Northern Lights Theater Pub in Salem makes major changes

Northern Lights Theater Pub is to reopen after securing funding in a partnership with Star Cinema and Dallas Cinema.

Patrons will likely first notice the higher prices. Then they’ll notice the movies being shown, like “Black Adam” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” are the same ones the chain theaters in Salem are showing.

The city’s only second-run movie theater, Northern Lights Theater Pub, is switching formats to become a first-run movie theater beginning Friday.

Ticket prices will go up to $9 — $7 for matinees before 5 pm — from the current $5. But the theater owners believe it is the only way to keep one of Salem’s two independent theaters open amidst a changing movie-viewing landscape.

“We still are Salem’s most affordable place to go see a movie, but we have to do this and we’re trying to meet in the middle somewhere and hopefully choose us,” co-owner Kevin Roudebush said. “Now that we have first run, we hope to do really well.”

Tickets will still be $5 on Tuesdays.

Pandemic challenges

Since it opened in 2002 — except for when it was closed from March 2020 through April 2022 — Northern Lights has been the only second-run movie theater in Salem.

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