30-year-old independent movie theater in Endicott will close
Cinema Saver in the village of Endicott is shutting their doors at the end of July due to rising costs and their inability to recover from the pandemic.
Owned by Amber and Bruce Gregory, the movie theater has been showing discounted movies for just over 30 years. Amber Gregory acquired the business after she bought it as a college student from her sister, who currently owns four locations of Funtime Cinemas in Pennsylvania.
Amber changed the business from Dollar Fifty Cinema to Cinema Saver in 1998 and Bruce, her husband, joined her working at Cinema Saver in 2018.
Amber and Bruce said they have still not been able to make a profit since the pandemic. They have been trying to get back to the profitable movie theater they once were.
“It's really, really, really hard to recover from,” Amber said. “The second year, when the theaters did reopen, people weren’t going out. It was nowhere near the same revenue stream as having feature films.”
Bruce said that rising costs of goods also played a part in their closing. However, both of them feel they can’t change many aspects of their revenue.
“We feel that we’re at a point where we can’t increase the prices anymore, in terms of tickets and concession,” Bruce said.
Amber said that even big theater companies are taking opportunities to move locations or close.
“Independent movie theaters like us aren't the only ones struggling,” Amber said. “The big companies are closing down. They are trying to reorganize themselves because large, theatrical release theaters are struggling right now.”
Since their announcement, they said that they have had many customers disappointed and sad that Cinema Saver is closing and that breaks their hearts.
“There are so many things about the theater that we enjoy, but mostly just the people coming in,” Bruce said. “Giving them someplace where they can go for a while.”
While working at Cinema Saver, Amber said that she enjoyed running all parts, from being able to watch movies in her theater to working the administration end. Bruce said he loved the atmosphere and the community that movies brought together.
Amber and Bruce will be working at Cinema Saver until they close on July 27.