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Downtown Businesses, Photo Essay

Lights, Camera, Action: Cinema 1 Plus….

Who doesn’t like going to the movies? I’ve been following Cinema 1 Plus…. on Facebook and I love what they do! Midnight Shows, Summer Movies for Kids, Special Premiers – they have it all! I met up with the owners, Karl and Stephanie Mittler, to find out more about the cinema and what they do.

Cinema 1 Plus…. first opened their doors in 1979. They are a family owned and operated movie theater. They provide state of the art Dolby Digital Projection and sound, and Washington loves them.

I’ve always loved going to the movies. It’s so much more different than watching a film at home, even in the era of HUGE flat screen TVs. Of course, the best time to go is when it is dark outside…

Cinema 1 Plus…. gives their customers a 2 hour escape from reality. They can take a break from real life and be transported into a whole new world, whether it be a secret agent, prom queen, or An Alien from Mars!  They get to be someone else for a while, and then come back and appreciate what they’ve got.

Going to the movies is all about the experience…. Do you remember the first time you walked on the red carpet towards the auditorium and experienced the anticipation on the lights going down, that amazing smell of popcorn (they pop fresh in house every day), the roar of the surround sound whisking you away? 

What Karl and Stephanie love about being located in Washington are the people.   They get to meet so many different walks of life and make so many lasting connections. As Stephanie put it, “Our customers are SO loyal and amazing, we wouldn’t be here with out them and their continued support.”

Let’s go behind the scenes…. This is how the movies are being played.  Cinema 1 Plus… pays out the film companies a percentage of the ticket price, which can range anywhere from 50-90%.  Stephanie jokes that they are in the popcorn business, not the movie business!

What do they do with the movies when they stop showing them?  Since the films don’t belong to the cinema, they ship them back.  Generally to a depot where they will then be distributed to a second run theater. These big boxes contain movies ready to be sent back. However, there is a shift away from film.

Karl Mittler, showing the future digital format of movies. Much more compact and convenient to ship.

Do they get to choose what movies to show? Cinema 1 Plus…. tries to play the films that will do the best in the local market.  Their options are limited to what Hollywood has available at that time. Also not all films are released “wide”, they may be a “limited release” in which only a very few prints are made and generally are kept in large cities. You can go to their website and check the currently playing movies at any time.

Did you know they have party facilities, too? Birthday parties with movies and popcorn? And a private tour of the movie projection room? Every child would love that!

The arcade games are always fun, no matter how old you are.

Apart from birthday parties, Cinema 1 Plus… also hosts private groups, scouts tours, field trips, family days and Ladies Nights Out. They have some great fundraising opportunities that are very adaptable and easy to each group. They are always running varied promotions throughout the year. I was quite impressed by their Igloo!  They used over 500 milk jugs and created a display for the Penguin movie “Happy Feet”. Isn’t it amazing?

Cinema 1 Plus…. is located on 1900 Phoenix Center Drive Washington, MO  63090. They open 30 minutes prior to the first showing everyday.  You can reach them at 636-239-5056 or check the movie showtimes at www.Cinema1Plus.com. Follow them on Facebook to stay updated on their latest promotions and events!

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


2 Responses to “Lights, Camera, Action: Cinema 1 Plus….”

  1. Awesome.

    Posted by Cassie | March 13, 2012, 11:23 am


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