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Elie and Nayla Kassab, owners of Sandy Cinema, join members of the community in celebrating 20 years on Champion Way

PMG PHOTO: STEVEN BROWN - Elie and Nayla Kassab, center, owners of Sandy Cinema, celebrate the 20th anniversary of the theater with a ribbon cutting. They are joined by Khrys Jones, right, executive director of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce. Owners of Sandy Cinema, along with community residents and members of the Sandy area Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the anniversary of the opening of the popular movie theater on Monday, May 16.

"Happy 20th anniversary," Elie Kassab said to a small crowd gathered for the occasion outside the cinema. "We look forward to many, many more anniversaries. We cannot do it without the support of the community and the city."

Elie and Nayla Kassab cut a ceremonial red ribbon held at one end by David Snider, Sandy's economic development manager, and the other end by Khrys Jones, the chamber's executive director.

The Kassabs are owners of Prestige Theatres, the parent company of cinemas in several communities in Oregon and Washington.

Sandy Cinema marked the anniversary by offering free screenings of two movies — "Shrek" and "Fast and Furious" — which were released in the earlier 2000s about the time when the business first opened.

The cinema was the first business to open along Champion Way at the west end of Sandy, preceding Fred Meyer, Smoky Hearth Bar & Grill, and the city of Sandy public works and transit campus.

"This whole area was a shovel ready industrial park back then called Pioneer Park," Elie recalled. "The only neighbors we had were the Forest Service, Konell Construction, Sobella Farms and Picking Farms, which is the present site of Fred Meyers.

"Look at all of the great things happening in Sandy because of the vision and planning of the city, community and private companies. The community wanted a cinema, and that is what we delivered. Locally owned and operated," Elie said. PMG PHOTO: STEVEN BROWN - Community members line up to enjoy free screenings of "Shrek" and "Fast and Furious" at Sandy Cinema, part of the business's 20-year anniversary celebration.


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