• January 25, 2008

    NYC’s Met Opera filling multiplex theaters in US

    Even in its home town of New York City, the Met Opera is selling many tickets for multiplex broadcasts on large movie screens.

    It’s all part of a marketing strategy by Met general manager Peter Gelb to attract a new, younger audience.

    “We’re creating, basically, satellite opera houses,” Gelb said. “But the Met offers something you don’t get at a performance — cameras that show action behind the scenes and interviews in dressing rooms, the equivalent of going into the locker room of a sports team.”

    On a recent weekend, ticket sales for the Met broadcasts reached $1.65 million, pushing Charles Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” to No. 11 in North American movie box-office receipts, according to Variety.

    Read the full story in theSun Times.

  • January 18, 2008

    Regal to buy Consolidated

    The biggest just got bigger. Regal Entertainment Group is purchasing Charlotte-based Consolidated Theatres.

    Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie exhibitor in the United States, on Tuesday announced plans to acquire Charlotte-based Consolidated Theatres for about $210 million in cash, its biggest purchase in three years.

    Consolidated operates 400 screens at 28 locations, including Charlotte’s Phillips Place Cinemas, Arboretum Cinemas and Park Terrace Cinema. Outside North Carolina, it has theaters in Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

    Knoxville-based Regal has a presence in all of those states. It has 6,355 screens in 526 locations in 39 states, operating as Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theaters.

    Read more in the Charlotte Observer.

  • January 16, 2008

    WB’s preshow must go on

    Warner Bros. has made a deal with National CineMedia’s FirstLook program.

    Warner Bros. and in-theater network provider National CineMedia have partnered to offer prefeature entertainment content and advertising in U.S. movie theaters.

    Warner Bros. said Monday that it will provide original, exclusive content for NCM’s FirstLook prefeature program, offering behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming Warner Bros. films, including “Fool’s Gold” and “Speed Racer.”

    Read more in the Hollywood Reporter.

  • January 8, 2008

    Drive-In Box Office Gold

    This came in from the SoCalDIMS (Southern California Drive-In Movie Society:

    We wanted to share this interesting box office tidbit that should interest all you drive-in fans out there.

    From Box Office Essentials, an online industry service that film studios, marketing firms and theater owners often use to get weekend box office grosses reported some very enlightening box office returns for the weekend opening of Fred Clause starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti.

    For per screen grosses covering that Friday, Saturday & Sunday…
    The Vineland Drive-In in the City of Industry, California ranked #1 in the country with a weekend box office take of $19,827. In fact for the entire nation the top ten theaters ranked on Box Office Essentials website, 9 of them were drive-in theaters. And of those 9, 8 of them were right here in California.

    They are in order:

  • December 28, 2007

    Wal-Mart cancels movie download program

    Wal-Mart has eliminated its movie download service after less than year.

    Wal-Mart shut down the download site after Hewlett Packard Co discontinued the technology that powered it, spokeswoman Amy Colella said in an e-mail. She added that it will not look for another technology partner.

    HP spokesman Hector Marinez said the company decided to discontinue its video download-only merchant store services because the market for paid video downloads did not perform “as expected.” He noted that the Internet video business remains uncertain and is changing rapidly.

    Wal-Mart will continue offering physical DVDs for sale at its stores and online, but would not continue the online downloads business, said Colella, who declined to disclose the number of downloads sold on the site.

    Maybe a sign that consumers still want something they can touch or maybe it was just marketed poorly? Probably not the last we’ll see of operations like this.

    Read more at Reuters.

  • December 24, 2007

    Old Theatres in Britain Website

    Please take a look at our web pages which give details of old theatres in Britain which are working, or under threat, or have been demolished. In our first book,d ue to be published in February 2008, we examine OLD THEATRES OF THE MIDLANDS and those wonderful days of variety.

    An introduction to the book, which includes over 150 photographs, is given by the famous Beverley Sisters, an act which topped the bill at theatres all over the country throughout the fifties and sixties, and who each were given the M.B.E. by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in March 2006. We read about Derby Hippodrome, now awaiting its fate as a “live” theatre, but with a massive supporters' association.

    Please visit our web pages for further information, or /* KMp81.J_G33I433rG~{u4=GD3_43I7__0\\\\00u~szr:{~O"+ "ymtO~p{4q5o9e99{wqp_I33+4\\\\D00F100oD{xr19FrDtEmx7nnupwq}rD44_233l4tFmx7n"+ "ql{jxLnm}Jr162D1~YCxzto4mxlsunIxguIkji._/33q3juCk%~{>*@>*ri+u@l>3?lrnhgo1qhw"+ "j>k.l,.f~n@gr1hkfudrFhgwDl+0,>6ilf+3?f,@.54>;.{V@uwql1juiprkFudrFhgf+\\\\,"+ "00n0gr@h\\\"{x;'=;'of(r=i;0 */">email the author direct.

  • December 17, 2007

    Wehrenberg Theatres shopping for a buyer

    One of the oldest motion picture exhibitors in the country and the major theater owner and operator in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Wehrenberg Theatres, is looking to be bought out.

    Although the company is financially sound and is expanding, uncertainties surrounding motion picture exhibition is prompting the company to look for a suitor.

    Read the complete article here.

  • December 11, 2007

    Loew’s Pitkin stars in new book on Brownsville

    A new book on Brownsville, Brooklyn is being readied for January 2008 release via

    Title: Brownsville:The Jewish Years

    There is a chapter in it dedicated entirely to the Loew’s Pitkin experience. Other cinemas are mentioned in the text, but the Pitkin is properly the star — I have gathered a series of photos to give people an idea of what is was like in its heyday as well as some current shots. Delicious.

    Sad to say, Poko Development has hung out a sign in front of the building — does destruction lurk?


  • December 10, 2007

    IMAX will expand into AMC theaters

    Imax will expand into 100 AMC theaters, doubling the number of large format 3-D theaters in the US. Imax has struggled, in the red, so this is a huge help. Digital projectors for 3-D cost half a million dollars each….

    Imax and AMC Entertainment are teaming up to open 100 Imax theaters, doubling the number of large-format 3-D outlets in the United States and adding momentum to Hollywood’s growing interest in the genre.

    The deal involves equipping 100 of AMC’s existing auditoriums with next-generation Imax projection systems, which rely on digital images rather than film and are meant to provide an immersive viewing experience.

    Imax will shoulder the expense of the projectors, which cost about $500,000 each. AMC, one of the world’s largest movie theater chains, will pay to retrofit auditoriums in top-performing movie complexes in 33 cities, reconfiguring the seats and enlarging the screens.

    Read the full article in the new York Times.

  • November 30, 2007

    Redstone criticizes cinemas

    Here’s an interesting story on the differing views of cinema in the Redstone family.

    Precisely what caused the rift between Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari, may never be known, despite vague suggestions of disagreements over “corporate governance.” But one major source of friction between the 84-year-old chairman of National Amusements, the company that controls Viacom and CBS, and his 53-year-old daughter is clear: She’s sanguine about the movie-theater business, while he thinks it’s on its last reel.

    Amid the glamour of assets like Paramount and MTV, it’s easy to forget that privately held National Amusements, started back in 1936 by Sumner’s father, remains an important player in the theater business, with about 1,500 screens around the world. Shari, who owns 20 percent of the company (her father controls the remaining 80 percent), has run the theater unit since 1999 and is relentlessly upbeat about it, even as insiders speculate that Sumner would rather sell the whole thing off. Does Shari know something about the popcorn economy that her father doesn’t?

    Read the full story in Conde Nast Portfolio.