Indie theater fights clearance

posted by Michael Zoldessy on March 8, 2007 at 4:45 am

WEST BOYLSTON, MA — Having to now wait almost half a year sometimes to get a popular studio film, one theater is fighting back to get the state senate to repeal the clearance measures that allow big chains to hold back certain product. Legislation will be presented to the state senate.

Theater owners Kevin and Carrie Broderick would have liked to show the movie months ago, but a contentious industry practice known as “clearance” denied them the chance.

Film distributors will allow exhibitors in a given region to claim exclusive rights to titles within competitive zones. For West Boylston, Showcase Cinemas North in Worcester has claimed those rights to most first-run features, according to the Brodericks. If Showcase is showing a film, they said, that theater will ask distributors not to give it to West Boylston.

“It’s not fair competition,” Ms. Broderick said in a recent interview. “The consumer is not benefiting from us being left out of the ability to play first-run pictures. All we’re asking for is a level playing field.”

For more, go to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette News.

Comments (3)

longislandmovies on March 8, 2007 at 8:58 am

all indi theaters need a class action against fim co.

muviebuf on March 8, 2007 at 9:45 am

This issue has already been decided in favor of the studios and against the theatres several years ago. In Orcon, II vs Miramax Films, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Federal Copyright Act preempted a 1986 Pennsylvania law which required the studios to license a film to any Pennsylvania exhibitor after the film had been in release for 6 weeks. The court held that the copyright act gives the studios unfettered discretion to license films in any manner they so choose.

shoeshoe14 on March 8, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Doesn’t make it right. Sometimes there are morals involved, other times, capitalism.

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