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‘Art film’ market doesn’t support a theater

Posted: August 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Recently, The Signal has published letters from Karen Kaplan, Sue Adamik and Beverly Celentano complaining about the lack of “fine films” playing at theaters out here in the SCV.

I’m sure there are also people out here that bemoan the fact that there’s not a Porsche dealership. Heck, I’m one of them.

I’d love to see a lot full of Porsches every time I drive down Creekside.

But the plain and simple fact of the matter is that there isn’t an economic reason to open one here. The population base is too small, so the existing demand for the product doesn’t justify the investment.

It’d be a losing proposition that wouldn’t make a profit.

Same deal holds true for “art cinemas” that show obscure movies that only appeal to a handful of people.

Nobody’s going to open a theater that runs films to an empty house most of the time. They wouldn’t even be able to pay the rent.

That’s why there are very few theaters like that in a metro area the size of L.A.: they need a large population base to draw even enough patrons to pay their overhead, and maybe show a profit.

I don’t see that changing any time soon. The good news for fans of such movies is that you can easily see those “fine art films” once they come out on video, through Netflix, Amazon, or other on-line providers.



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