CBS airs story on West Theater and Minnesota author

Richard Thomas 

The crew of “CBS This Morning” was at the West Theater in Duluth Oct. 8 to film a segment about Minnesota author Leif Enger. 

Enger’s first novel, “Peace Like a River,” published in 2001, sold 1.5 million copies. His third novel, “Virgil Wander,” published in 2018, is about the owner of a small movie theater in a fictional town on Lake Superior.

CBS reporter Jeff Glor tells viewers, “We met a character seemingly plucked from the book” before introducing West Theater owner and Reader Weekly publisher Robert Boone. 

Boone tells Glor, “People kept walking up to me and saying, ‘You’re Duluth’s own Virgil Wander’ and I read it and thought, damn, he painted his lobby the same color we did.”

Boone says he refurbished the long-closed theater because “it helps maintain a sense of community and that’s what I thought was so important about this place.”
Watching movies in a theater is “like you’ve all signed up on the same small ship, you’re all going to the same place,” Enger says. “Not everyone is going to see the movie the same way you do and yet it’s this communal thing … You’re out among your neighbors.”

The segment aired on national television Oct. 12. View it here