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Director’s Cut: Granite City Cinema

December 1, 2017

We rely on the community around here to support us. They’re essential.”

— Travis Cape

You walk into any other theater and you’ll probably meet yourself with a lobby of people, a couple workers, and maybe a few arcade games. You walk into Granite City Cinema and you’ll find yourself standing in an almost deserted room that’s so empty you could hear your own thoughts. The movies are amazing, the customer service is great, and the popcorn is buttery. So what’s the issue?

We sat down with the co-manager of Granite City Cinema, Travis Cape, to find out just why our community theater’s rates are down. Many of our Granite kids go to the AMC theater in Edwardsville when we have a perfectly working one in our own backyard. Why is that? Maybe it’s the fact there are no awesome, community-owned places to go before or after. We need more places like Kool Beanz, a family-owned cafe to attract more attention to the area. Maybe it’s the movies. Maybe it’s just accessibility. Why go out to the theater and pay for a movie that you could watch and enjoy at the comfort of your own home.

“A big part of it is just a downturn in local business here in Granite City as a whole. We’ve got some good local stuff now, like Kool Beanz right over there. We need more of that. You know this specific theater opened almost about 6 years ago if I remember. But before that, we hadn’t had a theater since the Twin closed in 2004,” Cape said. 

At the heart of the disruption is the most profound element of Hollywood, and a cornerstone of our community: the theater. Just as we as consumers leave behind albums for singles (or streaming services such as Spotify), and hardcovers for more economical e-books, we’ve stopped going to the movies, which are already expensive, limiting, and inconvenient. Instead, the movies have come to us. Meanwhile, we continue to opt for other forms of entertainment, such as YouTube, Netflix, and video games, or turn to Instagram or Facebook.

The holiday season is upon us, and for many, that means rushing from one commitment to another. It also means finding time in our busy schedules to spend time with the people we love. And it works both ways. With each dollar you spend locally, you are changing our community for the better. If you want to live in a city with interesting, unique retail stores and diverse service providers then you must spend money at these businesses. So why not go spend one lovely holiday evening at our theater, and enjoy the fact that your money is going to a good cause in supporting our community? Every change in the world has to start somewhere, and this is a great beginning.

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