MADISON – It’s out with the old and in with the new as Madison Art Cinemas prepare to reopen.
With new seats and carpets made to order, owner Arnold Gorlick hopes to be able to welcome guests again at the beginning of December.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the theater went dark over a year and a half ago.
Gorlick received $ 276,298 under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant from the Small Business Administration.
This program included over $ 16 billion in grants for venues affected by the pandemic, including cinemas, live performance organizations, and museums.
When the theater reopens, the number of seats in each of the two cinemas will be reduced by about 20-30 to make room for the new, fancier seats that “rock back,” Gorlick said. “They are more comfortable, much nicer seats.”
Other things that need attention are repairing the masking, the black cloth around the screen to clearly define the viewing area; Restart the heating and air conditioning and pay back some bills, says Gorlick.
Eileen Banisch, Operations Director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, welcomes the news of the reopening.
“It’s going to be fantastic for the city,” she said.
“It’s like a big vacancy,” she adds. “It’s like a missing tooth in the middle of the city center.
When the theater reopens, says Banisch, “the whole atmosphere will change” in the city center.
Since opening in 1999, Gorlick has worked hard to “curate the best foreign and domestic films available in a way that sets us apart from the rest of the cinemas,” he said.
When it reopens, he expects a “hybrid mix. Probably upscale Hollywood and art films, ”he said.
Gorlick is carried by the enthusiasm of its patrons.
“I can’t even answer all of the emails,” he said. “When we’re inside and the front door is open, they stick their heads in and are so happy that they see something moving. I really appreciate it.”
Sarah Page Kyrcz can be reached at [email protected]