General manager Lindsey Pomper says the Star Cinema’s opening weekend at its temporary location in the 9800-block of Fifth Street was a positive experience, with some odds and ends still to be worked out. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sidney’s Star Cinema sells out first two screenings at new temporary location

Upcoming screenings include Little Women

“Cute.”

This was one of the many positive adjectives Star Cinema general manager Lindsey Pomper heard after the theatre’s opening weekend in its temporary location in the 9800-block of Fifth Street.

Current plans call for the theatre to operate out of the former Sidney Buy & Sell for up to 30 months after closing down its historic location at the corner of Sidney Avenue and Third Street. It will eventually return to that location as part of the Cameo Condo project, a mixed commercial-residential development.

“Overall, we had a good positive response,” said Pomper, crediting among other things, the films shown.

The theatre’s first showing Friday night was Knives Out, which also showed Saturday, with both screenings sold out. The temporary location holds just over 70 seats. The theatre expanded its repertoire with a 2 p.m. matinee showing of Dark Waters Saturday and Sunday.

The two shows have since switched slots. Starting Tuesday, Knives Out is now playing as a noon matinee through Thursday and Dark Waters is playing as a 3 p.m. matinee through Thursday and in the evening starting at 7 p.m.

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This rotation reflects the fact that the temporary location features only one screen rather than two (as the old location did), but quality appears to compensate for quantity, with Pomper hearing praise from patrons.

Patrons also appeared to like the more intimate setting of the theatre.

“People like the feeling of it,” she said. “A lot of them said it reminded them of the old theatre, which we were going for.”

Star Cinema had initially hoped to reopen 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.

“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.

Odds and ends remain to be worked out, but Pomper is confident that they will be ironed out.

Upcoming shows include, among others, the highly touted remake of Little Women.


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