The Rep

Most kids create a laundry list of jobs they would like to do when they grow up. One of my earliest was I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. When I was a teen, most of them were I wanted to run my own business and the two highest on the list would have been disasters if I had done it. One was, I wanted to run a used book store. The other was, I wanted to run my own single screen theater doing art films and revival cinema. Those are extremely tough jobs even when I was a kid and nowadays, almost a suicide pact. Yet many people still want to do them as this film demonstrates.

Author George RR Martin has invested in one in Santa Fe New Mexico. I wish him all the luck in the world. One of my big lottery fantasies is if I won a big lottery winning I would do one myself in some town. Get a failed or failing theater, refurbish it and try my own community cinema. The big problem is making it cool again. When I was a teen there were lots of revival cinemas in San Diego. One of them, the Ken is still going. Another, the Strand, in Ocean Beach, is not. This was pre-VCR and now we have big screen HDTV and streaming video. Why go to a theater when you can watch a movie at home on your terms and have food, drink that you like and stop the movie whenever you want?

The only answer I see is luxury cinemas that serve great food and drink. Those are cropping up around the country. The problem is most films these days are shallow.

Frankly, I hope the cinema doesn’t die but it’s not looking good these days. I do think a good film with a audience that’s into it is a great community experience. People can ruin it with bad behavior , but its nice to get out and have some fun. I for one still have this dream. Though this film sure is an eye opener.

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  1. I was having this same discussion with some friends at a local brewery recently. This brewery happens to show classic movies every week and packs the house every time. Why? Because it offers something most movie houses don’t: premium beer, good food, and movies that everyone knows will be worth watching (i.e- usually movies at least more than 10 years old). Even if I have the movie on DVD I will still go out to watch it just to share the experience with friends or just to get out of the house. Whatever it is, it seems to work. All I know is it beats spending $15 to see the latest Hollywood atrocity in IMAX 3D.

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