It was a sad day in Monterey when the owners of Osio Cinemas announced in July the independent movie theater would be closing its doors.
But after a successful crowdfunding effort by three of its former employees, the local gem is expected to reopen for the holidays—hopefully by November.
The local theater will continue to show independent films, documentaries and arthouse numbers, but moving forward, the owners hope to transform it into a community center space, says Shanneen Kirkpatrick, co-owner of Osio Cinemas.
"We are working on improving the experience at the theater, and we want people to come in for something new," Kirkpatrick says.
Some of the perks the owners hope to add are private movie screenings, streaming live performances and event at the theater, host lectures and Q&As.
They also aim to showcase films that chronicle what local businesses and nonprofits are doing in the community.
In part, the Osio was able to reopen thanks to the support of more than 600 people who helped the owners raise $76,048 in a couple of months. The owners also put in additional money of their own to relight the downtown marquee.
"We are just amazed by the outpouring of support we have received," Jirko Senkel, a former general manager and co-owner of the theater, wrote to the many supporters on the Kickstarter campaign's website.
In addition to the new entertainment plans, the owners are looking to expand Cafe Lumiere's beer and wine license privileges for moviegoers.
The closure of Osio Cinemas was attributed to a number of reasons, including mounting debt, lagging business, competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and an expensive conversion to digital projectors in 2012 to keep up with changing technology.