INTRIGUING NAPA ENTREPRENEUR

Cathy Buck’s 20 years as a realtor in Michigan did not necessarily qualify her for a career in the movie theater business. But as proprietor of St. Helena’s Cameo Cinema, the former waterfront properties specialist found a calling. “The Cameo is important not only to St. Helena and the Valley, it is an iconic piece of movie-going history for the entire country,” said Buck, who moved to the Napa Valley 16 years ago after falling in love with the region during a holiday visit. She purchased the theater on a whim. “When I walk into the theater, I have such a sense of pride. The walls have stories; with the help of the community we have maintained all the nostalgia along with keeping up with technology.” Buck went to great lengths to provide entertainment for the community during the pandemic. “No one expected this pandemic  to go on so long,” she said. “It takes a toll on people’s spirits, not being able to see family and friends. Movies can be a great distraction and escape that brings joy.” She set-up an in-home streaming system to offer the indie films that would have shown at the Cameo had doors been open. She created a drive-in to provide families a safe outing. And the foundation that she presciently established in 2012 has helped to make it all possible. “It was created as a vehicle in which the community could support renovations, festivals, speakers and new and exciting programs,” said Buck. “Today,  it is these contributions that are keeping us alive. It’s  a challenge to keep adjusting to the times, ensuring that the Cameo continues to live on for generations to come. For me, it’s a labor of love.”

 

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