Cinema to Give Money to Cape Ann Organizations


“Charity starts at home,’ goes the old expression,” said Robert Newton, Cape Ann Community Cinema’s managing director, “so starting immediately, we are going to donate $1.00 from every DVD purchased from our stock of 4,000 to the Cape Ann charity, non-profit, school group or house of worship of your choice.”

The stock of DVD’s comes from the former Video Viewpoint of Manchester, Cape Ann’s last independent video store, which closed in April 2009. Pam Ranger, the store’s owner, has allowed the inventory to be sold on consignment at the Cinema at 21 Main Street in Gloucester. All DVD’s are just $8.00, and the sale is ongoing, before and after every 5pm and 7:30pm show. Saturday, April 10 from 1pm to 4pm has been designated a special sale day, where money from every sale of discount movie passes will also be donated to a Cape Ann group of the buyer’s choice.

“Supporting local groups in need has always been a part of our business plan, going back to my video store days, and will always be part of what we do,” Newton added. “After all, Community is our middle name.”

Newton’s video store days date back to 1985, when a mom-and-pop video store opened in Hamilton, where he moved from Auburn in 8th grade. He soon got a part-time job there in high school, and eventually bought the place. His mini-empire, which totaled four stores at various points in time, culminated with Starship Video, a 7200 sq. ft. mega-store in Worcester, which he sold to national chain Hollywood Video in 2003. At the time, he thought that his auspicious exit from half a lifetime of recommending movies to people.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” Newton quipped jokingly, quoting Al Pacino from The Godfather, Part III. “Not only am I living the dream of running a movie theater, but the circumstances have allowed for a quiet return to a business that I really miss.”

At the end of May, Newton will debut Lightship Video, a video rental boutique within the Cinema.

“Like our Cinema, Lightship will not be your usual video store. We’ll carry the kinds of movies that we show – independent, foreign and local films – not the run-of-the-mill Redbox fare. And with Blockbuster coughing up blood as we speak, the time is right. And as much as I like Netflix, a robot will never know your tastes as well as a human. And until the law dictates otherwise, we’re not hiring robots here.”

Approximately 90% of the new store’s inventory will be free for Cinema members to borrow. New releases, which will arrive every Tuesday, will cost just 93 cents a day. Upon opening, Lightship will be open at 10am every day, as will the on-site Cinema Caf’, a place to relax, read, watch a movie on one of the Cinema’s TV’s, work or use the Cinema’s free wifi. Memberships are free with the purchase of 10 discount movie tickets.

Show time information can be found by calling (978) 282-1988 or visiting the Cinema’s website at