Friday, September 04, 2009

Why the Somerville Theater is Not More Like the Kendall

The owner of the Somerville Theater, an independent movie house in Somerville, MA answered a LiveJournal discussion about how they choose movies to run. It is an interesting history of distribution and movie economics from the front lines.

So at Somerville, finally I had some audiences. We finally made some money, which I have poured back into it tenfold. Between renovations in 2006 and this summer, I think I have spent about half a million bucks just trying to get us up to speed and keep the old gal all shiny and more historic. I've programmed some midnight and double feature repertory stuff on occasion, and while fun, that kind of stuff barely breaks even, though I hope to do more again soon. But I DO try to balance out the schedule, using what movies are available to me. I don't want to be just another multiplex, which is why when I have an open screen I'll play a second run film like "Food, Inc" or "Moon" etc. Sometimes I am forced to carry something longer than I want to (first run has some obligations like minimum engagements) and don't have a spare screen but I do try and take some of the better 2nd run off of the Kendall. But my obligation is to keep that theater open and alive, and let me tell you, it is "The Simpsons" and "The Dark Knight" and "The Hangover" that are paying the bills, not the "Food, Inc" of the world.

No comments: