Tucson movie theater gets creative during actor’s strike

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 7:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The repercussions of the ongoing actor strike have impacted local movie theaters.

Customer traffic has slowed due to blockbuster movies being pushed back. RoadHouse Cinemas in Tucson is getting creative to keep its theater full.

RoadHouse Cinemas is known for being a movie and dining experience.

With only one location in Tucson, employees are playing to their strengths as long as film production in Hollywood is closed.

“Well the good news is the writer’s strike has been settled, now we’re hoping that the actor’s strike gets settled and we are expecting and hoping it ends soon,” said Scott Cassell with RoadHouse Cinemas.

Cassell is the director of operations at RoadHouse Cinemas. He says production delays, a result of the strike, is stopping some movies from being released on time.

“Unfortunately, there’s been some good movies that have been pushed back. Dune was pushed back, Kraven the Hunter was pushed back, Lord of the Rings was pushed back to 2024,” said Cassell.

“I don’t like that because we like the current movies to come out. So we can come to the theater to see them,” said Tucsonan Kathy Haynes. “But if that’s part of the process then that’s how it has to be.”

”I just hope there’s a resolution soon as a movie goer,” said Tucsonan Darren Huntley. “I think it’s disappointing for everyone, viewers, the actors, even the producers. I just think it’s a very unfortunate situation.”

RoadHouse plays a mix of major motion pictures and independent films.

Many independent projects are not part of the actor’s strike. And production has been allowed to continue, which lessened the impact on RoadHouse Cinemas, The Loft, and The Screening Room in Tucson.

“In the past we’ve played The Hill, Golda, Sound of Freedom, Asteroid City,” said Cassell.

But theater owners say they will start hurting if Christmas releases get pushed to next summer.

To be proactive and help generate ticket sales, theaters across the country are playing older movies on the big screen.

Right now, Jurassic Park is playing at The Loft.

Pineapple Express is at The Screening Room where electronic vaping is allowed, according to its website.

And RoadHouse Cinemas is playing the Harry Potter series, complete with creative offerings from the kitchen.

“And we’re even having butterbeer, butterbeer popcorn, hazards beast burger and some other cool food special items,” said Cassell.

RoadHouse Cinemas and The Loft have also started offering closed caption screenings to appeal to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Tucson.

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