The Washington Post offers an optimistic story of independent theatres finding a measure of success during the pandemic. It features interviews with the owners, executive directors and general managers of a number of independent theatres across the U.S., including the Coolidge Corner Theatre (Brookline, MA), AFI Silver Theatre (Silver Springs, MD), Varsity Theatre (Des Moines, IA) and University Mall Theatres (Fairfax, VA). Many are now busy at work upgrading their facilities with new dining and concessions amenities and expanding their number of screens.
They are using resources from government relief programs as well as a bumper year in fundraising prompted by the pandemic. Audiences are turning up to enjoy a blend of classics as well as an increasing number of new releases. Certainly, many challenges still lie ahead, including lingering COVID restrictions and the challenge of competing with at-home entertainment as streaming options expand. However, the secret to success for local movie theatres is their ability to offer big-screen entertainment in a community setting.
See also: With the theatrical movie business in peril, art houses might hold the key to survival (Washington Post)