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Theater Reels In Fans of Independent Films

October 13, 1998|MARK ARMSTRONG

Although he doesn't expect to get rich on the current independent-movie craze, Paseo Camarillo co-owner Lyndon Golin is holding his own against the movie complexes.

It's a pleasant change for the three-screen theater, which, after more than a decade of first-run movies, shut down briefly in the early 1990s when Edwards opened its 12-screen multiplex across the 101 Freeway.

Golin, 34, and his 26-year-old brother, Michael, co-owner of the business, breathed new life into the theater when they bought it in 1996. They began showing second-run box-office hits, and last year settled on mostly first-run independent films.

The audience may be smaller, Golin said, but they're devoted to finding the next big "little" movie.

"It keeps building, and the people that come in are real appreciative," said Lyndon Golin of Calabasas. "There always seems to be a cycle in Hollywood where independent films become--I don't want to say the flavor of the week. They become high-profile."

Many of the earlier low-profile, high-risk films are now mainstream, including Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," distributed by Miramax, and last year's independent comedy hit, "The Full Monty," from Fox Searchlight Films.

But the movies, Golin said, often come from out of nowhere and generate interest slowly, which makes marketing the theater and its films a difficult task.

Besides the small advertisements in local newspapers, Paseo Camarillo lures patrons through newsletters and calendars delivered to local coffeehouses.

Business is going well, said theater manager Randy Hartford.

"People don't just turn on the TV and see what we're playing," Hartford said. "But we've experienced some steady growth. We get people from Malibu to Santa Barbara, and they like the type of movies we have."

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