Tracy Giuseffi, a Basking Ridge resident, said she has always enjoyed going to the movies. Adding in a sociable streak with her desire to begin her own business has led to the creation of the Bernardsville Movie Matinee Club.
The first movies in the Bernardsville Movie Matinee are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 17, and Thursday, Sept. 19, she said. Movies start at 11:30 a.m.
Giuseffi said she doesn't know what film will be shown that first week. She said that, according to her agreement with Bernardsville Cinema 3, she will make a selection from among that week's new releases to choose each of the 10 scheduled movie matinees scheduled through the year.
If she can't decide which movie might appeal to the most viewers, she said she will ask matinee club members for their input.
She added more members have been signing up every day.
As a mother, Giuseffi said she always felt that the best time to make it to the movies was when her children were in school would have been on weekdays. However, she said weekday matinees haven't been offered at the area's community movie theater, the Bernardsville Cinema 3 on Mine Brook Road in downtown Bernardsville.
She said she approached Bow Tie Cinemas, which recently had purchased what is now Bow Tie Bernardsville Cinema 3 from Clearview Cinemas. She said she presented her idea and point of view that getting out in the evening is challenging for those who need to make dinner, help with homework and shuttle children to and from evening activities.
Contracts were drawn up and that's how the Bernardsville Movie Matinee Club got its start, according to Giuseffi.
Movie matinee club subscriptions are open to everyone, she said. Current subscribers include moms, daughters attending with mothers or fathers, and also couples, retirees, individuals, empty nesters and groups of friends.
Giuseffi said club members like the idea of a preplanned monthly movie which is conveniently located and supports the local community.
She said that through the Matinee Club, the Bernardsville Cinema will offer a two matinees showing the same movie to Matinee Club members only on a monthly basis from September through June. Members can pick either a Tuesday or Thursday movie, with an 11:30 a.m. show time.
As of Monday, she said subscriptions are available but limited. Checks should be sent to join, she added.
In the future, Giuseffi said she hopes to offer other weekday activities, such as cooking classes, field trips to Broadway shows and museums, and other destinations.
She said the club is a great way for local moms to socialize but that's only part of the clientele interest in the club.
She said a variety of club members seem to like the idea of going to a local movie, contributing to the local economy, the weekday movie time and, also, having a monthly commitment on their calendar that allows them to look forward to going to the movies 10 times a year.
The club members also seem to like the idea of joining with a friend, spouse and parent and knowing they have a regular appointment to go to the movies on a monthly basis.
She said one challenge of starting the business in August has been that her contracts with the Bernardsville Cinema include a guarantee of minimum participation.