To restore an old movie theater you need to first find out why it closed. Most old theaters that have been closed for awhile, closed because of the mega theaters. Many of the old theaters only have 1 or 2 screens and may only have 1 to 3 movies at once. The mega theaters have many more screens, to show more movies at more time and serve better food.
To restore an old theater will probably take a lot of money if it's been sitting a while. A good thing to do is a have a neighborhood/local association or other nonprofit entity purchase the theater. This will allow the theater to receive funding from the municipalities and grant funding organizations. Getting your theater classified as a historic place if available will help with tax credits and other incentives.
For the theater to succeed, you have to know what the people want. If you can only screen one movie at a time, it has to be the most anticipated. So if your upcoming favorite isn't everyone else's go with the popular choice. Also, keep your movies fresh. When the new film isn't hot anymore swap it out. Keeping your selection fresh will have customers coming to your theater regularly to see whats new.
When planning your screenings, don't forget to go retro. Showing old time favorites are another good source of revenue and attention. Movies from Casablanca to The Godfather to Star Wars can be a great way to promote the theater.
With proper planning, and cooperation with community and other organizations an old movie theater can be restored and thrive.