Manassas Journal Messenger 03-01-01


ready for opening


Kelly Campbell



Manassas Cinema and Manassas Mall Cinema have similar names, but they

have important differences.

Manassas Cinema, located in the Reb-Yank Shopping Center on Mathis Avenue,

has an independent owner, shows second-run movies and charges just $3 for


Manassas Mall Cinema is owned by Sony’s Cineplex Odeon division and charges

$7.25 for first-run movies.

Or at least it did before it closed on February 16, creating the most

significant difference between the two.

When Manassas Cinema owner Mike O’Meara heard that the mall’s theater

was closing he saw it as an opportunity to reorganize his business.

Hence, starting March 16, Manassas Cinema will be showing first-run movies

and charging $6 for adults and $3 for children.

O’Meara, owner of two other theaters in Northern Virginia – the University

Mall theater next to George Mason and the Cinema Arts theater in the Fair

City Mall – said that he may have neglected this four-screen theater in

the past but plans to make cosmetic improvements and has hired a new manager.

“We had some problems and people weren’t quite satisfied with the

cleanliness or how often the movies broke or things like that,” he

said. “We’re sprucing up the place. We’re fixing broken seats and the

big thing is I’m putting digital sound. That will be a $20,000 bill by the

time it’s done but it will be worth it because it’s gonna roll your socks

up and down.”

“My new manager, Sam, said he left Hoyt’s because he wanted to get

out of the corporate mentality,” said O’Meara. “So, he’s excited

about doing promotions and decorations related to movies, things like that.”

Hoyt’s is a 14-screen theater off of Interstate 66 owned by an Australian-based

company that operates 1500 screens worldwide.

O’Meara said that he plans to angle the first-run movies at Manassas

Cinema toward families. “We know there are a lot of families in this

area and they want to go to the movies, plain and simple,” he said.

And, although, his Cinema Arts theater shows art house or independent

films, he won’t likely be offering those in Manassas. “It depends,”

he said. “With only four screens, I have to be picky. So, if maybe

I personally wouldn’t want to see Hannibal, so many people do, so we would’ve

picked that. But we are very willing to try new things if people are interested.”

He is considering several movies for the theaters March 16 first-run

debut: Two of those are “Fifteen Minutes” with Robert DeNiro and

Edward Burns, and “Exit Wounds” with Steven Seagal.Manassas Cinema

reorganizes for first-run audiences



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