PF Theater goes discount - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

PF Theater goes discount

Starting Friday, ticket prices drop to $2 for second-run movies

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Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 am

POST FALLS - Post Falls Theater hopes cheap admission prices will bring families back to the movies and boost business.

Starting Friday, the 17-year-old, locally-owned theater will convert to a discount cinema from a "first-run" format.

Prices will drop from the $7-$9 range to $2 for everyone and $1 on Wednesdays. The movies will be those that have been shown for a few months at "first-run" theaters or older popular flicks.

"It was a major decision," said Julius Vichinsky, an owner of the theater. "I never wanted to go that route, but at the end of the day it's best for everyone involved.

"We're making prices shockingly low in hopes that people turn out. We know that a lot of people can't afford to go to the movies right now.

The theater, which has six show areas, will be similar to the discount Garland in Spokane, but with lower prices.

"We'll be the least expensive theater in the area," Vichinsky said. "We kept focusing on a family of five. They can come to the movies, get a large popcorn and something to drink for $20."

Local resident Wes Hamrick is among those who support the change due to how expensive going to the movies has gotten. Seeing a movie right away also isn't critical to him.

"I am a grandparent who would like to take the grandkids to a G-rated movie every couple of weeks, but it's too expensive," Hamrick said.

Vichinsky said it has been difficult to compete as a first-run theater and converting to digital production would cost about $800,000.

He said the movie industry as a whole is down about 30 percent in recent years and Post Falls has struggled like many theaters.

"Things have been super tight the past 3-4 years," he said. "We've been on the verge of going this way for awhile now."

Vichinsky believes the move is what's best for the community, especially during the recession.

"I can't let go of the fact that we're here to serve the public," he said. "I'd rather see the theater go out on a positive giving note than not seeing us change our focus. I am proud to say that we have never sacrificed the quality of our service, the commitment to our community or the caliber of our character for profit."

Concession prices were also recently lowered. For example, a large popcorn now runs $5 compared to the industry standard $7.

The theater will not have midnight showings as a discount cinema, but will re-evaluate it in 2012 and may consider showing some classics at that time, Vichinsky said.

Vichinsky hopes the community will embrace the change.

"Everybody likes to see a movie when it first comes out, but the movie business was always supposed to be volume-based," he said. "Hopefully the lower prices will raise volume, be good for business and make it easier for mom and dad to bring their family to a movie, especially during the holidays."

Free movies

on Saturday

POST FALLS - Christmas has arrived early for movie-goers.

Post Falls Theater will offer free movies on Saturday.

"We're doing this as a special way to say thanks - no trickery or strings attached," said owner Julius Vichinsky.

Seating will be on a first-come, first serve basis. No reserved tickets or credits will be issued. Doors will open at 9:15.

"Dolphin Tale" starts at 10:30 a.m., "Kung Fu Panda II" 10:15 a.m. "The Help" 10:05 a.m. and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" at 10:20 a.m. Those movies will be shown throughout the day at various times.

Vichinsky hopes attendees will buy concessions during the free movies as a way to offset some of the cost.

"We're hoping this gives families an opportunity to come to the movies and it doesn't stretch their pocketbook this time of year," he said.

Coming attractions

Here is Friday's lineup at Post Falls Theater to kick off the discount format and Saturday's free community day:

FRIDAY

* "Dolphin Tale," PG, 12:45, 3, 5:20, 7:35

* "Kung Fu Panda II," PG, 12:10, 2, 3:50, 5:40, 7:30,

* "The Help," PG-13, 1, 4, 7

* "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," PG-13, 12:50, 3:05, 5:25 and 7:45

SATURDAY

Same times and movies on Friday, plus the following:

* "Dolphin Tale," 10:30 a.m.

* "Kung Fu Panda II," 10:15 a.m.

* "The Help," 10:05 a.m.

* "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," 10:20 a.m.

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8 comments:

  • Godmother posted at 9:23 am on Fri, Dec 2, 2011.

    Godmother Posts: 8

    With the economy the way it is going, this was a smart business move for them. We haven't been to the movies in over 5 years because of the prices (especially at Riverstone). This will be a great way to get everyone out, have some snacks and see a movie without worrying how to pay for it. Good move Julius. You are an asset to this community. Stay Alive!

     
  • pginthemiddle posted at 3:06 pm on Thu, Dec 1, 2011.

    pginthemiddle Posts: 84

    If one is looking for plush and cushy lounge chairs, in a stadium seating setup and is more concerned about their seating than "the experience", then stay at the Riverstone 14. At the PF theater, you are treated like a customer rather than a fly on the wall. You are greeted with a smile, served with a smile, and told in a friendly voice to come back and see them. In the 12 years I have attended shows at the PF theater, there is nothing wrong with the seating and Julius is doing what he needs to do to keep that theater alive. SO if you are expecting a "cushy stadium seat" either go somewhere else or bring your beanbag chair.
    Great job, Julius. Your community will be here to back you up.

     
  • RL posted at 8:49 pm on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    RL Posts: 161

    It's all about marketing. Netflix is killing local cinemas so ...what to do?

    Well, go price specific as they have done until the Beck road interchange is finished and west Post Falls blossoms. The higher sales tax that the "tax-up-the wazzoes" in Olympia are using to offset the $1.6 Billion deficit in Wa. will drive Wa. shoppers to PF in droves. There is a waiting list of major chains that want to be next to Cabela's when the interchange is finished..

    ( Back to the Cinemas)-I thoroughly enjoyed King's Castle at North Lake Tahoe when they offered dinner and drinks with their movies. Having dinner and "toties" while watching "shorts/cartoons" was TOO entertaining. After dinner, the feature started and folks weren't bothered spending bucks on popcorn/trashfood.Perhaps a caterer or the "The Taco Chick" can be sub-contracted?
    Obviously, "date night" and "family time" are different animals so how to market those groups is a decision that needs to be fleshed out per Post Falls requirements.

    Good luck to these risk takers!

     
  • FmlyinPF posted at 9:34 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    FmlyinPF Posts: 1

    It's about time they do something! PF theater has the most uncomfortable seating and for them to price their movies at or similar to Riverstone was asking a lot. I would have rather spent an extra dollar or two and been comfortable then go to PF theater. If they are going to drop their prices to compensate for this, my family and I will probably be going there a lot more. Good business decision on their behalf!

     
  • benaloi posted at 7:43 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    benaloi Posts: 1

    I sincerely hope this is a successful move for the PF theater. As a parent of several kids, we don't get to go to the movies more than twice a year due to the extensive costs. I'm excited to not only be able to treat my family to more movies now, but to also support a wonderful local business.

     
  • JonUSMC posted at 6:46 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    JonUSMC Posts: 98

    I hope it works out ok. Julius is a gentleman and has done a lot of good for the community.

     
  • Wakktwins posted at 6:41 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    Wakktwins Posts: 9

    We love Julius and we love Post Falls Theater! They do so much to support our community! Support our local businesses by giving back to them!

     
  • straight up posted at 5:20 am on Tue, Nov 29, 2011.

    straight up Posts: 967

    I will definitely be taking advantage of these prices.

    We refuse to pay Riverstone's ridiculous prices. Haven't seen the inside of that place in over two years and we never will go there again. Cost like 18 bucks for 2 sodas and a popcorn.

    Post Falls presents a great place to take the kiddos. They don't know the difference between being ripped off and being valued, but a lot of sensible adults sure do.

     
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