July 6, 2005
Gizmodo has an interesting blog post about the so-called death of the movies.
“The Taipei Times — and the rest of the world — is bemoaning the death of the movie business. People stay at home, get Netflix, drink a beer or six, and watch Godzilla vs. Mothra for hours at a clip. No one goes to the movies anymore. Hundreds of ushers are out of work every day. Popcorn machines are idle. The movies themselves, of late, are dreck.
I think the real key is that people don’t like to go to movie theaters. As a result, new movies get seen at home, where it’s a bit harder to track box office receipts. I suspect that any movie that comes out now will get 30% of it’s receipts from the theaters. The rest comes from everything else: DVDs, rentals, TV, etc. We have so much to watch that we don’t want to go anywhere. We need to stay at home just to catch up, and we catch up long after the movie hits, and fades from, the theatre."
June 21, 2005
According to this story from Yahoo News, the long-discussed merger between AMC Theatres and Loews Cineplex is about to become official.
What this means in terms of theatre divestment or zones with competing AMC and Loews properties (the AMC Empire 25 and Loews 42nd Street E-Walk in Times Square and the 600 N. Michigan, Esquire, and AMC River East 21 sites in Chicago, among other examples) remains to be seen.
May 25, 2005
The Associated Press takes an interesting look at the history of the megaplex…
While it seems as if gigantic movie theaters have been with us forever, the megaplex theater — defined as having 14 or more screens and modern amenities like stadium-style seating — turned 10 years old last week.
AMC Entertainment opened the first, the Grand 24 in Dallas, on May 19, 1995, ushering in a concept that used its scale to change how movies are shown. Ticket prices and audience expectations have gone up in the 10 years since, and megaplexes now face problems of their own.
The idea was to match the successful “big-box” stores sprouting across suburbia, said Peter Brown, chief executive officer of Kansas Citybased AMC, which now operates 229 theaters, 77 percent of which are megaplexes.
Pretty interesting read. There’s more at the East Valley Tribune website.
May 23, 2005
CANADA — A recent story in the Globe and Mail reported that Cineplex Galaxy movie theatre chain is considering buying its biggest competitor – Famous Players.
If the sale takers place and is approved by the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau, Cineplex-Galaxy would own slightly more than 70 percent of Canada’s movie screens.
The story also includes a hint of what to expect in the future when you buy your ticket. According to the head of Cineplex-Galaxy, there will be about 20 minutes of ads and promo’s projected digitally before the lights go out for the main feature. This is seen as a way to keep the price of tickets down.
May 20, 2005
PROVO, UT — This just crossed BusinessWire — The Sundance Group has just announced new plans for an art house circuit:
“The Utah-based Sundance Group announced today that it is going forward with long held plans for a Sundance Cinemas movie theatre circuit. The new venture brings together Robert Redford’s Sundance brand, a recognized name in independent film, with the seasoned specialized theatre management team of Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari. Investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management are financing the new company.
Richardson will serve as President and CEO, with Manzari taking the reins as President of Film and Marketing. The Cinemas will strive to incorporate the best in independent, documentary, and foreign language film, as well as quality studio films, and original programming, which will include shorts, filmmaker interviews, forums, and other value added features.
May 4, 2005
According to this article,) from the New York Times, Loews Theatres' newspaper and web-based advertisements will soon begin making note that their feature presentations begin 10 to 15 minutes after the show time actually given.
So, now, people who don’t want to watch advertisements will know exactly when they’ll be able to arrive and not find a very good seat. ;)
April 22, 2005
The following was sent in by “focus”:
“Performing Art Centers Of Indiana, LLC. was established to work with historical theatre owners and communities, to restore classical downtown theatres into state of the art performing art centers.
‘Restoration of a historical theatre is an important contribution to the theatre culture of each community they serve,’ said Mr. Monde President of the company, ‘but the success of the theatre goes beyond the restoration phase.’
April 21, 2005
NEW YORK, NY — The travails, quirks, and general trend of luxury, reserved seating—from a New York City perspective—via this recent New York Times article).
March 28, 2005
SCARSDALE, NY — Theater architect Henry George Greene, who designed more than 80 live and movie theaters during the 1960’s and 70’s, died earlier this month at the age of 93.
Greene worked for ABC during its theater operating days as a consulting architect and may be most famous for designing the original Cine Capri in Phoenix—still mourned by moviegoers across the state.
For information, read the New York Times obituary.
March 17, 2005
I’m David Balaban, Grandson of David Balaban, director of theater operations for Balaban and Katz until 1949. I’m writing a book entitled, “ The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz” The book will be published in December of 2005. It will contain hundreds of pictures of Balaban and Katz theaters, people and never before seen documents about the unique company that my family operated. If you have a Balaban and Katz memory or picture, please email it to me for possible inclusion in the book. Thanks!