Venue Cinemas stays afloat with community support

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Selling popcorn and keeping ticket prices low - it’s all a part of keeping the doors open at Venue Cinemas.

“We’re really just depending on our regular customers and movie buffs cause we just don’t have any new product out there for the average customer," said Ralph Harrison Jr., Venue Cinemas co-owner.

Harrison says the second-run theater is in a break-even situation.

With Hollywood putting out fewer films, Venue Cinemas is turning to classics like “Indiana Jones” and “Lord of the Rings” to keep customers in the seats.

“Our regular customers are coming to watch movies no matter what we have, so, yeah they’ve been really supportive to keep us afloat," said Harrison.

Supporting the theater is something Harrison says the community has embraced, even if that doesn’t always mean sitting down to watch a film.

From buying curbside concessions to getting a new T-shirt, he says there hasn’t been a shortage of support.

“We love movies and our regular customers love movies. The colleges are back in, those kids love to come see movies and so we try to get things that they wanna see, but it makes us feel good that they’re supporting us," said Harrison.

And with the pandemic still in play, safety remains a priority.

“[We’re] making sure that the theater is sanitized and safe for everyone," said Harrison.

But through it all, Harrison says he thinks the new year will bring the crowds back.

“We had a really good customer base. We were doing pretty good there before the pandemic hit and I think it’ll come back around. Right now, we just gotta hold on until we get there," said Harrison.

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