All-Star Cinemas to Close

By Robert E. Jensen
The Desert Independent

August 19, 2010

BLYTHE, Calif – Ramin Hashemi, managing partner of the local movie theater – the All Star Cinemas and Entertainment Center – came to town recently and sadly informed the staff that the curtain will come down on the only movie franchise in Blythe  on August 29th. The three-screen theater has been in operation for over a decade, replacing the old Blythe Movie Theatre that closed back in the early ‘90s.

This was unexpected, but not surprising as the owner had made it known that he wanted to get out of the business and it had been placed up for sale for the past six months.

The current recession has claimed yet another victim and has forced more community members into the unemployment lines. In the Great Depression, movie theatres boomed as millions of the unemployed flocked to see great movies that, however momentarily, allowed them to forget their misery. Movies provided by Netflix, Blockbuster and Redbox make it harder to compete in this more modern day.

That’s unfortunate because great movies are meant to be a shared experience. Watching the big screen with fellow members of an audience gushing “oohs and aahs” allows for just such a shared experience. One cannot fathom the same feelings from watching Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings, Dark Knight, or – for that matter – Gone with the Wind for the first time on a television screen.

The closing was probably inevitable. Sadly, it will only serve to make members of this remote community feel even more isolated from the rest of the world.


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