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Murder mystery dinner to raise money for cinemas

Date: 3/27/2015

AGAWAM – As the Agawam Cinemas gets closer and closer to being ready for its grand reopening, its supporters have a chance to gather and enjoy a night of entertainment while continuing to help raise funds.

Kim Wheeler, the new owner of the cinemas, and the Oak Ridge Golf Club have partnered to host a Murder Mystery Dinner on April 11, with proceeds benefiting the Agawam Cinemas.

Wheeler said that the money raised would be used for acoustic treatments in both auditoriums that cost around $11,000. There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for those in attendance.

Though Wheeler said the fundraiser will help cover the cost of the acoustic treatments, she was most looking forward to a night with members of the community who have helped and encouraged the reopening.

“It’s really to get all of the supporters in one room and celebrate the reopening of the cinemas, to shake hands and get everybody in the same room. For hundreds of people, that’s not always easy,” she said.

It was made easier when Genevieve Shullz of the Oak Ridge Country Club approached Wheeler with the idea. The night would not have come to fruition if it had not been for Shullz, Wheeler said.

“She’s been wonderful. They’ve helped me with everything. We’ve got a great partnership,” Wheeler said.

Immediately, Wheeler was on board, seeing it as an opportunity to bring the community together in a way that would entertain. With a group of people adamant about saving the theater, Wheeler knew that it could not be a dry fundraising event.  

“That’s all we could really thinking about; it needed to be entertaining and interactive,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said she knows that residents are anxious for an official date of the reopening, but the landlord’s renovations have taken longer than initially expected, she said.

“I want to thank everybody for the continued patience. I know it’s frustrating not to have the theater open yet, but it’s something we’re working around the clock to accomplish,” Wheeler said.

he Murder Mystery Dinner includes a three-course meal and the interactive show. The night begins at 6 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Golf Club, where tickets are also available for $45 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.