Delaware Public Media

Wilmington's Theatre N seeks to compete with streaming in latest transformation

Feb 21, 2020

Wilmington’s only arthouse cinema is undergoing changes. 


Theatre N is closing temporarily for renovations. The movie theater known for showing independent films announced the move this week.

Robert Herrera is a Theatre N board member and founder of the neighboring coworking space, The Mill, which manages Theatre N.  He says the biggest change will be to the concession area.

“It’s roughly ... two to three thousand additional square feet that we’re going to expand to the back of the theater,” he said. “One of the things that drove me crazy was the hum of the soda machine while movies were going on … The whole concession area will be in a room behind the theater and that will also act as a small event space.”

The theater plans to expand programming to include video gaming nights, comedy nights and a speaker series.

Herrera hopes this will help get viewers “off their couch” and to the theater.

“In this day and age with streaming so prevalent, it’s changing the indie film and foreign film landscape,” he said. “So providing an experience for our users is only going to help things.”

The theater also intends to transform its leadership and raise funds. A largely new nine-member board is expected to be announced soon, and the theater will be hiring new staff positions. 

Herrera says the renovations could take weeks or months. Staff at The Mill say the theater will operate minimally over the next quarter.

 

Theatre N was managed by the City of Wilmington's Office of Cultural Affairs for more than a decade.