Movie theaters struggle nationwide, but some here are thriving

Published: Jan. 6, 2012 at 2:28 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:26 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Movie theaters across the country are struggling. Last year was the worst for ticket sales in 16 years. Nationwide, Americans bought 50 million fewer movie tickets in 2011 than in 2010.

"I think that most main-stream film is pretty commercialized and boring," said Mena Ganey who mostly rents films.

That could be one reason independent theaters like The Loft say it's defying the trend.

"Just in general there are more people here and I think that's because we're not tied into Hollywood trends," said Jeff Yanc, the program director at The Loft.

The Loft is a place where 35 millimeter film is still used, and the projector doesn't project mainstream flicks.

"We can be more responsive to the community and our customers, what we think they're going to like and we can pick films we think are great and that we feel proud about showing," Yanc said.

Analysts cite many reasons for poor ticket sales nationwide: high ticket prices, sequels and remakes and the fact that many would rather watch at home.

"I think that's why a lot of people don't go to theaters," said Marques Emanuel, who works at Casa Video. "They feel like movies aren't worth going to see right off the bat, they'd rather wait till it comes out on video."

Emanuel says like The Loft, it too has seen an up-tick in business.

"It's always been really steady and I think it has picked up a lot especially in the past year or so since a lot of the other video stores have closed down," Emanuel said.

Still, some say movie magic only happens inside big theaters.

"We're in our 60s and we've always gone to the movies," said Carol Celis who goes to the movie theater once a week with her husband, Manuel. "I just enjoy it, getting out and seeing it than to stay at home and watch it on a big old screen."

People are still watching, but the way they watch is changing.

Lots of theaters offer special deals to lure movie-goers.

Copyright 2012 KOLD. All rights reserved.