gain the relationships with movie distributors and be able to get first-run movies, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to show in the small theater. Hurley plans on paying all bills prior to passing the theater onto a new owner, but the winner will be responsible for any property taxes. The winner will have a tight hold on the entertainment market in the area though. Unless local residents drive into Canada, the closest theater in the United States is 42 miles away.

Home Theater

Now-canceled ‘Daredevil’ was one of Netflix’s most popular shows

Netflix recently canceled Marvel's Daredevil just a month after the premiere of the show's third season, despite reports indicating that it was one of the service's most popular shows.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Home Theater

How to know if you’ve got great Dolby Atmos sound

Dolby Atmos surround sound has become the holy grail for home theater lovers who want the best possible sound from their systems. But getting Dolby Atmos isn't as straightforward as you might think. Compatibility problems between components…

'Avengers: Endgame' trailer chills, 'Game of Thrones' teaser, $100M 'Friends'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the Avengers 4 trailer (aka Avengers: Endgame), the latest nothing of a Game of Thrones teaser, Netflix's $100 million barter to keep Friends, and much more!
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.