Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater

posted by Harvey on October 2, 2006 at 5:15 am

HOOPESTON, IL — The Lorraine Theatre was recently shut down in protest over the new films from Hollywood.

A small-town theater owner says he wasn’t trying to send Hollywood a message when he shut down for two weeks rather than show box-office leader “Jackass 2” or other new releases that he calls, “drivel.”

“The movies are so bad and I don’t need the money … I just didn’t think I should use my high-quality facilities to show people vomiting on screen,” said Boardman, whose theaters boast a high-tech, eight- channel digital sound system.

For more on this, read theAssociated Press Article or visit the Lorraine Theatre’s Website.

Theaters in this post

Comments (90)

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on October 2, 2006 at 6:38 am

Maybe this theater owner should try booking some quality independent films instead. See how the audience & attendance works out.

JoelWeide
JoelWeide on October 2, 2006 at 7:20 am

I agree with the above post. I realize that sometimes it is plain tough to find quality product for your screens, but the advantage this owner has is that being independant he does have control over what he shows not what the home office spits out. There is plenty of other product out there.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on October 2, 2006 at 7:38 am

Bravo to this theater owner. The films this year have sucked. This is one of the worst years I can remember in a long time. Hollywood certainly has put out a bunch of crap this summer.
Yeah going independant may be a great way to go when the regular films are so terrible.

andygarner
andygarner on October 2, 2006 at 11:24 am

Nice to be in a position where you can choose what you want to show, without thinking too much about your paying customers, as always there is a lot of dross product out there.

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 2, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Yes, that is what i like as being the owner of a small ‘chain’ i can pick and choose what i want and what the public wants (which we do every other month) and they love it. Glad there are some who can do this with NO backlash

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 2, 2006 at 4:55 pm

This is what the bsns needs ………..a stand up guy…….now theater owners need to do 2 more things….
1.play no picture that opens same day as video
2.fight for a 35% split

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on October 2, 2006 at 5:00 pm

The Lorraine is a single screen. That means he has lots of movies to choose from. Surely there is one (maybe ‘The Departed’ ?) that would suit him?

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 2, 2006 at 5:03 pm

Great pr for theater and it makes all the owners THINK……….

Cinecitta
Cinecitta on October 2, 2006 at 5:03 pm

So do you think he gave his employees a two week paid vacation or were they just SOL?

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 2, 2006 at 5:05 pm

HE PAYED THEM ..AS per a news artical……

Cinecitta
Cinecitta on October 2, 2006 at 5:31 pm

THANKYOU! I had to read the damn thing five times to see that. But did he pay ALL his employees? HUH?

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 12:10 am

I shared this article with a friend and his reaction was to sniff that- Well, I’ll cut-and-paste some of his thoughts, because they’re very much those of a non-CT member and I found them intriguing:

“I guess what irks me is exactly the "it’s my ball, so i’m going home” kind of feeling here, coupled with the effect of paternalism — the “it’s not good enough for me, so therefore, it’s not good enough for you” sensation. what makes me angry is the way that this totally subjective judgement is cloaked in OBJECTIVE-ly loaded language. The implication here is not just that “I” don’t think these films are good enough to show, but that, objectively-speaking, they are trash & unworthy of viewing. I’m not sure i’m quite explaining that fully, but it’s the purely subjective judgment masquerading as objective “truth” — the recording should really have said “because we don’t think these films deserve viewing” rather than “because of such poor film choices,” which is a small but significantly different statement — that makes me cry foul. it also seems to me to be a over-simplified & childish way to operate in what is, essentially, a populist & consumer-driven business. too harsh, maybe — but the one thing guaranteed to drive me to premature harshness is condescension, the whiff of which is unmistakable here."

As for me, I do admire his ‘My way or the highway’, but I hardly think he exhausted his options, so in a way, it comes off as a smidgen ‘spiteful’.

To end this, I am compelled to respond to longislandmovies' first suggestion: simultaneous release is coming, the set-pieces are being moved about as we speak (Amazon.com, Apple, Wal-Mart; check out Mark Cuban’s blog that often deals with this arena: http://www.blogmaverick.com/)) and when it’s implemented, then we’ll see wholesale changes in the industry. It may yet be some time off, years perhaps, but ‘boycotting’ films or studios for this practice will, at best, be a Pyrrhic victory: Hollywood hasn’t ever, doesn’t currently, and never will care where its revenues come from. They may squeal a bit about the associative non-theatrical issues along the way, but in the end, if they can get a large portion of their opening-day $$$ receipts via downloads and hard-copy sales as opposed cinemas, then so be it. The money is all that matters to them.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 3:27 am

The cost to advertise a film and production will not be covered by skipping a theatrical release..(in most cases)If theater owners say no (and i mean the big guys )the simultaneous release will never amount to much….The big blockbuster money comes from theaters …

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 6:15 am

re: longislandmovies' response:

Uh, no.
No, no, no.
And unfortunately, I feel in re-opening this ‘discussion’, I’m somehow more aligned with ‘mr txt’ from the other thread, the 23 year old who claims to be more on top of how things have changed, not only in a technological sense, but where habits are concerned, too. I know this isn’t actually the case, it’s more that I’m -seemingly- a little more aware of how things are in fact changing in terms of peoples' entertainment profiles.

To wit, lately, time and again recently, I’ve been staggered by how different so many peoples' film viewing habits have changed. That is, what they regard to be the default, what’s normal for them. (Just to clarify, I’m a hard-core film-goer. I see between 150 and 200 films a year at the cinema. I don’t watch movies on a television, I’m not interested in doing that; I’m far too enamoured with the cinema-going experience, with watching movies in ‘cathedrals of film’…which is why I’m on this site in the first place.)

I spend a lot of time online having discussions on film sites, on technology sites, on screenwriting sites, and engaged in general Life discussions that quite often include movie-talk. As I say, I’m constantly amazed how vast numbers of people no longer regard going to a cinema to see a just-released film as being their default. I’m constantly having people tell me that no, they have no desire to put up with the expense, the bad viewing experiences, the hassles of actually getting out to see a movie in a cinema… Their ‘default’ then, is to wait for the DVD months after cinematic release and watch it in the comfort of their own home. And I guess I should say here that this is not just a ‘generational’ thing. I’m talking about people who fall within the 30-65 age bracket.

Now, each time I hear this, I think ‘How bizarre! These people are so different from me!’ But they’re not blips. They’re not anomolies. They’re everywhere. And the trend is growing. (Please, don’t quote BO numbers, because when they’re brought up, they’re not being compared with the rest of the revenue pie…and this is what you simply have to bring into the discussion to properly examine the trends. Take a look at these two sites to better acquaint yourself: Edward Jay Epstein’s site -check out the five separate pages he has here- as well as this one.)

I’ve read that the theatrical viewing portion of the film business is a very fragile thing. That as little as a 6% drop can be considered ‘calamitous’. (Apparently the last dip, within the past decade, was only of this size, but a large number of screens were lost in North America as a result. And of course, this is usually where the ‘We’re overscreened!’ argument gets injected…) The prospect of simultaneous release indicates a much larger drop than this. Why? Because there are a ton of people out there for whom the only reason to go to a cinema for their film viewing…is for the odd ‘new release’. Otherwise, they prefer to wait for the DVD. And up to now, the only place you’ve been able to see a ‘new release’ film is at a cinema.

This would change with simultaneous releases. It would be the first time ever that someone would have an option regarding a film that’s opening now.

So, if there’s a portion of the population that would, given the option, watch a new release in the comfort of their home (their usual means of film-watching anyway), this will affect the industry. And because this portion is so obviously greater than the 6% I’ve mentioned, it means that the effect would be… Well, let’s just say that things will never be the same again. (I’d love to actually discuss this issue, but as there’s no forum on this site and I’ve already hijacked this news item’s discussion, I’ll leave off there.)

Think about it: when it becomes possible for ‘Hollywood’ to make money in a way where there’s less overhead, where there’s less of a middle-man than there currently is, why wouldn’t they begin to migrate to this business model? What matters to them is revenue. How it’s generated… That’s not of a consideration at all.

But of course, this isn’t the case with the cinema owners/operators. If they lose their monopoly on ‘new releases’, then everything changes. But really, cinemas are mostly powerless in this predicament. They don’t control the product they ‘sell’. They don’t dictate the subject matter, the quality, the variety… They are, for the most part, at the mercy of ‘Hollywood’ to accept what’s given them. What’s the alternative, when studios begin simultaneously releasing new flicks? There is no ‘other’ supplier.

Will there always be cinemas? Of course! But without the monopoly of ‘new releases’, both the chains and indies are going to be fighting for a smaller and smaller piece of the revenue pie. And why should ‘Hollywood’ care about this? Sure, there’s tradition and history and nostalgia involved, but so what? ‘Hollywood’ isn’t about the heart. It’s about the ka-ching. (Obviously, if we still lived in a world where ‘Hollywood’ owned the cinemas, we’d be talking an entirely different set of circumstances. But that relationship changed decades ago with the divestiture of the studios' cinemas.)

The full extent of what I’m talking about here has already been initiated. Apple’s imminent iTV unit, a bridge between your computer and your HD-TV set, their iTunes store selling DVDs, Amazon.com’s new ‘Unbox’ DVD service, the whispered-about synergistic arrangement between Apple and Wal-Mart, the fact that Microsoft has long wanted to be the one to bring cohesion to home entertainment systems… All of these developments are merely the tip of the iceberg. Many, many people want to watch their films in their home. They do not want to go out to the cinema. They have no desire to go out to the cinema. These are consumers with money to spend that do not want to spend it in a cinema, they want to take this money and ‘invest’ it in a ‘new release’ movie download/purchase/rental that they can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.

I concede that what I’ve proposed here is speculation. But it’s informed speculation that can be confirmed by a little time spent investigating online. The cinema chains/owners don’t want to talk about any of this; it’s all bad news to them. ‘Hollywood’ doesn’t want to talk about it, because there are simply too many bugs to iron out yet, in terms of transport, delivery, copyright protection, yadda, yadda, yadda. But to think that it’s not coming, to resist the very consideration of this wholesale shift in ‘movie-viewing default’ is…well, put kindly and in as genteel a way as I can, ‘ill-advised’.

Think about this: How do you think the idea of people carrying around minuscule music players that store 10,000 songs, or kids as young as six or seven having their own cell phones, or cars having GPS navigation and video players as standard equipment would have been regarded a decade, fifteen years ago?

Further, how do you think the prospect of someone being able to watch a movie anywhere other than at a cinema would have been regarded fifty, sixty, seventy years ago?

All of what I’ve proposed is coming. It merely needs to be revealed as to how…and when. And because money’s involved, don’t be surprised when it happens sooner than predicted.

P.S. I do want to clarify that ‘simultaneous release’ doesn’t mean ‘skipping a theatrical release’. That’s another possibility entirely.

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 3, 2006 at 6:24 am

The day will come when we can have movies at home as a first run option instead of going to the ‘movie house’ i own 7 theaters and yes it will hurt me to, BUT i have LIVE performances at each one and they sometimes make more then new releases, I see this coming some day and to be frank, i view it as a change that will allow people that cannot get out to view movies in there home. Just like the airplane 100 years ago changed peoples lives for the good and the invention of the computer and internet did. What we see now as bad, may in fact be thought of 100 years from now when we are gone, might be good.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 3, 2006 at 10:26 am

There is more than a little posturing in this act. You can go back to the late sixties/early seventies and find midwestern theatres shutting down instead resorting to such dreck as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and LAST TANGO IN PARIS while mourning the loss of Jerry Lewis and Doris Day movies.

Now, I am not suggesting JACKASS NUMBER TWO and TALLADEGA NIGHTS rate with those two classics but whatever happened to “The show must go on!” and letting the audience decide if the movie rates a visit?

I assume they already showed LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE QUEEN, HOLLYWOODLAND, QUINCEANERA, HOUSE OF SAND, FACTOTUM, SHERYBABY, and any number of other films looking to wean an audience away from mainstream crap.

An exhibitor who remains closed until the next formula movie comes out deserves to fail.

If the Lorraine’s idea of quality film is the next James Bond then say goodbye now. You have already lost this battle to the latest generation with questionable taste.

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 3, 2006 at 10:46 am

JOLLY GOOD MY DEAR FELLOW! JOLLYGOOD!

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 12:08 pm

If theater owners say we will not play on simultaneous release that will be the end of it …It will then go direct to video wich we have now or will be theatrical only……..Do the theater owners have the balls ….i doubt it,,,,

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 12:23 pm

The theatre owners won’t be part of the ‘negotiations’. Because there won’t be any. You can only have negotiations when each side has something to offer.

And what you refer to as ‘direct to video’ is the category commonly known as ‘this is a piece of crap and not worth sending to the cinemas’. That’s not what simultaneous releasing is about.

You’re stuck on cinematic release as being the standard. It’s going to lose its cachet when it’s not the only means of ‘opening day’ access. I know this is a tough concept to grasp, but we’re talking about cinematic release not being the benchmark. The only thing that’s gonna matter under these circumstances is sales. Ticket sales at the cinema, download sales online and and hard-copy sales in stores.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 12:38 pm

Schmadrian—-dont see i think you are wrong..some of those things will happen but will no be a problem for theaters…….Blockbuster video is who is done……..

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 12:41 pm

schmadrian—– dont see it.. i think you are wrong…some of the things you say will happen but will not be a problem for theaters….Blockbuster video is who is done!

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 12:47 pm

I appreciate that you can’t see it. Sometimes visualizing quantum shifts is tough. Like imagining being able to record your tv shows to watch when more convenient…or be able to remove commercials when viewing…or not having to go to a record store to purchase your music…and not on vinyl…or be able to video-chat with someone halfway around the world by way of your computer…

But in the end, it doesn’t matter what either of us think is going to happen. It’s going to happen anyway.

: )

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on October 3, 2006 at 12:56 pm

This guy is engaged in a publicity stunt and a poor one. I agree why not show art pictures then if you dislike Jackass and Beerfest. If your community wants to see these types of movies and you don’t find them intelligent enough for an art picture than what are you doing in business in this community? This guy, quite honestly, an idiot. There are many other films out there, he’s not being forced to show Jackass Number 2 or Beerfest.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 1:20 pm

numbers and trends do not back that theory up….schmadrian..

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 3, 2006 at 1:33 pm

I believe it does, it will not be to long where folks will not have to go to theatres any more and they will be able to get all that they need in there home without regard to the theaters

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 3, 2006 at 1:39 pm

you can say that about any bsns these days ,clothing all retail…all can be bought on a click……..retail stores opening still in record numbers………..Now catalog sales are down due to online ….Brick and morter here to stay ….Video stores are the ones to gooooooooooooooooooooo…………….

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 1:45 pm

longislandmovies, you’re absolutely right. I can’t imagine what I was thinking! Not only are things not going to turn out the way I proposed, but I now predict that all cinema treasures listed on this site will be restored! Thanks for clearing things up, King Canute. (Go on. Look it up.)

“You may love the state you’re from, but there ain’t no state like the state of denial…”

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 3, 2006 at 2:00 pm

The latest in the UK is no four month window means no wide run. Julie Walters and that red-headed boy from HARRY POTTER means straight to TV for a great film: DRIVING LESSONS.

ROAD TO GUANTANAMO, missed it’s major audience by going straight to DVD here.

BUBBLE. What BUBBLE?

If Mark Cuban thinks cinema is over he should sell Landmark and start producing TV reality shows like UGLY BETTY. Derivative cliché is his best mode.

As long as someone makes movies such as BORAT, we have an industry that is alive, contemporary, belligerent and exciting. No matter what Bush’s America thinks.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 3, 2006 at 2:12 pm

I lived in the UK for almost eight years. I missed out on some films because they were just never released there…and as I’ve stated, I don’t watch movies on DVDs. Gone forever, then. <heavy sigh> I used to get movie-fixes during trips to North America, O.D.-ing on the latest faire. The inequities surrounding the film distribution biz in the UK were always maddening.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 4, 2006 at 12:10 am

It has improved although US sports films such as GRIDIRON and ethnic movies often get missed or dealyed for obvious reasons. The UK holidays do not always match the US so THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA is now on previews but STORM BREAKER (it opens the US this month) already came and went. HOODWINKED finally opened this week to fantastic grosses although you can order it from Amazon anytime on DVD.

The DVD day and date DVD release helps no one in the movie food chain. It simply burns movies out quicker. If you produce mindless sequels such a the X-MEN movies you could make it work if cinemas didn’t refuse to play them.

I wonder if the Lorraine was too proud to show those stupid films?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 7, 2006 at 12:56 am

I see now that stinkbomb FLYBOYS is good enough to re-open the Lorraine.

So this had nothing to do with quality but rather censorship and good old fashioned family values after all.

We all know a good war is nowhere as obsene as toilet humour.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 7, 2006 at 1:46 am

‘Censorship’? Hmm… I can’t say that what he did sits well with me, I’d have preferred to have seen him dig a little deeper into his options, but ‘censorship’ feels a bit much. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about his actions. On the one hand, I admire his pluck. On the other, how far can you reasonably take personal taste? And what’s the difference between a perceived quality issue and someone wanting to effect ‘family values’? In the end, he does have the right to show what he wants to show. (Especially if he can afford to suffer the economic consequences!)

But I disagree with the idea of ‘Flyboys’ being a ‘stinkbomb’. Don’t you think there’s a case to be made for a distinction between two films' merits? There’s a difference between ‘Jackass 2’ and say, ‘All The King’s Men’, even before you watch them, specifically their respective intents. Shouldn’t this difference count for something? I mean, objectively? (I"m not referring to a genre’s validity, I’m talking about its inherent substance according to its intent; ‘Jackass 2’ was intended to make people howl in a frat-house sort of way, a ‘this-makes-me-cringe-but-I-can’t-look-away’ sort of way in a more-or-less docu-feature style, while ‘All The King’s Men’ was intended to show one man’s rise and fall in politics within a dramatic narrative. The first was meant to get people to roll their eyes, the latter to get people to think.) ‘Flyboys’, though flawed as a piece of drama, had an entirely different intent than ‘Jackass 2’ or ‘Beerfest’. As did ‘The Black Dahlia’, ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Departed’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘The Illusionist’, ‘Hollywoodland’, ‘Invincible’ or ‘World Trade Center’.

I think maybe it comes down to this guy not believing there’s any merit in ‘gross-out’ films like ‘Jackass 2’, regardless of how well they’re made, and that a film like ‘Flyboys’ intrinsically has more merit, regardless of how flawed it actually is.

I’m sure there’s an appropriate analogy using food, but I need my caffeine and it’s time to fire up the breakfast grille.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 7, 2006 at 7:17 am

LOL. Good Morning, Schmadrian.

I just meant FLYBOYS has received some of the worst reviews of the year. As a war drama it rates lower in its genre than JACKASS did in its own “GROSS-OUT” genre.

The Lorraine management stated they were closing due to lack of quility films that weren’t “drivel”. What they really meant was that they were willing to play “drivel” if it didn’t insult their personal sensibilities.

I think when an exhibitor dictates morals to their paying customers by denying them a film it becomes censorship. We already have ratings and critics to help inform the public about content without some cinema manager acting as a nanny for adults.

I wonder how the Lorraine feels about DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, PASSION OF THE CHRIST and FAHRENHEIT 911?

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 7, 2006 at 7:22 am

It seems it was just the one film guys they are still open and showing films they might even have taken a count and did a survey for the town, who knows,,,,

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 7, 2006 at 1:02 pm

I know this sounds silly but…………the point i love is that the guy just said NO to the big boys in his very small way……….Thats what we need more of !

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 7, 2006 at 1:28 pm

yep, it does sound silly BUT it sure means some have the guts, AND what they view as power,,,lol

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 7, 2006 at 2:39 pm

But I’d be curious to know what ‘the big boys’ or anyone ‘in power’ thought of the gesture. If anything.

And is this a rarity?

As for ‘Death of a President’…well, we’re seeing that situation unfold as we speak, aren’t we?

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 7, 2006 at 2:48 pm

prob. nothing, they have to many screens, doubt they miss one or the money, as far as “death' hey that was good, but do you think GW really cares? prob. not

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 7, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Every consumer has the power even in this small way !

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 8, 2006 at 1:46 am

This is not really consumer power is it? What if Regal and AMC decided to pass on BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN or DELIVER US FROM EVIL? Would we approve of the gesture?

I think only the paying public has the right to say “no!, as they did with GIGLI and DOGMA. JACKASS and the upcoming BORAT are very political films when you consider what they say about our society. If the public is buying tickets then the theatres should be showing them.

I find many films immoral and downright bad. (SUPERMAN RETURNS comes to mind) I would never consider that our company would not show them for this reason.

The only reason a company should reject a film is because it violates the DVD window. In the UK we passed on ROAD TO GUANTANAMO for that reason and only for that reason.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 4:56 am

AL every bsns must have its own standards……..I own Gourmet food stores ..you will never find Irianian Caviar at any of my stores or French products….Thats my stand……If one of my coustomers dont agree they have the option of going elsewere…..Just my thoughts….

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 5:12 am

Mmm… Interesting example, longislandmovies… But to stay true to the situation, you’d have to have a more narrow arena in order for the ‘they have the option of going elsewhere’ line of thinking to work. Cinemas ‘sell’ one product, and one product only: movies. And this product is shifting weekly. Your gourmet shops sell all kinds of other goods…and the customers can get their Iranian and French products elsewhere while still picking up other items in your establishment…

This guy didn’t just not ‘sell’ something he didn’t ‘believe’ in, he closed up out of ‘protest’.

Trying to come up with analogies… Maybe a bar that only carries one type of beer and maybe that beer company does something that pisses him off, and he refuses to sell their suds…but instead of going with another brand, he decides to just not sell beer for two weeks…? (Again, because of the specific nature of films and cinema, it’s hard to come up with something more or less ‘equal’ in example…)

A kid on the corner who takes offense at the newspaper for taking a particular editorial stance, and therefore, decides not to sell any papers for two weeks…

Again, the analogies are strained.

I like that the guy ‘stood up’, but in closing the place instead of say, having a two-week ad-hoc festival of classics, or bringing in some ‘indie’ titles, whatever… He made this gesture into something akin to a spoiled child taking his ball and going home. I think he crossed the line from ‘freedom of choice’ to a decision that was more spiteful and selfish, all things considered. And really, there was never going to be any effect on the industry, so this fact makes the whole incident all the more self-indulgent, to me anyway.

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 5:15 am

Yes, but just think he did what otehrs would not, he did stand up, be it whatever reason, he just' was not going to take it anymore' IF others were to follow suit, they would get somewhere as to the fee’s these guys charge,,,, i have decided many tiems not to show certain films, they may or may not have hurt me in my theaters BUT i also chose to stay open and show another film from a company that you dont hear from the independants, and was it a success? i think so, it got there name out and the people enjoyed something otehr then ‘Hollywood’

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 5:16 am

hmmmmm LongIsland,, lol are ‘ we’ done yet? hey take care, have a good Sunday!

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 5:19 am

Chalet: I appreciate your ‘insider’ experiences, sounds like you’ve had more than your share… But it seems to me that there are several issues combined into one when ‘Hollywood’ is brought up, and most in a negative sense. 1) the quality of the product and 2) the business practices. (‘the fees’)

Am I right?

I’m curious; for those here who are interested, how would you address each aspect? I know that this is probably a huge discussion, but hey, it’s Thanksgiving Weekend up here in Canada and I could use some thought-provoking discussion to go along with my turkey…

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 5:19 am

YOU TOO………..THE OAKS THEATER WOULD BE A GOOD PICK UP FOR YOU…….

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 5:29 am

Thanks Long, i have ‘looked’ at the Okas there in TX but i am somewhat hesitant in that one, do not know why,,,, but i am aquiring the Rialto in Brownsfield if all goes right, i am starting reconstriuction on teh Pioneer around Christmas, have a church that is there until november, sch, yep your right, i try and get a lot of Independant because for one the FEES are way less, the public can see a film that in mine and there’s is just as good, in fact, sometimes better, i charge less, my profit is higher and i promote it heavily

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 5:32 am

Schamadrian…. Funny there are very few pics I would refuse to play…cant think of any at the moment …oh yes anything from Michael Moore………Quatity of product i love to talk about.. to me often quality of product is what people want to see not what critics say we should see…Take Jackass box office numbers are pretty good ….thats quality of product to me…..in a bsns sence……..

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 6:21 am

“oh yes anything from Michael Moore”

Oh, gosh… At the risk of ‘Can open, worms all over!’, does this mean that if you were a record store owner, you wouldn’t carry anything by the Dixie Chicks? Or that you wouldn’t exhibit this film?

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 6:56 am

Dixie chicks i would play Al Gores crap i would play ..this is fine …my Michael Moore hate is based on f-911……just me….When i was with Cineplex Odeon and RKO those decisions were based on our best interest all the time…

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 8, 2006 at 11:15 am

LI, some theatres chose not to show FARHENHEIT 911 and PASSION OF THE CHRIST for political reasons. It sent no message to Hollywood since people just saw them elsewhere and they were both huge hits world wide.

Theatre owners can only make a stance by refusing to play a film in big numbers as in the case of BUBBLE. Otherwise, only the public can send the message effectively.

Your caviar stance means nothing if your customers still buy it elsewhere. Also, are you certain that the Iranian or French products you are rejecting do not come from an American owned company there?

Remember that until recently Snapple was owned by the Bin Laden family.

Cineplex Odeon welcomed controversial films. They went as far as to produce THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST themselves although Universal took the abuse as the distributor.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 11:17 am

“Theatre owners can only make a stance by refusing to play a film in big numbers as in the case of BUBBLE. Otherwise, only the public can send the message effectively.”

Don’t understand. Please explain.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 1:45 pm

As i oversaw the Last Temptation of Christ at the ZIEGFELD..(they worked us 16 hours a day)i am well aware that we played controversial films …we were on the cover of the NY times…but we would pass on films on occasion if they were not in our best interest./nc17 and such…

BUBBLE is a great example of when theaters stick together what good can happen..my post OCT 3RD I SHOULD HAVE USED THIS EXAMPLE..(6;27 post)

Maybe small protests mean nothing ….to me its for my self respect!

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Can’t argue as to the self-respect issue. You have first-hand experience, in the trenches.

However, “The big blockbuster money comes from theaters” simply isn’t true. As witnessed here. And that was a year and a half ago. The theatrical distribution portion of the studios' revenue pie is more than likely below 13% as we speak. And it’s still heading south…

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 2:12 pm

am i missing part of that ?link only shows 1st quater of 05/ 1st q is always the weakest..04 shows a tiny dip….

but,,,,,,,,,,,,,the percent is going down but theater revenue is not ,,,i have to think about this….lol

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 2:17 pm

7 plus billion in revenue is not something any company wants to give up ..also very little money is needed to promote dvd/direct tv due to the theatrical release …that is what is priceless to film companys..

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 2:24 pm

More money comes from DVD i.e. ‘netflix’ etc then theaters

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 2:26 pm

true …….but that is due to theatrical releases

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 2:53 pm

There may be a more up-to-date document, but this one only shows figures from last year. I haven’t been able to come up with anything newer. Not yet, anyway.

I’m not going to flog a dead horse here, but longislandmovies…you’re trapped in thinking of theatrical releases as the paradigm. The driving force behind everything else. This will change when those people who so desire have the option to watch ‘new releases’ as they prefer: in their homes. When this happens, the theatrical release figures will dive all the more, until eventually, our perspective regarding what movie-watching is will be changed entirely. The link’s figures point to this…and it doesn’t take into account simultaneous release. Yes, that bugaboo…

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 8, 2006 at 2:57 pm

we need to all meet for a pow wow! no guns ………please

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 2:58 pm

actually instant messenging is better then just ‘talking’ and posting lol

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 8, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I’ll bring the grub; place your orders now, I’ll be more than happy to oblige!

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 3:02 pm

can we bring the tools that we can use to ‘scalp’ though?

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 8, 2006 at 3:06 pm

Lol glad i am not the Lawford anymore,,, really

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 8, 2006 at 10:39 pm

Schmadrian, BUBBLE was released on DVD the same day as in theatres so it was boycotted by all major theatre chains. ROAD TO GUANTANAMO did the same in the UK with the DVD on sale two weeks after release.

DRIVING LESSON is being shown on UK TV this month, two months after the theatre release and DEATH OF A PRESIDENT is a made for TV UK movie getting a theatre run in the US. (It is actually on TV here tonight!)

The reason the theatre run is still so importrant is two-fold.

1) Most movies sell on DVD at the same percentage as their theatre gross. The bigger the hit in theatres, the more exposure the title gets, the more units they sell and rent to the public. Obscure titles remain obscure with few exceptions.

2) Many films are sold to DVD on an economic model based on the theatrical gross. The bigger the opening weeks, the better the price they get.

In the rare case of a movie being a hit on DVD but a failure at the box office, you can be almost certain some marketing team at a studio just got fired.

Although studios often own their DVD rights, the departments sometimes operate on a mutually exclusive and somtimes antagonistic level.

The theatrical release STILL drives the whole industry.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 2:25 am

Al: I understand what you’re saying. As I’ve said to anyone here who’s responding to my thoughts by bringing the current specifics of the industry into play, ‘That’s now. I’m not speculating about now, I’m talking about the future.’ I’m talking about what’s around the corner.

As I’ve thrown around these concepts, these suggestions, these possibilitites, here and elsewhere online, as well as chats over coffee, etc, a consistency seems to be that those who either disagree vehmently or simply cannot ‘see’ it, are those with connections to the cinema trade. And of course, this makes sense. Imagine trying to tell a nabe operator in the late 40s that soon, very soon, many of his brethren would be out of business, because people were going to do an about-face and stay home to get their entainment, effectively fatally eroding the tradition of going out to the cinema…which of course had done the exact same thing to vaudeville… Imagine the response you’d have gotten from this owner/operator, or anyone of his contemporaries in the ‘biz’. They’d either have laughed, or cited reasons (based on the facts at the time) why it simply wasn’t going to happen. ‘Television?!? People are going to give up a huuuuuge colour screen for some tiny black-and-white box? You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!!!‘ Or imagine trying to tell The Studios that eventually, they wouldn’t own their own cinema chains. That they’d be divested of that control over their own products. 'Pah!’

What you’re telling me are facts reflecting the current state of affairs in film distribution. And at the core of all this is that almost without exception (and I’m not talking about ‘straight to video’ here, so please, let’s not muddy the waters with that issue) ‘new releases’ have never been available to the view anywhere or anyhow but in a movie house. With the entertainment default ready to shift to home viewing, Hollywood (AKA ‘The Studios’) are approaching this paradigm shift. They may not be talking about it much, but it’s there, slowly approaching on the horizon. And when it happens… Well, to paraphrase, ‘You change this, you change everything.’

Bringing the examples you’ve cited into the discussion is moot. You’re talking about entirely different circumstances than I am. Again, this ‘brave new world’ isn’t something many people are comfortable considering. For many, it enrages. It challenges tradition, it means change, it suggests even more ‘cinema treasures’ fatalities. But if you look at how technology is bringing wave after wave of change to our lives… I mean really; did anyone expect that the theatrical aspect of film was somehow going to continue on forever and ever, amen, without being affected by these endless waves of technological innovations? In a free-market, consumer-based system, things only tend to remain the same when there are restraints keeping things this way. (Best example I can think of is how we haven’t migrated from the combustion engined, fossil fuel-eating automobile to something more efficient, something more sustainable, especially in light of the geopolitical situ over the past five decades. But that’s an entirely different conversation and I’m regretting bringing it up even as I’ve typed it.) The consumer is a voracious beast. It wants what it wants. And there is an ever-increasing number of consumers out there who don’t want to view their ‘new releases’ in a cinema. There is an ever-growing number of new viewers for whom going to the cinema to see any film is not the norm. These people want to be able see their currrent releases at home. They don’t want to go to the cinema. And as I’ve said ad nauseam, Hollywood doesn’t care how it gets its money. $$$ from ‘new release’ online downloads and bricks-and-mortar sales and rentals is the same to them as $$$ from theatrical distribution. (Actually, I’m being generous; it’s actually more profitable for them to not have to produce as many prints, or pay for distribution, yadda, yadda, yadda, that is, not base their entire ‘new release’ takings on theatrical distribution.)

I understand completely that what I’m suggesting has no reference points in film tradition. I’m asking those polite enough to listen to what I’m saying to try to see things in a completely different way. Not because I want them to be that way. Once again, I’m an impassioned cinema-goer. I don’t watch films at home. I’m simply taking a look at the trends over the past fifty years, taking into consideration what’s been changing in home and mobile entertainment and personal computing and organizing, listening to people tell me they’re creating their own cinematic experiences at home…and deducting from all this, what I see as being inevitable: that eventually, the ‘norm’ for ‘new releases’ will no longer exclusively be cinema viewing. In fact, at some point, when the playing field has settled, though there will definitely still be cinemas, and there’ll definitely still be us cinema-goers, it’ll be regarded as a little ‘quaint’ by those who get their ‘new release’ kicks at home.

Bottom-line is that if you’re using historical, even current reference points to say ‘Hell no!’ to my speculation…then you’re already turning to watch things pass on by.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 3:33 am

Just because you think it might happen does not mean it will…..many thought there would be flying cars by the year 2000………What i think you dont get every bsns has a cycle…….We heard these SAME things at the start of video 25 years ago……Video in the long run helped theatrical releases mostly for sequels……Schmdrian i think you need to keep in your mind what DIGITAL projection will do for theaters…..Tech does not only help the areas you talk about but theaters also……….

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 3:50 am

Digital projection is…well, it’s like having someone telling you they don’t want to eat their pizza in a restaurant, they want to eat it at home. And, for the sake of argument, there hasn’t been a way for pizza to be eaten in the home. But this option is approaching… Yet the pizza restaurant owners are saying (as you are with digital projection) ‘But we have a new way to cook the pizzas here, in the restaurant! It’ll be better pizza! Just wait and see!’ (Please excuse the limitations of my analogy.)

But those people who don’t want to have to go to a restaurant to eat pizza don’t care about any improvements in the pizza in a restaurant. They only care about eating pizza in their home. You could make the restaurant experiences downright heavenly…and they wouldn’t care.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been waiting for the projection aspect in cinemas to improve, and I will applaud when these changes occur…but the whole reference point of this entire discussion is not technology. (Which makes your counterpoint about video moot.) It’s the fact that there are a growing number of people who simply do not want to spend money on seeing films in cinemas. Period. How great you make the cinematic experience for them is simply flushable to them. They want to stay home and watch movies…and given the chance to watch ‘new releases’ there, they will. The rest of us will -hopefully- have better cinematic viewing thanks to digital innovations.

And I never said that just because I think it might happen, that it will. Go back and take a look at my post from yesterday; I explain that I’m taking all the facts available into consideration. Just because you think things aren’t going to change, doesn’t make the likelihood that they aren’t, any better. The difference between you and me is, quite frankly, you’re too close to the forest to see the trees. I respect your experience in the industry, and I respect your informed opinion. But you’re understandably biased and hardly objective. What I’m proposing means frustration and disappointment and economic hardship for many who are now engaged in the theatrical arm of the film biz. And for that, I’m sorry. But time marches on. Whether we like it or not.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 9, 2006 at 6:17 am

Cinema will continue to re-invent itself. Here are some signs of hope:

Real D, for example, brings a new 3D system that won’t be on home TV for another ten years. Old films can be remastered into 3D and although it is still quite expensive Lucas is redoing all STAR WARS and footage of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN in 3D is breathtaking. James Cameron is making his next film AVATAR in 3D.

Muvico is experimenting with splitting adult screens from under 21 screens and therefore segregating the mobile phone and audience participation crowd from those who need to focus more on the nuances of JACKASS NUMBER TWO. That rowdy crowd is not new. It is just getting more agressive in the way they enjoy their films and it may be time to bring back the Drive-In and leave them outside again.

Concerts and sporting events on Digital will allow families to experience Marylin Manson and football games “live on screen” matches without the arena violence many big city venues provide.

There is no doubt theatres are changing but so is the content of what we view there as well as at home. The success of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, FAHRENHEIT 911 and AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH has been largely attributed to a belief that TV news is biased and that these films reveal something new.

They preach to the already converted willing to shell out ten dollars for a two hour newsreel with questionable facts. Can you imagine what these theatres would do if someone started to make good movies again?

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 6:55 am

“Can you imagine what these theatres would do if someone started to make good movies again?”

Well, as a screenwriter, I’m always curious as to what people think are ‘good movies’…and moreover, whether things actually have gotten worse over the years, or is it simply more a matter of more product than ‘before’…and therefore more overall dreck? (I’m always reminded of my mom saying ‘You know, when people talk about how great films used to be in the 30s, 40s, 50s, I laugh. (She grew up in a cinema.) Because there was an awful lot of pretty bad films back then that nobody remembers.’)

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 7:20 am

Sorry to clog…but Al, in raising your question about the current quality of movies, the issue of ‘Where film-going is headed?’ is side-stepped. The quaility of the movies is not the prime factor for people placing more and more emphasis on home-theatres. If films were absolutely the best, better than ever…they’d still want to watch them at home. This seems to be the elephant standing in the corner that many cinema-lovers simply do not want to acknowledge.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 7:25 am

schmadrian – i have a complete movie theater in my home …its own room ,curtains, movie seats with cup holders ……still go to the movies once a week……

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 7:33 am

And that’s great. More power to you.

The problem here is that you’re using yourself as a reference point. You’re seeing your own behaviour as proof of what you believe.

The people I am talking to are increasingly telling me given the choice of seeing ‘new releases’ at a cinema or in their home, they’d time-and-again chose home-viewing. You obviously don’t see that their frame of reference is entirely different from yours. Maybe you can’t appreciate just how diametrically-opposed your preferences are. These are people who laugh at the idea of going to the cinema. Because of the cost, because they have kids, because they don’t have the time… The reasons are actually unimportant. The only thing that matters is that home-viewing is their preference. And their numbers are ever-increasing.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 7:36 am

NEVER WILL REPLACE GOING OUT!

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 7:36 am

I SEE YOU WORK AS MUCH AS I DO ,,,,,,LOL

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 9, 2006 at 7:43 am

“NEVER WILL REPLACE GOING OUT!”

So. I’m curious; how do you breathe with your head buried so deeply in the sand?

: )
LOL x many

You know, we’re on the same team. I see movies constantly…at the cinema. So you don’t have to win me over in that regard. I’m simply trying to shine a light on how other people regard film-viewing. That’s all.

And I’m a screenwriter/novelist; I’m constantly working, constantly on my computer.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 9, 2006 at 7:51 am

I AM NOT TRYING TO WIN YOU OVER…….i have already done that….lol

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 9, 2006 at 10:44 pm

Studies have shown that movie-goers are movie-goers. Even those buying pirate DVDs go to the movies, rent and buy legitimate DVDs.

Where I think we drop the ball as an industry is the overwhelming focus on 15 to 24 year olds. There is a glut of product for that market at the expense of everyone else.

You are correct in that there have always been exploitation (crap?)films. There was even a bigger glut of product in the forties than there is now. What has changed is the number of quality non-formula films.

You can go back to any year in the last century and find ten interesting cutting edge films. You are hard pressed to find three these days. It is now October and outside of VOLVER from Spain, I can’t think of any other great film that has come out this year.

You mom is right. Even in the dire late sixties/ early seventies product shortage you could find an amazing variety of films being made. Now you will find ten versions of the same plot in the same year all badly told. You need to watch Korean, Chinese and Japanese films to get anything original and even Scorcese’s THE DEPARTED is a remake of one of those.

So what has happened to screenwriters in the US, Schmadrian? Even TV is more creative.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 10, 2006 at 2:45 am

Good points, Al.
However, I think your last question needs to be rephrased to “So what has happened to The Studios/Hollywood/The Moviemaking Machine?"
I think it’s a common mistake to assume that because there ‘seems’ to me more dreck on the screens, that it means that screenwriters have simply run out of ideas.
Hardly.
A few points to keep in mind when discussing all this:

-The average cost of bringing a film to viewing has now reached somewhere in the neighbourhood of $100 million.

-Hollywood execs are, at the very heart of it all, paid to say ‘No.’. It’s not an industry based on innovation or risk. Think about it; you could take that $100 million and build a skyscraper, invest in stocks, real estate, a drug cartel…and potentially obtain a better return. So execs seek out the ‘sure-fire hit’…or properties that have elements that have elements that seem to indicate a better chance of success. To wit:

-Remakes. Sequels. Adaptations. Now, there may be arguments against each and every one of these sources (easily proven by going to any IMDb message board and watching people lacerate films for being a retread of something from the 70s, or a followup on a tired franchise or an adaptation from a tv show or a graphic novel or a comic book, or, your English teacher be praised, a piece of literature!), but in the eyes of The Studios, if they can even incrementally improve the chances of a film’s success by mining previous territory…regardless of the original medium…they will. Does this make for a crap cross-section of films? Yes. But to paraphrase longislandmovies, this may just work itself out by way of its own business cycle. That is, Hollwyood does what it does for -primarily- business reasons. If the reference points change, so will their decisions.

-What I’m going to say here is going to contradict my following point, but it still holds: there are only so many actual ‘stories’ to be told. Depending on who you look to, this number is 7, 11, 22, 35… All of the rest are simply variations on these, derivations, transmogrifications, as Calvin would say. And as we live in a consumer culture, just as with fossil fuels, eventually, with more and more being produced and consumed, you reach a point of…of… Now, the usual rebuttal here is a reference to music, where there are only a certain number of notes to play with (no pun intended) and yet new and fresh music is being created all the time… And this is true, to a certain extent. The main problems with the analogy is that a) most songs are not 100 minutes long and b) don’t cost $100 million to bring to market. Music is more easily produced, digestible…and disposed of.

-Contrasting with what I’ve just said, and getting back to your original question, there’s nothing wrong with today’s screenwriters. I can assure you that there are some absolutely wonderful scripts out there, some ingenious creations, some ‘heartbreaking works of staggering genius’. So obviously, you’re going to ask the question ‘Then why aren’t we seeing them on the silver screen?!?’ I’m not going to even attempt to answer that. The only people who know the answer are those who greenlight projects. And I doubt you could pin them down on it. I will, however, throw the question out to fellow CTers: Why do you think Hollywood has what it has sitting in its ‘Reject’ pile?

-I have to throw this into the mix something that, in my opinion, informs this situation a lot, but it doesn’t have to do strictly with the film industry, it’s something that affects all manner of US life, entertainment, sports, consumerism, politics, the whole enchilada. And that is, that the society is predicated on bombast. On fireworks and parades and celebration and the larger-than-life possibility for all of the riches of celebrity… This preponderance of ‘mega-ness’ influences -to varying degrees- all the components of American life I’ve mentioned. So really, should it be any wonder that the films we’re seeing at the cinema (or in your home!) reflect this ingrained tendency? If you live anywhere else in the world, this tendency is absent. And this is one of the reasons that ‘Hollywood’ films are different than those films from Denmark, from Sweden, from France, from Japan. (Please, I am not taking potshots at the US. I am not a ‘US-basher’. I am simply trying to provide some perspective to the constantly-asked question ‘Why do we continue to get the same old sh&t at the movies?!?’) A society reflects itself. From the headline news, to the marketing for a new hamburger, to Friday night high school football games to the presidential primaries, America feeds off bombast. Generally, this is not a situation that bodes well for creative nuance. For innovation. (Thank God there are always exceptions, those who exist outside the box!) So the blame can’t just be placed on those in Hollywood who keep saying ‘Yes!’ to the same-old, same-old. Nor can it just be placed on those people who reinforce/support these execs' decisions by purchasing tickets to ‘Saw III’. To me, if you take a few steps back, you can see that there’s more at play on a societal level than the average person is either aware of…or wants to admit to. In a very real way, we’re all part of the equation.

Further to your other points:
-Yes, many people who rent and puchase DVDs also go to the cinema. But… But this number is shrinking. I know, because I talk to more and more of them every day. People who are home-theatre fans are becoming more and more entrenched. Yes, they will always be prepared to go to the cinema to catch something worth seeing there…‘The Return of the King’..but mostly, they’re happier and happier at home.
-TV is currently more creative. As to why? Well, I think you’d have to look at the current business models of both to get more insight. Especially when it comes to the non-traditional network shows.
-The funny thing about the idea that ‘you have to watch Korean, Chinese and Japanese films to get anything original’ is a) they’re mining home-grown source material in the same way Hollywood is, but of course, the average American isn’t aware of it, and b) American audiences, by-and-large, and by dint of having created a self-sustaining and generally isolationist society, is not that interested in things-foreign. Yes, this is a gross-generalization, but I’d be willing to bet a kajillion bucks that it’s true to an overwhelming degree. So though you’re correct…innovation in storytelling in fllms appears to be more prevalent in non-US sources…it’s also correct to state that Hollywood needs to remake these films in order to find a mass audience -and revenues- to support its $1 BILLION worth of projects it has in development at any given time.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 10, 2006 at 4:29 am

I agree with all your points and understand that edgy screenplays are a bigger risk.

I can further say that the general drop is attendance (albeit slighter than we are lead to believe) is due to the over 35 audience who go to the movies once or twice a year and then can’t find a trailer enticing enough to prompt a quick return visit.

It also allows the suburban multiplex mall theatre to trump the older Cinemas Treasure that may count on older audience frequency. People still do want to get out of the house but the film diversity is just not there!

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 10, 2006 at 4:38 am

Honestly, this part of the conversation: “People still do want to get out of the house but the film diversity is just not there!” is the part that makes me wish I could gather you and longislandmovies and others for an extended breakfast in some really cool diner…and just talk and talk and talk. You’ve probably gathered that this whole aspect of ‘film’ is one of my passions: what’s changing, why, where’s it all going…? I love cinema-going nostalgia. I love film palaces. I love going to see films (anywhere!). And obviously, as a screenwriter, I love films themselves. But this topic… This is what I currently find most fascinating, because it draws in to the discussion so many aspects. The quality of the films offered. The ‘down side’ of going to a multiplex. How people are cocooning even more than in the 80s. How ‘getting out’ is still important, but how people’s habits are changing. The impact of the Internet/technology on how we regard our movie entertainment.

I love the discourse here. I wish we could have more, I wish we could arm-wrassle everything over bottomless cups of coffee and artery-clogging plates of grub.

Al, thanks for your continued responses to my diatribes. Your patience and indulgence is much appreciated. Danke.

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 10, 2006 at 5:37 am

Beating dead horses is better, bottom line, prices are higher, better to stay at home in your skivvies then to go out, even though we have 10 theaters, its the prices that keep people home and away,

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 10, 2006 at 5:50 am

CTLC, I can’t completely agree. I think that if movies were 25% less expensive than they currently, you’d get ‘some’ people back, but most of the ones I speak to have made the jump in perspective, they’d prefer to put their money into watching at home. Just as many people simply don’t care about ‘cinema treasures’, couldn’t give a toss about a palace being demolished, there are many people out there who don’t grant the cinema-going experience any value at all. Or very much of a value. So the price, to these people, is immaterial.

Besides; where do ticket prices sit vis a vis inflation over the past ten, twenty years?

I know that longislandmovies believes ticket prices are reasonable for two hours' worth of entertainment. I’m assuming you don’t? What do you think a movie is worth paying to see?

ChaletTheatersLLC
ChaletTheatersLLC on October 10, 2006 at 7:59 am

All but one of our theaters are first run and we just charge 5.00 for adults, 3.00 for sat sun matinee. we do usually get ¾ to about 95% full compared to some of our competitors down the street ( there price is set at 7.50 because they are a big chain. We have done many surveys outside the doors to all of our theaters and according to most its the high prices that keep them away, yes we have older theaters but all have been upgraded in sound and projection so they see a good show, the ones we have talked with say the only reason they go to the ‘big guys’ is because its newer, otherwise they love the lower price’s we have AND the nostalgia that was from by gone days, this si why we try and buy the older theaters.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 10, 2006 at 8:29 am

People constantly complain about prices then pay double at the new multiplex across the street. We charge as much as £8.90 ($16.50) and as little as £2.50 ($4.60)on bargain days across the UK.

Big films sell out and flops play to empty seats, even on bargain days. We find price seems to have little effect, even in small markets with high unemployment as long as it is comparable to the local price of a couple of pints of beer.

When PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or the latest HARRY POTTER come along, no one talks about prices as we turn crowds away. They happily pay extra to book in advance. When the feature of the hour is SNAKES ON A PLANE, every two-bit newspaper and magazine has a story waiting about the price of popcorn and how pricing and home entertainment is killing the movies.

You’d think by now they would have noticed they have been writing that same story since 1947.

schmadrian
schmadrian on October 10, 2006 at 8:47 am

Well, mainstream media is hardly the place to go for informed, insightful journalism. Especially when they really don’t investigate the story. Witness some of the truly laughable coverage of this week’s purchase of YouTube by Google. They’re not selling information…they’re looking for consumers for their advertisers.

It’s rare to find any sort of journalism about the ‘state of the film industry’ where the writer actually understands the issues. Most of the blame can be placed on the film industry itself, for the efforts to retain some of the last remaining vestiges of ‘inner workings’ of the biz…seeing as most things you can ‘learn about’ online or from books and magazines. It’s not the ‘magic factory’ it used to be…and I’m not talking about the product!

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 10, 2006 at 9:31 am

please see todays news …………makes my point……

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on October 10, 2006 at 9:33 am

theaters afraid to…….

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