By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 08/15/2020 – The popular Arena Cinelounge has supported independent artists for years. In 2020, they launched a gourmet popcorn venture to sustain their theatre and it is proving to be a hit. Some of the mind-blowing flavors include, Once Upon A Time in Popcorn, Mesquite Smoked Cheddar blend, Popcorn of the Living Dead, cinnamon churro with crushed pretzels, Meoli’s Bliss, bourbon caramel with espresso pretzels. The popcorn is Vegan, non-GMO, nut-free, and with no preservatives.
Arena Cinelounge is a safe haven for indie filmmakers to screen their films – ones often not shown at an Arclight, AMC, or other major theater chains. Christian Meoli, owner of Arena Cinelounge through his dedication to these indie filmmakers drove him to find a uniquely appropriate way to save not only his business, but the only home that will screen these filmmakers’ works of art.
As an independent theatre, you had to be creative during COVID. Tell us about the launch of your gourmet popcorn?
Since 2012, Arena Cinelounge has been a place of discovery, an in-the-know home for people who really love movies. We launched our 9 blends in November of 2019. I wanted to take advantage of the growing at-home delivery marketplace. We were the first movie theater to be on Postmates and Grubhub. I’m really proud and grateful for what we have accomplished, especially with the pandemic shutdown. As a new revenue stream for us, it’s been our main source of income for most of 2020.
The idea was to take our popcorn and our insatiable love for movies and shape our packaging into a calling card that markets our brand and who we are, while concurrently giving consumers a call to action to help us continue to offer filmmakers a platform to share their stories.
There is delicious creativity in each blend. Notably, Popcorn of the Living Dead, Natural Corn Killers, APOPalypse Now, and others. Tell us about how your popcorn is bridging the gap between movies and popcorn?
Popcorn is the undervalued dancing partner to the Movies! And Cinelounge Popcorn is the ideal snack physically and psychologically for a number of reasons. It’s the element of the movie experience that keeps us actively engaged. Our popcorn is Vegan, non-GMO, nut-free, and with no preservatives.
How critical is the purchase of your gourmet popcorn to the sustainability of Arena Cinelounge Sunset and your support this year of independent artists? What are your goals for your new venture?
Our popcorn initiative has been our main source of income for most of 2020. Unlike any other popcorn out there, Cinelounge Popcorn gives consumers a call to action to help us continue to offer filmmakers a platform to share their stories.
How many mind-blending flavors do you offer?
We currently have 9 amazing blends with a new 10th blend arriving in November.
Where can we find them?
You can order direct from our website at http://arenascreen.com/popcorn
What is your favorite?
My current fave is Once Upon A Time in Popcorn which is our Mesquite Smoked Cheddar blend. Deelicious!
Tell us about your Artist who did the popcorn packaging.
The wonderfully talented Chris Butler. https://www.chrisbutlerdesigns.com/
If you could write a script about how COVID changed the comfort of the arthouse cinema to comfort of your home. What would it look like?
It would be a horror movie that’s for sure!
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