Rent-A-Theater: Oklahoma City Venues Offering Discounts For Private Shows


Monday, October 19th 2020, 9:49 pm
By: Barry Mangold


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Movie theaters are offering discounted prices for private movie showings for $99 as the industry grasps at ways to survive the pandemic. 

“Whether that’s movies, or whether that’s a private event, or a business meeting or a lunch; we’re available for rent,” Tower Theatre managing partner Stephen Tyler said.

Two national theater chains, AMC and Harkins, recently announced theater rentals for groups of 20 people or less. 

“Along with the state-of-the-art picture and sound, award-winning popcorn, and unparalleled service that Harkins is known for, guests will notice enhanced safety precautions throughout the moviegoing experience,” a Harkins Theatres spokesperson said.

Tyler said the Tower Theatre is open to rent for just about any event. He also said he would charge less than any national theater chain. 

“Big difference is that we live here and work here and play here,” Tyler said. “This is a local business and we’re trying to survive.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, theaters and venues were among the first businesses to shut down. Without any long-term federal relief in sight, the Tower Theatre has reworked its seating and has booked several off-events such as political debates.

Tower Theatre is also planning on installing a kitchen for food service. 

“The number of bodies in our door is directly correlated to our revenue,” Tyler said. “So if we're operating at 20 percent or less capacity, which we are, then we're operating with 20 percent or less revenue. 

“We're entertaining all of these things because we have the space. We want to stay alive.” 

Tyler said the Tower Theatre recently received $250,000 from the City of Oklahoma City as part of a $2 million grant program for live performance venues that have lost revenue due to the pandemic. 

“Money like that coming from our city has really bought us that time to keep going and keep operating,” Tyler said. “What we’re doing now is figuring out what can we do now for the next six months, legitimately next year, to stay open and stay afloat.”