About, Cameo Cinema
The Biggest Little Theater in Wine Country
Theater's owner and Creative Director, Cathy Buck
St. Helena's Cameo Cinema is a single-screen movie theater committed to fostering an appreciation for cinema’s cultural heritage and producing exemplary theatrical experiences. The Cameo brings international, independent, and critically acclaimed films to the Napa Valley. Our mission is to foster a vibrant sense of community through the film-going experience.
Presenting tomorrow’s cinema experience, today
Founded in 1913, St. Helena’s Cameo Cinema is California's oldest continuously operated single-screen movie theater. Today, this 140 seat movie theater remains an integral part of the Napa Valley experience and lifestyle. Over the past thirteen years, owner Cathy Buck has infused this classic ‘movie palace’ with Napa Valley’s legendary style and hospitality. With her pioneering spirit she has brought the theater into the 21st Century, installing the latest innovative cinema technology and crafting a world-class film experience, equal to any great movie house, anywhere in the world.
The Cameo Cinema is the only single-screen Art House Cinema in the United States to boast a state-of-the-art Barco 6k Cinema Laser Projector and Dolby Atmos Surround Sound.
Operating an Art House Cinema in the 21st Century
Like other independent arts exhibitors, ticket sales are split with distributors. Sometimes they require as much as 63% of your ticket fee go back to the studio. So you can see why a raise in ticket prices doesn’t really address the shortfall.
Movie theaters rely heavily on concession sales, but they are unpredictable and tied to attendance. The combined revenue from tickets and concessions covers only a small portion of the Theater’s overhead. Special events, film festivals and curated programs can increase our bottom line, but the margins are still razor thin.
The Cameo Cinema's Partner - The CCF
We are committed to keeping the Cameo affordable for the entire community and like other Art House Cinemas nationwide, we rely on our non-profit 501(c)3 support group, the Cameo Cinema Foundation (CCF) to make the continued operation of the theater possible.
Creative ways to support the Cameo Cinema
---Visit Cameo@Home and rent one of our curated, streaming movies each week.
Addressing the challenges of COVID19
No one expected The Cameo Cinema having to close to the public for more than 6 months. But when the pandemic hit, The Cameo team did what they always do: they got creative!
Your donation to the CCF matters more than ever!
The CCF Board and the Cameo staff have a plan to sustain the theater for however long this pandemic needs addressing in the course of doing business
A short history of the Cameo Cinema
On May 15, 1913 an overflow crowd jammed the newly opened G&G Theater to watch the first silent movie ever shown in St. Helena, Selig's " Kings of the Forest" (shot in Griffith Park!). The G&G boasted "400 seats, 150 opera chairs, a modern stage and two standing sets."