Industry

  • November 13, 2007

    Live Nation selling Chicago theaters

    CHICAGO, IL — Live Nation is selling its interest in historic Chicago theaters including the Palace and the Oriental, for $60 million dollars to Nederlander.

    In a statement that accompanied the filing of its third-quarter results, the entertainment company Live Nation said Thursday that it entered into a definitive agreement with entities wholly owned by Nederlander to sell its interest in Broadway in Chicago — and associated ownership of the Oriental — for $60 million.

    Broadway in Chicago, which presents Broadway shows like “Jersey Boys” and “Wicked” in Chicago, had been operating as a 50-50 partnership between the Nederlander Organization and Live Nation (once part of Clear Channel Entertainment). However, the ownership of the Loop theaters controlled by the entity remained separate.

    You can read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

  • November 9, 2007

    Cinebarre turning theater into dining experience

    ASHEVILLE, NC — The Cinebarre Biltmore Square opened in June in the former UA Biltmore Square 6 in Asheville. This is a new chain that is going to be what AMC was with the megaplexes many years ago.

    This is a whole new concept in movie theatres. There 2nd location is scheduled to open in Charleston, SC. What is unique and different about this theatre is it is not only a theatre, but a restaurant. Cinebarre consists of 5 screens. The 6th screen was turned into a kitchen. The former concession stand has been turned into a bar that serves beer, wine and root beer floats. You still have your regular soft drinks and bottled water.

    All theatres have high back seats like you find in the stadium theatres. In each row in front of every seat is a counter. The food is reasonably priced and of high quality. Pizzas are made with fresh ingredients and the burgers are ½ lbs of fresh beef, not frozen patties. After a great dinner, enjoy a bowl of popcorn with real butter. They ask that you arrive 30-45 minutes before show time. In front of each seat is a menu. All you have to do to order is write you order on the white cards and place it standing up. A server will pick up your order and your food arrives hot and tasty within a reasonable amount of time. Even during the show, the staff is trained to pick up orders, deliver food and checks without disturbing patrons.

    My only regret is that I waited 5 months to check out this great theatre. To find out more about this great chain go to Cinebarre.

  • November 7, 2007

    Bollywood chain expansion

    With the acquisition of the Texas FunAsia chain, the India-based Pyramid Saimira plans on expanding the operation into even more theaters.

    U.S. entertainment companies have been pushing into India to expand into one of the world’s biggest growth markets. Now, at least one firm believes it can grow in the opposite direction thanks to an expanding and affluent North American base of South Asians with an appetite for Bollywood fare.

    Chennai, India-based movie theater operator Pyramid Saimira has just created a North American arm to acquire Richardson, Texas-based FunAsia, which operates Bollywood movie theaters in Houston and suburban Dallas, a radio station, as well as banquet halls, dance floors and other entertainment venues for an undisclosed amount of cash.

    Read more in the Hollywood Reporter

  • October 26, 2007

    501 Movies

    Barron’s Educational Series, the publisher of the bestselling 1001 MOVIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE by Steven Schneider, is pleased to offer you excerpts from its latest film books, 501 MOVIE DIRECTORS and 501 MOVIE STARS, by the same author.

    Below you’ll find links to text from these just-published books. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    501 Movie Stars

    501 Movie Directors

  • October 5, 2007

    Imax, Regal pact on digital screen

    IMAX and Regal have teamed up to open five theaters utilizing new technology that lowers the cost of large format and digital projection.

    In a multitheater deal inked Tuesday with Regal Cinemas, Imax will bring its nascent digital projection technology to North America.

    Regal and the Toronto-based large-screen format company have entered into a joint venture for five Imax theater systems. Two of them — skedded to be running in Knoxville, Tenn., and Las Vegas by the end of the year — use the company’s MPX technology (which allows multiplexes to enter large-format technology in a cost-effective way), while the other three — in Seattle and two other locations in the western U.S. — will use the company’s digital projection technology, set to go live in late 2008.

    You can read the full story in Variety.

  • October 1, 2007

    British box office booming

    With the help of a whole lotta sequels, the U.K. has had a record summer.

    Blighty’s wettest summer on record and a flood of popular film sequels combined to deliver the highest level of admissions for the June-August frame in 40 years.

    According to the U.K.’s Film Distributors Assn., there were 50.8 million visits to theaters — up 26% on the previous summer, which was hurt by the soccer World Cup.

    The admissions figures released today by the FDA follows a Sept. 7 announcement from Nielsen EDI that this past summer’s grosses were the biggest ever in the U.K.

    You can read more in Variety.

  • September 12, 2007

    The inevitable theater comeback

    Just when you thought it was safe to forget about those laughable 1950’s theater experiments, Smellovision returns.

    Megan Dickerson is reviving the idea of Smellovision — a concept developed 50 years ago that never caught on.

    The idea is enhance the viewing experience for an audience by circulating smells that go with what’s happening on the screen.

    Dickerson has developed a scent filled show of Willy Wonka, and staged it for hundreds of people in the Boston area.

    Read the full story at Eyewitness News WPRI.

  • September 7, 2007

    That buttery aroma might be toxic, too

    New findings show some potentially harmful side effects of that innocent treat, popcorn.

    Pop Weaver, one of the largest producers of microwave popcorn, is removing a controversial chemical flavoring agent from its products.

    The chemical — diacetyl — adds buttery taste. Government worker safety investigators have linked exposure to the synthetic butter to the sometimes fatal destruction of the lungs of hundreds of workers in food production and flavoring factories.

    And while Pop Weaver has dropped diacetyl from its product, it remains in widespread use in thousands of other consumer products, including the microwave popcorn brands Orville Redenbacher and Act II.

    Read the full report at Seattle PI

  • August 24, 2007

    New update for Connecticut Film/TV tax incentives

    Back in May, I posted on here the new law that Connecticut offered filmmakers to attract film and television to the state. It consists of a 30 percent tax credit for productions costing $50,000 or more and is one of the most generous in the country. Credits cannot be granted to actors making more than $10 million to anyone working on a production or their representatives. This past July, the State Legislature extended this credit to any production company doing commercials, etc.

    Since this passed one year ago, we have had 36 productions filmed in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, with “Revolutionary Road” (Winslet and DiCaprio) filming in Bridgeport, Bethany, etc as well as “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2”, filmed at Western CT State University in Danbury and most recently, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Robin Williams and Seth Green in Disney’s “Old Dogs” in Redding. They filmed at the Redding Community Center and for 5 days at Putnam Park, where the crew camped each night. The stars rented houses in Greenwich, because they were shooting in Redding and New York City. (They paid $5,000 for the community center and a very generous $8,000 for the state park.*)

  • August 14, 2007

    Substandard soundtracks

    There is a growing body of evidence that distributors are aware of the bad soundtracks on many major releases. The problem stems from preferential treatment of digital soundtracks versus the analog variety used by nondigital venues.

    I’ve been told by reliable sources, installation and repair gurus, they keep coming across sound problems in analog cinemas where it turns out the print is the culprit. I cannot help but wonder if this a subtle way of encouraging exhibitors to make the big switch to digital.

    The circuits have rattled their swords about studios paying for the transition. I disagree. The U.S.A. is an essentially capitalist nation. The exhibitors should pay for the transition to digital projection from their own pockets. After all, it’s the circuits who will save millions on payroll. Switching to digital is a capital improvement the individual exhibitor requires to remain competitive. Just as importantly, the studios and distributors must continue to provide the analog cinemas with strong and clear soundtracks. The movie going public is jaded enough. Every movie theater in the world must put on a good show.