A Cinema Powers Up
The Loft Cinema is much more than just an independent movie theater. As a mission-driven, membership-supported nonprofit arts organization, it also serves as a community hub for the greater Tucson area.
Building community through film is the heart of the Loft’s mission, so when they began exploring the possibility of installing EV chargers, it was a natural outgrowth of their service to the community. Providing chargers also made sense for a movie theater, whose customers tend to park for upward of two hours at a time.
The pandemic played a part as well. Like many other organizations, The Loft Cinema had to close its doors for a time. As they regrouped, the team found themselves searching for ways to stay engaged with the public and develop new offerings.
EV Charging Within Reach
Initially, the expense of installation seemed daunting—until they discovered Tucson Electric Power’s Smart EV Charging Program.
“We saw the local advertising for TEP subsidies for EV chargers, so we reached out to see if The Loft Cinema could qualify,” said David Correa, purchasing specialist for the Loft.
TEP offers incentives and technical support to a variety of businesses, multi-family complexes, nonprofit customers, and more who would like to purchase and install EV charging ports at their locations.
“When we started exploring the possibility of the EV chargers, the goal was to offer a public service to the community, but we were struggling like everyone else. The subsidies were the thing that made it worth considering.”
Up and Running
After a site assessment to determine the best options for the theater’s parking lot, the team was happy to discover that as a nonprofit and with the help of those incentives, they could offset their project costs by more than 80 percent.
As a bonus, by broadening access to charging stations, the Loft Cinema is also helping to develop sustainable EV infrastructure for their community.
“The chargers are up and running now,” says Correa, “and we see the benefit firsthand when customers thank us for installing them.”