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Small Theaters And Big Business Essay

2053 words - 9 pages

Small Theaters and Big Business

I want to discuss some of the conflicts and concerns that I have about what the Camera Cinemas complexes will face in the future if the stay at their current locations. I conducted a survey to see how many of my fellow citizens know of Art and Foreign Films. I was not only surprised by the response, but shocked to see that downtown San Jose is stiff not a comfortable place for most to go. Most people knew of Art Films or Foreign Films but the thought of seeing one was not a priority. What were important to most included special effects, good story and ratings. I was surprised by the number of responses that said they would watch a closed caption foreign ...view middle of the document...

This is a serious problem for the Camera Cinemas since their business is revenue based; you cannot have revenue without the people.

The Camera Cinemas are important to downtown, not because of the films they show, but because of the support they offer for other businesses. I was impressed by the desire of one of the owners Jim Zurr and their public relations firm, lead by Dan Orloff to keep the Camera Cinemas at the current location a business in San Jose. They have done so wen despite the lack of aid for the theaters or the movies they show by the city of San Jose. I have lived in the San Jose area for forty years and remember all the businesses that left and theaters that closed because people did not find downtown to be a pleasant experience. The city has changed, but not in a way that will attract customers to the area. City officials have brought big hotels, clubs, Light Rail and the Convention Center to downtown have consistently failed to change the image of downtown. There are still homeless people, crime and the feeling that this would not be where you want to bring your spouse or children.

People need to be told about the theaters and the quality of films being shown. When I ask people about the Camera Cinemas, people either have not heard of them or find the location undesirable. The price of a movie at the Cinemas is comparable to the large chain theaters' $7.50; the quality of the movies are unique, and the atmosphere is the best. Why aren't there more people that want to see these movies there? Most movies that qualify as Art or Foreign Films are not going to have special effects; most will not have big name stars and definitely will not qualify as a big budget film. San Jose should be a big supporter of the Cinemas. San Jose should greatly support Art and Foreign Films. Why has the city failed to realize the importance of these theaters and the contributions the theaters bring to the downtown area? The city, by bringing in the big UA chain theaters was hoping to bring more people downtown and have an environment for families. The officials failed miserably by not cleaning up the downtown, finding homes for the people needing them or finding homes for the mentally ill. When I go downtown with my family, I feel safe; but I am one of the few that is willing to take the chance. I remember the bad times, and downtown has gotten better; but it stiff needs to improve to get the people back.

Some theaters are only interested in making money and are more likely to move when times are slow - others demonstrate a broader vision. The UA cinema complex is an example of San Jose's lack of understanding that it takes more than big name movies to bring people downtown. Since the UA open the theaters have been losing money and are now going to shut their doors. The downtown currently has the Performing Arts, Repertory Theater and the Cinemas. All are quality places to take families. Each year there are different events downtown: Tapestry...

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