Greenwood Features Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting
BETHEL — Bethel’s Chamber of Commerce celebrated the recent opening of Greenwood Features with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the theater on Friday, May 27.
The newly opened independent cinema is owned and operated by a local couple, Jaimie and Frank Lockwood. Frank is one of the co-founders of the Reverie Brewing Company in Newtown, where Jaimie also serves, managing all the brewery’s special events.
Reverie was named after the French word for daydream, as its owners built the business out of their collective dream to own and operate an independent brewery.
The concept for Greenwood Features comes from a similar place. The space, which formerly housed the Bethel Cinema, was purchased by the Lockwoods in October 2021, and opened its doors to moviegoers in April 2022.
“There is something really symbolic about the cinema opening back up again; it means we can be close to each other and visit our daydreams together to share our stories and myths,” said Bethel Chamber of Commerce member Rachel Diamond, who heads distribution and brand development for Broken Symmetry Brewery in Bethel. “Frank and Jaimie have worked very hard and they deserve all of this.”
In tandem with their special screening of the 1995 cult-classic film Mallrats, for this run, the cinema is serving chocolate-covered pretzel popcorn in honor of one of the film’s characters, Mr Svenning. This offering will be complemented by a chocolate-covered pretzel-inspired stout at Reverie.
The Lockwoods regularly run similar cross-promotions between their businesses, and often extend coupon deals to those who are patrons of both.
“The cinema is one of the cultural touchstones of the town,” said Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker. “It’s great to be able to tell people it’s still there under a new name and new ownership.”
He emphasized the fact that the new cinema will be attractive to out-of-towners.
Paul Improta, another Bethel Chamber attendee of the festivities, accentuated this sentiment, calling it “a big draw” for potential visitors.
State Representatives Raghib Allie-Brennan and Senator Julie Kushner were also in attendance, presenting the Lockwoods with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly.
The citation is in recognition of the cinema, stating that it “will not only serve those in search of fantasy and adventure through the films you show but offer a gathering place that deepens our sense of community.”
Speaking on their intentions for the future of the business, the Lockwoods said they sought to bring more “entertainment value” with future additions to the cinema.
Besides a larger menu of concessions and a more diverse selection of films that came with the space’s reopening, Greenwood Features will be introducing a new event space and a 50-seat screening room style theater in an unused section of the building.
They also have plans to build a “barcade” alongside those projects in the same vein. A barcade is a bar or drinking establishment equipped with classic video arcade games.
To learn more about Greenwood Features, visit greenwoodfeatures.com — and follow them on social media.