More than 85 years of Forest HIlls history hangs on the success of one weekend.
The Cinemart Theater opened in 1927, and for the last eight years, owner Nicolas Nicolaou spent thousands of dollars operating an obsolete theater that didn’t have the technology to feature first-run films.
But after making a $300,000 investment to add digital projection — the industry standard — to the theater, Nicolaou is getting a second shot from Hollywood to feature the industry’s latest movies.
“After all these years I was ready to throw in the towel, but I was finally able to get another chance for the theater,” said Nicolaou, whose family has owned the place since the 1960s.
On Friday, the historic theater will be featuring Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” and if Nicolaou sells enough tickets, the future of the theater will be ensured for another 85 years, the owner said.
But if the movie doesn’t draw a large enough audience, Nicolaou may have no choice but to close his five-screen theater since Hollywood studios will likely issue him no other first-run films.
“This movie will make or break this theater,” he said as the 11th hour approached. “I hope at the end of the day we will be there and the community has supported us overwhelmingly.”