Enter an Essay Contest to Win a Historic Movie Theater in Maine

Cinephiles with writing chops and an entrepreneurial streak, rejoice: A historic movie theater in small-town Maine can be yours if you write a persuasive essay convincing its proprietor that you should be the new owner.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Hurley—who owns the 98-year-old Temple Theatre in Houlton, Maine—will give the business to whoever writes the best persuasive 250-word essay. The theater includes two screens, 400 seats, an apartment, office space, and a convenient downtown location. According to its website, it’s also "one of the oldest continuously operated movie theatres" in Maine.

Submissions will be judged based on "writing structure, content, quality of expression, [and] creativity." The only catch? Entrants will have to pay a $100 entry fee—although the contest's winner might view this amount as a bargain, considering that the theater is valued at $350,000. 

Hurley is accepting a minimum of 3500 entries, so he’ll collect the theater’s asking price. But don't worry—he's offering refunds to all participants if he doesn't receive enough submissions. The competition will be stiff, so start drafting your entry now so you’ll have time to edit and polish a winning piece before the end of January. (The contest’s original deadline was January 15, but Hurley has extended it thanks to a recent spate of media coverage.)

To learn more about the contest, visit the Temple Theatre’s website or check out the video above. 

All images are courtesy of

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter, CNN]

© 2017 USPS
Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.



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