MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Manlius Art Cinema has been showing films since before Talkies, more than 100 years ago. But the little theatre has entered a new Silent Era since coronavirus forced the doors shut. And loyal fans are worried.
“It’s an extremely tough time,” according to the theatre’s owner Nat Tobin. “All the money that we owe out is going out, and there’s nothing coming in, virtually, so we’re trying to stretch what we have.”
There’s good news. Several independent film distributors have agreed to split profits from movies that are being streamed on-line with local art houses like the Manlius.
Tobin has set up a virtual Screening Room on the theatre’s website. The site is currently offering films like “Once Were Brothers,” the documentary about Robbie Robertson and The Band; “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” about animal behaviorist Anne Daag; and “The Whistler.” Titles will change each week.
The distributors include Kino Marquee and Magnolia Pictures. Tobin says he and his wife Eileen are thankful that these distributors have assured the theatre community that they will not abandon theatres in the future, when things settle down.
Netflix and other streaming services have made business challenging. But Tobin says independent theatres like his are part of the fabric of the community, and he’s grateful for the customers who’ve asked how they can help the Manlius during the current shutdown.
Nat Tobin talked with Tim Fox for this week’s edition of “Tell Me Something Good.” You can find the Manlius Art Theatre Screening Room at ManliusArtCinema.com/now-showing.
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