KINGMAN - Despite interference from last week's snowstorm, the new Brenden Theatres Kingman Cinemas at 4055 Stockton Hill Road had a successful grand opening weekend, drawing teenagers by the hundreds for the first Friday night in over a year.
The opening got off to a rough start when theater manager Tom Daugherty opened early for charity showings of several of 2008's biggest blockbusters. With Kingman blanketed with snow, only a few hardy souls made it out to the theater Dec. 17, producing only $270 in proceeds for the Boys and Girls Club. Daugherty noted, however, that Brenden Theatres President and CEO John Brenden was personally adding $2,500 to the donation.
"Our total on Thursday (Dec. 18) was much better, we had $700 for Code 3: Clothe the Kids, and Mr. Brenden's also donating an additional $2,500 for that," Daugherty said.
Opening weekend proper went "very well" by Daugherty's standards, though he declined to provide any box office figures without consulting Brenden's higher-ups. Nevertheless, as more people started to realize the theater was open, more showed up, with the Jim Carrey comedy "Yes Man" drawing the most interest, by Daugherty's reckoning.
"We started out slow on Friday, but it really picked up on Saturday, and Sunday did good as well," he said. "We did good on Monday, too."
Daugherty noted that the theater also been doing a brisk business among last-minute holiday shoppers looking for a gift.
"We're selling a lot of gift certificates," he said. "We offer gift certificates same as cash, and they're in $10 increments."
With the theater currently showing all PG or PG-13-rated films, Daugherty said opening weekend turned out droves of Kingman's youth, especially teenagers, who have had nowhere to catch a film in town since Cinemark vacated the same theater last December.
"That was one of the comments I had heard from adults, that there was nothing for children and teenagers to do in town, and they're real happy the theater's open again," Daugherty said. "Everybody's really happy with the presentation, the theaters, the sound - good response from everybody so far."
Another PG-rated comedy, Disney's "Bedtime Stories" starring Adam Sandler, opened at the theater on Christmas Day. Daugherty said he chose the film because it is predicted to be the biggest box office hit that day, with an expected opening weekend haul of $41 million nationwide.
While he hasn't gotten any R-rated films in yet, Daugherty said he does plan on catering to all audiences, and that it was only a matter of time. He noted many PG films tend to come out around this time of year.
Looking further toward the future, Daugherty didn't rule out the possibility of getting in older cult classics during the week or at midnight showings, once the initial post-opening fervor dies down.
"I'm certainly going to consider that, though my theater experience in LA shows that usually works better during the summer months," he said. "I'm going to try to come up with different promotions, maybe a date night where we do a special promotion with reduced prices ... we just haven't put anything together yet."