November 16, 2010

State-of-the-art renovations made at theater

Moviegoers can watch 3D films and can play Xbox on the big screen

Carmel Cinema 8 celebrated its grand opening on Saturday with a ribbon cutting, raffles and charity concession stand, with proceeds benefiting nearby educational programs.

Since Gary Goldring took over the theater in July, several large-scale renovations have taken place, and the theater is now digital and 3D-capable. During the grand opening, movie-goers could take advantage of the 3D capability with showings of "MegaMind 3D" and "Saw 3D," in addition to standard showings of "Due Date," "Jackass," "Hereafter," "Red," and "Paranormal Activity."

Originally built by Cinema North in 2000, the theater is in a former Jamesway building, tucked away at 150 Route 52. Manager Candice Sciarrillo has worked there for five years, and has witnessed many changes in the movie industry over that time.

"The biggest difference now is the introduction of digital projectors and digital movies," Sciarrillo said. "Film had a great run, but nowadays if a theater wants to stay in business, you need to be digital. Film can be scratched, it gets dirty and dusty, but with digital movies the 100th show is as great as the first."

Bringing the theater up-to-date was a first priority for Goldring, who also owns the Bank Street Theater in New Milford, Conn. In the months since he took over, he has made both cosmetic and comprehensive changes. The first changes involved a major cleaning of the theaters, installing epoxy flooring, repainting the walls and replacing the drapery on the walls and screens. Larger changes came next as Carmel Cinema 8 installed digital projectors, new screens and a surround-sound digital speaker system. They also completed work on a new concession stand and are currently replacing outside signage. In the coming year, they expect to renovate the bathrooms, theater seats and carpeting, as well as build a stage in one of the theaters.

In addition to Saturday's grand opening, the theater has plans for other upcoming events. On Nov. 18, the theater will run a midnight showing of the latest installment in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Carmel Cinema 8 hosts private birthday parties, and with their new digital systems, can also stream live video from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and display Xbox games on the big screen. They are always looking for suggestions for other events the community would like to see.

The community plays a big role for the theater, and Carmel Cinema 8 likes to give back for the support they receive.

"We are a part of the community, and want to help out however we can," Sciarrillo said. "If there's something we can do to help the schools or the community, all they need to do is ask." Meredith Cleary, who does marketing for the theater, said that fundraisers for local clubs, like the Girls Scouts and Cub Scouts, have been held at the cinema.

The owners don't just have "a strong knowledge of the industry; they truly care about the theater, the customers and the community," says manager Sciarrillo. "We work together as a great team; we have a wonderful staff and are all working together to make this theater top notch."

It's this community spirit that, combined with state-of-the-art equipment, makes Carmel Cinema 8 such an asset to Putnam County. With low prices and brand-new films, a trip to the theater is an easy and fun way to spend an evening, and Carmel Cinema 8's dedication to community is something all movie-goers can appreciate.

It's Showtime!

Carmel Cinema 8

150 Route 52 (Shop Rite Plaza) – Carmel, NY

Movie times: Visit carmelcinema8.com or call 845.228.1666

Adults $9; Students $8; Children, Seniors and Weekend Matinees $7; Tuesdays $5

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