“We are at the center of a community and we do this because we love it,” Hollywood owner Corey Hanff, whose first job was at the Palace Theater, said. “I can’t understand why we are being asked to spend extra money when the end goal will be to make the same amount that we are now.”
The grant application seeks $2,180,929 in funding from the state, leaving local theaters with a share of $726,976 to generate on their own.
Wikoff said that without the grant, the movie business could fade to black in the Adirondacks.
“Just imagine that there is not a single movie screen in the Adirondack Park being open within one year from now,” Wikoff said. “We are looking at a total of 37 screens that include two drive-ins. The ramifications are profound.”
Huttlinger said that the society has conducted a study of those who attend movies in the park that finds a generation of $11 million in revenue for local businesses in total. That is why they believe that the best solution to the problem is for the local businesses to own their screens.
“They can put on their own shows rather than just being able to have first-run movies,” Wikoff said. “We want to do more than just help them stay in business and keep the doors open. We want to help create a whole new business model for the small theater.”