In a bold move to increase the comfort level of thousands of patrons in Portland, Oregon, the Hollywood Theatre is rolling out an aggressive, new ergonomic stimulus package called “Creature Comforts”.
The Hollywood Theatre, long recognized as a historic landmark in the centrally located Hollywood neighborhood of Portland, is the recent beneficiary of ergonomic stimulus aid from Regal Cinemas, a national movie theatre chain, in the form of 600 “gently used” seats for its three auditoriums.
Like many stimulus packages, this generous gift of seats (a $100,000 value if the theatre were to try to buy them on their own) comes with a local matching component. It will cost approximately $30,000 to install the seats and make it possible to start realizing “ergonomic gain.” These funds will need to come from Hollywood Theatre patrons. “That’s roughly $50 a seat,” points out Hollywood Theatre Executive Director Doug Whyte. “This is a remarkably good investment for our patrons, with their $50 gift being instantly matched 3 to 1 by Regal.”
The Hollywood Theatre is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, inspire, educate and connect the community through the art of film while preserving a historic Portland landmark. The non-profit also owns the building that houses the iconic theatre. This ergonomic stimulus package is one part of a much larger effort to improve and renovate the Hollywood Theatre as a major venue in the Portland Area. “Our members and patrons have told us that they place a high priority on the theatre itself as not only a historic landmark, but as a vibrant cultural venue for the neighborhood and the city,” says Whyte. “Our patrons are telling us that caring for the building itself should be one of our highest priorities.”
“We have already started other improvements to the building, working to make it more comfortable and more beautiful for our patrons to enjoy,” continues Whyte. “We will be working on several projects over the coming years to continue to renew this wonderful theatre, as we also continue to enhance and expand our programming and our service to the community.”
Hollywood Theatre Board President, Andrew Schpak, is confident that the community will get behind this initiative. “We already have the new seats, and I believe everyone in the community who has sat in one of our old ones knows how important these new seats are to the theatre’s success. “
Note: The $30,000 price tag covers seat delivery (which already happened), seat tear out and disposal, seat layout design (not easy as there are 3 different seat sizes and seats cannot be installed exactly where old seat bolts used to be), patching and painting the concrete floors, installing the appropriate number of ADA accessible seating areas, tables for the upstairs auditoriums and actual installation of the seats. This also takes a lot of staff coordination and requires our auditoriums be shut down (hopefully only one at a time.) We are looking at some volunteer help too, but that may cause our auditoriums to be closed longer, so we will weigh the pros and cons of that. This is a massive project for this historic building and our small organization!
There are two seats set up in our lobby for test drives. Come on down and try them out!