Small cinemas buck the multiplex trend in offshore places in SW Florida

posted by CSWalczak on April 27, 2010 at 7:40 am

SANIBEL ISLAND, FL — Want to run a little movie theater without being overpowered and trampled upon by the big chains? Find yourself a small island community, where convenience can trump the cost and distance of travel to a multiplex. Three small cinemas, the Island Cinemas on Sanibel Island, the Beach Theater on Ft. Myers Beach, and the Marco Movie Theater on Marco Island keep going without digital 3D or stadium seating.

That’s the secret to running an independent movie theater in the 21st century: Stay small and find an untapped or underserved market far from the multiplexes and megaplexes.

“It’s the location,” Island Cinema manager Britt Maxwell said of the theater’s success. “The next nearest theater is 30-45 minutes away.

The article about these three theaters in News-Press.

Comments (3)

ceasar on April 27, 2010 at 7:46 am

This may be good in some markets but not all.
Since Wilcox Theaters opened here in Vicksburg it hasn’t kept with larger chains. For one thing it doesn’t have 3d digtal projection which is the rage right now. At both cinemas not just the one here but in Bastrop there is a tendancy to hold movies over for long months at a time. Which blocks future films from opening. Since the shutdown from several years ago the first time it hasn’t stopped the locals here to go the cinemas in the metro jackson area. Also when posters are advertised for movies like Precisous they never opened. And blockbusters like Alice in Womderland haven’t opened at all. Now is this a way to treat smart audeinces? No.
Also when it came to the movie Repoman it was never delivered to the cinema where on their website it was advertised. But 3d tech could spell doome for small operators too. Think about it.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm

75% of this island’s population is over 45 and 40% is over 65 years old. The median age is 60. It doesn’t take much to surmise they haven’t bought DVD players yet. Those are not good popcorn numbers.

irishcine on April 29, 2010 at 3:00 am

The survival of the Marco cinema is amazing, as the location is not particularly convenient for many on the island. A kind of end of the road location, in a mall that, as I watched it from year to year until about my last visit five years ago, gradually lost more and more tenants and only had facilities that were unlikely to draw crowds. And those were the good years in Florida. It is, however, close to several big beachfront hotels and condos, all within walking range, though few in this area walk anywhere (running or jogging, yes but walking no!).

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