Movie house memorial held for Vassar Theatre owner Tim O'Brien - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Movie house memorial held for Vassar Theatre owner Tim O'Brien

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VASSAR (WJRT) -

(03/24/14) - A small Tuscola County town came together, Monday, to say goodbye to a staple in the community.

And what a fitting funeral it was.

Tim O'Brien died of a heart attack last week. He was 52.

O'Brien was featured on ABC12 a number of times, most recently last spring and summer when he promoted an online fundraising campaign to help his movie house convert to a digital format. More than $72,000 was raised - enough to fund the conversion.

Family, friends, customers and others from the community gathered outside and also inside the business he loved so much for his memorial.

His casket was up front by the stage, the lighting dimmed and the crowd quiet kind of like what you'd expect if you were attending a movie there.

People were sipping pop and eating popcorn during the service.

A beautiful place and a beautiful tribute.

As his obituary shows, O'Brien owned and operated the theater for the past, roughly 25 years.

It was his first movie house, though he did own and operate others - even the State Theater in Bay City and Green Acres Theater in Saginaw at one point.

But his passion was the Vassar business.

He completely renovated it back to its mostly, original decor. The business was restored after floods damage it too.

The theater is closed until further notice, according to a sign posted in the window.

We asked several people, and no one knew for sure now what the next step would be - if it would open again and who would run it.

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