Will Lehigh Valley independent theaters keep curtain up amid reduced capacity, movie streaming? - lehighvalleylive.com

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The theater with a century-old history is located in the borough of 2004 MainSt.

Loyal movie enthusiasts are helping independent cinemas in the region (another industry that has been financially poor during the coronavirus pandemic) to maintain its momentum.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hollywood film studios have been sending most of their new movies directly to Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and other popular streaming services. Even in some theaters (such as the Emmas Theater), there are no new movies to show. Currently, it can accommodate 10 people and 45 people. Capacity constraints created a huge revenue gap before the theater pandemic.

Many theaters have learned to turn with the changing times to keep their doors open. Even before the pandemic. For some people, this is a struggle. Since its establishment in 1947, the Gap Theater in Wind Gap

In January 2020. Although restored in 2014

, Is a 2014 Jayne Mansfield (Jayne Mansfield) biopic, including scenes shot in the theater.

"We are doing business day after day," said Robert Audibert, who co-owns Emmaus Theatre with business partner Butch Rossetti. "That's all you can do."

When Audibert and Rossetti launched an online fundraising event this spring to seek financial support to keep up with the cost of this century-old building, they initially did not think they would be close to achieving its The goal of $10,000. Theater is

When Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.

Audibert said the community united and set a monetary goal within four days. This was a relief for the owner of the theater, because Wolfe subsequently ordered

It will last for 3 weeks from mid-December until January 4th.

"This provides us with some work buffers," Audbert told lehighvalleylive.com during a fundraiser.

In nearby Montgomery County, Ed Buchinski, owner of the East Greenville Grand Theater, went out of business in March and began selling his licensed snacks to pay for the utility bills of the restored 1924 movie theater. He demanded payment from the customer. Buczynski said he was surprised when a customer issued a check for a single candy $1,000.

The money earned from snacks accounts for about half of the theater’s school taxes and insurance. The overall generosity caused Buczynski to shed tears.

"I'm just speechless," he said.

The owner of the independent cinema said that this is the case with the big screen.

Finally, they believe that this will be the emotional attachment of the movie watching journey, which will promote the economic recovery during the downturn in 2020.

Richard Wolfe is the owner of the Roxy Theatre in Northampton Borough. For the past 50 years, he said that when broadcasting appeared in the 1920s, the owner Think it will be the death of the cinema. Then there was TV, then VHS tape and DVD, and now video streaming services.

"We are still continuing," Wolfe said.

He has no doubt that new technology will bring about struggle, but he believes that customers keep coming back to find the aura and pleasure of the screen. Customers laugh together in comedies, cry in dramas, and scream in horror movies. Wolf said that there is a common feeling when watching movies in groups.

He said: “The experience you get at home cannot be the same as the experience you get with a large group of people in the theater.” “On the big screen with fully immersive sound, everything is more real. People are tired of staying at home. I want to go out and enjoy life with others."

There is also nostalgia. The emotional and emotional attachment to movies began in childhood.

The cinema is where married couples meet for the first time. Brothers and sisters recalled a generation of movies shared. This is where parents bring their children because they have good transcripts and grandparents have bonds with their grandchildren.

The roots of Roxy began in the Lyric Theater, where there are vaudeville and other live performances, as well as movies when it opened in 1921. The building was built by the Miller family, who owns the nearby HA Miller and Sons department store. It was leased to theater pioneer Harry Hartman (Harry Hartman), who kept it until he left the film industry during the Great Depression. It was redesigned and became Roxy in August 1933.

Wolfe took over the event in June 1970, when the venue began to attract live performances and concerts. Wolfe said that included performances with emerging musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.

He said that physical architecture continues to play an important role in the theater experience. The dazzling lighting of the marquee, creative advertising display, and the teasing architectural treatment of the exterior lobby and box office attracted potential customers. Wolfe said that the lobby and auditorium give customers a proper mood to enjoy the movie.

He said: "It's all part of the show." "Theaters like Roxy built during the heyday of cinema in the 1920s and 1930s were used as part of the show."

The famous theater architect S. Charles Lee designed theaters in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, he said: "The performance starts on the sidewalk," Wolfe said.

In the past few decades, what has also helped independent theaters survive the economic turmoil is the ticket price. Independent movie theaters charge viewers much lower fees for viewing movies, usually six to ten weeks after screening in large chain stores. Many people are expected to keep prices moderate after the pandemic.

Wolfe said: "Film has always been regarded as an entertainment for the general public, especially for families." "I have always kept the prices of tickets and refreshments as low as possible so that families of all sizes can afford it. And will continue to do so."

Before the new movie is released, theaters that have nothing to do with the region are looking for more creative ways to adapt.

For Odibert and Rossetti, this began in April, when the two decided to start posting pandemic-related film puns on the big gate of the Emmas Theater. Commonly known as "Dirty dance, but don't get too close" and "Stand by my side but only 6 feet away" and the like illuminate the streets of the city. The pun has attracted reports from news organizations including the following countries:

And "Vanity Fair" magazine.

The theater then began to rent out the ceiling for the public to publish their information, but at a fee. It has become a popular site for birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations and other milestones. Last spring, there were about six marriage proposals under the tent, and even a small wedding reception was held outside the theater.

Emmaus also started holding smaller shows, such as comedy shows, where two start-up shows for 90 people (the allowed capacity was 20% at the time) sold out.

At the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema in the ArtsQuest Center, program director Ryan Hill said that since the shutdown in March, revenue has lost about 80%. ArtsQuest makes up for part of it through programming related to virtual movies, including discussions on specific movies; groups to discuss movie types; and trivia nights.

The virtual event attracted an audience of 20 to 50 people, and participants were asked to buy trivia tickets and donate money to others.

Hill said: "Although it cannot make up for the loss, it keeps us in touch with our customers."

Since 1928 at the 19th Street Theatre, owned by the non-profit Civic Theatre of Allentown, the movie has become virtual. Diane Donaher, the managing director of the theater, said customers can pay $10 to watch an art film, which helps to make up for part of the cost of lost ticket revenue. There are also virtual concerts and virtual children’s drama lessons, as well as silent auctions and dinner fundraising activities.

Dornach said that once the 90-seat and 500-seat movie theaters can hold 20 seats, the movie theaters will reopen for private parties.

Wolfe estimates that for Roxy, sales of ticketing and refreshment revenues will be 77% lower than the previous year by 2020. From March 15 to the end of May, his income was zero.

He said: "I see my checkbook balance keep dropping."

At that time, Wolf decided to also use his own subtitles in the first message published in mid-March

"The performance will go on... eventually" and "We will not die with the wind." He said that the theater began renting greenhouse advertisements on May 30 to publish private information. Since then, its reservations have been stable, requiring personal information for $75 each.

Wolf said that people like to take pictures and take pictures under subtitles with subtitles, which is a huge success.

He also found that he had successfully booked private film screenings with masks for up to 25 people. The price for the screening is 150 dollars in winter, but due to heating costs, the current price is 200 dollars. From Thanksgiving to the beginning of January, Roxy is rented out every day. But during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year's Day, it is rented out twice a day.

In addition, Wolf has been collecting movie posters for the past fifty years, and each has two classics. Sometimes, if a customer is particularly interested, but he vowed to sell some, but vowed to sell the rest before retirement. He said that this decision changed during the pandemic.

In June, Wolfe started auctioning various posters, earning another $150 to $200 a week. A poster for "Christmas Story" sold for $150, while a poster for the classic 1980s movie "The Goonies" sold for $250. Recently, the most popular "Star Wars" movie poster is also very popular.

In the next few months, there are plans to conduct more live performances to make the audience ratings reach 20%. Roxy has 90 seats.

Wolf said he is confident in the community, which has flooded the theater’s Facebook page with more than 1,000 messages.

Wolf said: "We will solve this problem."

As for the larger movie theaters, they also face major financial setbacks.

Main cinema

. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) emphasized in a joint letter to congressional leaders on September 30 that if there is no financial support, "our beloved cinema" may be closed.

These organizations specifically requested funding under the CARES Act, which was the original $2 trillion federal coronavirus stimulus program that represents coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security.

The letter reads: "The cinema is in a severe predicament. We urge you to reallocate the unallocated funds in the CARES Act to proposals that can help companies that have suffered the most revenue decline due to the pandemic, or enact proposals New proposal...". "Lack of a solution to their situation, theaters may not survive the pandemic."

These organizations worry that 69% of small and medium-sized cinema companies across the country will be forced into bankruptcy or face permanent closure. It is estimated that 66% of theater jobs will be lost. The letter said that by the second quarter of 2020, approximately 93% of movie theater companies have lost more than 75%.

This effort was announced by AT&T Inc.'s Warner Bros. that it will screen 17 movies (including "Dune", "Matrix 4" and "The Suicide Squad") on its HBO Max streaming service for 31 consecutive days-according to relevant information Reported that the day they made their first appearance on the screen in 2021

In addition, MGM and Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures (Universal Pictures)’s latest James Bond film, "No time to die", has at least two delays, and now Pushing the expected blockbuster to the scheduled release in 2021,


, Predicting that movie theater revenue will experience the largest contraction in at least 21 years.

According to reports, AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC Entertainment Inc.) is one of the world's largest movie theater operators. The company hopes to raise $125 million in new funds by issuing 50 million shares in a new round of financing to avoid bankruptcy. AMC has reiterated in several SEC documents,

, According to CNBC.

Cineworld is the owner of the Regal chain and another major global movie chain.

All movie theaters in the country. The announcement is the next day

As the company lost $1.64 billion in the first half of the year, this was largely due to

Pandemic. Cineworld said the closure is temporary and will affect approximately 40,000 employees across the country.

Recording of Regal Northampton Cinema 14


And rich

It was stated on Thursday in Pohatcong Township that the location in the area was still "temporarily closed" according to the chain's autumn announcement.

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