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Well, this theatre won’t reopen.
I was in touch with the real estate agent who is marketing it. It cannot be sold for ten years because of “tax problems.” For the theatre building which includes two storefronts, the lot to the left, the lot to the right, and the house next door they want $10,000 per month. That is WAY too pricey for anyone who hopes to keep it as a theatre. Ridiculous.
Excellent news! The State Theatre (change the listing to that name) will reopen next month after having been closed for about a year. The owner of the Jewett City Pharmacy next door has been renovating it since last May. Despite a 12-screen multiplex that is under construction just a few miles away he thinks the State can be successful. Let’s hope so!
I have left a message on the owner’s voicemail inquiring as to the price. If it is reasonable I may just take the plunge myself, but I heard a couple of years ago that he was asking for a price that was “too high” to continue using the land for a cinema.
That “big brown building in the background” is the actual auditorium. The white building in front contains the theatre lobby and two storefronts.
The movies aimed at an African-American audience would not be cheaper to rent as they are still mainstream flicks (e.g. the final movie it is showing, barring ever reopening, is Love Don’t Cost A Thing). The Forest is near the New Haven town line and this strategy was probably designed to draw the urban crowd. The University of New Haven, with 1800 students, is just a couple of blocks away, and maybe these movies interest them too.
No, it wouldn’t, Robert. It is close to New Haven where Yale University is, but New Haven already has a 3-screen art house cinema and a 4-screen subrun art house cinema. also a 5-screen art house is currently under construction in downtown New Haven, so that market is saturated.
West Haven, where the Forest is located, is a working class community of over 50,000 people. The current owner has usually booked movies featuring African-Americans to try to draw in that segment of the population.
If I were to own this theatre here would be my plan for it:
Move the video games and concession stand out of the auditorium. Expand the lobby by taking the former ice cream parlor to the left and put the concession stand there. Take the storefront to the right and put the video games in there. This arcade could even by open during non-cinema hours.
A 600 seat auditorium is way too big for a subrun theatre. Divide it into two 250 seat auditoriums. Or if the space and configuration is right for it, triplex it into three 150-175 seat auditoriums. Whatever happens the auditorium needs a lot of renovation to make this facility first class.
The current practice is booking one film each week and running it a few times per day. A successful subrun needs variety. I would book 3 films per week and run each one once per day at 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00, with maybe an additional children’s film showing as a weekend matinee at 1:00 and 3:00.
I do not know how successful the theatre is at the moment since the owner is leaving for medical reasons (he has to go to Germany for treatment of an illness) rather than financial ones. But I believe with the three strategies I outlined above implemented that this theatre would survive as a subrun.
The Forest is closing for good after it’s Thursday February 26 showing. The building is for sale, but as of now there have been no offers. The theatreowner expects whomever he sells it to will probably knock it down.
The Forst is closing for good after it’s Thursday February 26 showing. The building is for sale, but as of now there have been no offers. The theatreowner expects whomever he sells it to will probably knock it down.
Does anyone know if this theatre has been demolished? If not, I need to go up and take photos of it next time I go to Massachusetts.
This theatre is now a furniture store and a children’s clothing store.
er…“posr” should be “post”
This theatre was later converted to a posr office and an auto repair shop.
Right now digital cinema is virtually non-existent. Very few movies are released digitally and few cinemas have the means to play these. The cost is way too high at the moment for the equipment needed. For more on issues like this check out the forum archives at BigScreenBiz http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/
The State was known as the premier performance and concert venue in Hartford. It was only used as a movie theatre as a secondary attraction to its live shows.
The status that says “Renovating” is wrong. This cinema is set to be demolished (it may already have been demolished). A new cinema and live theatre will be built on its site.
Richard: I think that seating number is accurate as my source actually says it was 1200 seats (which is probably a bit earlier than the 1100 figure)!
Then unless they physically moved the building that makes it a different theatre since it is in a different building.
Shouldn’t this listing be seperated into two listings?
This theatre is located at 600 Main St.
Seating capacity at the time it closed was 183.
Err, typo…“laos” should be “also”
This should be listed as a 7-screen multiplex. It seats 715.
It is now a store called Wicker Paradise which sells furniture to meet all your wicker needs.
It appears to be retail and offices now.
It is now known as the Sterling Cinemas and operated as a discount theatre by the Sensible Cinemas chain with a website http://www.sensiblecinemas.com/
Hey Michael: Believe it or not, this theatre actually IS under consideration for use by a symphony orchestra. Word is that the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is considering turning the Plaza into their rehearsal space.
This theatre closed around 1952 and was converted into a TV showroom sales facility. It is sad to see it in its current sta5te as a parking garage.