AURELIUS | Local moviegoers looking to spend their summer with Spider-Man, Godzilla and Maleficent will have another place to do so beginning Monday, when Track Cinema opens inside Fingerlakes Mall.
New owners Tracie and Randall Currier, of Romulus, began looking into purchasing the four-screen theater shortly after its September 2012 closure by Rochester Theater Management.
The couple was looking to begin a family-oriented business, they said. In that same spirit, they coined the business' name from the first letters of theirs and their children's, Ashlynn, 12, Caralynn, 10 and Kaytlynn, 16. Ashlynn suggested the name, Randall said.
With 23 years of retail management experience, Randall could sense an opportunity at the theater from Dick's Sporting Goods across Clark Street Road, where he worked for the last four years. When the theater closed, he said, sales at Dick's began dropping off at around 7 p.m. most nights.
Though both love the movies, neither Randall nor Tracie has experience in theater ownership. That made financing the renovation of the former Fingerlakes Theaters their biggest challenge, they said.
"The banks really didn't want to finance a new startup, and they didn't want to finance a theater, and we're both," Randall said.
The Curriers were able to secure a small business loan through the New York Business Development Corporation to purchase four new Christie Solaria digital projectors for the theaters. Out of their own pocket they paid for the rest of the renovations, including the addition of two speakers behind each of the screens to deepen the sound quality, and the replacement of all the seats in theaters one and four with 300 new, roomier ones.
All together, the Curriers have invested about $300,000 into Track Cinema, they said. They also plan to install in at least one theater a silver screen suited to 3-D projection. Though all their projectors are 3-D-capable, the Curriers have been advised by their film booker that the format is on the decline, they said, so they're not committing to any more screen conversions.
The Curriers will also seek their booker's advice about new movies. They hope to introduce at least one new feature a week, and, eventually, stock licensed merchandise, such as T-shirts and toys from franchises like "Cars."
Daughter Kaytlynn will staff the counter, but aside from her, the Curriers don't see themselves needing any more employees, as the digital projectors don't need operators. What Tracie and Randall will do, though, is keep Track Cinema clean — something the theater's previous owner was notorious for failing to do, they said.
"Obviously that's the No. 1 goal," Randall said. "And that everyone is friendly, and we have a good family atmosphere for customers."
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.