Prime Cinemas
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Prime Cinemas

Prime Cinemas

“It really comes down to the people you hire,” says Brian Young, who owns Red Bluff’s Prime Cinemas with his wife, Katherine, and two other partners, “and the way you want them to treat people who come in the door. We really put an emphasis on improving that experience, whether it’s carrying customers’ food to their seats for them or catering to requests.”

It’s that attitude that has made Prime Cinemas a welcome member of the Red Bluff community for the past 13 years, along with its longstanding history of supporting local nonprofits and giving hundreds of teenagers their first jobs.

Tehama County filmgoers are happy to return the favor. “Over the years we’ve received a lot of love and support from the community,” Young says.

“A lot of regulars come into the theater and they look at us as extended family, and that’s been nice. The Red Bluff community is very friendly and it’s great to see people meeting in the lobby and catching up. It’s fun to be a part of the community,” he adds.

The movie theater business got hit extra hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and Prime Cinemas was no exception but Young says there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. “We’re far from back to normal. I’m hoping the industry gets back to a more normal kind of pace and level of business. It seems like we’re trending in the right direction with more vaccinations and more movies coming out. Hopefully the stars are aligning.”

Once things do get back on solid footing, Young says he is eager to resume the Prime Cinemas practice of showing free movies on Saturday mornings. Prior to the COVID-related shutdown, a couple hundred people would attend the free screenings each Saturday. Offering the popular freebies was “just one example of us not being part of a big chain,” Young says.

Prime Cinemas shows first-run movies on its six screens and the movies are selected by a film buyer Young contracts with. “We have a pretty good track record of what kind of movies our community likes. We go hard for the big action blockbusters but we know we have others who are into horror films, and anything Western related tend to be very popular.

“We’ll try almost anything,” Young says. “There have been some pleasant surprises over time. We consider ourselves kind of like the library with something for everyone.”

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