Movie theaters welcome back public with private rentals
By creating safe environments for patrons, local movie theaters are slowly reopening and welcoming back the public with private screenings and facility rentals.
An option that has always been offered, theater rentals are becoming the new way to enjoy the big-screen experience in a comfortable atmosphere among close friends and family members.
“Since closing down over six months ago, we have lost over $200,000 in revenue. These rentals cannot make up that loss and it’s not the reason we are offering them,” said Javier Chavez, Coral Gables Art Cinema associate director. “We want to give people in Miami an opportunity to kick back, relax and have fun in a safe environment.”
The rentals are geared toward movie screenings, but customers can host a variety of events, such as birthday parties or company meetings, as long as no more than 20 people attend, he explained.
“Gables Cinema has only been open for two weeks and the rental opportunities became available only now. We have already booked events and there is a lot of interest in these rentals,” Mr. Chavez said Monday. Rentals at the cinema, at 260 Aragon Ave., range from $200 for members and $275 for non-members for a two-hour time slot.
Silverspot Cinema, at 300 SE Third St., said it’s not just booking private movie screening events. If it can be projected on the big screen, the cinema says it will make it work.
“People are welcomed to bring their own screening devices for sporting events, conventions and even the presidential debate,” said Sandra Pascual, Silverspot’s director of marketing. “With a full bar and food menu, make a date night or an anniversary special by having the whole theater to yourself.”
Since opening in mid-September, Silverspot said private events have become an important source of revenue with promising projections. The cinema offers packages starting at $99 weekdays and $149 on weekends.
“We are just not selling tickets, but a whole event package including food and drinks,” Ms. Pascual said. “This is helping us see a whole new way to make revenue, and now we are getting ready for holiday parties.”
Remaining closed with no set date to reopen, O Cinema South Beach, 1130 Washington Ave., says it will offer discounted prices for facility rentals when it announces its grand reopening very soon.
“I think people will have a peace of mind and take advantage of private theater rentals instead of just showing up to watch a movie with strangers,” said Matt Walter, O Cinema’s senior manager and programmer. “They will know who is coming and trust them.”
With strict health and safety guidelines already in place since April when the cinema was originally set to open, Mr. Walter said keeping staff and movie visitors safe is the number one priority when reopening.
“Everyone should feel safe and knowing we will be doing everything to protect them,” he said.