Home Announcements The Sierra Theatre and Uptown Cinemas Need Your Help!

The Sierra Theatre and Uptown Cinemas Need Your Help!

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A Susanville resident has put together a fundraiser to help raise money for Susanville’s two local movie theaters – cinemas that have now been shuttered since the COVID-19 pandemic forced their closure nearly 6-months ago.

Debra Marsino, who is organizing the drive to help theater owners Mike and Carolyn Smith, said, “Please, help save our theaters! It would be such a shame to lose one of our only entertainment venues in our small town. Any donation amount will help – even if it’s small!”

You can click here and donate at GoFundMe.com. They are also selling gift cards at Margie’s Book Nook for future use.

Carolyn Smith explains the financial situation they face, “With the film companies taking up to 65% of each ticket and the percentage paid for credit card fees we relied on concession sales. We do not take a paycheck so that we can leave money in the business and rely on construction for our income.”

The Uptown Cinemas opened briefly at the beginning of June with 10-days of playing older films before theaters were again shut down in California by the state’s Public Health Department.

Smith said the plan backfired because they could not get enough patrons in and, ultimately, they lost money on all of the films they offered.

“After having to refinance/take out multiple loans to cover the installation of digital equipment, money to finally be able to purchase the parking lots when we had the chance, and the new roof on the Sierra Theatre – the monthly costs have been daunting without money coming in.”

“We were able to procure a Paycheck Protection Loan, but are now worried about it being forgiven since we cannot hire employees back during Covid-19. Thus, we now owe $724,000.”

“We are trying to stay positive that when the film companies finally release new films customers will be anxious to be entertained with movies on the big screen as they are meant to be.”

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