Beacon Cinema set to reopen Friday under new ownership

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Beacon Cinema on North Street in Pittsfield. The theater is reopening under new ownership after a two-week renovation and transition.

PITTSFIELD — It's official.

Phoenix Theatres is formally the new owner of 57 North St., home of the Beacon Cinema. The Michigan-based company has closed on the property, paying $500,000 for the building itself and $144,000 for the equipment therein.

The deal hinged on a controversial decision last month by the City Council to forgive decade-old debt owed to the city by former Beacon Cinema owner Richard Stanley.

The company shuttered the theater for renovations last week, promising to reopen Friday — just in time for Christmas releases. It will retain the Beacon Cinema name.

The hardwood floors are stained and varnished, and the new projection and sound system is ready to go, according to Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres. And heaters have been installed in all of the theater's seats.

"We're in pretty good shape," he told The Eagle.

There will be a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renovated theater at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets will go on sale for the reopening weekend starting on Wednesday.

Jacobson said his computer gurus are working to redirect those who visit the existing Beacon website to the Phoenix one, on which the Beacon will be listed as one of its theaters.

"Now it's just a matter of painting and doing some additional cleaning, stocking, and getting equipment up and running for Friday," he said.

He said his team has hired 10 new people over the past two weeks, doubling the Beacon's staff.

He'll also offer extended hours and cheaper ticket prices, and the theater will continue to honor existing gift certificates.

Starting Saturday, the Beacon will show matinees from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for a flat rate of $5 a seat. The revamped six-screen cinema also will feature shows throughout the evening, with the last shows starting at 10:45 p.m.

General admission after 6 p.m. is $8.75, while children younger than 11 and seniors older than 60 get in for $6.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.