September 17, 2010
QUEENS, NY — The walking tour held two weeks ago in Forest Hills was the best-attended yet. Check out the Rego-Forest Preservation Council Blog.
The 10th Annual Downtown Forest Hills Walking Tour was held on a pleasantly sunny and warm Sunday afternoon of September 5, 2010, and was a historic record-breaker, adding a chapter in the success of previous walking tours led by Historian Jeff Gottlieb. Members of Central Queens Historical Association and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, inclusive of neighborhood residents, were in attendance. The 2 hr 45 min tour began on the corner of Austin St and Continental Ave, made its way east on Austin St to Ascan Ave, while viewing the blocks between Austin St and Queens Blvd, and turning in on Ascan Ave. On Queens Blvd, the tour headed west, pointing out historic sites along the south and north sides, and made its way to 70th Ave, and then stopped at MacDonald Park, a cornerstone of the neighborhood. Then the tour turned in on 70th Ave and proceeded west on Austin St, back to its origins at Continental Ave.
September 15, 2010
According to ABC News audiences are not going to the movies as much as last summer, due to rising ticket prices and a shorter summer.
Exhibitors charged an average $7.88 for summer movie tickets, up 4.5% from $7.54 last summer, NATO said. That compares with an almost 6% ticket-price jump between summer 2008 and last year, when the spread of premium pricing in 3D venues fueled a more dramatic inflation in moviegoing costs.
Hollywood marks its summer from the first full weekend in May through Labor Day, annually scheduling one of the season’s biggest pictures to bow on the first Friday. This year, Paramount — which tops seasonal market-share rankings with 19% and $775.5 million through Sunday — opened the $312 million, Marvel Studios-produced grosser “Iron Man 2” on May 7.
September 10, 2010
The Brooklyn Theatre Index
Adams Street to Lorimer Street
From 19th Century playhouses to the opulence of the 1920s movie palace and the multiplexes of today, The Brooklyn Theatre Index acts as a resource guide to the borough’s performance spaces.
After three years of research the first volume of the Index has finally been published. It begins with Gothic Hall on Adams Street and ends with a “moving picture show” at Lorimer and Meserole Streets. Over 500 pages of information detailing Brooklyn’s theatrical past.
Theatre Talks LLC
More info here.
August 24, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, AL — It’s with sadness that I’m noting the passing of Cecil Whitmire.
Cecil was a central figure in the successful restoration of The Alabama Theatre (“The Showplace of the South”) and was organizing the efforts to restore The Lyric Theatre nearby. He was one of the founders of Birmingham Landmarks Inc. which holds ownership of both theatres.
Cecil’s memorial service will be held at The Alabama Theatre.
“He was clearly the true believer in the potential of downtown,” said Michael Calvert, president of Operation New Birmingham. “He proved that if you give people a reason to come downtown, they will.”
Mr. Whitmire began a three-decade love affair with the Alabama in 1976, when he moved to Birmingham from Knoxville to manage a hardware company. The Alabama was still a movie theater, and Mr. Whitmire would play the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ before shows, entertaining audiences with classic tunes, nearly always including “Stars Fell on Alabama.”
Read the full story in the Birmingham News.
August 20, 2010
For the third time in its history, AMC Entertainment will file a $450 million IPO under the ticker symbol “AMC” on an unrelated stock exchange. This comes as revenue for the company has been boosted by rising prices for 3-D and IMAX (and IMAX digital) films as well as concessions.
This is the second attempt at an IPO for Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC. The company first filed for a $500 million IPO in September 2007 but pulled the deal in October 2008 saying it had decided not to proceed with the offering, but did not give a reason.
AMC’s revenue grew 6.7 percent to $2.42 billion in the year ended April 1. The company swung to a $79.91 million profit from a $149.05 million loss a year earlier, according to the new prospectus.
Read more at Reuters.
August 10, 2010
ROANOKE, VA — A young man is trying to get a local theater built the hard way by collecting signatures to submit to Carmike Cinemas.
A young Roanoke man has petitions across Randolph County in hopes of getting a movie theatre to come back to Roanoke.
Michael Fielder, 22, said he spoke with a representative of Carmike Cinemas who advised him to get signatures, get the city’s approval and call them back. The representative did not say how many signatures were needed, so Fielder set his goal at 2,000.
Read the full story in the Randolph Leader.
August 6, 2010
This article in theWall Street Journal discusses how global tastes are essential when deciding on which films to produce these days.
When director Adam McKay pitched a sequel to his 2004 hit movie “Anchorman,” he thought it would be a no-brainer for Hollywood.
The $20 million comedy, starring Steve Carell and Will Ferrell, grossed more than $90 million at the box office. But only $5 million of that came from ticket sales abroad. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures nixed the sequel this spring, fearing the comedy’s uniquely American brand of humor wouldn’t play abroad.
August 4, 2010
HOLLYWOOD, CA – High ticket prices, poor quality films, and customer complaints about image quality are causing increasing numbers of cinema patrons to avoid much of the recent crop of 3-D films. This article at CNN.com takes a look at the apparent declining customer interest.
A river of schlocky films certainly doesn’t help boost attendance, but a river of overpriced, 3-D schlock may actually be steepening the decline. A July survey of more than 2,000 moviegoers by BTIG LLC, a broker-dealer firm, found increasing chafe at the high cost of 3-D films, which tend to carry around a $4 surcharge. That brings a $9 children’s ticket to see, say, Despicable Me, up to $13 in New York City — a despicable premium for a product that often provides little additional value to the movie-going experience, and may even detract from it.
Movie studios have never really risked broad consumer revolt against theatergoing because ticket prices have remained relatively low. Sure, theater attendance has suffered from a few slings and arrows, including the rise of the DVD and the increasing ease of online downloads. But the rollout of improved 3-D technology again gave the multiplex an edge, because the viewing experience could not be replicated at home.
August 2, 2010
Like movie theaters, more and more independent bookstores are closing as they struggle to find their place in the modern world. However, these two entities have combined forces to create some pretty interesting theaters turned bookstores over the years. This piece in the Huffington Post describes some of the most unique bookstores still standing including the one in the space of the former Cine Teatro Grand Splendid.
July 23, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In the 1970’s, repertory theaters reached a peak, but now there are much fewer of them and they struggle to get 35mm prints of films. But the survivors are increasingly succeeding by promoting themed film festivals, and programmers are creating new festivals that, as temporary events, use a variety of venues.
At the Roxie, for example, a sampling includes the Anti-Corporate Film Festival, the Irish Film Festival and Another Hole in the Head horror festival. Mr. Leggat sees the growth in number and variety of festivals as part of a larger picture.
“American culture is moving from mass entertainment to more specific niche entertainment,” he said.
This recent article in the New York Times took a look at this trend in the San Francisco Bay area.