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Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

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Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Old 07-03-21, 05:40 PM
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Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

The last second-run discount movie theater in the Austin area has permanently closed. Too bad because it was near my house, and I loved still catching movies in a theater that I would never pay $10 to see.

Years ago, an independent chain tried to open a discount house in a former Alamo Drafthouse, but they ended up remodeling and going first-run.

Are there discount movie theaters where you live?

And given the troubles with first-run chains due to the pandemic and the competition from streaming, are they as doomed as video stores?
Old 07-03-21, 06:05 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

The last one here closed in 2008. Honestly, I didn't really miss it because it was in such a nondescript mall theater. From the mid-90s till 2004, the "dollar theater" was the old Esquire Theatre which while a little rundown, especially after they stopped putting first run movies in it in 1994, had a lot of character. They used to stick an "older" movie in there once a month so you could see that movie for a couple bucks on what was, at the time, still the biggest theater screen in town.
Old 07-03-21, 06:18 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
The last second-run discount movie theater in the Austin area has permanently closed. Too bad because it was near my house, and I loved still catching movies in a theater that I would never pay $10 to see.

Years ago, an independent chain tried to open a discount house in a former Alamo Drafthouse, but they ended up remodeling and going first-run.

Are there discount movie theaters where you live?

And given the troubles with first-run chains due to the pandemic and the competition from streaming, are they as doomed as video stores?
The old Cinemark Movies 8 in Round Rock (my first job as a projectionist when I was 16) was closed since the pandemic started. They even had the marquee up the entire year with the last movies they were showing. Over the past few weeks I noticed cars started going there…then construction crews…then the outside poster cases were ripped off, and now the marquee is now gone. Safe to say it’s no longer a discount movie theater.
Old 07-03-21, 06:27 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

We still have some smaller independent 1 or 2 screen places around, but the larger ones are not coming back from being shutdown during the pandemic. We also still have several drive-in theaters that show second-runs.
Old 07-03-21, 09:48 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

When we moved into our townhome in 2000, we had a great little second run movie house within a five minute walk of our new place. Two months later, the shopping center landlord forced them out to put a Hollywood Video in its place. I'm still stinging from that.
Old 07-03-21, 09:58 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Ours closed a number of years ago. I went to the last showing. There might have been 10 people there. I made sure I was the last customer out of the building.
I had a lot of great memories there. Trying to sneak into Judgement Night three times, walking out of Black Knight, sneaking in a shitload of wine coolers to see that MTV spring break movie as a third wheel and having a glass bottle roll all the way down through the seats.
Old 07-03-21, 10:00 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by E Unit View Post
The old Cinemark Movies 8 in Round Rock (my first job as a projectionist when I was 16) was closed since the pandemic started. They even had the marquee up the entire year with the last movies they were showing. Over the past few weeks I noticed cars started going there…then construction crews…then the outside poster cases were ripped off, and now the marquee is now gone. Safe to say it’s no longer a discount movie theater.
That was the last discount theater in the Austin area.

Originally Posted by TheAllPurposeNothing View Post
When we moved into our townhome in 2000, we had a great little second run movie house within a five minute walk of our new place. Two months later, the shopping center landlord forced them out to put a Hollywood Video in its place. I'm still stinging from that.
Yeah, but you've got that video store within walking distance, so
Old 07-03-21, 10:03 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
We still have some smaller independent 1 or 2 screen places around, but the larger ones are not coming back from being shutdown during the pandemic. We also still have several drive-in theaters that show second-runs.
Where at?
Old 07-03-21, 11:22 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Dayton/Cincinnati, Ohio
Old 07-04-21, 12:40 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

In the city where I live, we only had two Cinemark movie theaters: a 10-screen discount theater and a first-run theater (unsure on number of screens). The discount theater was going strong until the pandemic, but it never opened again once it closed for that.

It's definitely sad on a couple levels. Of course, it's terrible to lose another theater, but it's another piece of my childhood growing up gone. As a little kid, we had three separate theaters, each with three of four screens, and then the movies 10 opened. I was probably in junior high or high school. It was a huge deal. Within a few years, all of those other theaters were repurposed. Then we got a bigger theater, and the movies 10 became a discount theater. Come to think of it, the last movie I saw in a theater was there. I imagine there will be similar stories of theaters that never reopened.
Old 07-04-21, 01:14 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

There was a theater in the Uptown area here that showed art/smaller distribution films (I saw “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Once” there) but they showed classic movies on the weekends and was where I’d go to see “The Room”. They also had a long-running “Rocky Horror Picture Show” night.

Closed during the pandemic and not reopening.

Seeing “The Room” with a big group is the most fun I’ve ever had at a theater - now I’ll just stick to seeing new stuff that I can’t stream at home with my family but the days of the “fun movie night with friends at the theater” is over.
Old 07-04-21, 01:26 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Great times there, Draven, for sure. I remember a packed house losing their minds there during Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The Hopkins cheap seats closed this spring, too. Good theater,, a bummer. It was the only property that local theater chain didn't own, and I think that was a big part of it.
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Old 07-04-21, 06:39 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

There was a discount theater in Nashville, but it was in a bad area of town and I never went there. There was a man with a hatchet that attacked three movie goers there. It was a Carmike, but it's now a AMC first-run theater.
Old 07-04-21, 09:04 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Where I used to live, about 40-45 minutes away, there was one in the Downtown Area.

Sadly, its been closed during the entirety of the pandemic.
Old 07-04-21, 11:45 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Aside from the pandemic, another factor here is the shortening of theatrical windows. It used to be that you'd have to wait about 6 months (or longer) for something to get to video. So if a movie had been out for 3 months, it was still a few months away from video and there was a viable business in showing it in these theaters. Now, not so much.
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Old 07-04-21, 12:49 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

I don't know if there's one here. There was a discount theater just two miles from the house, but we stopped going there a long time ago. The last straw was when Master and Commander was shown with the projector lamp set so dark that we couldn't make out what was on the screen. It only had one employee at a time, so when there was a problem with the sound, he couldn't address it until everybody in the line for popcorn was served.

Old 07-04-21, 12:59 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Dead in my area. The last one here was a small one owned by Regency theatres. Closed during the pandemic and hasn’t reopened even with all the others already opened. They only charged $3 a movie. Usually it was stuff that was over 4 months old that was shown. Wasn’t the nicest theatre. The clientele was mostly red necks, low income families and senior citizens.
Old 07-04-21, 01:56 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

I think gone in my area.
It was a Carmike.
It used to be a buck, then it was 2, then it was 2.50. Even that wasn't bad, and their popcorn was pretty good.
AMC bought it and made it a one-and-a-half run, as in, it would get the newer movies like a week late, and keep them for a week later. And they jacked up the price to 6 or 7 dollars. And didn't remodel - the place was a craphole, which was fine if you could saved twenty bucks on a movie. Even before pandemic it was doomed - it was a solution without a problem.
Old 07-04-21, 07:30 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by mwbmis View Post
The last one here closed in 2008. Honestly, I didn't really miss it because it was in such a nondescript mall theater. From the mid-90s till 2004, the "dollar theater" was the old Esquire Theatre which while a little rundown, especially after they stopped putting first run movies in it in 1994, had a lot of character. They used to stick an "older" movie in there once a month so you could see that movie for a couple bucks on what was, at the time, still the biggest theater screen in town.
I miss the Esquire ...

Damn this town needs another theater chain in it.
Old 07-04-21, 09:30 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

There was one nearby when I first moved here. I would peruse their movie listings but never went. I think they closed up.

When I lived in socal, there was one I went to. The presentation was definitely discount, even though the lobby was wall-to-wall neon glitz.
Old 07-04-21, 11:08 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
I miss the Esquire ...

Damn this town needs another theater chain in it.
I miss the two bigger screens. I don't really miss the front two. Those theaters were terrible.

Sometimes I still miss the Fox. I saw a lot of great small movies at the Fox.
Old 07-04-21, 11:15 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

I don't think we've had one here for at least 20 years. The last film I saw at one was Pulp Fiction.
Old 07-04-21, 11:47 PM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

I could see home theaters and digital services taking a big bite out of the second-run business. We often went to one just north of the city limits that charged $2 a head (I remember a double feature of Big and Die Hard). We stopped going once a multiplex opened nearby, but we did see Yesterday there.

I just checked to see if they were still in business, and they list Summer of Soul, F9, In the Heights, and A Quiet Place 2, so I guess their business model has changed. $6 for matinee and $8 evening, but the place was pretty shabby, so if I wanted a big-screen experience, I’d probably pay more for a better facility.
Old 07-05-21, 12:12 AM
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Re: Second-Run Discount Theaters: A thing of the past?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Dead in my area. The last one here was a small one owned by Regency theatres. Closed during the pandemic and hasn’t reopened even with all the others already opened. They only charged $3 a movie. Usually it was stuff that was over 4 months old that was shown. Wasn’t the nicest theatre. The clientele was mostly red necks, low income families and senior citizens.

I have a Regency nearby and it's re-opened:

General Admission $3.50
Matinee $2.50 All films starting before 6:00pm
Flashback Film Series $8.00 Thursday Night Classic Films


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