AMHERST — After 14 years, the city’s popular movie theater is raising prices for its evening and weekend shows.
Admission is going to $4 from $3 for everyone for all shows, according to owner Mark Costilow.
“I’ve been banging my head looking at the books since the beginning of the year,” Costilow said Tuesday of his decision to increase prices for the first time since he purchased the 315-seat, single-screen theater in 1999.
The admission hike is the first since Costilow increased his matinee ticket price to $3 from $2.
“That’s probably been about 10 years ago, when we decided to make it $3 for all shows and all ages,” Costilow said.
Rising costs factored into the decision.
“The last five years have been a struggle,” Costilow said.
The number of customers has increased at the family oriented theater, but strong business hasn’t been enough to meet expenses and produce a profit.
Employee costs have risen several thousand dollars over the past several years for the theater’s small staff of approximately a half-dozen.
“We’ve raised minimum wage each year in line with the state, and that also entails matching Social Security, Medicare and workman’s comp contributions,” Costilow said.
Minimum wage in Ohio is $7.85 an hour.
In addition to operating the movie house, Costilow is the city’s safety-service director, a post to which he was named by Mayor Dave Taylor in December 2011. Costilow, 49, succeeded Dennis Clotz, 72, who retired after eight years in the post.
The cinema is known for its strong lineup of Disney movies and major animated films geared to kids and families, and even at $4 a head, the movie house will still have the cheapest prices in the area, Costilow said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.