Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bloomfield Cinema Returns!


This is good news for area movie goers.
Wintonbury mall in Bloomfield has it's movie theater back. It's hard to believe they have been closed for two years.
Free parking and $5.00 matinees for all the recent releases.
Evening shows will be $8.50, with senior and student tickets going for $5.

The Bloomfield 8 is now open with a fresh coat of paint, cleaned-up bathrooms and screening rooms, an improved sound system and projection rooms, and a new attitude.
According to the news,
Tim Keefner, then regional manager for Crown Theatres, was thinking about operating his own movie house and came out to look the property over.

After a lengthy effort to gain control of and upgrade the multiscreen theater in the Wintonbury Mall, Keefner and his partner, Dean Gentile, have realized a lifelong dream and are reopening the cinema this week....although they aren't planning to install stadium-style seating or a gourmet menu, Keefner said, the theater's customers will be able to see first-run films at very good prices.
WHTalk wishes them much good luck and we know we'll be looking forward to enjoying our free small popcorn along with a great movie.

More entertainment choices in the area is always a good thing.

14 comments:

JC said...

I guess That will put some pressure on the theaters at Blue Back. A couple of nice restaurants over there and free parking as well.

Anonymous said...

Yeah jc, with any luck if you and TOWH spend enough time up there you will end up wanting to move to Bloomfield to be closer!

JC said...

Naw, when I move it will be to a more tax friendly state.

The Management said...

Hey anonymous - you mean just because I live in West Hartford I can't go outside of town to see a movie?? Especially if it's cheaper?

You don't seem to get it - We have to go see cheaper movies in order to save money to pay our freakin' taxes here!

JC said...

TOWH, maybe you have a point there.

The town could erect toll gates at all access roads to the town and create income for the privilege of staying in town longer than 30 minutes. Oh yeah, the 1st 30 minutes would be free.

The way traffic has increased that would make it tough to get from Newington to Bloomfield without paying

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous 9:11 pm again -

I like that toll booth idea. But wouldn't limit toll collection to those in-bound to WH. I think that we also need to collect it from those of you leaving as well, as retribution for choosing to spend money somewhere else.

Craig said...

yeah well anonymous .. that sounds typical of the mentality in this town. It's all about retribution.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:11 pm once again -

You and your little doggie too!

Bah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah

Anonymous said...

The beautiful art deco Elm Theater should have been saved instead of becoming a Walgreens Pharmacy. The town officials must have wanted it out of the picture, no pun intended, to make way for the movie theaters at Blue Back. This was a very sad thing for Elmwood's renaissance.

Chris said...

re:The beautiful art deco Elm Theater should have been saved instead of becoming a Walgreens Pharmacy. The town officials must have wanted it out of the picture, no pun intended, to make way for the movie theaters at Blue Back. This was a very sad thing for Elmwood's renaissance.

You don't get it or maybe its me that doesnt get it ... people in WH complain about taxes and spending yet want the town gov't to get involved in everything.. does not make sense... this was a dying business. I grew up in WH and used to spend a lot of time at the ELM as a kid so the place is very near and dear to my heart but the place was dying... they were playing movies that you could get a t a local blockbuster or on your TV pay per view at home ... the manager would say that a lot of times not even 1 customer would came to a showing! and he would have ot close early... why should the town of WH pay to keep a dying movie theater open??? Movie theaters are closing all over the country - juat look at Showcase Cinemas in East Windsor an East HArtford and soo Manchester. is it really in th ebest interest of the town to keep a dead business on life support with close to a zero chance of ever resuscitating. Then you and every one else would be complaing about the town council again for raising taxes ?????

Anonymous said...

There is a lot more to building sustainable communities than just bringing in whatever businesses will bring in increased tax revenue.

The previous owners did not want subsidies from the town. The problem with this property is getting in an out of it. Walgreens is way down on its projections and has started closing at 10:00 pm instead 12:00 pm, meanwhile CVS across the street is booming.

The Perakos family, owners of the Elm Theater, asked the town for help with fixing this intersection for years and as late as 2000. Many creative solutions were presented. They asked for the town to consider shared parking between the Elmwood Community Center and their property. They did not want to sell the property.

An idea was even presented for Walgreens to come to Elmwood on that same property and still keep the theater open – if not for movies, but perhaps, for some other entertainment venue. Yes, it would have required an investment and encouragement on apart of the town, but then, this would have been sustainable development.

The town said no to everything – they said the town couldn’t/didn’t get involved in public-private partnerships. Which then begs the question - how is it that the town could come up with 50+ million for BB, plus give up 16 acres of land, and sell off the BOE building (12 million), but could not assist a loyal family business in town – not with money, but with infrastructure improvements that would have helped, not only them, but many of the businesses in Elmwood.

Infrastructure is the town’s responsibility. That’s the problem with attracting businesses to Elmwood – limited parking and it is very difficult to get in an out of them due to the heavy traffic through the area. Fix this situation and businesses would flock to Elmwood due to the sheer volume of traffic that moves through it on a daily basis.

Then we would see real tax revenue flowing in. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money

The talk of improvements to New Britain Avenue began in 2003 (actually 1959) during a big campaign media blitz. Councilor Thornberry stated then that this “was not another study, but the real thing”. Five years later, nothing has happened except every so often in an election year they get the DOT to the CC in Elmwood to present new plans to make us all hold out hope that one day, perhaps before we die, it might actually happen. The latest date I hear now for start of the project is 2012. Originally we were told 2008.

The town could take over NBA through Elmwood Center from the State easily but then they would have no excuse for not doing anything. We have suffered for years with traffic congestion. Now that other areas of town are feeling what we have felt for years there is a big traffic calming initiative, already funded in this year’s budget, going on, though I don’t see Elmwood as a targeted area for improvements.

Small movie theaters are making a comeback as evidenced by the Bloomfield Cinemas. The Elm was a beautiful theater – far more beautiful than Bloomfield’s and BB theaters. Elmwood did not need another pharmacy – all Walgreens did was put Arrow out of business. Elmwood has four convenience stores in just two blocks.

The bottom line is the town officials did not want a movie theater in town to muddy up the waters with the Blue Back application coming on board. And despite the fact that Elmwood puts huge dollars in the tax coffers of this town, the town chooses to spend this money everywhere else but in Elmwood. Lift Elmwood and you lift all of West Hartford. Let it go and all of West Hartford will suffer. Hartford went bad lot by lot, neighborhood by neighborhood.

I live in Elmwood and there are two houses in foreclosure on my street alone. This can be devastating for a neighborhood. Clark Howard, WTIC talk radio host, said on his program just last night that foreclosures are like a cancer in your neighborhood. My neighbors and I are very concerned. They talk of cutting their loses and just getting out before it is too late. This is very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

the elm was a dump

Bloomfield won't last. Reason why many theatres are closing, are because people have better setup at home.

I love going to theatres, but now that i have a 70 HD projector with 7.1 digital sound and can rent movies with my apple tv box, I won't be going to spend money and gas to drive to bloomfield.

Bloomfield guys came too late to game.

Badger said...

That's right anonymous...I forgot about the time that Thornberry forced our town to spend $2million to hand over to the DOT to do a traffic study for changes to the traffic situation in Elmwood - after there had been about 10 traffic studies in that area already....what ever happened to that?

and to the other anonymous - your point when you said, "Bloomfield won't last. Reason why many theatres are closing, are because people have better setup at home.

I love going to theatres, but now that i have a 70 HD projector with 7.1 digital sound and can rent movies with my apple tv box, I won't be going to spend money and gas to drive to bloomfield.

Bloomfield guys came too late to game."

If this is the case then why did West Hartford Council members allow Heapes to invest in a movie theater if it wasn't a revenue generator or bring people into BBSquare?

A $50 night out vs. a $10 night out for the same movie with my sweetie pie...I'll go for the latter and buy my love a treat after the movie.

Honestly, I like Bloomfield theater and it's easy in, easy out, nice setting, not congested (yet)...I'm with you JC.

Social Guy said...

The Elm was not a dump, and you can keep your isolated hoity toity home set up of 70 HD projector with 7.1 digital sound and rented movies...I'd rather have a night out in town with people and friends around and some actual nightlife in the area. Bloomfield stands to do a very good job as people want to see the latest movies for a reasonable price.