Not extended soon after the operators of the Cinema Theater announced in February that Rochester’s oldest movie house would close for good, the marquee began flashing a mysterious information that prompt a second showing: “The Cinema Theater Will Return.”
Now, new operators, spouses Kristina Dinino-Jeffords and Damon Jeffords, say they are delivering on the marquee’s cryptic promise.
“We plan on revitalizing this landmark theater and introducing a special food stuff menu including alcoholic drinks,” Dinino-Jeffords introduced in a Fb post. “We will be showcasing freshly unveiled, 1st-run, films including kid helpful matinees.”
The pair owns the Mad Hatter Cafe & Bakery on South Goodman Avenue, not considerably from the legendary single-screen Cinema Theater on South Clinton Avenue and the corner of Goodman.
The time has occur to make a significant announcement to our buddies and loved ones….effectively, and the community! It’s been in the will work…
Posted by Kristina Elizabeth on Thursday, April 8, 2021
Her put up went on to study that the couple strategies to open up in September and are wanting to phase stay performances, together with performs and musical acts, starting at some point in 2022.
Achieved by telephone, Dinino-Jeffords declined to examine the matter over and above what was in her submit, which was revealed April 8 and encouraged viewers to share. IT has due to the fact been greatly circulated.
Cinema owner John Trickey verified that he was leasing the theater to the couple and mentioned he considered the system they proposed could be prosperous. He added they experienced presently taken out the seats to paint the ground.
“They are heading to do a thing that I consider Rochester needs,” Trickey mentioned. “A ton of metropolitan areas all over the state have it, and that’s introducing meals and beer and wine to the Cinema and go to start with-run.”
The Little Theatre, which like Metropolis is less than the umbrella of WXXI General public Media, also delivers beer and wine and a menu of desserts and very simple entrees. The Minor runs new releases, much too, even though mainly independent movies from scaled-down distributors.
Getting a liquor license for a film theater can be demanding. At present, theaters can only serve alcoholic beverages via a certified cafe on the premises, and moviegoers are barred from consuming their beverages within the theater unless of course there are eating tables at the seats. State legislators and the governor had been on the cusp of soothing the regulation right before the pandemic derailed that legislation.
With its trademark pink façade and turquoise trim, the Cinema has been a garish and beloved fixture of the Swillburg community for a long time.
The theater opened as “The Clinton” in 1914 with dust floors and bench seating, and was renamed the Cinema Theater in 1949 following an extensive renovation that launched its exclusive art deco exterior.
The Cinema struggled financially with the advent of suburban cineplexes with their several screens and Hollywood blockbusters, but limped along with the help of a loyal patrons who embraced the theater and all its quirks, like a dwelling cat or two that roamed absolutely free and repeat sellouts of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Alex Chernavsky and his wife, Audrey Kramer, had operated the Cinema underneath a lease they signed in 2018. The area was so exclusive to them that they had married there in 2009.
The few was compelled to shutter most of previous yr due to the pandemic and announced in February that they experienced opted to not renew their lease when it expired in January.
“We really relished running the Cinema Theater for the past 3 several years,” Chernavsky stated. “It was a specific position for us even in advance of we (operated) it. We obtained married there, and it’s been a lengthy-time convenience. The actuality is, the pandemic manufactured it hard to commit to a further time period on the lease.”
Chernavsky explained he fulfilled with Dinino-Jeffords and Jeffords a pair time in current months and verified that they had signed a new lease arrangement.
“We would like the ideal of success to the news (operators), and we hope their new undertaking will work out for them,” Chernavsky mentioned.
Dinino-Jeffords wrote in her Fb put up that she and her partner have been producing sponsorship offers for companies and people.
Trickey explained the marquee message foreshadowing a return to films at the Cinemas was by structure.
“Everyone considered it was closing,” Trickey claimed. “I knew, as the proprietor, that the Cinema wasn’t heading to close.”
Trickey rescued the theater from all but particular closure when he bought a controlling interest in the place in 2006. He grew to become the sole proprietor in 2012, getting over from its long-time owner and operator, Jo Ann Morreale.
He described fielding phone calls from various possible lessees and buyers when news broke previously this yr that the Cinema was closing.
“It was my intention always to preserve an previous landmark from disappearing,” Trickey explained. “Once you shed some thing like that, that’s it. You never ever get it back again.”
Involves reporting by Rebecca Rafferty.