Local Emmy Winner Vows To Re-Open Hometown Cinemas
This has feel-good story written all over it, just like a Hollywood script: 'Local Emmy winner re-opens the closed down cinema complex he worked at as a kid!' Far-fetched...maybe. But most people in the Amsterdam-Johnstown- Gloversville area seem to believe in this movie miracle.
What started off as a simple Facebook question by Amsterdam native Jonathan 'Woody' Woodbeck has turned viral with thousands of shares and hundreds of positive comments. In the matter of just 3 days, there seems to be a renewed sense of hope that something that the Amsterdam community lost almost one year ago, could be making a return.
The Emerald Cinemas on Route 30 in Amsterdam closed it's doors back in February and Woodbeck (known by friends as 'Woody') feels it's only a matter of time before he gets enough community and political support to bring back the cinema that he worked at for 5 years, and give the western part of the Capital Region a better place to see their favorite movies.
I've personally known Woody for many years and this is a young man incredibly motivated, never one to back to down from a challenge. "People have doubted me my whole life, and if they doubt me now, fine...I'll just prove them wrong" he told me over the phone.
Woodbeck told me that the response has been overwhelming adding that people in and around his hometown either drive all the way Colonie Center or Crossgates to see first rate films, or see them in nearby Johnstown. The Johnstown Movieplex, while conveniently located, isn't as modern as the newer theaters further away and according to Woodbeck needs some upgrades.
What Woodbeck needs now isn't just public support, because he has plenty of that. What he needs now is investors and has plans to meet with some interested parties in the very near future.
Woodbeck returned home to Amsterdam recently after living in Los Angeles as a Reality TV producer where he won an Emmy for his work. He's back now in the Capital Region to care from for his mom, leaving the West Coast behind to pursue his own version of Hollywood in his hometown. But he says this venture isn't about him.
"This is something that that I want to build with my Amsterdam community... together."