May 23, 2003
LONDON, UK — According to Yahoo News, EasyInternetCafe and Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has opened Easycinema, a new low-cost, no-frills movie theater.
How low-cost, you ask? Well, since Easycinema uses the same pricing technique first pioneered by its intercafe sibiling, EasyInternetCafe, ticket prices will be based on demand.
So, if you buy early, tickets will be as cheap as 33 cents. But as demand fluctuates, the price will be raised or lowered, depending on availability. If a movie becomes very popular, patrons will be charged a full-ticket price (approximately $8 in the UK).
In addition to the cheap tickets, Easycinema will do away with both box offices and concession stands…
“We’re keeping it as simple as possible,” said James Rothnie, an easyGroup spokesman, adding he believed it was the first such scheme in the world. “There’ll be no rip-off popcorn, no catering of any sort. If you want to eat and drink, bring your own.”
So far, not surprisingly, response from film distributors has been less than supportive, with some refusing to book blockbusters with Easycinema. But, regardless, the new company will certainly prove to be an interesting experiment for the exhibition industry.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Also according to Yahoo News, an appeals court has upheld a previous decision giving the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority the right to seize and redevelop the Garden Theater as part of an urban renewal project.
The legal battle, ongoing since 1997, had pitted the First Amendment rights of owner George Androtsakis (who used the Garden to show adult movies) against the city’s right to use eminent domain (in pursuit of its $45 million urban renewal project).
May 22, 2003
BAGHDAD, IRAQ — The Baltimore Sun is reporting that movie theaters in newly-liberated Baghdad, many of which reopened in the past few weeks, have been ordered to shutdown by Sheik Mohammed al-Fartusi, a local Muslim cleric.
While it appears that only some theaters have responded to the Sheik’s decree, many others are taking it seriously, cutting short advertising campaigns or reducing their visible street presence (by hiding posters and other signage).
May 16, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA —
The following was sent in by “Save The Sameric”:
At a luncheon ceremony attended by Mayor Street of Philadelphia, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia presented the Community Action Award to The Committee to Save the Sameric, Howard B. Haas, Chairman.
The Committee to Save the Sameric was formed in June 2002 following the issuance of a demolition permit for historic Boyd Theater in Philadelphia. Dedicated members of the film community, film buffs, and preservationists were brought together by Howard B. Haas, a Center City lawyer, to create a grass-roots campaign to preserve the theater. Media support and petitions signed by 5000 individuals eventually led to Mayor Street’s endorsement for preservation.
Although the future of the theater is still in question, the efforts of hundreds of volunteers-coordinated by a leadership group consisting of Haas, Shawn Evans, AIA, Michael Norris, Jay Farrell, Rob Bender, Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Adrian Scott Fine, and John Andrew Gallery-have demonstrated the effectiveness of grass-roots preservation action and given hope that the Boyd will be returned to its Art Deco splendor.
Haas accepted the award and pointed out in particular the heroic volunteer assistance of architect Shawn Evans, but noted that Philadelphia’s last movie palace has not been saved yet and asked the 300 people in the audience to help.
Congratulations to Howard Haas and Shawn Evans and all of the supporters of Save The Sameric for a job incredibly well done!
May 8, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — “Save the Sameric,” the preservation organization fighting to save the shuttered Boyd/Sameric Theater, will hold an event for Preservation Month on Tuesday, May 13th, at 6 PM at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Helen Corning Ward Theater, 1920 Spruce Street in Philadelphia.
This is a free event with a lecture, illustrated with slides, featuring an overview of the fate and preservation of historic movie palaces throughout the U.S. The presentation will also highlight Philadelphia movie palaces, including the Boyd (Sameric), by Adrian Fine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Save the Sameric architect, Shawn Evans.
Reservations can be made by calling (215) 546-1146 x10.
For more information on this event or the group, visit their website.
April 12, 2003
The following was sent in from the Oasis Theatre:
The original Pasadena California Warner Egyptian Theatre (AKA Uptown Theatre) has started restoration for musical stage productions. Famous Broadway Producer, Michael Butler has voiced an interest in producing HAIR 2003 and other musicals at this location.
Currently known as the Oasis Theatre. Located at 2316 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA. 90017, skilled craftmens are needed for the project. Anyone interested in participating should contact Oasis owner, James Perry at (626)844-8886 for more information.
April 7, 2003
Cinema Treasures is proud to announce that we’ve reached another milestone — 3,500 theaters … and counting!
In addition to adding more of your theater submissions, we’ve begun our long overdue effort to update our theater entries. If your update isn’t posted yet, it will be soon.
As we look forward to reaching the 4,000-theater mark, we’d just like to thank all of you for your continued support over the past few years. We’d also like to extend a special thank you to Bryan Krefft who has been serving as the new theater editor during 2003.
Thanks again everyone and enjoy!
April 1, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The recent fundraiser held by the Friends of the Boyd raised over $6,000 from ticket sales for “The Show-Off,” proceeds from the sale of a new print of the 1928 Boyd theater facade by artist Lynne Neuman, and other donations.
Added to a new $7,500 grant from the Fels Foundation, and the organization is more than half way to their goal of raising $25,000 that is needed to match a city grant of the same figure.
Howard Haas writes of the fundraiser:
[Philadelphia Inquirer film critic] Carrie Rickey gave a wonderful introduction, Warner Bros. sent us a beautiful archival print that looked new (which will help save a movie palace built by the Warner chain), Don Kinnier’s piano playing was perfect, and I was happy to speak to so many of you at our reception.
Photos of people in the auditorium & at the reception are on our website homepage, scroll down to Show-Off, click on photos! Because we had an overflow crowd, we raised a substantial amount of money for the business & architectural studies we need. We also had to turn away some latecomers, so it was good so many purchased tickets in advance or early.
More information can be found in the following articles and editorial:
March 28, 2003
SOMERVILLE, MA — “The Lost Theatres of Somerville” is a special year long exhibit that opens tomorrow at 5:00 pm at the Somerville Museum.
The exhibit focuses on the the fourteen cinemas “that once thrived in this small working class city near Boston and how these ‘nabes’ — neighborhood cinemas — fostered a sense of place and common culture.”
According to Mimi Graney, “The exhibit includes a wealth of archival photographs, contemporary photos, and all sorts of memorabilia from tickets and posters to a ten foot neon marquee. [We also have] a series of lectures coming up in April and others planned for the rest of the year long run.”
Hopefully this exhaustive study of Somerville’s theaters, which couples other such efforts by theater historians such as Cesar Del Valle, will inspire more of these around the county.
We’ll continue to update you about special events surrounding this terrific exhibit.
Thanks to Mimi Graney for keeping us updated and to David Guss for reminding all of us what we’ve lost.
March 24, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The original 1964 Andorra Theater, last known as the AMC Andorra 8, is slated to be demolished and replaced by a fitness center.
This all too familiar story serves as a reminder that the most endangered theaters in the country have, of late, been those built after 1960.