"The Boonies" – a movie filmed locally – sold out shows at the Westwood Plaza Theater and Café on Thursday, bringing crowd numbers owner Blake Fleegle hasn't seen in a year, he said.

The success of both showings Thursday evening, at 6 p.m. and 8:30, spurred Fleegle to add two more showings at the same times next Thursday.

It was the first movie Tammy Deihl, of Ebensburg, saw in a theater in 24 years, she said.

"It sparked my interest," she said, waiting to enter the theater with her daughter. "It's all filmed in Cambria County. It's outright amazing."

"The Boonies," a backwoods horror movie shot almost entirely in Cambria and Somerset counties, is about an excursion that turns deadly when Aaron joins his brother Will and a group of his friends for a weekend in the Appalachian woods.

Producers Dave McMillan and Brian Balog, who both live in Johnstown, had the same reaction to the turnout – "Wow."

"We want to thank the community for supporting a local film project," Balog said. "We've watched the movie hundreds of times through the editing process, so we are excited to hear the audience's reaction."

The movie is set to be released in the next week for on-demand platforms and streaming services, Balog said.

Abiding by the state's COVID-19 limits on entertainment venues, Fleegle sold tickets for 75% of the room's capacity or 145 seats for both showings and dozens more viewers seated in an overflow theater.

Fleegle estimated that about 400 people visited the theater Thursday night at 1910 Minno Drive, Johnstown.

"I hope this is life after the pandemic," Fleegle said.

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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