Monday, November 29, 2010

1st Contact with the owners

1st contact has been made!  After some time spent doing other research and behind-the-scenes planning work, I've just called the ownership of the Uptown space.

I just spoke with Claire, the wife of Craig, who, according to someone at AMC yesterday, is the person in charge of the company that owns the space.

She tells me a few things:

  • Craig has been getting lots of calls about this space, "as you can well imagine".
  • AMC's lease on the space continues through, she thinks, 2014.
  • Craig and other interested parties are currently in the process of trying to ascertain AMC's intentions.
I also told Claire a tiny bit about me, and what my interest was.

She says she'll get back to me.  In the mean time, I have some contact info for people at AMC; perhaps I'll try talking with them directly, as well.  Hopefully Craig will give me a call back, though, as well.

More to come!

The Neptune: Also closing, or changing forms?

I just heard on KUOW that what has already been rumored on SLOG is confirmed: that The Neptune in the U-district is also slated to close, in February.

I'm afraid it's beyond my scope to take on that cause, as well.  One theatre is all I can handle, at least for now.  I'm I'm successful with the Uptown for a while, then I might be able to consider helping out with others, as well.  For now, though, my focus will be exclusive to the Uptown.

The good news, though, is that there are rumors that STG is to take over the Neptune, and turn it into a performance venue.  Here's hoping it does in fact stay alive, one way or another -- I'm all for live theatre, as well, so I'd likely be supportive of such a move.

Good luck, Neptune!

More status updates on my mission to re-open the Uptown coming soon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Uptown Cinemas closes; long live Uptown Cinemas!

Thanks to a meetup on the final night, it has come to my attention that The Uptown Cinemas is closing its doors tonight! (The Uptown Cinemas is a movie theatre in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle; it quickly became my favorite movie venue when I moved to Seattle in 2003, though it's been around since 1926.)  Apparently, AMC felt it was no longer "[competing] effectively in the marketplace".

Well, I've been day-dreaming for several years now, actually, about taking the place over and making it a discount theatre of some sort.  Cheap tickets; inexpensive concessions; themed movie nights; and much much more!  I've been dreaming about it for years, and with AMC closing its doors, I guess it's time to turn this dream into reality!  I envision this re-vitalizing as a community-oriented movie theatre for everyone from Uptown to Downtown and beyond.

I went there this evening to watch what would be my last screening there under the AMC umbrella: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.  I enjoyed the film (quirky; what else could we expect from Woody Allen?) and the company (from the meetup).  The best part, though, was a chance to do a bit of research.  I asked for a manager, to get information about the ownership of the place.  I wish I'd jotted down her name, I think it was DeAnna?  Anyway, my thank you to her for providing me with information about the owner/landlord of the building.

Meanwhile, I've also started writing up a document about my plans for the place.  And now, I'm starting this blog, so I can keep folks updated, and the word can be spread

Next steps:

  • Contact the landlord, to ask them about their plans for the space, and/or to get a read on what it might take to gain control of the space, so that it can be re-opened.
  • Work more on fleshing out my planning document.
  • Gather supporters around this, and get feedback from them. 
  • Begin the process of writing a formal business plan.
  • Make it happen!

So if you're in a position to help -- from moral support to business plan writing to financial backing, I'd love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment on the blog, and/or drop me an e-mail, at savetheuptowncinema at gmail dot com (please pardon the obfuscation; spam is so insidious).

I'm looking forward to making this happen!