(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, JAN. 24-27, 2019) — Too bad the light from the Beacon Cinema can’t serve as a lighthouse for itself, because the Good Ship Movie House on North Street is heading for the rocky shoals.

Here is an edited post from AgentSmith, shared here in case you missed it the first time around:

Beacon is floundering. Good thing that they got the building on the cheap, because their revenue is way down.

Old Beacon pricing was $1 more on seats and 30% less on concessions (based on size and cost). They grossed about $12 a patron.
New Beacon, $5 seats but increased hours and concessions and they are pulling in about $9 a patron.
A staff member noted seat sales are actually down; the running theory is that people liked the reserved seating system and are staying away in part because of it.

Also the extended hours are pushing costs up, the new Dolby 7.1 system is getting complaints for being too loud, and sound from one theater is bleeding over into the next.

The CEO is doing radio spots (should be out soon) begging people to come to the movies.
The management team at Phoenix/insight are shocked at how poorly the theater is doing.

———- ooo ———-

We thank the Agent for the report. The information aligns with THE PLANET‘s intelligence concerning the Beacon, derived from our Z-Agents and from people working  inside of the listing shipwreck.

That business is off between 25-35% would be a cause for alarm in most businesses, but we suspect the insiders laughing all the way to the bank. To use a term from the stock market that has been the subject of some discussion lately on THE PLANET, the Beacon sale, which we have intricately explored in previous posts, stank to high heaven and low heck. It did, however, provide Pittsfield with another signature scam moment. What Rockwell is to Stockbridge, shady politics are to the city.

The dire prophecies for cinemas as an industry have largely come true, especially the smaller chains such as Phoenix. The profitable houses and chains feature good management and excellent customer service. In its 10 years, the Beacon has been managed into the ground and treated customers like galley slaves.

Generally, movie theaters as we know them are going the way of Vaudeville. Some of the factors:

  • The ubiquitous talking, texting, and smart phone use, which can make a darkened cinema seem like a gibbering madhouse
  • Inexensive, more convenient streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix, which provide better viewing options for moviegoers
  • Dull, predictive “mainstream” programming catering to mostly teens and young people (i.e., video games masquerading as movies)
  • The switchover from the warmth of real film to the cold, antiseptic quality of digital
  • The failure of expensive enhancements such as dining, alcohol, lounge seats, and sound systems to lure enough new business to justify the cost.

Add to that the Beacon’s added burden of no parking and safety concerns about being on crime-plagued North Street, especially after dark, and you’re looking at a perfect storm.

The waters are choppy. The wind is howling. The shore is rocky. The ship is taking on water.

Enjoy the show.

Have a great weekend, everybody. Keep your comments civil and to the point. Our bouncers will be on the lookout.


“You know, for an imbecile, you’re a genius” Moe Howard.



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  1. Trump G
    January 27, 2019 at 6:13 pm #

    Everyone just needs to chip in a little more so we can get a couple nic water plants here. Dirt is expensive. Buy maybe you can get a loan to pay the extra.

  2. Trump Fellas
    January 27, 2019 at 6:14 pm #

    Everyone just needs to chip in a little more so we can get a couple nice water plants here. Dirt is expensive. Buy maybe you can get a loan to pay the extra.

    • Art Seller
      January 27, 2019 at 7:02 pm #

      To all Gman naysayers: He is going to see the city’s consultants and ask them to double their costs for the water and sewer projects. This should satisfy some of the nuts on this board.

  3. The School committee
    January 27, 2019 at 7:08 pm #

    Just read a very interesting article about how Trump can fund a wall,Wall Bonds.Americans who want a wall can buy Wall bonds…..The Beacon Cinema needs to Brightly light up their business…This failure to light things up around the downtown is just irresponsible….Put bright lights on 1st street,cut tree limbs…very common sense idea.

    • Art Seller
      January 27, 2019 at 8:26 pm #

      Wall Bonds!!! What a good idea. There are over 85 million scumpsters in the country. This would be a good opportunity for all of them to dig deep. Let’s see how many on this board will pony up their share!!!! I’m betting not many. Jeest saeing.

  4. U
    January 27, 2019 at 7:48 pm #

    Why not just create a national C P A fund for the wall. We could build the wall and everyone could play pickle ball.