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I’m proud to say that I was an employee and manager at the Centrum while it was owned by Landmark Theatre Corporation (‘94-'97).
It was indeed a beautiful theater and a great place to see a film but several factors spelt its doom. As mentioned above, we were competing directly with the Cedar Lee which had a far more generous ticket pricing scheme (for the art films) and against the other large chains and their advertising budgets (for the mainstream films). Parking was also an issue in the Coventry area: street parking could be tricky since the regulations changed based on the time of day which lead to more than one customer (and a local film critic) having their cars towed! There was a good-sized parking lot down the street, but it was… well… down the steet!
Also, there was a space above the lobby that the landlord, in his outstanding wisdom, filled with a sports bar! Their customers had to use our upstairs restrooms and had access to one of our theaters. Trying to keep the rowdy drunks out of the theater and keeping the restrooms clean was a losing battle. If a small retailer moved in instead, it would’ve been a different story.
Lots of fond memories though… like the topiary and robotics display we had for the opening of “Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control”, the Indian food buffet for “Kama Sutra”, the oh-so-frequent power outages, the adjacent Chinese resteraunt setting off the fire alarms at least once a week (I was on first call, of course!), Quentin Crisp’s visit for “Orlando”, our “Meter Feeding” program to try to keep our customers from getting parking tickets when they parked at 1-hr meters, the quizzical looks from customers when they see the shakers of brewer’s yeast on the counter… good times.