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Movies are coming to OTA

For a one-year trial, the City of Sequim and Olympic Theatre Arts are partnering to host monthly movie showings.

Sharon DelaBarre, chairman of the Olympic Theatre Arts board, said some details still are being worked out but showings should begin in September, more than likely on a Wednesday evening, in the theater's gathering hall, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

Councilors unanimously approved the partnership.

"People get to experience films downtown just like in a movie theater," Mayor Ken Hays said.

DelaBarre said the theatre has been looking to have an event like this for a while.

"It was serendipitous that the city asked us to do this," she said. "It fits right in with what we're trying to do."

The hall fits up to 100 people and screenings will cost $5 per person.

City councilors acknowledged this would be not a moneymaking event but an event sponsored for the community.

The theater is donating its space and janitorial services for the event, with an estimated rental at $175 each showing. The city pays $171 per month for licensing the film and for shipping charges.

The worst-case scenario for the city would be losing the total investment of $2,052 from the contingency account; the best-case scenario would be an income of $1,974 with proceeds split 50/50 with the theater.

Councilors agreed that to continue the program after a year, an average attendance must be at least 40 paid admissions, that is, $200 a month or $2,400 a year minimum.

Movies TBA

DelaBarre said the distributor provides movies from most of the major film companies but the selection has not been chosen. In the contract, the city and theater must mutually agree upon selections.

City Manager Steve Burkett said the movies would be family friendly.

"It's a new venture; we're trying to figure out what works best for the community and what movies would be shown," DelaBarre said.

"What we're hoping for is that if there's any revenue above expenses, any monies will support Music and Movies in the Park and programming at Olympic Theatre Arts."

Part of the agreement states the theater can provide and retain the rights and proceeds from concession sales.

DelaBarre said a large screen already is in the gathering hall portion and movies would not be shown in the main theater because it isn't set up like a commercial movie theater.

She added that the distribution company requires the two groups not pay for advertising because it could be seen as competition against other movie houses in Port Angeles and Port Townsend. In return, the city would pay the lowest rental fee for the licensing.

Burkett said there is the possibility for more than one showing for each selected film.

In the future, other options for movies might be a teen movie night and/or matinee performances for seniors.

Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Dubois and Hays initiated discussions with Olympic Theatre Arts about the partnership. Organizers plan to release a show schedule soon.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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