VIP Cinemas took over The Rialto Cinemas in Macomb in mid-June. And almost immediately, Vice President Jake McSparin started hearing a common suggestion from customers.
“I had people come up and say, ‘Hey, there was this film series before. Are you guys gonna do that again?’” McSparin said, adding he was surprised by the number of people who asked him about it. “I think that with new ownership there was an opportunity to bring something back that the community missed.”
He said the new Rialto Film Festival is a pilot program that will be held the first Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of October, November, December, and January. Movies in the series are scheduled to be shown at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The regular ticket prices of $5.99 for matinees and $6.99 for evening shows will apply.
The first film, All the Queen’s Horses, is showing this week. The rest of the schedule for the Rialto Film Festival:
“I hope to -- but I don’t necessarily expect to -- make a dime on this series. But I think it’s a good thing for the community. I think it’s something that’s been asked for. And as kind of the new person on the block, it’s our responsibility to listen to the community and bring what they want,” said McSparin.
He said the film series will definitely be held through January as scheduled. He will then gauge its success and review what changes might be made. He said he’s hoping for community feedback on the series.
McSparin said his family has been in the movie theater business since before he was born. He said they currently own five theaters, mostly in the Midwest.
“We really saw a lot of potential in The Rialto. If you look at the last few years, its attendance and its participation have dwindled a little bit. And there is so much room for that to grow again.”