Indie theatre with charm that needs patronage!.
I love the Beach Theatre! It was built in 1939 and is one of the only theatres of its time to still be standing. It has one screen and they mostly play independent and foreign movies, but they will also play brand new movies from time to time. They sell wine and beer and the tickets are $5-$7, which is much less than other local theatres charge, which can be as much as $10.
If independent theatres die out, we'll have big corporate movie theatre chains like AMC spoon-feed us movies they think we should see. You can email the Beach Theatre to suggest a movie, while an AMC would probably laugh at you. Thankfully, places like the Beach Theatre will show movies that the chain theatres won't.
The Beach Theatre also gives local artists a venue. They've had local musicians perform on their stage as well as amateur groups who put live shows to movies like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)."
The Beach Theatre has even hosted fundraisers for local charities like WMNF radio, The Seabird Sanctuary, Autism Speaks and more.
Since the current owner, Mike France, bought the theatre a few years ago, he upgraded the sound to Dolby Digital surround sound, the projector to High-Definition (HD), remodeled the lobby and the women's bathroom, added computers for ticketing and concessions, and fixed all sorts of other problems with the theatre that had gone untouched with the previous owners.
To answer another reviewer's complaint about broken chairs, yes, there are about 4 broken chairs (out of 246). The theatre is in a tough spot right now. They're trying to transition to non-profit status, like most other independent theatres, which could take a long time. Then, there will be new opportunities to raise money forrepairs, but for now, the theatre is struggling to stay open. The overall environment is still a nice one.
As for dirty, I've only ever noticed the floors to br dirty, only because people are always spilling their drinks, beers and popcorn and leave their cups, bottles and popcorn bags on the seats and floor. People forget their manners when they visit a movie theatre. Before the employees leave for the night, they sweep and mop, clean the lobby and bathrooms and clean and sanitize the popcorn machine.
This is a great place to catch a movie for a low price. If your movie starts before 5pm, you pay $5. If it starts at 5pm or later, you pay $7 unless you're a senior, student, child or military because then you pay $5 all day. Other theatres charge over $10! See a movie at the Beach Theatre and buy something from the concession stand, which is where movie theatres make their money (most of the ticket cost goes back to repay the cost of the movie). The Beach Theatre sells wine, beer, soda, water, candy and popcorn. For special movies, they even will mix special drinks (Martinis for Bond movies, White Russians for "The Big Lebowski," etc). This is an all-around great place!
Beach Theater/Not a good experience. While you give credit to a small business trying to make a go of it, this theater offers a substandard experience. It is extremely run down with broken down seats, dirty environment and a poor movie presentation (color was bleached out and the sound was way too loud). Regardless of the lower ticket price, it was not a comfortable or pleasant experience.
A local landmark, a blast from the past--and some amazing movies to boot..
You know, kids, back when your grandmother and I were your age, movie theaters only had one screen. No, seriously. Just one screen per theater. No quadraphonic surround-sound, no stadium seats. There weren't even any video games in the lobby. The Beach is still like that.
The Beach is the less-fancy cousin to Tampa Theater. A lot of the time, the two are showing the same movie. Other times, a film will be at Tampa Theater one week and the Beach the next, which gives you a second chance to see one you missed--or a chance to see one again that you liked. Essentially, it's the best foreign and independent films--most of which never show at any local theater--and the occasional classic that you've only seen on TV.
Cool, erudite people who know the difference between cinema and television and who understand that it's not cool to talk in the theater. For that reason, the coolest people will drive across town to the Beach even if the same movie's playing at a nearby mainstream theater.
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