FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are you nonprofit? Why should I be a member?
When you buy a ticket, 50% goes to pay the distributor for rights to screen the movie. The other half goes toward the remainder of our costs (our wonderful staff, projection costs, utilities, building maintenance, etc). These sales only cover part of what it costs to operate the theater. Membership and donations are what keep our theater running and allow us to bring you great programs and keep the doors open. When you donate or purchase a sustaining membership, we retain 100% of your support and invest it all into our theater experience and educational program.
Membership and donations support artistic freedom. Your support gives us important financial stability and the means to make programming choices independent of any commercial means or point of view. It allows us to take more risks and show a wider variety of movies.
In addition to creating a sustainable theater experience, your donation and memberships directly support or educational program. Our educational program brings tools and resources to youth throughout Monterey County to empower them to tell their own stories through film.
I’ve seen the movies you have already. Why are you still playing the same films?
When we book a film, we enter a partnership with the film’s distributor to show it. As part of that contract, we are obligated to continue showing the film as long as it is financially successful. In some cases, certain distributors may require us to show the film several times a day for a minimum number of weeks.
We work hard to find the perfect balance between keeping our distributors happy so we have access to the best films and keeping our mix of films fresh for our members and patrons. This is especially hard during the holiday and awards seasons when there are so many popular films available. If we could swap more frequently, believe us, we would.
Why did that movie play for only one week?
We always try to play a movie for more than one week to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see it. However, some of our films, even though they may be exceptional and critically-acclaimed, appeal to a limited audience and we can only give them a short run. The best way to support a film and encourage a longer run is by seeing it opening weekend.
Additionally, the film’s distributor sets the release schedule and dates for films. The biggest films seem to all get released during the busiest times, over the summer and in the holiday season. Sometimes we must limit runs of worthy films to make room for others.
Awards Season means it is the time of year that films play for longer stretches. We thank you for your patience as we balance access to the best films available while keeping our on-screen options fresh.
Why aren’t the movies or showtimes for next week listed yet?
Unlike stage theaters or performing arts venues, movie theaters set their schedules weekly. Films and showtimes change on Fridays. Each Monday we select the movies that will be opening or holding over on Friday.
Depending on how a movie has performed over the weekend, our contract with the distributor lets us know if we have to hold it or if we can move to something else. Our calendar is decided week to week based on how each movie is performing.
The best way to stay on top of our weekly film changes is to sign up for our weekly email and check our showtime page.
The movie I want to see is playing at other theaters, how come it is not playing here?
This can happen for a couple different reasons.
The first is that we only have so many screens and we may not have an open one to get to the film just yet. Emailing email@example.com is the best way for us to know what movies you are interested in and helps us plan which films to bring next.
The second reason is that while films may be playing in larger markets such as New York or Los Angeles, they may not be available yet to us. Distributors, especially for art and independent films, tend to roll films out using a staggered release, where films open in larger cities first before they reach us. Sometimes there can be a month between when a film opens in NYC/LA and they offer us an opening date. We do our best to get films as soon as we can and to update our website and weekly email with updates regarding what is coming next and the opening dates.
Thanks for watching movies with us! Your support — through ticket sales, memberships, and donations — keeps our theater running.
Any other questions?
Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.