Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Buzz Cusack Drinking Game

Hey all you drunken college students now trolling the Belvedere Square commercial district looking in vain for a geezer public radio station presenting a movie or concert! Here's a drinking game for you! Every time your favorite Uncle Buzzie says it’s difficult to operate a single-screen theatre, take a drink!

Multiscreen operation is the key to survival in the movie-theater business, Mr. Cusack said, a lesson he learned soon after he took over the Charles in 1994. Without the current expansion, his business would have failed, he said. "With one screen, you're putting all your eggs in one basket to carry the business,' he said. "You don't have a move-over house to shift a movie."

- The New York Times, March 1999

"The single-screen problem is a very serious problem," said Buzz Cusack, an owner of the Charles Theatre on North Charles Street. "Every time you pick a film, you have to pick it right, because the film companies require you to keep the movies for at least four weeks. And so if your film doesn't draw good crowds, you can really be hurt."

-Baltimore Sun, August 2000

“The Senator has a 900-seat theater, which is difficult to operate because it is a single-screen theater, Cusack said. There are only three or four movies a year that work for that theater and the rest of the time they are struggling to get people in the door.

-The Daily Record, June 2004

For his part, Cusack believes that Kiefaber’s harping about clearance is "just something for him to shift the focus from his problem," which is not about clearance, but about the challenge of keeping open a vestige of a bygone era of single-screen movie palaces.

-City Paper, July 2006

“It’s a difficult thing to open a single-screen theatre and make it work financially,” Cusack said.

-Baltimore Brew, July 2009

“We were losing money [at the Charles] as a one-screen theater. By expanding to five, the costs didn’t go up as much in proportion to revenue. It worked out,” said Cusack, whose proposal to buy the Senator Theatre and maintain it as a first-run movie venue — adding updated seating, a restaurant and crepe shop — is considered a top contender.

-Baltimore Busines Journal, February 2010

And for bonus points, guess how much public subsidy from city taxpayers Uncle Buzzie will need to operate The Senator as a single screen, and drink when you read this!

Cusack, of the Charles Theatre, predicted that the next [Senator] owner will have to pour money into the building, fixing a leaky roof, replacing seating and stucco on the exterior. "By the time you renovated it, you'd have the same [financial] problems Tom had," Cusack said, who added that $800,000 was well above what he could have afforded to pay.

-Baltimore Sun, July 2009 (immediately after The Senator auction)

Now that we're all drunk, we should give thanks to King Bob in case he maybe possibly single-handedly killed off the Towson University/WTMD proposal, because benevolent King Bob knows what's best for all of us! Why resort to representative democracy when we can have autocratic leader of a powerful foundation make decisions for us?

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Blogger Cory said...

I feel sick.

April 06, 2010


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