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RE: Coming attraction: Inside the Coolidge Theatre’s construction project

May 24, 2023
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Thank you for the May 23 update on the “Coolidge Corner’s Theatre Construction Project.” I am a long-time member of the Coolidge and will continue to be so for as long as I remain viable. I do, however, have some concerns about this $12.5 million project. (The Coolidge hopes to raise another $1.5 million to pay off the building’s mortgage.) An expansion of this magnitude risks bringing with it increased operating costs (staff, administration, development, utilities and so on), which in turn could require the theater to generate more revenue in ticket sales. Will it do so by raising prices and showing even more Hollywood films? Audience members are now treated to at least one and sometimes two (highly repetitive) fund-raising appeals before the feature film even begins. Will there be more? That the Coolidge can expand by 14,000 square feet is a testimony to the theater’s success. But success often sows the seeds of its own decline. I very much hope that my concerns prove baseless.

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