Park Cinemas asks community for $250,000 to help save movie theater
–The owners of Park Cinemas, at 1100 Pine St., Paso Robles, launched a GoFundMe account this week asking for $250,000 to help save the movie theater, which was forced to close do to COVID-19 restrictions. In the first few days since the request, the owners have raised over $5000.
In the request for support, owners Jennifer Roush Kloth and Catherine Roush write:
The Park Cinemas in Paso Robles, California is an independent family-owned movie theater. We have been providing entertainment to our community for over 23 years and plan to continue for many years to come. But these last 6 months have been catastrophic to our business. Covid-19 brought along with it the mandate for ALL California Movie Theaters to close their doors until further notice. Ok…we can do that for one, two, three, four maybe even five months with help from government loans but six months and now longer? We survived thru July but are falling more and more behind. Rent, insurance, employee paychecks, non-operating expenses don’t stop just because we are closed. Closed means no income to pay our expenses. We must catch up or face eviction. This is where asking for help comes into play…Please help?!
Our story – Working his way through college, our father started in the theater business in 1969 as an usher. He worked his way through the ranks to theater manager. He married our mom and together they began to build their business. They became partners in a small single screen theater in 1975. They slowly became experts in small town theaters, thriving with the mottos “small towns deserve state of the art theaters” and “our customers are our business”. They later had the good fortune of acquiring two more small town theaters and then in 1982 they ventured out “on their own” gaining full ownership of one of the three theaters. More years of hard work and determination brought about expansion. In 1997, they had a vision to bring a state of the art, family friendly theater to the small community of Paso Robles. With determination, creativity and heart, they opened the Park Cinemas with the movie Titanic. This was quite apropos, as this was, for them, a titanic risk.
At that time, on the outskirts of town, a large shopping center had just opened with Wal-Mart as its anchor. Downtown Paso Robles went into a major downturn with five pages of empty stores for sale or lease. The opening of the Park Cinemas was the catalyst for the revitalization of the downtown. The theater’s success brought with it tens of thousands of people who then ventured into other shops and restaurants.
My sister and I grew up in the theater: selling popcorn, ushering people to their seats, even cleaning behind the scenes. The theater business is in our blood. We lost our mother in 2016, making us the new owners of the Park Cinemas. Our father continues as CEO and as our mentor. We have tried to follow in our parent’s footsteps by keeping our family’s commitment to the community. We support many local non-profits, including the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation and the Main Street Of Paso Robles, for which our father is a lifetime board member. We have given over 1000 young people their first jobs. Through movies we have brought laughter, joy, screams and sometimes tears to memorable family outings, a first date or just an escape from the everyday chores of life.
Paso Robles is a beautiful, amazing town. It is a picture perfect postcard of “Downtown America”. Our fervent wish is to continue to offer a place for entertainment and to help our community remain the jewel it is.
SO…is this how you do it? Is this how you ask for help? I hope we got it right.
We look forward to greeting you very soon. We commit that once we reopen and return to profitability, we will “pay it forward”.