• August 16, 2006

    Baghadad cinemas struggling

    BAGHDAD, IRAQ — With the all the turmoil in the country, few people are going out in search of entertainment.

    In the capital of this warring country, where days beat to the percussion of bombings and gunfire and nights are spent locked down under a citywide curfew, Baghdad’s remaining moviegoers are all lonely souls.

    The showing at the cavernous Semiramis cinema, with its 1,800 red velvet seats and two balconies, attracted just 11 people, each of them sitting by themselves.

    For more, read the full story in the Washington Post.

  • August 14, 2006

    More news on Cinemark acquisition

    PLANO, TX — Here are some more stats regarding the Cinemark buyout of Century Theatres announced last week.

    Cinemark has 202 theaters and 2,469 screens in 34 states. It also has theaters in 13 countries, mainly in Mexico, South and Central America.

  • August 11, 2006

    IMAX stock plunges

    TORONTO, CANADA — With IMAX still not able to find a buyer, the company’s stocks are falling:

    Shares of large-screen movie theater company Imax Corp. plunged more than 40 percent early on Thursday, as investors ignored improved earnings and focused on an accounting inquiry by U.S. regulators and the fact that the company still hasn’t found a buyer.

    Imax fell $3.96, or 41 percent, to $5.67, on the Nasdaq. In Toronto, the shares dropped C$4.36 to C$6.41. The sell-off was also spurred by analysts who battered the stock with downgrades.

    For more, you can read the full story on Reuters-Canada.

    (Thanks to Snaperture for the photo.)

  • Theater chains looking for new opportunities

    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.

  • Studios to ok copying downloads to disc

    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 8, 2006

    Cinemark Buys Century Theatres

    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

    Mark Cuban on the moviegoing experience

    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

    Crown Theatres' take on moviegoing trends

    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.

  • Dolby introducing new 3-D technology

    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

    The Return of Drive-In Movie Theaters

    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)