ALLEGANY, NY - The yearly blockbuster spring-into-summer movie season is underway, and the Carmike 8 Theatre on Route 417 West will be joining movie houses all over the country in premiering “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” Thursday night.
With many more movies planned for release over the next couple of months, the average moviegoer should find plenty of options. K-12 schools will let out for the summer in a few weeks, and many Olean area students have come home because their colleges are already on summer break.
During the summer months, people make more time to see movies. Most of the year, said Bryan Jones, a 20-something resident of Allegany, “I'll go once every three or four months probably. In the summer, I will go to the movies more often. I go because I have more free time in the summer.”
Desiree Speed, who is 20 and lives in Port Allegany, Pa., said she enjoys going to summer movies “because all my friends come home from school, and we get to go out and do something together.”
The Carmike 8 has been preparing for the movie rush, according to theater manager David Stewart.
“To ensure a proper start, we hire additional staff,” he explained, adding that on average, Carmike has 20 to 25 employees. In the summer if necessary, staff may be increased to 30.
Before the beginning of the summer rush, the Carmike checks and makes any necessary repairs to seats and popcorn poppers – and to the air-conditioning system, which is an especially important asset in the warmer months, Stewart said.
Quentin King-Shepard, an employee of the Carmike 8, also made note of the connection between summer free time and movie attendance. “I believe this is the case mainly because people get into a lethargic mood and going to the movies is a standard and sometimes cheap way to deal with summertime boredom.”
King-Shepard attributed an increase in theater attendance to “the release of kid’s movies – even more so if they're animated.”