Ever since it was revitalized by then-new co-owners Ryan Frakes and Nicholas Kuechler in 2021, Cinemagic has been one of the most exciting movie theaters in the city, enjoying significant acclaim for inventive programming like VHS Nights.
Now, the Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard theater is aiming even higher by hosting a fundraiser for a planned lobby expansion to bolster the establishment’s reputation as a place where cinephiles not only watch movies, but hang out and discuss them.
“This is not a ‘SAVE THE CINEMAGIC’ campaign,” Kuechler said in an email to patrons. “Money is tight, but we’re OK. This is a way for people to help if they want to, but no one should feel obliged.”
The plan came into focus once the theater secured the lease to a neighboring storefront, which Kuechler described as “a now-or-never opportunity.”
“This new space will be joined to our lobby, and include seating that will be open before and after movies,” he wrote. “This serves the dual purpose of fostering the odd little community that’s emerged around the theater, and stabilizing staff hours.”
The expansion will also allow Cinemagic to add a dishwasher (to cut back on single-use cups). Via its GoFundMe campaign, the theater has raised over $6,000 so far (the target is $20,000).
“Whatever support we do (or don’t) get, we’re committed to making all of these things happen,” Kuechler said.