The Englewood Cinema tells stories every day with its one-screen theater, but owners Cory and Alyssa Floyd have their own made-for-the-movies story to tell.
The couple met over a dozen years ago while working together at a Michaels in Tennessee. Cory had just returned from living in Appalachia for a few years as he filmed a documentary. Alyssa was hoping to not be paired up with the “mountain man,” but they formed a bond over bringing peanut butter and banana sandwiches to work for lunch.
While dating, Cory bounced between several jobs that weren’t the right fit for him. After ranting for an hour about movies during an interview for a tech company, he realized it was time to make his life-long dream of owning a small movie theater a reality.
The two started looking around for a theater to buy that was in their budget. After checking out one in Alabama, they came across the listing for the Englewood Cinema. The Floyds called the then-owners that next morning and drove up to Ohio four days later. Within a week of hearing about the theater, the couple had bought it and a house in Dayton.
“We signed the papers (to close on the house) on our phones in the car on the way back to Tennessee,” Alyssa said.
“We‘ve never been here before — to Ohio, to Dayton or Englewood,” Cory added. “We just took a huge leap of faith.”
Cory’s dream cost the Floyds all of their life savings and then some. Friends and a little bit of fate helped the sale get finalized, and the Floyds were officially theater owners.
One of the draws to this theater specifically was the potential the Floyds saw in Englewood. They picked up the theater a year and a half into the pandemic, but they said they could see the revitalization of the area on the horizon.
“We’re getting lucky,” Cory said. “We thought it would take years probably for things to start happening, but we started to have success/ And not to say we’re the reason why, but it seemed like things happened pretty quickly after we started drawing in more traffic.”
The look of the theater was also an instant for Cory. The ‘70s nostalgic look and feel of the interior has remained almost completely the same.
“When we first walked into the theater, I thought to myself, ‘This feels like home,’” Cory said. “It has a very welcoming, home feel when you go into our theater. It’s just a single-screen theater and it has a lot of personality.”
Alyssa said they really try to listen to what their customers want. The top priority was for more consistency at the theater. The couple normalized the previously irregular hours to be open every day but Monday.
They also wanted to make sure the movie-going experience stayed affordable. Neither of them came from wealth, so going to the movies as kids wasn’t a common occurrence, the Floyds said. Every movie ticket is only $5 and on Tuesdays, tickets are just $3.50. Their concession combos also feed into the affordability of the theater and keep their snacks and drinks a few dollars cheaper than bigger theaters in the area.
“I think that’s kind of where movies are losing people because you go to the movies and you spend $50 for two people,” Cory said. “So, hopefully people kind of understand, ‘Hey, these people are not making oodles of money. They just want people to enjoy the movies.’”
The Englewood Cinema also sells extra large to-go bags of movie theater popcorn, which is a hit at the theater. They sold a record of 30 bags in one day at the theater recently, and Alyssa said some people come in specifically for that sale.
The theater’s two-person staff — the Floyds — have been running Englewood Cinema for close to a year and a half. They said they’ve noticed the people in the Dayton area really support each other and care about small business like theirs.
“We treat everybody like family, too,” Alyssa said. “We have some people that come in and they talk to us for like an hour... when the movie is going.”
With Cory’s dream seeing success, the Floyds are excited to start in on Alyssa’s, too. The space next to Englewood Cinema in the Country Square Shopping Center on National Road became available, and the couple hopes to open a yarn shop there in the summer.
“We’re committed to Englewood,” the Floyds said. “We are committed to small business, and we love it.”
Englewood Cinema, located at 320 National Rd. #21, is showing “Creed III” and plans to show “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” in April.
For more information and showtimes, visit https://englewoodcinema.com/showtimes-1.