Update: ACX Pioneer Theatre in Nebraska City post on Facebook



NEBRASKA CITY – Dan Mauk of Nebraska City Area EDC says the city is concerned about the recent closing of the Pioneer 3 Theater, but there is hope for a refresh and re-open later this year.

The theater survived a close down during the pandemic in 2020, but has been impacted by both writers and actors strikes.

Mauk said he spoke with owner Bill Barstow this week and confirmed that the theater will close. Mauk said he learned that the theater has been profitable, but the small-town theater no longer conforms with a business model with locations in larger cities. ACX Cinemas has locations in Elkhorn and Omaha.

Bill and Colleen Barstow started their company in 1988 while he was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base and ran the Ritz Theater in Plattsmouth. The Pioneer 3 returned to local ownership in 1992, when Barstow purchased it as the first in a string of acquisitions.

The Pioneer 3 dates back to February of 1949 when it opened to replace a theater that burned in 1947.

The recent writers strike resulted in delays of new releases. Paramount delayed release of Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part Two to 2025, SpongeBob SquarePants movie also going to December of 2025. Disney’s Marvel slate was also pushed back and Spider-Man 4 has been delayed indefinitely.

The termination of consent decrees that restricted how major movie studios packaged movies for theaters is also considered a factor in theater management.

The decrees were created in the 1940s to prevent studios from owning theaters and choosing one theater over another to show their movies. With so many modern ways content is distributed, including streaming and video on demand, the decrees were called unnecessary.