Rain in Socal

The weekend storm that left most of Southern California in disarray last weekend should come to an end by Wednesday morning, said Meteorologist Jamie Meier of the National Weather Service.
The storm brought ½ inch of rain to Santa Barbara and 3/5 inch of rain to Los Angeles last Friday. Temperatures dropped as low as 38 degrees and reached highs of 53 degrees in Santa Barbara, while ranging from 46 degrees to 57 degrees in LA. The storm caused power outages, mud slides and forced a 50-mile section of Interstate 5, along with Interstate 15, to close down.
“The roads have been horrendous, the 15 was closed, so anyone who wanted to get to (Las) Vegas or Northern California was out of luck,” said Meier. “Grapevine was hit with 6 inches of snow. People in Southern California just can’t drive in that. It’s just not safe. It’s better to be pulled over on the side of the road than to be flipped over on the side of your car.”
Although many problems occurred, some people went to the movie theaters as a way to forget the inclement weather. Westlake Village Mann Theatres Manager Tim Simpson, said people like going to the movies when it rains.
“When it rains, people have nothing else to do, so we see a lot more customers,” said Simpson.
One family went to the movies for just that reason. Janet Lester the mother of two 12-year-old twins, Carson and Cameron, said she went to the theaters because her children were behaving crazy.
“The second they got home from school they were soaked, they must have jumped in puddles all day and I think the whole Friday the 13th thing may have had something to do with it,” said Lester.
President of Theatrical Distribution at First Look Studios, Andy Gruenberg, said quite the opposite of Simpson, that rain would actually negatively affect Southern Californians’ movie-going habits.
“Bad weather is bad for the movie business,” said Gruenberg. “People in Southern California don’t like rain, so they don’t go out because they don’t feel as comfortable. Our rain is like snow in other areas of the country.”
Gruenberg said the Santa Barbara market was a good indication of this.
“The total revenue went down 4 percent, compare that with the rest of the country that went up 15-20 percent last weekend,” said Gruenberg.
Santa Barbara actually fell 21 market places lower than it had been two weekends earlier when there was no rain. Gruenberg said Los Angeles was virtually unaffected by the rain since it’s the biggest movie-going audience in the country. He said Santa Barbara’s market would have gone down further, but since Friday the 13th was actually released on Friday the 13th , it was a rare exception because teenagers, who don’t care as much about the rain, overwhelmingly wanted to see the movie that day. So it would appear that in Southern California as umbrellas go up, popcorn sales at the local movie theater go down.


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