Compact Cinema closing its doors soon…

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Hi everyone. I’m sad to say that Compact Cinema will be closing its doors soon at 16 West. I had hoped there would be a lot of demand for a movie theater downtown, and for a movie theater that shows documentaries, but unfortunately attendance started out low and fell off from there, with no (zero) people showing up for any of this past week’s shows, despite lots of posters and stacks of flyers around town, and a growing following on Facebook. Financially, I took things right to the edge to get the cinema set up, and the time I’ve taken from my day job to run the cinema is preventing my job from paying the bills.

A main goal of making Compact Cinema a full-time movie theater was to bring more foot traffic into the 16 West Marketplace, to help the other unique businesses in here, but that has not happened. Meanwhile, the live music events at 16 West have indeed brought lots of people in, so there is no longer a need for Compact Cinema to do that. I plan to re-open Compact Cinema at another location at some point, but it will probably only show movies once a month or at most once a week, until there is more demand.

If you’d like to see any of the fascinating documentaries we’ve been showing, come see them while you still can. Get some food at one of the restaurants, bring it in and enjoy your meal while you watch the movie, and then stay for an audience discussion afterwards. I’m only showing movies on Saturday this week, so that I can spend more time catching up at work. After this week, I’m not sure when or if I’ll continue showing movies. One of the things I most wanted to do at Compact Cinema was to show locally-made documentaries once there was a steady audience showing up, to support our local filmmakers. I have at least a couple really good local documentaries that I would like to show, so let me know if you’d be interested in seeing them in these last few weeks.

And of course, I want to give a big “thank you” to the folks who have shown up to see our documentaries; I really appreciated your presence, and enjoyed all of the wonderful audience discussions we had afterwards. This has been lots of fun!

-Ben

4 thoughts on “Compact Cinema closing its doors soon…

  1. Grace

    That’s really too bad. Kinda had the same experience with the film series with the Peace & Justice Committee. Maybe some day the progressive community will get together and watch movies…

    Reply
  2. stephen sivonda

    I just saw in the Sunday Roanoke times an good article about a half column long on your Compact cinema. I live in the Highlands and go to Roanoke about twice a month. I should think your concept is workable…but is there enough going on in that section of town at night to make it ? It went through my mind a couple of years back to try something like that up here in Clifton Forge …but this is a rather small town. There are dozens of just wonderful foreign films…and i find them infinately more interesting from a human perspective than the majority of American productions. Your concept of showing local film makers doc’s is best thought out to be shown perhaps at the Taubman . They are a form of art. I wish you good luck with your endevour . You have my email…keep me posted as to your progress.
    Cheers,
    Steve

    Reply

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