July 14, 2006
A look into theaters around the world and how they cater to their different audiences:
The lights dimmed, the crowd in the theatre hushed, and I settled into my seat with anticipation of the movie to come. But suddenly everyone stood up. On-screen, images of the Thai king drifted across in collages as swelling music played in the background. I stumbled to my feet to join the rest of the crowd as everyone paid a pre-film homage to the beloved monarch.
Read the full report on Straight.com.
July 13, 2006
We recently completed a documentary film on film exhibition and distribution in Russia:
THE PROVINCE OF LOST FILM
Dir. Alexander Gershtein, Thomas Lahusen, Tracy McDonald, Alexander Nikitin. 46 min., 21 sec.
Digital video; color and b&w.
Russian with English subtitles.
For a synopsis and a trailer, see: www.chemodanfilms.com
MILWAUKEE, WI — Lou Rugani of Kenosha Wis., was kind enough to send me this notice from a local paper. Whether one could call this to-be-built complex of screens wth a raucous lobby of “entertainment” a “Movie Palace” is up to the observer, but I guess it is good for this ritzy suburb of Milwaukee. Double Grande Staircases? Something tells me they won’t be of marble, but at least there is more attention to decor. I wonder if they will have lines of different color LEDs in the carpeting to help one find his screening room among the 16?! All they will be missing is a platoon of ushers to keep the vastness under control. And no mention of digital projection, hmmmmm. Still I give them my Best Wishes, even though they do still own one of the most glorious true movie palaces in the Midwest; the former WARNER, now called the GRAND in downtown Milw., now sitting dark, low these eleven years now with little effort by Marcus to re-program and reopen it. I guess their definition of ‘movie palace’ has changed. Jim Rankin, Milwaukee
Marcus theaters Corp., a division of Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp., is making the dinner-and-a-movie date a one-destination affair. Marcus announced Thursday it will break ground July 12 on The Majestic, a 16-screen movie theater complex in the town of Brookfield that will include an Italian cafe, a coffee and ice cream shop, a lounge and an auditorium for live performances and meetings.
July 7, 2006
The THS Awards Banquet at the Boston Conclave was a grand and exciting occasion! And the winners are:
This year saw the inauguration of our first annual CREATING THEATRE HISTORY AWARD which will be given each year to a theater or a person as selected by the Local Conclave Chairs to honor excellence within our conclave area. The committee this year selected CESAREO PALAEZ and the Cabot Street Theatre in Beverly MA. Cesareo’s story of his escape from Cuba as a young boy and his subsequent success in America is heartwarming. His childhood love of theaters led him to buy and restore this fabulous French Deco delight and use it to house his world famous magic shows.
THE BOOK OF THE YEAR went to THEATRES OF BOSTON by our late member Don King. This book was a long time project of Mr. King and was published after his death thanks to the dedication and determination of his friends. THS Northeast Director Bob Stinson accepted the award in Don’s memory.
The HONORARY MEMBER OF THE YEAR was given to Bob Ohmann who singlehandedly restored his family business The Ohmann Theater in Lyons, NY. Mr. Ohmann today is a successful developer in North Carolina but never lost his love of his grandfather’s vintage theater in the small canal town of Western NY state. Bob used his own resources and work crews to recreate the simple beauty of the theater while updating the projection and stage equipment to accomodate modern presentation.
And the main award of the night…. MEMBER OF THE YEAR went to Dr. John Kiesendahl for his many years of quiet service to THS. Dr. John heads up our all-important Elections Committee which does not get much public attention but plays a vital part in the smooth operations of your Society. Dr. John also produced, with Dr. Tom DuBuque, the wildly popular and successful Kansas City Conclave in 2004.
Congratulations to all of our winners!
Also at the Boston Conclave, the THS Board appointed two long time members to fill board vacancies until the 2007 elections.
In the SouthWest: FRED BEALL has agreed to represent the region. Fred has previously served THS as Secretary and has attended many conclaves over the years. He has always been a strong supporter of the organization and is looking forward to contacting the members in his region.
In the MidAtlantic: (formerly known as the Mideast region) Founding member Fr. Francis Early is stepping back into the THS inner circle to guide the region. His duties to his parish prevented him from being as active in THS as he would have liked for many years, but thankfully he is now at a point where he can devote a bit more time to his enjoyment of historic theaters and to the organization in which he was a charter member alongside Bro. Andrew and Ben Hall as founders.
For more information on Theatre Historical Society please visit our website at www.historictheatres.org
June 30, 2006
The Boston Globe reports that many drive-in theaters are considering a switch to digital:
The owners of the 406 surviving drive-in theaters in the US have long memories: They can recall 10-cent Cokes, B-movies like “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein,” and tail-finned Cadillacs driving off with the speaker still clipped to the window.
And many use the same equipment from the golden age of the double feature: At the Wellfleet Drive-In, for example, the original projector from 1957 is still switched on every summer evening.
The country’s remaining drive-ins, including five in Massachusetts, have managed to endure the onslaught of television, the multiplex, and the VCR, as well as the rising real estate values that can make selling the land beneath a drive-in irresistible. But the newest concern among drive-in owners is the advent of digital projection and the predicted obsolescence of celluloid.
June 20, 2006
“From Penny Arcade To Megaplex” is the title of a current exhibition at the Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria Queens celebrating the 100th anniversary of Loew’s Theatres. The exhibition includes over 75 historic photos, artifacts and archival film footage from motion picture premieres.
June 9, 2006
This is exactly the kind of shift in mindset the theatrical distribution industry needs to adopt. It’s not the final answer, but at least someone is making an effort to stem the tide, independent of the studios… who I really don’t think care how they get their money, as long as it keeps rolling in.
Cineplex Entertainment Goes Big
TORONTO, ONTARIO — (MARKET WIRE) — 05/29/2006 — See movies the way they are meant to be seen
Cineplex Entertainment (TSX: CGX.UN), Canada’s leading motion picture exhibition company, today launched an innovative advertising campaign. This is the first ad campaign of its kind to be launched by a major motion picture exhibitor in North America. The ad campaign’s tagline, “Go Big” provides a point of comparison for seeing movies on the big screen versus other substantially smaller home entertainment options. By focusing the message on the cinema experience, Cineplex intends to make movie-going Canadian’s first choice for out-of-home entertainment.
“This is an exciting first for our company and the North American exhibition industry overall; we are delighted to take a leading role in raising awareness for the exceptional movie experience possible only by experiencing movies on the big screen,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment. “Cineplex prides itself on being a leader in the North American exhibition industry and the entertainment industry as a whole.”
The theme of the campaign, which was created in partnership with advertising agency Endeavor, takes a humourous and informative approach at comparing the in-theatre movie experience with at-home television viewing. The average movie screen is 50 feet wide and by contrast the average television is 50 inches wide. When the two are directly compared, there simply is no comparison for watching a movie on a small screen.
June 2, 2006
Thanks to newer technology, theaters have been experimenting with non-movie content for a while… concerts, sports games, and lectures. In a new report, the Associated Press looks into the rising interest in digital concerts.
Combining rock shows and movie theaters is an idea at least as old as 1970’s “Woodstock,” the movie version of the previous year’s legendary three-day festival. But advances in technology are making it easier to pull off events like the May 9 Widespread Panic show — when the concert was beamed live to 114 theaters around the country, from California to Florida.
And an increasingly competitive marketplace is making the special events attractive for bands looking to reach new audiences and offer something special for their existing fans.
“The artists, the managers, the promoters … have all come to see there is a terrific value in bringing their music to movie-theater screens so fans can gather together to see them nationally — but in a very local and personal way,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of digital programming for Big Screen Concerts.
June 1, 2006
I ran across MovieBinge over the weekend:
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Movie Binge team will watch every major movie released. Are we crazy? Stupid? Attractive? The answer is always yes. Follow along as we try to watch all 85 films.
So, what do you think? Are they crazy or geniuses?!?