Business is pretty good, but today we’re having a meeting about it being bad. Not because of anything we’ve done, but because the street in front of the cinema is being ripped up and will largely be closed to traffic for a couple of months.
As you know, I bike or bus most places, so it’s no big whoop to walk a bit further, or take a detour. A lot of our customers walk to us too, mostly the seniors who live in nearby assisted living, but I’d say about 70% do not. Driving to the cinema is a real pain during rush hour anyway, and only having one lane of traffic, heading East, is going to be incredibly detrimental to the cinema this summer. We’re one of the few ‘destinations’ in the area (along with the theatre, supermarket, and library), so if we’re not doing well, that’s going to affect other businesses (cafés, shawarma places, small pharmacies, other shawarma places…) pretty terribly.
I’m a little worried about it, but I think we can bounce back fairly easily. Our model of ‘Showing good movies that the 40+ crowd like and charging decent prices’ model works pretty well for us. (In the Age of the Download, chasing the youth market is not easy, so we don’t aggressively pursue it.) In addition, we’re going to be doing some much-needed renovations, which, if not a ‘value-added’ draw, will at least stop some of the whining about how tatty the place looks. However, what all this work means is that shifts are gonna be scarcer for several weeks and programming is going to be complicated.
The staff are more or less prepared for what’s coming, but I still feel rotten, like we’re going to be punishing them for things beyond their control. I hate that. It’s (one of) the supercrummy bits about having any kind of authority.
This is much less exciting than the last non-business hours staff meeting we had, when I got promoted to GM. Yes, staff meetings are that rare. Have I mentioned that I (mostly) love my job and how much I fear ever working in a giant bureaucratic system ever again? ‘Cause I do. x2. (This…is Q.)
Speaking of Rideau Street, the City of Ottawa is looking for Public Art Proposals. Help give Rideau Street the equivalent of Marble Hydrants or those weird things on Preston that I don’t entirely understand, or the giant, Giger-inspired Jai Alai sticks on King Edward.