Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back

Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back“In my mind, it’s not a question of if we will still be here. I have to find a way to keep the theater going,” said Kelly Walden, general manager of Ridgecrest Cinemas. Scores of businesses in the Indian Wells Valley finished their second full week of closure today, following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive that Californians stay home and all but essential services cease operations. The adoption of drastic social distancing measures are aimed at “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 outbreaks. Even as business owners demonstrate compliance, many are still counting the days that they will be able to eventually return to full operation without a way to collect revenue in the mean time. “We have done everything we can to keep costs down, but we still have monthly bills,” said Walden. She and her deputy have been selling gift certificates online, and are now exploring whether the theater can sell popcorn curbside to home movie-watchers. “We are still trying to determine if there is a way we can do this that maintains the safety of our staff and customers, but I also know that I can’t sell enough popcorn to stay in business indefinitely,” said Walden. In addition to ordering take out for her family once a week, “Ridgecrest Cinemas is giving away a $30 gift certificate to a different locally owned restaurant each Monday. It probably won’t matter to a restaurant if we eat out once a week. But it might make all the difference if we all commit to it.” — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2020-04-03