Los Altos Opinions Exchange
Issue: Downtown Parking
Date of Posting:3/29/01
Author: James R. Zuur
I would like to respond to statements by both John Rees and Bob Perdriau about the state of the movie exhibition industry. Your observations are correct that presently things, on the surface, look bad. Major firms have filed bankruptcy and are getting rid of their non-performing properties and reorganizing their companies.
Most of these firms that have filed bankruptcy reorganization plans are public companies. They overbuild in areas where they have older facilities, therefore cannibalizing their own businesses and revenue streams. They are not individually responsible and therefore do not have to suffer financially as individuals, only as managers of these corporations. Being part of the industry, it is a sad thing to see.
I am one of the general partners in the Cameras Cinemas, a small independent and locally owned firm that is attempting to develop and operate the theatre project in downtown Los Altos. We cannot afford to make decisions that will put us into bankruptcy. In the past, we have had to sign individually for our projects. We are responsible business people and, as a result, have managed these movie theatres successfully for the past 25 years. We are doing fine and had a reasonably respectable financial year in 2000. We do not plan to file bankruptcy and actually plan to be in business for another 25 years. Considering the present state of the exhibition industry, we are doing great.
We are accountable individuals, seasoned and experienced managers, and believe that our operation would be an asset to Los Altos. Our clientele fits the population and demographics of Los Altos, as our exit surveys indicate that our customers are educated, in higher income brackets and looking for a positive and unique experience (not the normal
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