Moonlight Movies theatre opens

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An image of the concession area of Moonlight Movies. There are some people wandering and one person working the register behind the counter. There are some chairs and tables and some arcade games at the back of the image.
With prices like that, you’d think there’d be more people… Jason Longworth

Everything you need to know

A new discounted movie theatre has now opened in Regina, Saskatchewan. Its official name is Moonlight Movies but many people may know it as ‘The New Rainbow,’ a name which came about because of Regina’s previous discounted theatre, which had been around for years. 

Regina’s (now closed) discounted theatre was known as Rainbow Cinemas. Rainbow, as it was frequently called, was known for being well-discounted, with the best popcorn in the city, and for always being around when you needed or wanted it.  

In 2022, however, Rainbow Cinemas had to close its doors after being open for almost 25 years. A great deal of the community was sad to see it go. Although, thanks to Moonlight Movies, Regina did not have to say goodbye for too long! 

Moonlight Movies recently held its grand opening. It involved movies for the price of $2.49 plus an additional pass for anyone who attended to use in the future for another movie. They also had face painting, a balloon artist, and a magician.  

During their grand opening, they were airing some great movies such as Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie, The Retirement Plan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and, of course, they were selling some of Regina’s best popcorn. 

Jason Longworth, the owner of Moonlight Movies spoke to the Carillon about the advantage of having a discounted movie theatre in the city. The affordability is key, allowing easy access to families, university students, and people of all ages to see great new movies without breaking the bank. 

“Our goal is to give families and everyone affordable entertainment,” said Longworth. “This is not because we are trying to take away from Cineplex or Landmark. I know that in our economy there are a lot of people who need a cheaper option. […] Having these prices allows for it to be attainable for people to come more often or have more people of the community come out!”  

To keep things up, they need people to come out. “The only way we can make this work is if we have bums in seats,” said Longworth. He wants people to enjoy the movies and this atmosphere now that it’s back and in action.  

“We are not Rainbow; we are going to do some things differently than them,” he added. “What we are trying to do is honour them and what they brought to the community, like the prices, and the popcorn recipe and give people this place. But also, we have to put a bit of a Moonlight Movies twist.”  

A twist! That is exactly what Moonlight Movies may need to strive for, to stay open and to welcome more guests into this area. But, how is this happening? How has the community felt and the business been with this twist?  

“For a new business, business has been [doing] quite well. But at the same time with social media, we got flooded with messages and comments at first. But the actual people at the door have not lived up to the comments. If we are going to stay here, we need more for sure!” said Longworth.  

Now, as mentioned, the grand opening had quite a bit of extra action to it, like face painting and balloon making and turned out to be quite the spectacle. “The grand opening was incredible. It was our first stress test, but it was exactly why we did the soft opening. We needed time to learn and train our staff and all that stuff. Overall, though, it was incredible!” Longworth stated. 

Now, this is not Longworth’s first time being involved with the movie theatre industry. In fact, Longworth also owns and runs a drive-in movie theatre in Pilot Butte called Moonlight Movies Drive-In. The Moonlight Movies Drive-In has been open since 2020.  

If you have never experienced a drive-in theatre before, it works like this: the Moonlight Movies Drive-In has a screen that is placed on open land, you drive in with your car, and then adjust your car radio to a certain streaming number. Once you’ve done all that, you just get comfortable however you like, whether that be sitting in the driver seat or lying in the back, and watch a movie from the comfort of your own car! It is a great experience to have and I 100 per cent recommend it in the summer months. It is always a good time.  

Now, one thing customers may be worried about, now that Longworth has expanded his business, is what is going to happen to the drive-in?  

“The drive-in is not going anywhere; we are exploring it, we love it. It is our baby. Moonlight Movies is our main source of survival right now, […] this is our pet project on the side right now,” Longworth said.  

On a closing note, the Moonlight Movies theatre’s adventure has just begun, and they seem to be looking forward to this side business and the start of their own story. Moonlight Movies is a great way to get out and enjoy an outing for a great price! 

Moonlight Movies is also not too far from the University of Regina (U of R) main campus. Depending on the route, it is about a 10-minute drive or 30-minute walk. To motivate University of Regina students to take some well-needed time off during the exam season, and to encourage students to explore the new facility, the theatre wanted to create a deal for the rest of the 2023 year. For the rest of the year, anyone who shows Moonlight Movies a U of R student ID card will get a half-price rate. 

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