Remove ads with our VIP Service
Share This Page
- Marcus Hillside Cinema
- Scotsland Theatres
- Capitol Cinemas
- Pix Theatre
Add Your Comments
- Montgomery, AL: Evans Theatres - Eastdale Mall 8 Opening August 19, 2016 [7/26]
- Middletown, PA: Council Hears Support and Ideas for the Elks Theatre [7/25]
- Palo Alto, CA: CineArts Palo Alto Square to Close in August 2016 [7/25]
- Variety: "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" to Skip Theaters, Launch as a TV Movie and Spinoff Series [7/21]
- Falmouth, ME: Flagship Premium Cinemas Now Open [7/20]
- AMC Theatres to Acquire Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, the Largest Theater Chain in Europe [7/13]
- Westbrook, ME: Prides Corner Drive-In Not Yet Open for 2016, Future is Uncertain [7/13]
- Menomonee Falls, WI: Marcus Menomonee Falls Cinemas Getting Take Five and Zaffiro's [6/30]
- Grand Junction, CO: Carmike 7 Closed [6/24]
- Lake Charles, LA: Cinemark Movie Bistro Lake Charles Holds Grand Opening [6/23]
By Mark Lisheron of the Journal Sentinel staff
(Reprinted from the 3/8/96 edition of The Journal Sentinel, without permission)
James Gudmundson tried 10 years ago to raise capitol to build the kind of multiplex theater that are driving his Scotsland Theatres, in Oconomowoc, to extinction.
Gudmundson and his wife, Eleanor, had always been progressive. The Scotsland facility boasted the first sound system in Wisconsin with Dolby, the once revolutionary and now standard noise-reduction system.
For a time, patrons of the couple's twin-screen theater relaxed in the exclusive comfort of rocking seats.
When it came time to compete with the corporations rushing to offer more movie choices in smaller theaters under one roof, however, the Gudmundsons could not get financing.
And so, with resignation rather than bitterness, Gudmundson will roll his last feature film, "Broken Arrow," at 7:15 p.m. Sunday. The Gudmundsons have nothing special planned for the night, but they plan to be at the exit to thank their customers, many of whom have sworn an undying allegiance since 1974.
"We have some dedicated customers," Gudmundson said. "Some people who won't go to any other theater. It's just that there aren't enough dedicated customers."
The Gudmundsons also did not have enough dedicated customers to keep open the Pix, a downtown Waukesha theater the couple has owned since 1977 and that has been closed for more than a month. The Pix is for sale and there is no hope of reopening it, Gudmundson said.
"An independent theater owner in a metropolitan area cannot fight the corporations," Gudmundson said. "It's about money."
For the moviegoing public, it's about choices. Ten years ago, movie theater owners began capitalizing on the advantages of giving customers more choices, Gudmundson said. Families could find variety in a single destination. Audiences turned away from the hot film of the moment would be likely to make another choice rather than waste a trip, he said.
Owners of multiplex chains could also exercise their clout to get choice films with promises of booking other smaller films, he said.
"I used to be able to book an exclusive picture," Gudmundson said. "I can't get an exclusive picture anymore."
Buffeted by the Capitol Cinemas 12 in Pewaukee and the Hillside Theater in Delafield, the Gudmundsons tried to compete on price, cutting ticket prices for its even shows to $5 from $6 a year ago. They were rewarded with a 50% drop in gross income during that time, he said.
Finally, when the Gudmundsons were unable to persuade their landlord, Edmund Baysari, former owner of Olympia Resort, to remodel one of the Scotsland theaters into three screening rooms, they allowed their lease to lapse.
For James Gudmundson, 65, and Eleanor Gudmundson, 60, getting out of the business for good is tantamount to retirement. Suddenly realizing their exit sounded morose, Gudmundson reminded himself how much he and his wife enjoyed what they had done.
"It's just the way things are today." Gudmundson said. "There's nothing we could do about it."
Add Your Comments
No comments found. Be the first and let us know what you think!
Add Your Comments
|Commenting on Journal Articles is available only to our readers who have customized this site, which makes it easier for you to complete the form and for us to contact you with any questions or concerns about your comments.|
Please login or register a new account before continuing.
Log in to retrieve your saved settings.
Forget Your Passcode?Send My Passcode To Me
Not Registered? Create a New Account!
Our registered members enjoy more features, including:
- Save Your Location -- the site remembers your location, no having to re-enter it each time you visit
- Favorite Theaters List -- keep a handy list of the theaters you attend
- Favorite Movies List - movies you want to see, all in one place
- Write Movie Reviews -- share your opinions of the movies you see
- Block Ads with VIP Service -- view this site ad free (subscription req'd)
Basic accounts are free -- sign up today!
Concerned About Privacy?
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2016, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.|
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.