In May 2015, the Downing Film Center began programming three screens at Monroe Theater in Monroe, New York. Programming involved
- Picking the films in consultation with our film-booking agent
- Procuring the films from the distributors—including paying the film-booking agent’s fee
- Projecting the films—including hiring, paying, and supervising the head projectionist and three assistant projectionists, as well as an administrative assistant
- Preparing weekly advertisements of the films and showtimes for six area newspapers and two online services
Beginning in December 2014, the Downing’s executive director used his management background and knowledge of the film business to set up Monroe Theater’s program, including the completion of contractual agreements with numerous film distribution companies. During the past three years, the executive director conducted frequent meetings with the Monroe Theater management, in addition to brainstorming and resolving multiple problems that arose with theater operations and film projection. The Downing team also assisted with film scheduling, arranged for and programmed the on-screen preshow advertising (sponsorships), reported box office grosses to the film distributors, handled all communications with the film-booking agent and the distributors, and arranged for payment of film rental fees by the Town of Monroe, the theater owner.
As of October 1, the relationship between the Downing and the Town of Monroe has ended. Monroe Theater has been leased to and will be managed by Flagship Cinemas. The theater will be closed temporarily during the transition period. When the theater reopens, under the name Monroe Premium Cinemas, Downing memberships will no longer be honored.
In a September 25 article about the changes at Monroe Theater, the Times Herald-Record indicated that the town had hired the Downing simply to “secure” films for the theater, which we feel is an inadequate description of the Downing’s role. We hope that the information provided here gives our patrons and members more-accurate, more-detailed information about our work with Monroe Theater since December 2014.
Please let us know if you have any questions.