• January 24, 2007

    Suzuki FLix debuts at auto show

    Sure to be the dream car of many here, Suzuki showed off their new movie theater car at a recent auto show.

    One of the concept vehicles at NAIAS which somehow seemed to slip below the radar was the silver-screen-inspired XL7 Flix concept. The Flix concept offers film enthusiasts the ultimate mobile movie experience, being outfitted with an in-vehicle movie system. After parking at the optimal film-viewing destination, Flix’s clamshell roof can be opened, revealing a maximum-size moonroof that serves as a 40-inch movie screen.

    Additionally, the XL7 concept’s front roof panel vents, giving way to a high-density digital projection system to display a family’s movie of choice.

    To read more, go to Business Week.

  • January 22, 2007

    Muvico founder to offer movies — and much more

    Out to compete with the growing number of luxury brands, Hamid Hashemi, former Muvico founder is taking the standard one step further with a new one-stop entertainment destination in his new venture, IPic Entertainment.

    IPic Entertainment aims to attract young professionals with a concept that combines a luxury movie theater, with a sit-down restaurant, high-end bowling alley, full-service bar and live entertainment. The first location will open this summer in a Milwaukee suburb, with longer-term plans in the works for South Florida.

    “People still want to go out, but they want to know they’re getting value and entertainment for their dollar,‘” said Hashemi, founder and chief executive of the Fort Lauderdale-based IPic. “When you go to this facility it’s not going to be just to see a movie, it’s going to be to spend the night. It’s a total entertainment destination. The theater is a small part of it.”

    To read more, go to the Miami Herald.

    CORRECTION 1/23: Please note that this project is not affiliated with Muvico. Our apologies for not highlighting that originally.

  • January 17, 2007

    Art House chains show improvement

    LOS ANGELES, CA — No longer just a niche product, art house theaters are now sprouting up as the backbone of shopping centers. With the Laemmle and Landmark chains leading the pack in L.A., the independent film market is becoming a more profitable sector.

    But lately, Laemmle Theatres has been going uptown. The chain has been attracting a new group of fans — community planners, developers and powerful homeowner associations — that has taken art houses from dusty afterthoughts to project anchors.

    The theaters are in demand, not only for their highbrow offerings, but because they also attract an upscale, generally well-behaved crowd that can help set the tone for business developments.

    For more, go to the Los Angeles Times.

  • January 15, 2007

    Time to book a trip to Bangkok!

    I have just returned from Bangkok – with of course cinema visits at every opportunity —I could not find any ‘older cinemas’ but there are countless brand new multi-screens.

    I came upon three special screens in the Paragon Multiplex – this cinema on the sixth/seventh floor of a massive shopping complex has 14 ordinary screens, an IMAX and these three specials [sponsored by Nokia]. The normal ticket price was 140/150 bhat [ £2/2.10p – so low??] but these screens charged 500 bhat [£6.50] – the chairs give back and leg massage and are supplied with blankets and pillows!! – see the photos – I am supprised the UK/US chains don’t copy!??


  • January 10, 2007

    Survey reveals new factors in moviegoing decline

    Not just the content on screen, but competition from other leisure activities is pointed out in a new study on decreasing theater receipts.

    The global decline in movie theater attendance is not a result of unappealing content, but rather reflects a dissatisfaction with the movie-going experience and increasing competition for the consumer’s share of time and money, this according to a global survey of consumers conducted by PA Consulting Group and the Motion Picture Association of America.

    The survey also revealed that while consumer-spending habits will not undergo any fundamental changes over the next five years, movie attendance and home entertainment sales, including the sales of DVDs, will decline as entertainment options increase.

    To read more on this analysis, go to PR Newswire.

  • January 9, 2007

    Madrid theater showing video games

    MADRID, SPAIN — A theater is drawing in crowds by using one of its screen strictly for video games.

    Yelmo Cineplex, one of Spain’s leading exhibitors, already has made its first step in 2007, saying Wednesday that it has converted one of its screens into the country’s first interactive video game experience on a big screen.

    The concept, called Cinegames, uses 7.1 surround sound with smoke and laser lights as special effects in the theater, while 50 gamepads and control consoles allow individual users to connect their 17-inch screens to the larger screen, which shows the interactive game of all the participants. A commentator in the theater gives a blow-by-blow commentary of the game.

    For more, go to the Hollywood Reporter.

  • January 7, 2007

    John Bischof, Chicagoland Theater Industry Pioneer, Passes Away

    John Bischof, with ties of more than 50 years in the Chicago area Kohlberg and Schoenstadt theater chains, has passed away.

    In lieu of flowers memorials to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5259 S. Major St., Chicago, IL 60638 Info. 773-767-9788 or Express your thoughts and condolences at our online memorial book at the Chicago Tribune Legacy Guest Book.

    For the full obituary, go to the Chicago Tribune.

    We at Cinema Treasures send our sincerest condolences to the Bischof Family.

  • January 1, 2007

    How feasible is opera in movie theaters?

    PHILADELPHIA, PA — As was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer for Wednesday, December 27, 2006, productions by the Metropolitan Opera House will be simulcast on various screens in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and elsewhere which will be in high-definition.

    The AMC Neshaminy 24 — a multiplex in Bensalem, Pennsylvania (to Philadephia’s immediate north in Bucks County) — will be one of the area theaters participating. And it’s quite unusual, as more often than not this region of Lower Bucks County, where a nearby race track recently introduced slots gambling, is associated with suburban sprawl than anything so refined as opera.

    So given that, it’s hard to say just how well this experiment will go over ahead of time. Major opera productions have often been broadcast on PBS. But never before on a sizeable movie theater screens this way.

  • December 28, 2006

    Cinema advertising breaks new barriers

    Cellit is introducing texting technology to be incorportated into preshow ads.

    Cellit, LLC announced today its landmark agreement with Cinema Screen Media, LLC (CSM) to provide mobile marketing services to CSM’s clients. CSM’s on-screen advertisers will now be able to incorporate text messaging features into their pre-movie slideshow display, creating innovative, interactive promotions. CSM will start offering these services in the Phoenix metro area, while planning for a national roll-out.

    Using Cellit’s technology, moviegoers can interact with specific promotions showcased in the pre-movie slideshow. By texting the advertiser’s selected keyword to a special 5-digit phone number included in the pre-movie slideshow, the audience can obtain additional product information, text their vote on a topic, or participate in games and contests.

    To read more, go to Broadcast Newsroom.

  • December 20, 2006

    Movie Manners courtesy of Cinema Sightlines

    Since movie manners have been brought up a lot lately in a number of pieces on this site, I thought it would be good to visit one of the pioneering voices on this subject, Cinema Sightlines. TJ Edwards wrote an article on it over 10 years ago which has since been imitated but never duplicated. Here is the opening:

    Going out to movies has become a rare event for many of us. Is it because of high prices, lackluster theatres, bad presentation, or bad movies? Yes, all of the above … but not entirely. What most of us like least about viewing movies in public is … the public! How often have you had an expensive visit to the movies ruined by the inconsiderate behavior of others? Has your “Cinema Paradiso” become “Cinema Masochismo?”

    It happens nearly every time I go the movies. After paying at least $10 to sit in a lackluster cinebox, plus another $11 for cold popcorn and warm soda, I try to enjoy a long-anticipated film. I have arrived early to find a good seat. Inevitably, just as the film begins, someone will come in with big hair, a big head, or a big mouth, who’ll bypass numerous empty seats to park directly in front of me. If the theatre has stadium seating, they will sit directly behind me with their feet on the back of my seat.

    To read the full article, go to Cinema Sightlines. Soon, there will be even more information on Cinema Sightlines chronicling the moviegoing experience so keep your eyes out!

    Feel free to give your thoughts on any other movie manners not discussed, if you’ve had similar experiences, or how we should deal with offenders?