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Theater Closing for 2 Weeks Due to No Good Movies

by
October 1, 2006

There was a news article that caught my eye as of recent. It was about a movie theater in Illinois that decided to close down for 2 weeks because of a lack of good movies. The commentary so far has been quite negative, given that manager decided to close it in lieu of the opening of Invincible, Open Season, Flyboys, and Snakes on a Plane (why these movies are all opening up this off of their actual release date, I don't know). This is some of the most interesting bits of news to come out in regards to the movie theater industry recently, and the first I've ever heard of this sort of thing happening.

I really don't have much to say in argument to the manager's decision. All I have to say is that maybe this is a realistic or possibly inevitable happening. The problem I've been seeing is that too many theaters are being built in areas that don't need that many. When one area has a theater that still isn't maximizing its attendance, another theater can't open and expect to have greater attendance than the previous one. As in, two theaters in a very small market can't expect to be always filling up. I've seen it at a theater in Pittsburgh. It's smaller, but much nicer than the giant Lowes a little ways away. But the place is always dead. It's just that its location and area don't guarantee that it's full, and it definitely doesn't need to be. My take is that it isn't helping to say that "theater attendance is down" when they reference that sort of theater, because on particular opening/nights, it's probably up than the "average" amount they get there. And just because it's not full doesn't justify saying that a movie isn't doing good at the box office. It's just saying that the area/location/market it's in has that kind of somewhat poor draw for movies in general.

Anyone else out there have their own take on this happening in Illinois or anything in regards to movie theater attendance recently?

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  • Roman
    I read about that theater too. It happened in a pretty small town close to Danville (hometown of Gene Hackman and the VanDyke Brothers incidently). The article I read said the owner shut down the theater for the two weeks because he didn't want to show Jackass 2. He said that he just didn't want to waste his top dollar facilities on a movie like that. It wasn't a political staement or a jab at hollywood at all. The owner is pretty well off and doesn't really need income from the theater at all. Personally, I don't blame him. If I were in his place and all I had to show was something like Jackass 2, I'd probably give all my employees two weeks paid vacation too.
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