That’s the goal behind Tim Patterson’s selling some of his prominent holdings in Brookings.
“It’s entirely related to economic times – and I’m getting old,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a combination.”
The properties he hopes to sell include the Redwood Theatre, the building that houses MoJo Espresso and More and MoVino Wine Bar; and the building leased by the DoLittle Cafe, Carson’s Critters, Creating Lasting Memories and Peek-a-Boo Cottage.
“It’s really lightening the load,” Patterson said. “It’s not a fire sale. Just too many properties and not enough cash.”
Patterson, his wife, Cynthia Chi, and partners Cindi and Jess Beaman own the theater; variations of those same four people own the other properties.
MoJos and MoVino are located at 625 Chetco Ave.; DoLittle Cafe, the scrapbooking, children’s clothing and pet stores are at 609 Chetco Ave.
Each lease – most are one-year contracts – will remain with the buildings if they are sold.
Patterson has lined up new tenants for MoJo’s who plan to reopen the coffee shop around the Fourth of July. If MoVino doesn’t sell or lease soon, Patterson will reopen it as well.
He admits he’s had very little response, but has chosen to list the property without the aid of a real estate company.
“It’s very low-key,” Patterson said. “It may not happen at all.”
And that’s OK, too, he said.
Regardless, the movie theater will undergo some changes this summer as it makes the equipment conversion to permit 3-D showings.
That $100,000 conversion is a virtual must if theaters, particularly in small towns, are to stay in business.
Patterson said movie houses are getting away from bulky 35-millimeter films that are more costly to ship.
Once the digital equipment is in place, movie houses pay a fee to theater owners for each first-run digital film they request. Over a six-year period, the cost of the film-to-digital conversion should be reimbursed – but technology could very well advance again, requiring other changes.
The industry has been phasing digital film into theaters for the past five years. Next year will be the last that first-run films can be ordered in 35-millimeter.
“Whoever buys it is going to want it,” Patterson said. “In this size town, it would be a real death-knell (without digital capabilities). By next year this time, new releases won’t be in 35-millimeter.”
Business there has been good for Patterson and his partners since they purchased the theater in 1989.
The theater was built in 1927 and over the years was redesigned and updated, most recently with new seating and an upgraded sound system. The large theater can seat 220 people; the small, 38.
“Brookings has been a good small town,” he said. “We have a booker that books for 50 small-town theaters, and ours is always been pretty close to the top.”
With advances in technology, however, showing movies in a small town is no longer a hobby, but a true business, Patterson said.
“To continue to be a business, it’s going to have to make money,” he said. “If someone wants to retire to Brookings and wants to do something beside watch TV ... and if it doesn’t (sell), we’ll still be around next year.”
He’d had higher hopes, when the economy was strong and U.S. Borax had plans to build a 1,000-home community north of Brookings.
“We always expected Borax to be done by now, and it hasn’t even started,” Patterson said. “They are a game-changer in the economy of Brookings. It could happen yet.”
U.S. Borax proposed 1,000 houses, a college campus and commercial uses on 550 acres on Highway 101 opposite Sam Boardman State Park near Lone Ranch.
Yet, Patterson is hopeful.
“If the economy turns around, those businesses should do OK,” he said. “It surely would help if the economy changes and people start coming to Brookings again.”