• January 4, 2007

    New Jersey cinema highlights the films of India

    NORTH BERGEN, NJ — Not just a single screen theater but a multiplex, Cineplaza, committed to Indian films is turning heads in North Jersey. With more theaters like this sprouting up around the country, are specialized foreign film centers, the next way art houses will attempt to separate themselves from the chains?

    Swollen ticket lines, shouting children, tempers rising as the movies sold out: This was any suburban multiplex during the holidays.

    But different.

    Vada pav sandwiches and mango kulfi were sold at the concession stand. Conversations were in Gujarati or Hindi. A poster in the lobby advertised an action film starring Aishwarya Rai on one of six screens showing Indian cinema.

    To read more, go to the New York Times.

  • December 29, 2006

    New owners to restore the historic Strand Theater

    HAMBURG, PA — The historic Strand Theater, a single-screen theater in Hamburg Borough dating back to 1920, has been newly acquired by a local Berks County couple.

    Christmas Day, eighty-six years ago, The Strand Theater first opened with the silent film,“The Whistling Devil.” It was not until March 1930 that the first talky, “Untamed,” was shown. Movies were only shown four days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday); the decision to stay closed on Sundays made by allowing patrons to vote on the issue. Currently, The Strand continues to operate only four days a week, Friday through Monday evenings. The remainder of the week, both days and evenings, the theater sits dark.

    The new owners plan to have the theater operating at full capacity; opening throughout the week and, showing not only movies Friday through Monday, but serving as an avenue for the arts as well as for a multitude of events the remainder of the week.

  • December 26, 2006

    National Amusements launch ticket price war in Flint, Michigan market

    FLINT, MI — National Amusements has temporarily lowered ticket prices at its three first-run megaplexes in the Flint, Michigan market. For a limited time, ticket prices have been reduced to $6 for evening shows and $4 for matinees, seniors and children at the Showcase Cinemas Flint East in Burton, the Showcase Cinemas Flint West in Flint Township and the Cinema 10 in Flint Township.

    It is believed the lowered ticket prices are due to the local economy as well as new competition with the NCG Trillium Cinemas in Grand Blanc Township.

    More information can be found in The Flint Journal.

  • December 25, 2006

    Disney’s ‘Meet the Robinsons’ topical PSA

    Take a look at this public service announcement, presumably to be shown in cinemas when the upcoming animated film is released. I’m sure you’ll all get a chuckle. (Although I do think that it’s a bit naive to redress popcorn eaters for being ‘too noisy’, seeing as theater operators depend on bags and bags of this stuff being sold!)

  • December 15, 2006

    Vine Cinema reaching crossroads

    LIVERMORE, CA — On the eve of its fiftieth anniversary, the Vine Cinema is celebrating its existence despite having to make many modifications over the years. However, with a new theater opening nearby, a format change may be the next step to ensure its future success.

    As the city prepares for its new movie multiplex to open, the two-screen theater down the road is getting ready to celebrate 50 years of business.

    The Vine Cinema, which has become somewhat of a landmark in downtown Livermore, is gearing up for its 50th anniversary.

    The cinema has seen some changes over the years — the conversion into a two-screen complex in the mid-1970s and a stint as a second-run movie theater in the 1980s.

    For more, go to Inside Bay Area.

  • December 8, 2006

    Movie Theatre History Book

    ST. LOUIS, MO — Wehrenberg Theatres is celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year. They have had a number of fun promotions throughout the year including $1.00 admission days and $1.00 sodas and popcorn.

    The neatest thing they have done is document their history in a new book called “100 Years of Reel Entertainment” by Stephen Debellis. The book weaves the circuit’s history into the history of Hollywood complete with pictures of their old and new theatres in the Midwest. The book is available online at their website.

  • December 7, 2006

    Historical significance of Cape May’s endangered Beach Theater

    CAPE MAY, NJ — The Beach Theater is now the subject of a demolition application. Let us hope that people are aware of the historical significance of this structure.

    First of all, the theater was designed by the noted architect William H. Lee of Philadelphia who designed many theaters along the Jersey shore. Unfortunately, this is one of the last of his theaters that remains, particularly in the southern part of the state.

    It is also one of the first, if not THE first theater in the country to be designed with retail stores attached, a style that is still duplicated today on a much larger scale, in many shopping malls. Secondly, the builder of the theater was Mr. William C. Hunt. Mr. Hunt began one of the nation’s first “nickelodeons” in Camden, NJ and built an empire in the theater business.

    Any and all efforts should be made to save this structure before it is too late. Any suggestions and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Time is crucial, as a hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 11, 2006 before the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.

  • AMC Loew’s $6.00 Bargain Matinees continue

    Many people are still unaware of this, so I just wanted to repost this after enjoying a few films in AMC Loews NYC theaters early Sunday mornings for an incredible $6.00 as opposed to $10.25 charged after 12 Noon. And it’s not mentioned in their NYC ads either.

    You get your choice of seats and can arrive at the box office only minutes before showtime. No long lines or trash elements to contend with. It’s great!!

    This bargain matinee rate is in effect everyday at all of their theaters nationwide.

    This is probably one of the best consumer bargains in NYC and elsewhere other than the few remaining cheapo second run houses out there.

  • December 6, 2006

    Happy 100th, Baker Theater!

    DOVER, NJ — Yesterday, the Baker Theater celebrated its 100th Birthday. In great shape after a recent renovation, the theater currently hosts as many as ten events each month.

    When it opened 100 years ago with the showing of a romantic play, the Baker Theater was billed as the largest and finest vaudeville playhouse in New Jersey and the surrounding region.

    The theater then went through ups and downs as it transformed over decades from a major vaudeville playhouse to a movie theater — it featured the first talking motion picture shown in Morris County — to a rock concert hall to its current state as a venue for weddings, sweet-16 parties, concerts and shows.

    For more, go to The Daily Record.

    To hear more about their events, go to The Baker’s Website.

  • December 4, 2006

    IMAX Theater Coming to Grand Blanc, MI

    GRAND BLANC, MI — The NCG Trillium Cinemas in Grand Blanc outside Flint, owned by the Owosso, MI based Neighborhood Cinema Group, will break ground on an IMAX theater addition in May with a planned November 2007 opening.

    The 400-seat theater – with a 70-foot-wide extra-large screen, special sound system and three-dimensional capabilities – will be built adjacent to the NCG Cinemas on Holly Road, said Gary Geiger, co-owner of the Owosso-based NCG movie theater chain.

    “We think it’s a big deal,” Geiger said, adding the closest IMAX theaters to Genesee County are in Lansing and Sterling Heights. “This will be a totally new experience – sightwise and soundwise. And it will have unbelievable 3-D availability.”

    For more info, go to The Flint Journal.