The evolution of bozeman cinema

tyson moultrie BQTHOGNHo08 unsplash
tyson moultrie BQTHOGNHo08 unsplash

Bohemian-themed keg beer and eclectic films: the epitome of everything that Bozeman is. The one drawback, a lack of traditional cinema that offers filmgoers an interactive experience was recently remedied with the opening of The New Bozeman Cinema, which promises to offer such a creative and immersive movie-going experience. But what does this mean for the old theater? 

This cinema bozeman seems to be in some debate as to whether or not it will survive or be phased out due to competition from the new outdoor theater.

Since the theater first opened its doors, the building has been owned by different groups, each with its own idea of how to run it. 

One of these groups is Downtown Bozeman Inc., which today has ownership of both buildings since acquiring the rights to both buildings from previous owners in 2014. “It’s just an old movie theater that we’re trying to keep going,” said Downtown Bozeman President Kathy Bowers.

The Great Recession and its aftermath had numerous effects on downtown Bozeman, including the closure of several small businesses and a decrease in foot traffic in Old Town, according to Bowers. “We think we can do better out there,” she said.

Here are some points discussed about evaluation of Bozeman cinema-

1.Conflict between old and new

The New Bozeman Cinema is obviously new, “everything about it is new.” Old Bozeman’s screen has not been upgraded for many years. 

A new screen was supposed to be installed after the 2013 flood, but that never happened according to Bowers. 

“There wasn’t the capital out there that there is now,” she said of the money necessary for the upgrade, which was estimated at $100,000.

However, one of the patrons interviewed argues against this idea saying “the problem isn’t necessarily with the screen but with the projector. The equipment they’ve used for years is getting hard to find or extremely expensive” (name withheld).

2. Location

The New Bozeman Cinema is located on the east side of the street in a former car wash that had been converted into parking space. 

In comparison to Old Bozeman Cinema, Bozeman Hillside Theatre, a small theater located on the western outskirts of downtown – has a larger seating capacity and more screens than The New Bozeman Cinema. 

Although it does not have an overall seating capacity for food and drinks, it is still able to attract a wide variety of audience due to its convenient city-center location next to popular restaurants such as The Kitchen Table and Martin’s Barbecue.

3. Advantages

Bozeman Hillside Theatre has no parking problem at all, which can be said to be an advantage for the theater. 

It is also located on the edge of downtown; its location has made it able to attract students, families and middle-aged adults. 

According to Bowers, local traffic count on weekdays tend to spike after 6 pm, which makes it very popular among locals and tourists alike. 

The New Bozeman Cinema, on the other hand, does not have enough parking; “there are no lights on at night,” according to Bowers (except for some streetlights).

4. Advantages of New

The New Bozeman Cinema has a patio that overlooks the city and a small food truck park, which attracts people from all walks of life to come see movies where they could get a bite to eat while doing so. 

The food truck park also helps accommodate patrons trying to get ready for a movie, or people who want to eat and drink during the movie. 

This extra space is ideal for alcohol sales and it also allows for patrons to bring their own food in without the risk of spilling on others in case there’s no designated seating area. Plus, with its proximity to downtown and restaurants, it makes it extremely convenient in terms of parking, convenience and price.

The customers like The New Bozeman Cinema because it not only provides them with a movie to enjoy, but also it provides them with food and drinks; they can watch movies while eating and drinking. 

This is very different from the old cinema where the customers need to buy food and drink outside of the cinema.

5. The future of Old Cinema

If Old Cinema closes, people will still go to other theaters such as Bozeman Hillside Theatre and Cinedome in Belgrade.

People can also take their cars to see a movie in Billings or Butte. Downtown Bozeman Inc. no longer has a lease for The New Bozeman Cinema and the new owners have the right to close when they want to.

In a press release, Downtown Bozeman Inc. stated that a previous theater in Downtown Bozeman was shut down in 2005 after its franchise expired in 2004 due to no one being willing or capable of making an offer on the building or its contents. 


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