We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Tashiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I own a company called Blue Moon Cinemas, where we do over 300 events per year doing inflatable movie events in Texas and surrounding states for the last 13 years. At Blue Moon Cinemas, we take the screen and movie set-up out to clients, wherever they are and put on a turnkey private event for them whether it is a backyard party, non-profit event, corporate event, parks and recs event, school movie night and we have the capability to make any of those events a drive-in movie for guests to be socially distanced and safe. I have always had a passion for film but the one thing Blue Moon Cinemas couldn’t do was play new-release movies at the same time as in-door theaters, I needed a permanent theater and equipment to be able to achieve that dream! I found Andrew Thomas, who owns Showboat Drive-In and we immediately hit it off. The partnership was born one week later to start MoonStruck Drive-In. Many people ask us if we started the business because of the pandemic, the answer is no, the plans were already there before the pandemic but it definitely made it interesting to start a business during that time!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
MoonStruck Drive-In is a small family business with just Andrew and I working with a great team of loyal and dedicated team members. One thing that really sets us apart are our employees. Both our managers have been here since we opened and have been our greatest assets. When you come out to our drive-in, you will be met with the friendliest staff, always striving to provide the best experience to each guest. You can feel that they are passionate about serving you and take pride in our small business and theater like it is their home. They have made life-long friends with Andrew and I as well as each other and it truly feels like a family working together and having a good time. There are many theaters in a big city like Houston, we want you to feel comfortable like this is your home theater every time you think about taking your family out for a movie.
It has been so cool to have our theater show new release movies at the same time as in-door theaters unlike many other drive-ins that can only show older content. We have invested in the best premium grade projectors and other equipment to give the best visual and sound quality so you truly get the full big screen experience. We are honored to be able to provide a safe way for guests to still enjoy the newest movies in a safe and socially distanced way in this pandemic.
We also do about 2 private events a week. We host school movie nights, non-profit fundraising galas, corporate employee nights, church events, engagements, weddings, and have even hosted some Netflix comedians live at MoonStruck during their national tours! All this has really set us apart and we hope to continue to be the best movie theater and event space in Houston for years to come!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not have been an entrepreneur and own multiple businesses if it were not for my husband. I started my career out at PWC, where I received my CPA license. Then I worked at an oil and gas consulting firm doing M&A downtown Houston. I thought I would stay in finance for the rest of my career and had never in my wildest dreams imagine I would quit my job and start my own businesses! He was the one that saw that I had a passion for business and encouraged me to take a chance on myself! Through Blue Moon Cinemas and MoonStruck Drive-In, he’s been there with me every step of the way, always stepping in to help with whatever it is! If you work with us you know that he does just as much as I do if not more for the business!
Photographed by: Iman Mannie Saqr (For the Sundance Picture)