August 11, 2006
More and more, theater chains are scratching their heads, looking for new ways to hook in an ever-abandoning public:
This year’s 4 percent upswing at the domestic box office is more than just a welcome relief to beleaguered movie-theater chains. It is a chance to uncork a bottled-up desire to make deals.
One major transaction, Cinemark USA Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Century Theatres Inc., was struck this week, while a few other theater-related businesses — including No. 2 theater chain AMC Entertainment Inc. — are considering public offerings, analysts and investors say.
For more, read the full story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In a surprising turn of events, there is talk of movie studios endorsing a push for the copying of movie downloads to disc:
Accused often of being anti-consumer when it comes to digital media, the movie industry has plans to relax controls over how films are copied to DVDs.
In the past, watching a movie downloaded off the Web meant viewing it on a PC. Soon, people will be able to copy a digital movie onto a specially made DVD.
For more, visit the full story on ZDNet News.
August 9, 2006
Another giant merger between two chains will further conglomerate the theater playing field:
The Plano, Texas-based Cinemark USA theater chain is acquiring Century Theatres, based in San Rafael, Calif.
The two circuits announced Tuesday that they have entered into a purchase agreement under which Cinemark will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Century for a combination of cash and stock of Cinemark’s parent company.
For more, read the Full Story in the Hollywood Reporter.
August 3, 2006
On his blog, Mark Cuban responded to the hundreds of responses to him regarding how to make the moviegoing experience better. He provides some insights as to his plans with the Landmark Theaters Chain and some interesting ideas of his own for distribution.
Please visit The Mark Cuban Weblog for the full story.
Also, thanks to Christopher Campbell and his blog on cinematical for providing this as well as other relevant industry links along with some kind words about CT.
August 2, 2006
TRUMBULL, CT — With all the reports being released about how people are staying home more instead of going out to the theaters, the Director of Marketing for the Crown Theatres chain gives his opinions on the future of moviegoing:
Zvi Cole, director of marketing for Crown Theatres, takes a seat on the bench in the lobby of the Crown Marquis Theatres in Trumbull. Although it’s just before 9:30 a.m. last Tuesday, Cole watches as the lobby fills with families and camp groups taking advantage of the movie chain’s free Summer Kids Film Festival.
Not only do the moviegoers get to see “Madagascar,” but they also have the opportunity for some coloring or face painting.
For more information, read the full story in the Connecticut Post.
LOS ANGELES, CA — In order to compete with the growing explosion of 3-D projection, Dolby is creating new, less-expensive technology for theaters.
Dolby Laboratories said Monday they will be working in conjunction with German virtual reality company Infitec GmbH to develop a three-dimensional theater projection system for movie theaters. The companies hope the venture will bring consumers that entertain themselves at home with DVDs, the Internet and video games back to the theaters.
Dolby, best known for its movie theater surround-sound systems, will combine Infitec’s 3-D technology with a digital cinema playback system it created for movie theaters that converts 35-millimeter film projectors into digital projection systems.
For more, visit the full story in All Headline News.
August 1, 2006
AVERILL PARK, NY — A quiet growth in the number of drive-ins in the U.S. is causing some to believe that a new trend might be blooming in American Moviegoing:
It’s a smokers' and drinkers' paradise where pajama-clad children and crying babies are welcome and bug spray is essential: The drive-in movie theater is making a muted comeback in the United States.
While its not quite a return to the heyday of the 1950s, when there were more than 4,000 outdoor theaters across the country, 20 new drive-in cinemas have opened up during the past year, taking the national total to 420.
For the full story, read the full Reuters article.
(Image courtesy of SqueakyMarmot)
July 31, 2006
GRAND ISLAND, NE — A restored theater success story called the Grand Theatre in Grand Island, Nebraska was the setting for the world premiere of the documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat” on Wednesday, July 26, 2006. An audience of 150 filled the lovingly restored deco theater in downtown Grand Island to watch the 118 minute film.
A lively panel discussion occurred after the film with board members of the Grand, the film-makers and real estate developer, Paul Warshauer from Chicago. Although it is billed as a preservation film, it is really the story of three failed attempts to restore old theatres in Omaha, Boston, and Lombard, IL.
July 27, 2006
In order to draw audiences away from smaller independent theaters and from home theaters, AMC has started an initiative to split its programming in some theaters between mainstream and indy flicks:
Plush stadium seats. Surround sound. Miles of movie screen. Multiplexes might seem to have it all — as long as you’re willing to watch flicks about pirates or comic book heroes.
But fans of independent film, accustomed to seeking out their favorites at art houses or on DVD, are getting a bigger welcome at mainstream movie theaters these days — led by AMC Theatres, the company that invented the two-screen multiplex in 1963 and the 24-screen “megaplex” in 1995.
For the full story, visit the Journal News article.
July 21, 2006
According to this report, the Academy is considering issuing new rules to drive distribution back into theaters:
Many industry analysts predict that it’s just a matter of time before movies are released simultaneously to theaters, home video and/or pay-per-view TV.
But perhaps not, if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has anything to say about it.
AMPAS is considering a rules change that would make films released simultaneously on the big and little screen ineligible for Oscar consideration.
For the full report, visit the Mercury News Article.