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FALL 2020 MESSAGE

Movies

Well another year has passed, not exactly as planned to say the least. It seems strange to have gone thru what would have been our 41st season, with the theatre closed and boarded up, no people around, the grass overgrown, and the movie posters from 2019 Thanksgiving still fading in the cases. The simple fact is the Theatre can't run profitably without our customer base of Tourists, Locals, Camps and Schools. Further we can't generate revenue with social distancing, the extra costs of Covid 19, and without Hollywood blockbusters. Not to mention that Theatres that did try to open found the majority of customers unwilling to sit in a Theatre with other people at this time. To open the door is around $30,000.00 which if we spend we have to have a reasonable chance of recovering and actually make money. To make matters worse all our stock left over from 2019 is now history.

Staying closed isn't cheap either. It will take around $65,000.00 to go thru a year without income. We still have a mortgage from the Digital Conversion, taxes, hydro, insurance, & maintenance to deal with. We also had to spend money dealing with humidity issues in the Theatre this summer with the AC not running. Then there is the care for our 42 resident cats. I want to express my gratitude that you didn't forget the cats this year, and want to thank everyone who made donations of money and food etc. towards their care. It was greatly appreciated, and humbling to say the least.

When I started this journey I accepted the fact we would loose the 2020 season, and hopefully re-open in 2021. Unfortunately this is looking less and less likely.  It is generally accepted that the restrictions will not be lifted, and customers prepared to again go to the movies until a vaccine is found and 75% of the population is vaccinated.  Projections optimistically are towards the end of 2021, since we are seasonal this means short of a miracle we stand to loose a second season. Loosing one season is one thing, loosing two is a whole other challenge.  It also raises the question what will the business look like when we do get to reopen? There is also the nightmare of trying to find staff, which has been difficult thru the last decade, as we will be starting from scratch. 

We are exploring several avenues forward, but more than anything else, timing will be the deciding factor. Customers have been offering various suggestions to help, from seat sales, season ticket offerings, and a Go Fund Me Page. It is hard to say if any of this would work. In the meantime I have been spending my time preparing to declutter 40 years. In 2012 we started making a list of MOVIE POSTERS to sell. That List will be finalized by Christmas, so if you are interested email keithstata@nexicom.net for a copy when complete. Persons who have already inquired will be receiving emails as well as all the emails are currently on file. IF YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR OWN HOME THEATRE, we have lots of props to decorate it for sale, from full size 35mm Theatre Projectors, vintage Theatre seats, reels, film, and a number of Theatre Popcorn Machines we have in storage. For further information call Keith at 705 488 2199, or email keithstata@nexicom.net

Stay turned for more updates as time goes on. Stay well, Stay safe. Keith

UPDATE JUNE 22, 2020.

DaveWELL IT WAS A LONG WINTER, NOW IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS GOING TO BE AN EVEN LONGER SUMMER! FOR FORTY YEARS HIGHLANDS CINEMA'S HAS OPENED AT THE FIRST OF MAY, AND CLOSED ON THANKSGIVING. A RUN OF 5.5 MONTHS. WE DON'T JUST "TURN OUT THE LIGHTS ON LEAVING" ACTUALLY IT TAKES 120 HOURS. THE BUILDING IS CLEANED, BOARDED UP, WATER TAKEN OUT, AC UNITS COVERED, FLAGS COME DOWN, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS GO UP, BAMBOO, ARTICHOKES, LEAVES REMOVED, & STOCK SHIFTED. OPENING UP ALSO TAKES 120 HOURS. THE COST TO OPEN FOR WORK, INSPECTIONS, AND SERVICING IS $15,000.00 WITH MINIMAL STOCK, BUT USUALLY $30,000.00 WITH FULL STOCK. (WE TRADITIONALLY BUY ALL THE POPCORN AND OIL IN AT ONCE). THAT IS WHAT MAKES THIS YEAR SO TROUBLING.

OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS HIGHLAND'S CINEMA'S, THRU A LOT OF HARD WORK WENT FROM A SMALL 50 SEAT THEATRE, WITH A 8' x 10' LOBBY, TO AN 18,500 SQ. FOOT STRUCTURE WITH 5 SCREENS 550 SEATS & A 4,000 SQ. FT. MUSEUM. I DIDN'T BUILD A THEATRE IN KINMOUNT TO GET RICH, THAT IS FOR CERTAIN. I BUILT IT BECAUSE I ENJOYED IT, THE MOVIES, THE CUSTOMERS, THE STAFF, THE BEAR, ALL OF IT.

FOR THE THEATRE TO WORK, WE NEED SCHOOLS, CAMPS, BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES, GOOD STAFF, & RAIN TO BRING IN THE CUSTOMERS. THIS YEAR THERE ARE NO SCHOOLS, OR CAMPS, OUR STAFF FOR THE MOST PART HAVE FOUND EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE, ALL THE MAJOR MOVIES ARE GONE, THERE IS ALSO THE CONCERN MANY PEOPLE WILL NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE IN AN INDOOR THEATRE AT THIS TIME. THE CRITICAL WEEKS OF SUMMER ARE NOW APPROACHING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, WILL REDUCE OUR SEATING TO AROUND 30%. THAT COMBINED WITH THE EXTRA COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19 WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE MONEY THIS YEAR OR JUSTIFY THE COST OF TRYING TO OPEN. LIKE MANY BUSINESSES WE SIMPLY WEREN'T DESIGNED FOR COVID-19, AND AT 73, I DON'T WANT IT EITHER.

I DID CONTACT OUR MPP TO SEE IF THEY HAD ANY IDEA WHEN INDOORS MIGHT BE ABLE TO OPEN AND NEVER HEARD BACK. I AM BUSY CUTTING COSTS SO WE CAN GET THRU THIS YEAR WITH NO INCOME, AND HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO OPEN UNDER MORE FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS NEXT SEASON. I MADE A CALL TO OUR LOCAL COUNCILLOR TWO MONTHS AGO RE HELP AVAILABLE IN OTHER MUNICIPALITIES FOR BUSINESES WHICH ARE CLOSED, AND NEVER HEARD BACK. WE ARE DEFINITELY NOT ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

MEANWHILE I HAVE 42 CATS TO CARE FOR, SO AS USUAL DONATIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME. THE PROPERTY IS CLOSED AND A DONATIONS BOX IS LOCATED AT THE GATE. ON THE MATTER OF COVID-19 IF THE WET MARKETS THAT SPAWNED IT HAD BEEN CLOSED AFTER SARS, LIKE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN, NONE OF US WOULD BE IN THIS MESS! IF THEY REMAIN OPEN THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE IN THE NEXT DECADE THEY WILL SPAWN A NEW VIRUS THAT IS FAR MORE VIRULENT AND LETHAL, MAKING COVID-19 LOOK LIKE A MINOR INCONVENIENCE. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT IS GOING ON NOW, IT IS UNLIKELY SIGNING PETITIONS ON CHANGE .ORG WILL ACCOMPLISH CLOSING THE MARKETS, BUT IF WE ALL REFUSE TO BUY ANY PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED IN THESE COUNTRIES, BY COMPANIES WHO'S ONLY CONCERN IS PROFITS, WE CAN EFFECT CHANGE. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.

HOPEFULLY WE CAN AGAIN SEE YOU AT THE MOVIES IN THE SPRING OF 2021, IN THE MEANTIME, STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY.

KEITH

UPDATE APRIL 2020 - IT HAS BEEN A LONG WINTER!

I hope this finds all our customers and staff healthy and self isolating. Due to Covid-19 this is the first time in 41 years we are uncertain when or even if we will be able to open for the season? Estimates range from 2 to 6 months that self isolating will have to continue, so I guess all we can do is hope for the best and time will tell. You can check the website or movie hotline (705 488 2107) for updates as to when we can again "See you at the movies!" I would like to thank the people who dropped off donations for our cats thru the winter months. While the theatre property is currently closed to the public, a donation box has been placed in the driveway for anyone who wishes to Donate food etc. for the cats in the interim. We are all in this together. Stay home and stay healthy.

Keith

2019 MESSAGE TO OUR CUSTOMERS:

Well here we are again looking at another season, our 40th year, how time flies.

It was the winter from Hell, ice everywhere so I decided to take my steels off so I could fall and break my ankle and spend 12 weeks sitting around with my foot up. Luckily I was able to find someone to come in and feed the cats.

The day after I broke my ankle someone dumped a cat carrier upside down in the drive. As we are at limit and beyond with 42 cats, it had to be surrendered to the Kawartha Lakes Humane Society.

There was considerable ice damage to the building this winter, so some areas will be late opening this year. We will open May 3rd. We had hoped to open April 26th with the new Avengers, but there are too many problems to deal with. Avengers will open as soon as we can get a copy off release.

Hoping to see you at the movies.

Keith


CONSUMER ALERT

IF YOU ARE CONTACED BY THIS COMPANY REGARDING INSTALLING A DRIVEWAY USING RECYCLED ASPHALT BEWARE. THEY WERE IN THE HALIBURTON, MINDEN, & KINMOUNT AREA LAST FALL, AND THE MATERIAL PROVIDED IS PRETTY MUCH SAND AND WON'T COMPACT. IF YOU WANT A LIST OF SOME OF THEIR UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS, OR TO SEE THEIR WORK, FEEL FREE TO CALL 705 488 2199 OR EMAIL keithstata@nexicom.net