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.
July 19, 2006
HOLLYWOOD, CA — The Movie Advisory Board took an exit poll of people that saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean film and it points towards a preference for seeing movies in actual theaters as opposed to at home:
Having measured the desire of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest moviegoers to see the film in- theater, the Movie Advisory Board, a joint initiative between Nielsen Entertainment and MovieTickets.com, announced today the results of a survey of over 1700 moviegoers who had seen Pirates from its opening through last week. 89% of Pirates theatergoers stated they would have still seen the film in a movie theater, even if it was available on the day of its theatrical release, either for sale or rental.
For all the statistics, visit the Full Report on Yahoo.
Here is some more information direct from AMC regarding the new matinee policy:
Kansas City, Mo (July 13, 2006) —– AMC Theatres today announced the launch of A.M.Cinema, a new program providing early-morning guests the opportunity to see first-run movies at the best ticket price of the day. Beginning Friday, July 14, 2006, the program invites moviegoers to visit their local AMC theatre before noon Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays* to enjoy ticket prices of $4, $5 or $6 depending on the theatre and market. A.M.Cinema is available at more than 300 AMC theatres in the U.S. including AMC Loews theatres, AMC Star theatres, AMC Magic Johnson theatres and AMC Cineplex Odeon theatres. The program will also be offered at AMC’s seven Canadian locations beginning Friday, July 21, 2006.
For the full press release, please visit the AMC Site
There is still no word if Regal Entertainment or any other major chain will follow suit.
July 17, 2006
NEW YORK, NY — AMC theaters has instituted a policy of $6 morning showings at their showings at their Manhattan theaters in NYC.
Some lucky Manhattan moviegoers got a huge surprise with their popcorn yesterday morning – $6 tickets.
“I’m in shock; this is fantastic,” said a smiling Danny Rivera of Greenwich Village, who stepped up to the ticket counter of the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street and learned that two tickets for “The Pirates of the Caribbean” would set him back only $12 – not the $21.50 he was expecting.
For the full story, please follow this link:NY Post Article on AMC
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.