Shaun Boyle, left, is the new owner of Eveningstar Cinema in Brunswick. With the help of Xavier Gamache, right, and other employees, Boyle hopes to keep the independent theater largely unchanged. Taylor Abbott / The Forecaster

BRUNSWICK — Eveningstar Cinema has been purchased by a Brunswick man who said he hopes to incorporate his knowledge of film and marketing to keep the theater going and growing.

Shaun Boyle acquired the business from former owner Barry Norman July 1, just a few months shy of its 40th anniversary. Boyle, a freelance corporate events producer who previously worked with Norman on summer programming at the theater, said the purchase price was about $50,000.

Longtime Eveningstar Cinema manager Gracia Babbidge hoped to raise enough money to buy the independent cinema. Her effort failed, but she’s remaining with the theater under its new owner. File

“I’ve always been interested in film. I love watching movies and independent films,” he said this week. “I had talked to Barry previously about pitching a summer film series to the theater and showing some older titles that are themed around a different summer of the past. I was interested in that kind of thing and seeing the kind of things that you see in San Francisco and New York. About a year later, I found out that the theater was for sale and it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

The theater, which seats 84 guests in rows of seats and several couches, will have some cosmetic changes, Boyle said, although he generally plans to keep the theater the way Norman left it.

“It’s a quirky, shabby-chic theater,” Boyle said. “It’s got a very loyal customer base. There’s been a lot of excitement that we will stick around and stay open. It’s good that a place like this exists.”

Norman acquired the business in 2010. He renovated the theater and converted the single-screen cinema from film to digital, but struggled to keep it competitive with larger multiplexes and online streaming services. Since May, Norman has lived in Massachusetts.

An prior attempt to purchase the theater was made by Gracia Babbidge, the current manager. She created a GoFundMe page with the hope of crowdfunding enough money for the acquisition, but came up short. The $18,000 raised through the fundraiser will be refunded to the donors.

“I am excited to see what develops from this,” Babbidge said. “It seems like it’s going to be an exciting new chapter for the cinema. I think it’s going to be a good pairing with Shaun because we have some similar pop culture experiences. Working with somebody that has a new perspective will be an exciting change.”

Boyle said he has no plans to add staff or close the cinema during a transitional period. The normal afternoon-to-evening hours will remain as well as the current specials, including a $7 ticket special on Tuesdays, and student discounts.

Eveningstar Cinema seats 84 guests and includes couches for patrons to use. Taylor Abbott / The Forecaster

But he does plan new marketing campaigns and said he hopes to create a more family friendly theater experience, as well as including more comedies, foreign-language films and documentaries to attract students from Bowdoin College.

“We have a lot of supporters from Bowdoin and I want to help make this an attraction for them,” Boyle said. “The goal is to expand the customer base. When you’re up against Netflix, you need to think about ways to get the students to come out.”

Employee Xavier Gamache said he’s excited about the ownership change, and about continuing to work with Babbidge.

“She is the spirit of this place and we are all excited that she can stay here and keep her job,” he said.

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