Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Website!

What do you think of our fancy new website?  I know that lots of you have noticed because I have gotten a ton of compliments via facebook and email. Thank you for the compliments!!  There are still a few things I need to fix. Some of our content pages got a little wonky when they were transferred. I had planned to edit them today (along with a million other tasks) but ended up cuddling with my cranky, teething, growth-spurting baby, who spent 75% of her day fussing around and will only nap in my arms and not in her bed (but cute as a button regardless).  Those pages will be edited soon, and new pages added. If you have any feedback-- please contact me. You can use the handy "Contact Us" form under the "Cinema Info" tab.

If you sign up for our newsletter on the homepage, you will receive, at minimum, our showtimes each week.  The newsletter will also include any other tidbits we throw in there, and maybe some coupons every now-and-again.

If you use your cell phone to check our movie times, you will notice the format has changed so now when you go to eltrym.com on your mobile, today's times are right there--no clicking around.

Soon our times will automatically be posted to Facebook on Monday evenings just as soon as I enter them into our ticketing system.

Aaaannnnddd...... the new site offers a lot of tweeting conveniences, but I don't tweet much. Maybe I will now. Eltrym does have a Twitter, which has been used one time. Follow me?

It's all very hi-tech, you know.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Starting 8/5

Tomorrow, Friday 8/5 we will open "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and "Midnight in Paris."
Midnight in Paris    Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I've spent a bit of time this week reading reviews online to gauge what to expect out of Apes from a business standpoint.  "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is something of a prequel to the original 1968 "Planet of the Apes."  The things people are saying online about the film is making me really want to sit down and watch it. You might not know this, but I don't get to watch a lot of movies here at the theater because when I am here I am working, so for me to actually take time to watch a whole movie during it's theatrical run (not just bits and pieces)  is really saying something.  The interesting thing about the reviews is that people are saying that while there are things about the film that they find disappointing or not really believable, there are other factors about the film that totally make up for it and make it worth watching. It seems that at the end of almost every critical review, the poster will end with a comment like, "nevertheless, it was definitely worth watching."  Needless to say, I am intrigued.  I think I will try to sit down and watch it during the matinĂ©e tomorrow.

I've been wanting to see "Midnight in Paris" for a long time. I've been hearing such good reviews from friends and the internet that I have really been looking forward to this.  One review on IMDB described it as "a sweet, endearing and thought provoking film that will whisk you away into a sublime magical world."   It's the kind of film that has been sticking around art-houses for 7 or 8 weeks (at least my two favorite art houses that I follow on facebook).  I asked our booker about it a month ago, but figured we'd never have room for it. But we were able to sneak it in this week which is great. We will only have this film for a week, so if you want to see this, get in to see it ASAP.  (P.S. It qualifies for Tightwad Tuesday).

Enjoy, my friends, enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Here and Now

Motherhood forced me to take a hiatus from book-reading.  After Ellie turned 6 months, we put her in her own room, she started sleeping through the night, and I was back to being a book-worm.  I quickly finished up all the books I had been reading before she was born.  Recently I made my way to the last unread book in our house, something I had started and put away at least ten times.  It is Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now."  I finally made my way through it and found that at this time in my life it actually made sense and carried some weight.  I think Tolle gets a little creative in his interpretations at points, but the basic point is to live in the moment, to seize the day. (For those who have read it, I realize this is a very simple interpretation of Tolle's philosophy). When you live in the past you are living with the fear of your past experiences. When you live in the future, you are living with a lot of anxiety about the unknown.  This is so true of my life, in particular the experience of owning and operating this crazy little theater!  I won't go into too much detail, except to say that I have been making so much more of an effort to not let my past fears paralyze me and to not freak out so much about what is to come.  I am focused on enjoying every moment, doing the best I can do right now, and to do my best to set myself up for success in the future.

So that is what we are doing.  We have a lot going on, but I'm taking it day-by-day.  We are making steady progress toward our digital transition.  A project of this magnitude is a lot for a little business like us, but we are getting there, step by step. I have stopped freaking out about it, I welcome the change. This week we met with the Oregon Energy Trust to see what kind of incentives they might be able to offer for us to improve the energy efficiency of our big, old, drafty building.  Last but not least, yesterday we launched our shiny, new website. In my opinion, it is stellar!

Not to look too far into the future, but I am definitely making some plans to sit down and watch "Midnight in Paris."  I seriously can't wait, I have heard so many pleasant reviews from friends.

Carpe Diem!


Did you see the Alamo Drafthouse's recent anti-texting PSA? If not, here it is:

Before you watch this, I want to preface it by saying I absolutely, DO NOT enjoy "treating my customers like pieces of ****" like this lady accuses the Alamo Drafthouse of doing. Dan and I are pretty nice people and have only ever kicked anyone out of our theater in extreme circumstances (major drunkness, extreme belligerent behavior). Plus, our customers, for the most part, are pretty awesome and really do stop talking/texting once they are asked.

I can't tell you how amused I was by this PSA. I wanted so badly to be able to post this all over the world, and to get permission from the Alamo to adapt it to play it in my theaters before every show.  But as it is, the video only made it to my personal facebook page and that's it.

So here I will interject a funny story about my how naive I was buying a theater.  I had been working as a public school teacher, a long-term sub in another state, and working toward my masters in education.  I realized I didn't like the politics involved in public education. So, I took a job as a bank teller, which I loved. But when my bank was bought by another bank, I realized how insecure bank jobs can be and how much I loathe the corporate attitude of big employers. So I bought a movie theater. I was thinking to myself: the movie theater is the place where happy people go.  I can be a good boss and create jobs for good people and serve happy customers who are coming into my business to have a good time and be HAPPY.

Well I learned quickly how silly that notion is.  No matter where people go, they will run into circumstances that make them unhappy. The most common circumstance at the theater that makes people unhappy is....other people. Our number one complaint is people texting in the theater.  I think theater-texters assume they are being discreet because they aren't actually talking.  They seem to be unaware of how annoying the glaring light of their phone screen is to people sitting around them.  Actually, I think they are aware. I think everyone, every single movie-goer, is annoyed by other theater-texters, they just think it's okay when they do it. I suppose if you never stop to look at the world from the perspective of other people, you just wouldn't  be aware of how annoying your own behavior is.

From a management standpoint, theater-texters can be hard to catch.  Often times the annoyed customers in the theater won't come out and say anything.  When I walk into the theater to check, as we do throughout the show, they stop immediately before I see them.  If an annoyed customer does come out to tell me "some guy in front of me is texting" and I go into a full house, how do I know who s/he is talking about?  In theater one we have a good vantage point because we can watch people from the balcony. We catch a lot of texters from there.

So I guess I should tie this post together with a morsel of wisdom, or hope. Things are changing at the Eltrym.  Once we install our digital equipment, the way we operate day-to-day changes drastically.  Our "projectionist" won't be projecting anything, the computer will be doing that, so we will end up with extra staffing downstairs.  I can't cut staff because each person on duty plays an important role each day (beside projecting the film).  So my plan is to utilize the extra manpower a bit better.  I'm hoping to have a person that kind of "plays the field" in the theaters and hallways during seating and as the film starts up.  They will be able to monitor people better and help to resolve conflicts between guests, help with seating issues, and catch those darn theater-texters (and the boisterous "theater-talkers") by warning them during the credits and keeping an eye on them throughout the show.

Sound good?  I think so.