“So, you want to open a theatre that specializes in showing “art” movies in the suburbs…? … you’re nuts!!” That’s what we heard countless times back in 1999. Thankfully, I listened to the smart one in my family, my wife, Loretta –plus a few close friends that knew I was not easily swayed from an idea stuck in my head!!
An SBA loan was obtained by my past co-founder, Jim Tomashoff, and myself to do renovations, buy projection and sound equipment… and new seats. We opened August 20, 1999 with our fingers crossed. It was slow sledding for over a year. But, then we found our rhythm with programming. Having the best in foreign and independent films was fantastic. We mixed in some commercial films meant, in part, for the “older, discerning audience: 0films like “THE GREEN MILE” and “AMERICAN BEAUTY.” We also tried to offer creative concessions. They included hummus, individual sized desserts, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, coffee (not offered in other joints at the time) ….And… Sushi!! Yes, employees ate a lot of leftover sushi!!! We developed a niche in a very competitive market… lots of other theatres (more now!!). We chose to do all sorts of interesting events… Never afraid to test something or offer a variety of entertainment. We have done film festivals (from Horror to a great Jewish festival), one time showings of young filmmakers work, High School film class student projects, classics, morning movies (first in the area!) ,local “arts” events, Opera and Ballet, even marriage proposals!! Our film club has been a staple since we opened… offering a slate of films that push the envelope, and we even assess their value for us playing them in a regular run.
We have been blessed, lucky, omniscient, energized and hardworking… And have loved every minute of it!! Through it all, there has always been one constant… our customers!!! They are the most loyal, engaged, fun loving bunch of people one could ever imagine!! Our customers made us what we are today…. One the best art houses in the country For limited releases (“HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE,” “CAPTAIN FANTASTIC,” “HELL OR HIGH WATER” for example) we are consistently in the top 20% in total box office gross… in the entire USA. Thanks to our customers, we are known throughout the DC region as a consistent, reliable source of good movies. It is this wonderful, endearing group of people who have inspired us to replace the seats at Cinema Arts Theatre. Sometimes subtly, most times with loving honesty, they have “suggested” it is time take the plunge and get new chairs.
We have now surveyed, tested and voted on which one to get. We all picked a very comfortable “rocker”, that is wider with armrests that are wider and moveable making a loveseat. We stand to lose about 25% of our current capacity, but it will be most worth the effort… more space, too… A winner!! We need your help. These seats are not cheap. Our goal is $100,000. Not the total cost but enough to keep our debt way more reasonable!! This is your chance to be an honored part of something grand… Cinema Arts Theatre. We’re like family… your neighborhood theatre. We are all in this together. Help us move to the next level of commitment to excellence!! Help us continue to “DARE TO BE DIFFERENT”… offering great movies that make you think, engage all your emotions, take you to another place, refresh your “psyche”.... Entertain. There are a number of levels of rewards (listed to the right) that correspond to the amount that you pledge. We have 31 days… We need to hit our goal or we get nothing, nada, zilch!! Please pledge. Then send this link to everyone you know. Send it all over the world!! Kickstarter tells us that a healthy percentage of participants (heroes we call them) are nowhere near us or even know of our theatre!! Your credit card is not charged until after the campaign ends and we hit goal. I hope you know we thank you all for everything you have done foe Cinema Arts from the bottom of our hearts!!! We have always appreciated your business, your sharing of your love for movies and for always being our friends!!! Thank you…..
Mark O’Meara Cinema Arts Theatre
Risks and challenges
We know that only with the help of our customers and community we can complete this campaign. It will be hard to meet our goal, but as we have been able to do this for our other theatres we believe that this is possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)