August 31, 2006
LIVINGSTON, AL — The Sumter Theatre in the this small Alabama town stays alive by going the extra mile for each of its few customers.
Livingston, outside the University of West Alabama, is a town of 3,048 in Sumter County, some 172 miles north of Mobile. It’s a sleepy town that got sleepier when Wal-Mart moved out in January.
Smitty said he’s not a natural businessman. He ran a store in town that failed. The movie theater isn’t doing much better financially, but he doesn’t have the debt this time. “We tread water,” he said. Some days he only has one person watch a movie. Fifteen is a good day, he said.
For more, read the full story in the Press-Register.
PICKERINGTON, OH — Following in the footsteps of their property in North Columbus, Marcus Theatres is building a separate new 400 seat theater adjacent to their Pickerington Cinemas. The theater will house a significantly larger screen than normal along with luxury seating.
For an extra 50 cents a ticket, moviegoers will be able to enjoy an extra-wide screen at Marcus Cinema Pickerington beginning next spring.
Marcus Theatres Corp. said Wednesday it will house a 70-foot wide UltraScreen — nearly three times wider than regular screens — in a building adjacent to its 16-screen Marcus Cinema Pickerington.
For all the details, read the article in the Columbus Bizjournals.
August 30, 2006
DURHAM, NC — The Phoenix Theatres chain is succeeding by avoiding competition and offering audiences new amenities. By putting extra thought into the markets they open theaters in and their specific clientele, the chain is becoming extremely popular in its respective areas.
“There is no theater in the north of Durham. You don’t get another theater [heading north] until you get to Roxboro,” said Zacheretti, flashing a smile as he contemplates the competitive landscape. Phoenix Theatres operates 84 screens from Kansas to Florida.
In an industry where the giant chains keep consolidating, small operators such as Phoenix and even smaller independents still find ways to entice moviegoers and make a buck.
For more, read the full story in the News & Observer.
August 29, 2006
REDWOOD CITY, CA — Downtown Redwood City was expected to be booming with the opening of a new complex. Instead, it looks like people might have overestimated the need for another multiplex.
The fate of the old movie house off Highway 101 remains a cloudy script, although city officials and business leaders still hope Century Theatres will close it to enhance the draw at the new cinema-retail complex downtown.
As it stands, keeping Century Park 12 along the highway in business has partly been blamed on the sluggish start of the On Broadway complex a mile away. The centerpiece of the complex, a 20-screen cinema, opened July 28.
For more, read the full story in Inside Bay Area.
August 25, 2006
PHOENIX, AZ — Harkins is building a new state-of-the-art multiplex at the center of the Shops of Norterra complex that aims to be all-digital.
Moviegoers will be able to watch movies from new high-back rocker seats when Harkins opens a new 14-screen movie theater at the upcoming “Shops at Norterra.”
The theater scheduled to open in spring 2007 will be just off Interstate 17 at Happy Valley Road and Norterra Parkway.
For more, read the full story at newszap.
August 24, 2006
HUNTINGTON, WV — Even though, it is no longer an operating movie theater, plans are moving ahead for the Keith-Albee’s next generation.
The Keith-Albee Theatre in downtown Huntington is too important to let die. Too important for the downtown, too important to the Marshall Artists Series and too important to the region as a whole.
The theater closed as a movie house in January. Efforts began immediately to save and restore the Keith-Albee as a performing arts center. Last week came word that those plans are progressing.
For more, read the full story in the Herald-Dispatch.
August 23, 2006
TEMPE, AZ — With more and more megaplexes opening in close proximity to each other, this Arizona County is in the midst of a theater chain war.
Blockbuster competition isn’t limited to Talladega Nights vs. World Trade Center.
The country’s largest theater operators are going head-to-head with Scottsdale-based Harkins Theatres by building multimillion-dollar cineplexes closer together than ever, just a mile or two apart in Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa and other parts of the Valley.
In the theater world, that’s close enough to be considered neighbors, but not friendly ones.
For more, read the full story in the Arizona Republic.
CULPEPER, VA — The State Theatre received a large donation to help it reopen as an arts center.
The fire in Atlanta, Ga. – as portrayed in the movie – really burned the city to the ground in 1864. But like the post-Civil War south, the Pitts Theatre – renamed State in 1973 – will rise again.
And the Smoot family – longtime proprietors of Cherry Street Building Supply on Orange Road – is helping to hoist it with a $50,000 donation.
For more, read the full story in the Culpepper Star-Exponent.
August 17, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Brattle Theatre is currently in financial trouble due to art-house competition as well as the DVD market.
Six months ago, the Brattle Theatre, the landmark, single-screen art house movie theater in Harvard Square, announced that unless it raised $500,000 in 2006, it would have to close its doors.
The good news is that about halfway to its deadline, the theater has raised about half the money ($270,000). The bad news is that the Brattle’s financial challenges aren’t likely to go away, even if they hit their target.
For more, read the full story in The Somerville Journal.