Dear Plaza Patrons,
After 15 years of successfully operating the little gem known as the Plaza Maplewood Theatre, my landlord, Woodland Hills church, has not granted my request to draw up a long-term lease. My last day of operating the Plaza was 10/31/2013.
Over the last 15 years, I have improved the Plaza’s condition substantially from when I first assumed operational management. I have put on a new roof, installed a new air conditioner, replaced all the seats and installed a fire alarm system. All of this was done on the sales of $2 tickets and proceeds from our “Plaza Garage Sales” with no other subsidies of any kind.
It was my sincere desire to stay and operate the Plaza Maplewood Theatre. Thanks to increased sales and customer donations, we had 1/3 of the money needed to convert to digital projection. A bank loan was easily obtainable but without a long-term lease, the funding was not released. The Plaza could have entered the digital age and continued presenting films to our audience in digital format at substantially reduced prices.
This was the first theater I ever owned and operated. I was given a tremendous gift at the young age of 25 to be able to run my own business. I made many mistakes but through the support of the community, the Plaza truly prospered and as of the time of this writing is one of the most successful discount theaters to have ever operated in the state of Minnesota.
In 2003, I was given yet another tremendous gift – the opportunity to open a second discount operation in the city of Woodbury. I co-own the Woodbury 10 Theatre with a business partner and we have successful run this theater together for the last 10 years. The Woodbury 10 Theatre shows first-run movies but at substantially reduced prices compared to other “big theaters.” I hope that you will all come and visit me at this theater, you can see it by following this link: www.woodburytheatre.com
It has been an honor and a privilege serving this community for the last 15 years. As I have stated numerous times on the Plaza Facebook page, when I was younger, “second-run” discount theaters were the only way my working class parents could take my sister and I to the movies. In the 80’s, there were numerous discount operations scattered all over the Twin Cities – the Ridge Square 3, the Excelsior Dock Cinema, the Apple Valley 6, the Cina 5 and the Terrace were all places my family used to frequent. As inflation and leases have caught up with the industry, all of these theaters have gone away. In fact, there are less than half-a-dozen discount theaters left in the Twin Cities metro area. I am proud to have been a part of continuing the “dollar movie tradition” for the last decade-and-a-half.
I wish you all the very best and I hope to see you all at Woodbury very soon!
Kindest regards to you and yours,
Plaza Maplewood Theatre
5/1/1998 – 10/31/2013