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A Business Minute - Oakdale Cinema
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Oakdale Cinema employee Emily Homer assists a patron with his snack order during a recent visit to the local theater. The Oakdale Cinema is looking out for the budget-conscious family by offering ‘Terrific Tuesdays’ where all shows are only $5.25 on Tuesdays. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

A Business Minute


The next business to be featured in the Leader’s newest community-centric “A Business Minute” is Oakdale Cinema. Get to know what makes Oakdale businesses special.

Answers submitted by Kenny Way, owner of Oakdale Cinema.


Tell me a little bit about your business (what you do, how you got started):

The Oakdale Cinema is a family movie theatre here in Oakdale. We show first run films at an affordable price, sell tasty concession items like popcorn, soda, ICEEs, candy and nachos. We offer “Terrific Tuesdays,” which make going to the movies affordable for many, many people. All seats are just $5.25 on these days, even at night for adults – a savings of over $2 a ticket. Back in June of 2007, I took a dirty, closed down theatre, and re-opened with new seats, carpet, counters, paint and projection equipment.  People seemed to like the changes, as now four years later, we are doing better than we ever have!


What do you enjoy most about your job? 

The interaction we have with our customers is what is most rewarding in this line of work. Seeing families come out of a great movie smiling and happy is very rewarding. Even in this recession, the theatre industry is still a very affordable form of entertainment, so I am happy to be able to provide this to our Oakdale patrons.


What’s a common misconception about your work? 

A common misconception about the Oakdale Cinema is that I can play any film I want to, at anytime. We are a small theatre, and often certain films are not offered to me. We try our best to offer family films, but often other types of films cannot be played at certain times of the year.


If money wasn't an option, which charity would you most enjoy giving to?

I am a big supporter of our military and troops, so if money was not an option, I would most likely give to Wounded Warriors or the Fisher House.


What are some of your current projects? 

We are currently in our summer season, the busiest season of the year for us. With school out, we are open all day, all week long. Most of our projects and upgrades occur during the slower periods of the year.


What are some of the biggest challenges in your field, today? 

There are many challenges to the small business owner in this industry, which is dominated by large chains like Regal Cinema and AMC. Digital Cinema, which is the transition from 35mm prints to digital prints, is very costly to smaller theatres. Other challenges are when the film studios simply do not release strong films, or new film titles – the gluttony of sequels, etc. hurts our long term outlook for the industry.


What are some of your pet peeves? 

Our biggest pet peeve at the Oakdale Cinema is when food and/or drink are snuck into the theatre. The reason why concessions are priced the way they are is because most of the box office revenue goes to the film studios, thus making the concession stand a focus on trying to stay profitable. When patrons bring food or drink into the cinema they are greatly hurting our profit margin, thus hurting our chances of remaining a viable business.


How has your business changed over the years? 

The economy has greatly affected our business, as many patrons cannot afford movies anymore. This is understandable, and a factor in why I try to keep our admission and concession prices so low. 

The great thing about this industry is that it is always changing! Every week new films are introduced – some are great and some are terrible, but they are always different. Different types of films bring in different people, which is great for business.


The Oakdale Cinema is located at 832 N. Yosemite Ave. in Oakdale. For show times, call 847-SHOW.