The Metropolitan Plaza Theater in Carpinteria closed down after its final show on Thursday, September 9. David Corwin, president of Metropolitan Theater Corporation, said the Plaza Theater was shut down because it was not viable as a stand-alone operation.
MTC bought, renovated, and re-opened the venue in November 2005. However, Corwin said MTC has lost money at the location since.
Former employees of the movie house were offered positions within the MTC family of theaters that are located throughout Santa Barbara. MTC is currently in talks with local community organizations that may be interested in utilizing the venue for their operations. Corwin says his ideal scenario would be to secure a financial commitment from a business or organization that can either work in tandem with a movie theater operation or eventually replace it. Local church groups and the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council have been contacted by MTC.
The lease on the building located at 4916 Carpinteria Avenue runs through the end of October 2010, therefore MTC is open to hosting private events or finding a regular user for the facility at least until the lease expires.
The closing of the Plaza Theater caught many by surprise, like Carpinteria resident, Julie Quevedo. “[I] really don’t go there much, but it was nice to have as an option,” says Quevedo. “I grew up in Carpinteria and remember when it wasn’t so nice of a theater. Since they renovated it, [I] started going there again, so it’s a bummer that they closed now,” she said.
Corwin cited a contributor to the Plaza Theater’s hardship: By contract, theaters must show a film for a minimum of two to three weeks. As a single-screen operation, the variety available to movie patrons was scarce. He also said that there was not much attendance to begin with.
The last showings at the Plaza Theater were Nanny McPhee Returns and Vampires Suck.