It’s lights, cameras and action for Sidney’s Star Cinema in its new, temporary location.
The theatre inaugurates its temporary location in the 9800-block of Fifth Street with a showing of Knives Out starting at 7 p.m. on Friday. Dark Water, another highly acclaimed picture, will also start showing Saturday at 2 p.m.
“It feels good and it also feels nerve-wracking,” said Lindsey Pomper, general manager, about being open again for business. “It will be one screen, we don’t have as many seats, and it is going to be a new experience. Because it is so new, it feels nervous.”
Star Cinema will operate out of space once occupied by Sidney Buy & Sell for up to 30 months after screening its last movie on Dec. 8 at its historic location at the corner of Sidney Avenue and Third Street. It will return to that location as part of the Cameo Condo project, a mixed commercial-residential development.
The business had initially hoped to re-open at its temporary location within a week.
“Any time you move, you always think it is going to be easier than it actually is, and I think this was the case here,” said Pomper. “Everybody worked really hard, but there was just a lot [to do] to condense everything into a smaller space. Everything takes more time than you anticipated. That was the most challenging aspect.”
Pomper said another complication was the timing of the move over the Christmas season. “So not everyone is available, but it all worked out in the end,” she said. One reason was the response of the community, with several residents offering their help, she said. One resident for example sowed a curtain for the concessions, she said. “It is just another example of how Sidney out-does itself for the theatre and we are just so thankful for the support that we get. It’s really sweet to have that type of support.”
The temporary location features one screening room with about 70 seats, down from two screening rooms with a total of 275 seats.
So what if any advantage does the undeniably smaller location offer?
“I think the biggest thing is saying ‘thank you’ to Casman Properties that we can be open during the construction period [of the Cameo],” she said. “That in itself is a huge advantage, that we can still continue to show movies.”
Pomper said the fact that the temporary location features only one screen will require some creativity. “We are in a period of trial and error,” she said. “There are still things to be worked out and how we best use this space. So we are looking forward to feedback from customers to see what works for them and what doesn’t. This is a community theatre and we need to have community feedback to make this space work as best as possible over this next two-and-a-half years.
But if Pomper asks for patience, she cannot wait for opening night.
“We think everything is going to work out great, and we are looking to playing movies for everybody again,” she said.
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