[Long Beach Herald] Long Beach Cinemas may reopen in spring

The Long Beach Herald has an update on our movie theater, which was flooded during Hurricane Sandy back in October, 2012. Read: Long Beach Cinemas may reopen in spring

HopeLBI, myself tried to get some info on this in the past, only to be told stuff which never came to fruition. But alas… I am glad read that the gears are still turning.. somewhat.

Some info from the LB Herald article:

“Pilevsky said that the theater would continue to show a mix of mainstream and family-friendly movies, and possibly independent films.

“This is a golden opportunity to be creative, and build a state-of-the-art theater at the entrance of this great city that would perhaps have major motion picture premieres, a performing arts stage for events, screen indie films, and host special industry panels,” she [ Ingrid Dodd, the co-founder of the Long Beach International Film Festival] said. “The future of our film festival in Long Beach is contingent upon having a theater to screen films and a performing arts center — without them, the festival has no choice but to grow some legs and branch outside Long Beach.

I wish Ingrid all the luck in the world on working with the owners to make something special there. Movie theaters CAN BE and ARE very profitable, you just have to think outside the box. Shitty movies with crappy candy is not going to cut it.

Coincidentally, a Long Beach friend of mine just sent me a photo of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Yonkers, which he just visited this past week and loved. I even have friends in the hip ole’ town of Brooklyn who travel all the way to Yonkers to watch movies there. Yonkers. YONKERS!!!

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12 thoughts on “[Long Beach Herald] Long Beach Cinemas may reopen in spring”

  1. You’re right on Anthony. The theater must cater to the tastes of the wider population to be a success. And it should be available for events other than mainstream movies.

  2. Anthony,
    Can you or Beachguy elaborate on the statement “Movie theaters CAN BE and ARE very profitable, you just have to think outside the box. Shitty movies with crappy candy is not going to cut it”.
    I recall reading that on blockbuster movies like a Star Wars or a Hunger Games that for the first few weeks a theater gets to keep only 20% of the ticket sales and sometimes must return as much as 100% to the studio.You plunk down 12 dollars and the theater keeps $2.40. Gradually, as the weeks go on, the theater keeps roughly 45%. Essentially, movie theaters are in the business of selling candy, soda and popcorn with approximately a 2000% markup. 25 cent worth of popcorn for $5,and so on. How do the “tastes of the wider population” and “outside the box” thinking factor in to your economics of the theater re-opening? This can be a great forum for ideas but I hope others will chime in with tried and true methods.

  3. I hope this is so. I think LB would be a wonderful location for a theatre like the Alamo or a version of the Huntington Cinema Arts Center given the demographics of our city and surrounding communities. Combining access to indie cinema with a venue that offers a rich viewing experience could be a hit here. I know many people from hip ole LB who travel all the way to Huntington or NYC for this, many of us supporting members of the HCAC as places like the Malverne Cinema, while providing the product, fall short in the area of “experience” and atmosphere. It would be great if the financials work. As CAVE points out, it’s not easy.

  4. I guess I’m talking about the demographic that drive the LB Film Fest of recent vintage. I also see a significant market of Millenials, Gen X and Yers, Baby Boomers, and seniors from LB, the 5 Towns, RVC,Lynbrook,Merrick, etc, who are relatively affluent, educated, and interested in alternatives to the pop culture offerings available in most major chain theaters . My sense is that lots of LBers choose to live here because it is not a purely suburban bedroom community or a school activities centered place. We have apartment dwelling commuters and a downtown as well as lovely neighborhoods, we’re kind of a hybrid. That’s why I said I thought it could be a wonderful location. Of course I realize that the HCAC is a non profit and that the indie movie theatre business is a tough one. I plead ignorance on the business viability of such an endeavor and realize that it probably would have been attempted by someone if it weren’t so risky.

  5. About once every month, League and his executive staff meet at Mission Control, the nickname given to Alamo Drafthouse’s offices in Austin’s Hartland Plaza business park. Most top-level staffers hail from the food-service industry, and League credits their experience and expertise for galvanizing the company’s growth. “I’m the only goofball in that room that comes from the cinema side,” he says. “It’s the restaurants that keep us profitable. We make up the three highest-volume restaurants in Austin.”

    Most everything you want know –
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224235

  6. Some good comments here. A few thoughts to echo/add:

    1. First run movies are a fortune; maybe owner should wait 2 weeks and get the better pricing. (As noted, this is the reason for the exorbitant food pricing.)
    2. Increase volume by making theater more affordable for Long Beach residents/families. With 3 kids, I’d been to the movies in LB many times, yet many times had friends in town not join us because it was just too much $$ for a family or 4, 5 or 6. Most often, the theater was far less than half full. I’d have to think that getting more bodies in at lower pricing would have been a much better idea.
    3. Have one of the theaters cater to arthouse/independent and classics. I used to go to see classics in the NYC when I lived there years ago and the theater was pretty busy for movies that had been on TV 5,000 times.
    4. Tie deals together with restaurants for pre- and post-movie activities.
    5. Long Beach is one of only a handful of similar type communities (City/downtown atmosphere) in all of Long Island. Given our “City” atmosphere, people will come from IPark , O’side and other places to be able to enjoy more than the movies. At the same time, LB residents would stay in LB for the convenience — for instance, as a parent, I know firsthand the p-i-a of drop off and pick up in RVC.

  7. And thanks CAVE for sharing your research on Alamo. Seems like the experience I’m hoping for might require a collaborative effort that involves more than cinema knowledge and expertise. I hope the Pilevsky group considers this in grasping a ” golden opportunity to be creative”.

  8. @ TTMS, what the Pilvesky group chooses to consider is the only concern. Numerous,viable alternatives to three10 story building only later to become 18 story behemoths of housing on the Superblock showed little in the way of creative, civic minded, collaborative thinking. I’m still not convinced it will open at all.

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