Humboldt Plaza 3: “The show must go on”
HUMBOLDT, Tenn.–During the height of the pandemic, the Humboldt Plaza 3 was forced to close. Now back open, they are still dangerously close to closing for good. If the theater does not see a rise in customers, there is a chance they won’t see the summer. After 78 years, there could be a gaping hole along Main Street.
“It’s still a lot of fear and concern among the citizens and the return hasn’t been quite what we expected it to be,” co-owner Michael Longmire says.
Back in March of 2020, the Humboldt Plaza 3 was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 8 weeks later, the theater opened back up to little to no movie distributions and customers who chose to stay home. Owners Michael Longmire and Jason Tubbs find ways to make customers feel safe and enter back into the theater that once brought them so much joy.
“Customers come in and tell us about maybe their first experience here, the first movie they saw. We have had some people come in talking about back in the 50’s when they started first dating they would come in here to the theater,” Tubbs says.
In January, numbers showed the theater at a greater than 70 percent loss in revenue. Their biggest concern? Checks for its employees.
“This theater provides for those 16 employees a means to have gas money, help put food on the table, take care of their children,” Tubbs says.
The business did not receive much CARES Act funding, forcing them to find solutions. The theater now implements concessions-to-go and Community Business Spotlight Night. But still, the owners want to return to what the theater is best known for, showing movies.
“That is our biggest goal, get people more comfortable coming back to the theater, enjoying movies with their families,” Longmire says.
“Forget some of the worries of the world, enjoy hot popcorn and cold drinks,” Tubbs says.
The Plaza 3 owners next steps to save the theater is to possibly add more concession items and speak with movie distributors to get the newest movies in.
To find more information on purchasing tickets or setting up a Spotlight Business Night, click here.