November 29, 2006
DETROIT, MI — In order to lure in more moviegoers, one Showcase Cinema is rolling out a large gaming center to attract more of the younger crowd along with their families.
Movie theaters have long had arcades where people waiting for a movie to begin could pump in a quarter or two and enjoy a few minutes of game-playing fun.
But the CyGamZ center, which informally opened Friday, is different.
Located in an unused lobby of the Showcase multiplex, it covers a huge corner of the complex larger than several theaters put together. It encompasses a large lounge with a concession stand and pods of 24 Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 video game consoles hooked up to flat screen TVs; party rooms that feature more consoles, more flat screens and the ability to run things like Powerpoint presentations; and a huge back room that houses 60 moodily lit Alienware PCs running a gamut of games from Sims 2 to Battlefield 2142.
To read more, go to The Detroit Free Press.
November 28, 2006
In an interview when trying to defend the difference in standards between television and film, Steven Spielberg mentioned where thinks the theater audience is going.
In a free-ranging hour of interview with former NBC News correspondent Garrick Utley and questions from the audience, Spielberg said iPod video may be all the rage but count his films out from tailoring his films to fit the small screen.
“That’s one medium where I have to draw the line,” he said. “We’ll shoot for television and the movies and let there be a wide gap” between that and the small 3-inch screen. He also said that he felt that people are social animals who will choose to go out to a movie rather than watch a show on widescreen.
“I don’t think movie theaters will ever go away,” Speilberg said.
To read more, go to The Hollywood Reporter.
November 21, 2006
Here’s one man’s take on how theaters are dropping the ball again, but this time by not properly patrolling their R- rated screens for underage children.
The big surprise came when the movie ended, and the house lights were turned up. As we filed from the theater, it was obvious that a good portion of the crowd were kids without adult supervision. Simply put, they either were sold tickets to an R-rated movie, or they bought a ticket to a G-rated movie and then went into a theater to watch an R-rated film.
Either way, it is wrong, and the theater is at fault.
I’m not one to blame someone else for a parent’s mistake. Mom and Dad are responsible for the behavior of their children. Corporate America shouldn’t be required to be surrogate parents.
For more, go to The Pueblo Chieftan.
November 16, 2006
After years of holding a stake in numerous theater operations, Warner Brothers is letting go of its interests in China.
Warner Brothers International Cinemas (WBIC) has decided to pull out of six movie theatres it currently runs with Chinese partners, citing “major regulatory changes.”
The WBIC, a subsidiary of the US media giant Time Warner, has ceased investment in China’s movie theatre market due to major regulatory changes, ‘Beijing News’ reported, quoting a company announcement.
The Chinese government in 2005 barred foreign investors from holding majority stakes in joint ventures in the entertainment sector.
For more, visit the Hindu News Update.
November 14, 2006
Cineplex whose brands include Cineplex Odeon, Galaxy and Silver City, went hunting for a company to buy the naming rights for its four Paramount-branded cinemas acquired from Famous Players.
Negotiations with landlords are ongoing, but the five Scotiabank-branded Cineplex cinemas are expected to include the Paramount theaters located in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Scotiabank will be advertising its products in Cineplex lobbies. The agreement also includes installing automated banking machines in the five flagship theaters.
For more, visit theGlobe and Mail(reg. reqr’d.).
November 13, 2006
Bow Tie Partners, headed by Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss, has announced they have signed an agreement for the acquisition of 95 movie screens in 12 locations in Connecticut and Maryland for an undisclosed amount from Crown Theatres, LLC. With this transaction and with the completion of additional Moss properties currently under construction, Bow Tie Partners will own and operate a network of 137 screens in 17 locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, upstate New York and Virginia.
Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss represent the third and fourth generations of the family owned Moss companies whose interests are centered in the real estate development and entertainment industries.
Bow Tie Partners specializes in the redevelopment of historic and architecturally significant properties by adding value through a combination of physical redevelopment, creative change of use, financial restructuring and market repositioning. The company is known for its circuit of deluxe, intimate, first run cinemas designed to bring style and elegance back to the movie going experience.
November 10, 2006
CICERO, IL — I’m not really sure how to best summarize this without making it sound controversial… I know it will spur a lot of commentary here.
Basically, a Kerasotes theater outside Chicago is requiring teens that want to see movies alone at night to take a lecture on personal conduct with their parents.
A new 14-screen movie theater opened in Cicero Friday, but teenagers under 18 can’t go at night unless they’re with a parent. If they want to go unaccompanied by an adult, they have to take a class and get a “code of conduct” ID card.
Kerasotes started requiring ID cards last year at its theatres in South Bend, Ind. when three teenagers were arrested for fighting. In order to get the cards here, teens and their parents have to sit through a 10 minute lecture.
To read more about this interesting new practice, visitCBS 2 Chicago.
October 31, 2006
CHICAGO, IL — CBS News has a report about Chicago-area theaters that are experimenting with off-peak discounts on theater admission:
Theaters are already being creative. Chicago’s Kerasotes locations offer a Five Buck Club, where you can see any movie for $5 if you’re willing to wait two weeks.
“It works great,” Wilder said. “They send you an e-mail that tells you what movies are playing there that week and then what movies are good with the card.”
At Chicagoland AMC Theatres, depending on the location, you pay either $4 or $5 for a movie, as long you go on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays before noon.
October 30, 2006
Just in time for this week’s elections, TIME’s film critic Richard Corliss has put together a list of the seven top political films of all time.
Here’s the first film on the list:
CITIZEN KANE ORSON WELLES, 1941
Best film ever? Maybe. But beyond the epiphanies of film form and camera work, Kane offers an acute view of American politics that applies today as much as it did then. Like Silvio Berlusconi and Michael Bloomberg, Kane (Welles) is a media magnate who runs for office. Like Mark Foley, he is caught in a sexual scandal just before the election. The brilliant script by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles is about a powerful man’s need to be loved by the millions of people whose lives he dominates. And when they jilt him, he rationalizes the rejection by spinning tales of conspiracy. His newspaper runs the headline FRAUD AT POLLS.
Find out about the other films he picked and then comment with your favorites!
The new film “Death of a President”, which speculates what might happen if President Bush was assassinated, is having a difficult time finding theaters comfortable with the film’s subject matter:
Faux documentary Death of a President, which depicts the assassination of President George W. Bush, opened last Friday at less thatn 120 cinemas across the U.S. last week.
The nation’s two largest movie theatre operators deciding their viewers would not get the chance to see the film.
Regal Entertainment Group, the largest theatre operator in the U.S., led the way.
“We do not feel it is appropriate to portray the future assassination of a president,” said Regal’s Dick Westerling.
With AMC, the nation’s second-largest chain, and Cinemark, which owns Century Theatres, also lining up against Death of a President, the film has effectively been banned from at least 16,300 American movie screens.
The Adelaide Advertiser has the full report.