• March 21, 2008

    Alamo Drafthouse serves it up

    AUSTIN, TX — After the recent SXSW Festival, one blogger goes into great detail about how the Alamo Drafthouse caters to a dedicated audience.

    I know, I know… I’m late to this party! The one big takeaway from my time in Austin at the SXSW Film Festival (aside from the hot indie rock girls, the parties, the great movies, and great food) was that I fell in love with the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater.

    I’ve been to movie theaters from coast to coast. I’ve been to The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Boston, the Castro in San Francisco, The Arclight in Los Angeles, and even the new Mark Cuban owned Landmark. The Alamo Drafthouse theater is by far the best movie theater I’ve ever been to. It’s the type of movie theater that makes me wish I lived in Texas, and here’s why…

    Read more here.

  • St. Louis-based Wehrenbeg Theatres to remain family-owned

    According to this article in the St. Louis Business Journal, the 102-year-old Wehrenberg Theatre operation, the oldest family-owned theater chain in the United States, is being withdrawn from the market as available for sale. Apparently, no acceptable offers appeared to be forthcoming in the current economic climate.

    As reported first in the St. Louis Business Journal in December, Wehrenberg, the country’s oldest family-owned and operated theater chain, was looking for a buyer for its 102-year-old theater operations. The company hired UBS Investment Bank to lead the search, but potential buyers were unable to make an offer that reflected the full value of Wehrenberg, Krueger said in a statement.

    “I concluded the best action for our company is to be proactive to determine our own future,” Krueger said in a statement.

  • March 20, 2008

    Cinema Treasures, a best bet

    The Florida Times-Union named Cinema Treasures one of the best bets on the web.

  • March 17, 2008

    Regal to possibly end newspaper listings

    With the consumer moving more and more to the internet for information, Regal might end newspaper listings for its theaters.

    U.S. movie theater company Regal Entertainment Group is seeing diminishing returns from the millions of dollars it spends on movie listings in newspapers as people turn to the Internet for the information, Chief Executive Officer Michael Campbell said.

    Theaters pay for listing their schedules in newspaper entertainment sections, but the largest U.S. theater chain has begun questioning the value.

    Read the full story at Reuters.

  • March 14, 2008

    10,000 Screens to be converted to show 3-D movies

    There are arrangements to convert 10,000 more screens to 3-D.

    Access Integrated Technologies Inc. said it had reached agreements with four studios — Disney, News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Viacom Inc.’s Paramount, and Universal Pictures, which is owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal — to finance and equip the screens in the U.S. and Canada during the next three years.

    The conversion will cost as much as $700 million, said Bud Mayo, chief executive of Access Integrated Technologies, which completed a first tranche of 3,700 digital conversions in October

    For the full story, go to The Star.

    (Thanks to zombophoto for providing the picture.)

  • March 13, 2008

    As economy dives, Hollywood thrives

    An Associated Press piece suggests that there’s a correlation with a poor economy and high moviegoing numbers.

    It was true during the Depression, when Americans managed to scrape together nickels and dimes for an escape to the movies. And as the prospect of another recession looms, studio executives say this time is no different.

    Even as evidence mounts that people are tightening up on other expenses, movie attendance this year has been running ahead of 2007 numbers — welcome news at ShoWest, the annual convention of theater owners, which opens here Tuesday.

    Domestic box-office revenues went up in five of the past seven recession years dating back to the 1960s, according to research compiled by the National Association of Theatre Owners.

  • March 7, 2008

    San Francisco Opera at a theater near you

    Following in the steps of the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera is presenting a program to theaters across the country.

    SAN FRANCISCO Opera’s production of Puccini’s “La Rondine,” starring the gorgeous soprano Angela Gheorghiu, was a pretty big hit at War Memorial last November, but they’re wondering now how it will play in Peoria.

    We’ll get a chance to find out Saturday afternoon when the Rave Grand Prairie 18 theater in Peoria, Ill. “” along with 120 movie theaters across the nation “” launches the first of four showings of the opera in an all-digital format with surround sound that is the very latest in cinema technology.

    Here in the Bay Area, the closest showings are at the Livermore Cinemas 13 (which bills itself on its Web site as “the only all digital movie theater in the entire East Bay”) and the Cinema West-Fairfax in the North Bay. The Livermore showings are at 12:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:15 p.m. Monday, and regular ticket prices ($9.50, $7 for matinees) apply.

    Read more at Contra Costa Times.

  • February 29, 2008

    Lowest rated Oscar telecast

    In what has been an ongoing trend these days, the Oscar telecast last weekend was the lowest rated ever. With no huge studio pictures up for the majors and a slew of little-known actors up as favorites in key categories, it was the perfect recipe for average moviegoer dissent.

    Films about psychopaths, greedy oilmen and corrupt lawyers failed to click with moviegoers, and they proved a turnoff to U.S. television viewers as this year’s Oscars show hit record low ratings.

    The 80th anniversary edition of the Academy Awards, dominated by European stars and films that played poorly at the box office, averaged 32 million viewers, entering the record books on Monday as the least watched Oscar telecast ever.

    Read more in the Washington Post.

    (Thanks to Grebo Guru for providing the photo.)

  • New Book – Now Playing at a Theater Near Me

    February 28, 2008 — Tim McGlynn’s, “Now Playing at Theater Near Me,” is a fantastic and tickling book that presents insights into teen culture during the seventies.

    In 1975 the making of an 8mm movie turned disastrous for seventeen-year-old Tim McGlynn and friends. It was a Dog Day afternoon for the young autuers as local cops responded to a staged bank robbery. “Now Playing at a Theater Near Me” combines true-life coming-of-age antics with backstories and personal recollections of films and theaters of the seventies.

    Today, teenagers cannot imagine life without DVDs, wireless phones, and the Internet. In Tim McGlynn’s new book, “Now Playing at a Theater Near Me,” readers are taken back thirty years when most entertainment was experienced at local drive-ins and single screen theaters.

    Before information was easily accessible from home, America’s youth learned about life, sex and growing old at the movies. “Now Playing at a Theater Near Me” presents hilarious insights into the early seventies. Even movies could not keep up with the rapidly changing cultural issues of the time.

  • February 25, 2008

    U.K. chain Odeon bars ‘Rambo’

    LONDON, ENGLAND — In a mysterious move, Odeon has said it won’t show the new Rambo movie.

    Odeon, the U.K.’s biggest exhib chain, will not show Sony’s new release “Rambo” at its theaters this weekend, citing undisclosed “commercial reasons.”

    News has sent shockwaves around the local industry as “Rambo” is the frame’s most significant new release in the U.K. News has also enraged online Sylvester Stallone fans, especially those who live in rural areas where their only local cinema is an Odeon.

    Decision by Odeon not to play the testosterone-fuelled pic will likely see its opening U.K. B.O. haul dented considerably even though Sony has spent much of this week scrambling to get other chains, including other market leaders Vue and Cineworld, to pump up their “Rambo” showings.

    Read the full story in Variety.