A Look Back / A Look Ahead

posted by Ross Melnick on January 6, 2003 at 11:51 am

Our vacation is officially over and we’re back at work!

We hope you a terrific holiday, saw some of the better movies that were released at the end of 2002, and maybe pitched in to help a theater in need. In these difficult economic times, theaters, performing arts groups, and preservation organizations need all the assistance they can get.

Luckily for those theaters still showing movies, motion pictures have usually bucked economic downturns during their history, as evident by last year’s box office performance. According to Yahoo!/The Hollywood Reporter, the total box office for last year should reach $9.4 billion, up a reported 13% from 2001, with ticket sales reaching their highest count in 45 years.

While this news is terrific for resurgent theater chains such as Loews Cineplex, Regal Entertainment Group, Pacific Theatres, AMC, and more, the independent exhibitor is still struggling. The reasons are too many to list, but access to product, high overhead, and the inability to book multiple films in single screen theaters are amongst the largest culprits.

Still there were bright spots in 2002: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” proved to be a lifesaver for theaters such as the Catlow; and more and more older, second run theaters switched to art house product for far better profits and reliability.

But there were so many theater closures at the hands of financially strapped exhibitors, frustrated landlords, and expanding drugstore and retail chains, we would need UPS to deliver the hefty list.

As we look ahead to 2003, we’ll begin focusing more of our attention not only on the stories and events that impact you, the exhibitor, the patron, the preservationist, or the theater lover, but show you how others have stayed alive and what we can all learn from their experiences.

The news will be changing as well. Lately there have been so many news stories regarding historic theaters that it’s been impossible for us to relay them to you quickly and effectively. Therefore, we will be posting more of them in link format so that you can read the original stories sooner and in more depth.

Elsewhere, our incredibly dedicated volunteer staff like Bryan Krefft, Grant Smith, William Gabel, Roger Katz, Ian Grundy, and others will continue to help us preserve the memory and futures of these beloved theaters around the world.

We’re extremely excited to get Cinema Treasures 2003 underway and we’ll be back tomorrow with more theaters, more news, and more of what you’ve come to rely on at Cinema Treasures.

Thanks and let’s start saving some theaters!

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