May 25, 2010
Many readers here on Cinema Treasures are aware of the 1948 Paramount Consent Decree which, in a nutshell, forced the big Hollywood studios of the time to divest themselves of the theater chains they owned, based on the contention that the studios unfairly controlled film distribution. These chains included some, if not most, of the greatest movie palaces ever built.
In a recent piece written for a blog at Film.com, commentator C. Robert Cargill argues that studios should once again be permitted to own theaters outright, pointing out that circumstances have radically changed since 1948 and that competition would now be enhanced not diminished if studios now had their own exhibition outlets.
The idea of the studios not being able to own their own theater chains is an outdated concept that should be challenged and overturned, something producer Joe Roth opined at the Digital Hollywood Conference a few weeks back. Roth’s beef stems from a collective boycott by a number of theater chains against his film, the runaway hit Alice in Wonderland, because they were upset with the 12-week window between their scheduled release of the film and its appearance on Blu-ray and DVD. And while that time may look short on paper, remember that Alice in Wonderland appeared in theaters on March 5 and the DVD release is still a month away.
The whole essay is here at Film.com.
LONDON, ENGLAND — Like many of their North American counterparts, independent cinemas in the UK are grappling with the seemingly relentless pressure by Hollywood to go digital. The expense of conversion may force a number of cinemas, especially in smaller towns, out of business, though the government is accelerating efforts to provide conversion assistance.
“We are financially stretched,” said its manager, Gregory Lynn. “So many indie cinemas like us cannot afford to go digital, but we don’t really have a choice.”
The movie house is among thousands of small cinemas — mostly in Europe — in danger of going bust unless they make the switch. The conversion costs may leave some small towns with no theaters, and fewer venues to screen movies may result in the shrinking of the European film industry, already concerned about the cultural dominance of Hollywood.
Read the full story in Business Week.
May 24, 2010
CYPRESS, CA — Christie, a global leader in digital cinema, announced that it is Cannes International Film Festival’s Technical Partner for the fourth year in a row, digitizing a record 22 theatres with the latest generation Christie DLP Cinema projectors. Installations include the next-generation Series 2 projector, the Christie Solaria Series, highlighted by the Christie CP2220 and Christie CP2230, which feature Academy Award*-winning DLP Cinema technology from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN). Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, presented out of competition, opened Cannes with its world premiere on a Christie CP2230.
“It is a huge privilege to see our digital projectors playing such a critical role in this key event in international cinema,” remarked Christie EMEA Vice President, Dale Miller. “As a pioneer in the film industry for more than 80 years, Christie is proud to make available again its expertise and experience to the world of cinema.”
May 21, 2010
As a long time Cinema Treasures member, I wanted to share my recent episode of my web series Underbelly on the popular gaming web page screwattack.com.
3D 3D 3D! pokes fun at the 50’s to the current trend on this old fad and takes it a step forward with the help of director Uwe Boll.
Screw Attack(For mature audiences)
May 4, 2010
Echoing the complaints heard far and wide last year when “Star Trek” was released, don’t forget to do your homework before seeing a movie in IMAX these days.
And friends, ain’t nothin' you have access to, save for looking out your own two eyes, that’s more high-definition than IMAX, but do not — let me repeat — DO NOT see ‘Iron Man 2’ (or any film for that matter) in a fake IMAX theatre. To be blunt: it looks horrible, and you’re wasting your hard-earned cash for a non-upgrade.
What you want, what you NEED, is to either find a real IMAX, or the largest, high-quality DLP or 35mm screen in your area.
Read more in High Def Digest.
April 30, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA — Blog writer Steven Zeitchik sees the recent TCM film festival as more than just a retrospective of great films of the past; he thinks that it may serve as a model of how to present cinematic gems on a regular basis in the future all over the country by creating and event-like atmosphere around great films paired with a live element.
The reason it all worked was because the festival took something that’s part of our pop-culture canon and made it fresh. In some cases, these screenings were simply a way of introducing a piece of art or entertainment to a new generation with the extra flourish of a large-scale screening; in other cases, they added something specific to our understanding of the work. (“L.A. Confidential” director Curtis Hanson, for instance, introduced “In a Lonely Place.” Who better to talk about the history of noir than someone who’s made the best modern example of the form?)
The movie business often frets about the relevance of film-going in the YouTube age, when entertainment is disposable, portable and inexpensive to view (read: typically costs nothing). Hollywood has been intent on trying to compete with these many out-of-theater experiences by mounting ever larger spectacles — see under: the 3-D revolution, a particular hobbyhorse for us and others these days. And theater owners, eager for anything that will give them a leg up or stave off obsolescence, have gone along, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes enthusiastically.
But the entertainment world, as it often does, offers another way. And the TCM festival shows us what that way might be — namely, creating a buzz around a screening of a previously released film.
The full article is in the L.A. Times.
April 26, 2010
TOKYO, JAPAN – Canada’s IMAX Corporation has announced that it will expand the number of its IMAX screens in Japan. In association with Tokyu Recreation, five additional 3-D capable screens will be constructed in addition to the four which the latter company already operates. This agreement follows previously announced IMAX expansions in South Korea and France. The company is also developing a prototype inflatable dome transportable theater, and thinking about offering a 3-D system for the home.
Megascreen theater company IMAX Corp. said Tuesday it will expand in Japan — the latest in a series of international deals inked recently amid growing demand for 3-D movies following the success of science fiction blockbuster Avatar.
“Performance has been really strong,” said IMAX chief executive Richard Gelfond of the Japanese theaters. “It’s probably the strongest start that we’ve had in any territory in our history.”
There is more detail here from theAssociated Press.
April 23, 2010
Check out the Popcorn N Roses podcasts that discuss different aspects of moviegoing and the many experiences offered today:
Subject:CINEMA #224 – “A Theater Near You!"
All about movie theaters, the types of theaters, and how to enjoy yourself at the movies. We devote most of segment five to the CT site, and my love and constant use of it…
Subject:CINEMA #225 – “Movies In Your Backyard!"
A guide to different ways to enjoy the movies in your local neighborhood – non-profit theaters, film groups and societies, and the like. We gave the site extensive coverage on this show as well.
April 22, 2010
The Kinopanorama Widescreen Preservation Association, Incorporated, was formed on 27th January 2010 in Broken Hill, NSW, Australia. We have submitted our business plan to Federal and State funding agencies. We have purchased 3 projectors from The Aranda Group for modification. Fifth Continent Movie Classics owns a 7-track Rotovision 35mm recording/playback unit designed for any 6-perf 3-panel system. This unit, which will undergo modification to accept full-size reels, will be leased to the Association on a gratis basis.
Further details and updates are available from time to time on Facebook [Kinopanorama Widescreen Preservation Association] and our webpage.
April 19, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks that intermissions should be a part of certain films once again. The last film that he can recall that had one was “Gandhi” in 1982.
One of my favorite Chronicle stories involved waiting in the lobby of the theater during an advance screening of the third “Lord of the Rings” movie, and interviewing the Tolkien fans running — no sprinting — from the theater to the bathroom in the last half of the marathon film. Every one of them wished it had an intermission. I also found a professional movie critic with one kidney, Chris Gore, who has to urinate more than most and has become an outspoken advocate of the return of the intermission.
With a greater number of popular movies approaching and sometimes exceeding three hours in length (even the lightweight “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” lasted 2 ½ hours) bringing the intermission back seems logical. Contrary to popular belief, the theater owners I’ve spoken to say they would like to have the option — they could sell more concessions, where they make the real money — but their contracts with the studios prohibit intermissions.
Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.