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Monterey, CA: New Owners of Osio Cinemas Discuss Their Plans

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015 and updated on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 5:09 PM

The Osio Cinemas in Monterey, California closed in July, but an effort was undertaken by a group of former employees to reopen the movie theater, and they were able to generate more than $76,000 in funding via crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.

An article published recently by the Monterey Herald outlined some of the plans that the new owners have for the theater:

While the timing of the Osio Cinema’s return is uncertain, its new owners are seeking to reassure filmgoers that they have a solid vision for the downtown Monterey theater once it does open its doors.

What they stress most is their local footing, pledging to be more accessible and responsive than the previous owner, and to develop programs that benefit the community.

“With the previous theater, there were more than 10 people involved in ownership, many of whom did not reside in the Monterey area and who also had a number of larger business ventures demanding their time and attention,” said Shanneen Kirkpatrick, a new co-owner with Brandi Lamb and Jirko Senkel, in a joint email interview. “As a small core group of three with direct ties to community members and a strong understanding of Monterey culture, we feel better equipped to maintain the Osio and ensure the quality of our product and services.”

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They said they are waiting for their lease to be approved by the Monterey City Council so they can begin renovations and then reopen, but there is no concrete timeline. Efforts to reach City Council members Friday were unsuccessful.

Lamb said a major priority is upgrading the theater’s sound and projection systems, for which they are working with a Monterey company, StreamLife. Other renovation plans include new carpet, fixing the outdoor marquee and cleaning and repairing the seats, with plans for new seats further down the line. Lamb said they are also negotiating with the landlord to remodel the bathrooms.

The group has said the Kickstarter funds would be used only on equipment and renovations.

The theater’s previous owner, Central Coast Cinemas, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy the day after the Osio closed, listing debts of more than $382,000, court documents show. The case was resolved in late November.

The new owners say their program plans and community focus will help them avoid a similar fate.

“Diversification at the Osio will be the key to our success,” Lamb said.

They want to show midnight movies, host festivals, live-stream events, offer affordable private screenings and work with local groups and schools. They have applied for a beer and wine license, and are working with co-occupant Cafe Lumiere — which is owned by Lamb — to craft a menu specifically for the theater.

That lineup of ideas “barely scratches the surface of all the great things we have planned,” said Kirkpatrick, who was once an assistant manager at the Osio.

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

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