Published Thu, Aug 30, 2012 10:35 am Dateline
After some remodeling and the creation of a new business model, the Athena Cinema on Court Street in Athens kicks off its reopening Thursday night with a special, surprise midnight screening followed by open house events on Friday and Saturday.
The remodel included updated fire safety and electrical systems, new seats in one theater and retrofitting some space for Ohio University classrooms for all students.
"The renovations at the Athena increase the utility of the theater without compromising the movie-going experience," said Chris Iacofano, executive director of the Athena.
Alexandra Kamody, the Athena's managing director, says a new business model is crucial to the non-profit theater staying open.
"Small, historic art film houses across the country have had to re-think their business model in order to stay alive in today's world of multiplex movie theaters, digital movie streaming and movies in the mail companies like NetFlix. Athena Cinema is no different," said Kamody.
Iacofano says the Athens community and Ohio University are an important part of the business model.
"I hope to involve the Ohio University and Athens communities in the act of bringing movies to the Athena. We're in a community with many special interest groups. Working with those groups, making them partners in the film selections at The Athena, is central to our new program model," said Iacofano.
Another part of the business model aimed at the community is a paid membership that gives benefits such as pre-sale ticket availability for highly anticipated films and discounts on ticket prices and concessions.
The theater will also offer two programs to increase the number of movie goers. The first is called "Science on Screen," it will pair screenings of feature films and documentaries with presentations by science and technology experts.
The weekend's open houses are from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and will have information about fall semester events, the membership programs, a basket give-away raffle and free popcorn.