Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little Update (late night rambling)...

Before Ellie came along I had this silly notion that going back to work at the theater was going to be a piece of cake.  I had this image of the baby playing quietly on a play mat next to my desk while I toiled away on my office work.  When she was just a week or so old, I brought her down so I could do payroll and she promptly let me know how silly and impractical my idea of working with baby was. Her screams echoed off the office walls and I made my paychecks out in record time before we scurried back out to the car to go home.  Since then, I have learned that the only time she is really happy at the theater is when we are open for business and there are people talking and things happening.  She will not tolerate, under any circumstances, quiet office work.  Thus, trying to keep up with the same level of responsibility is tough, but Dan & I are making it work.

Now I do most of my office work from home. Despite having to work from my home office (coffee table + laptop) most of the time, I have been able to work on a number of really fantastic projects down there that I think you will appreciate as they come to fruition.  I'm pretty excited about one project, in particular, but I'm not going to tell you about it yet.  You'll see soon enough.

In other news, you know that post I wrote about going digital a month or so ago? Well, it is going to happen someday soon. It is all becoming clear now. I was not very focused about the digital dilemma when I wrote that because I was thinking about digital being, you know, the future, and quite honestly I was a little irritated about digital bursting my bubble. Well, the future is now here.  It showed up quickly, too! This past year I was 100% focused on this motherhood deal, and kind of put off the inevitable with digital.  I, like a lot of theater owners, realized recently that I don't have control over the direction our industry is headed, and I've got to do what I've got to do for my business.  I'll keep you posted on that as the situation develops.  It is a big deal, though, so be sure to support your local, independent cinemas as we make the transition both before and after we make the switch. As I say that, I want to be sure that you know how much I appreciate your patronage and support.  Without your patronage, there is no Eltrym-- the doors only stay open so long as you continue to walk through them.

I know not all of you are excited about the switch, but I promise it will be okay.  And don't worry, "digital" does not equal "DVD."  I'm both excited and apprehensive. I love film, and I'll miss it for sure. If you are a lover of film like myself, be sure to get your fill of it this summer at the Eltrym.  The clock is ticking...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Evolution of the American Cinema

I came across this article today, which shows photographs of 75 abandoned theaters around the United States.  It makes my heart hurt a little to see these gorgeous facilities closed and dilapidated, but that is the nature of business.  I can't begin to imagine how a person would operate some of these facilities for a profit as a cinema.  Scroll through those and check out how awesome theaters used to be (#2, the facade on #26,  the detail in #45 & #49, the marquee on #59).   Compare the architecture of some (not all) of these theaters to your run-of-the-mill megaplex today.  I LOVE watching films in big old theaters like some of these.  There is nothing like it! Wherever I travel, I look for the biggest and/or oldest theater around and go see whatever they are showing.

A lot of these theaters remind me of the Eltrym. Boy, am I am thankful that previous owners of the Eltrym stuck by it and didn't let it go to rot like the theaters in this article. The movie business is constantly changing and theaters have to evolve to survive.  We are going through another change now, with the advent of digital cinema. There were times that our theater could have closed and not ever reopened, but there was always someone there who wanted to keep going.  Lucky theater, lucky community. :)

Thought I'd share some photos of the evolution of the Eltrym:

Here's the Eltrym in 1951, still looking much the same as when it was built in 1940 as a state-of-the-art single screen show house:

Here's a photo of the Eltrym from 1981 (before I was born). Still successfully operating as a single screen, with much the same technology as was used at its opening in 1940:

And here is the Eltrym now, a first-run tri-plex with stadium seating and digital surround sound:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beautiful Weather.....

.....does not make people want to go to the movies.

But that's okay, I think we all needed some sunshine.  If it rains this weekend you should come inside and watch "Hop."