Does a movie theatre make a difference in a community? Has your local theatre experienced a slowdown in traffic? This appears to be happening all over the U.S. as well as locally. Unless you have a multiplex theatre nearby, running 10-15 different movies weekly, the era of a small town theatre, may be coming to an end. The switch over from 35 MM films to digital has pretty much put the nail in the coffin for a multitude of places with small venues due to the cost of conversion, which could run upwards of $65,000. As of 2012, upwards of 1000+ small town theatres throughout the U.S, have not had the budget or the traffic to make the conversion. In some instances they have had to resort to fund raisers and other methods to come up with the necessary dollars for the conversion. The larger Multiplex venues had begun converting to the new digital media, starting in 2004. All the new ones that are being built today are all digitally equipped. This transition away from small town theatres to larger venues or staying home and receiving entertainment via cable or other means, has surely hurt many locales and has decreased the walk traffic that a downtown receives to keep it vibrant and successful. Movie theatres were intended to bring people out of their homes to socialize, eating out and potentially spending dollars in the stores nearby, assuming they stay open. Many shops have closed earlier these days due to the cost of staying open and the lack of local patronage; because, now, going on the internet, is convenient and less costly (you don’t have to drive anywhere, losing time, wasting gas, etc.) The benefit to many becomes the curse for the local stores. A town without a movie theatre or some form of entertainment, that brings the masses out, is a town destined to have issues. This will have an impact on the commercial and residential properties and taxes could potentially rise if there are fewer stores rented or worse, abandoned. However, many towns around Nassau County, like Great Neck, have promenades and concerts in their parks scheduled for the summer and fall months. The following is one link to those events:
http://www.shopgreatneck.com/events.php. You can google your local town to see what is happening there this summer. This is one way the town provides venues for people, not only within the town but outside the town to come out and enjoy, while spending their much needed dollars in local establishments. The B.I.D. (Business Improvement District in the Village of Great Neck Plaza) as well as the Village itself, helps put together these events. So, as we lose more small movie theatres in downtowns, the local governments have been coming up with other things to experience for their residents. This will hopefully gain some momentum and reduce and minimize the negative impact of these losses. Oh and BTW (by the way), when a town’s commercial corridor shrinks or has more spaces available for rent and the town has less things to enable people to come out for, away from their computers and T.V.s, there will be a greater impact on Real Estate values. This can be seen in some towns on Long Island, but there are those that are going thru an amazing rebirth and transformation through government and private money and are being rebuilt and are coming back. Hopefully, with at least a multiplex theatre nearby.