The latest movie theater news and updates
August 22, 2017
From CurbedLA.com: Once poised for a revival and a mixed-use makeover, the landmark Westlake Theatre is now for sale.
The seller? CRA/LA, the successor agency to the defunct Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, which was dissolved under a 2011 state law. CRA/LA is tasked with winding down the business of the former redevelopment agency, and it’s looking to unload the historic venue—recognizable for its steel-framed rooftop neon sign—after failing to find a developer willing to partner on the redevelopment.
In 2016, it issued a request for proposals to rehab the theater and possibly build affordable housing and retail on four neighboring parcels. The goal was to make the area “an attractive regional arts and culture and entertainment destination … while offering employment, housing, education / institutional use and other services.”
But the request for proposals went unanswered, says Jimmy Chai, a broker with the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the property for CRA/LA.
From the Democrat & Chronicle: Movies 10 has another chance at delighting moviegoers in the Rochester area.
The theater, which closed in January, is now operated by Zurich Cinemas, a company that owns Pittsford Plaza Cinema 9, plus other theaters or drive-ins in Oswego, Elmira and Geneva. The theater was operated for 20 years by Cinemark, which also operates Tinseltown USA and IMAX in Gates.
The theater’s soft opening started on Friday, and a grand opening is planned for next weekend, said Pittsford Plaza Cinema 9 general manager Austin Wildey.
From The Daily Californian: As popular streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) saturate the market, it can be difficult — or even impossible — for a local movie theater to turn a profit.
The Oaks Theatre is likely a familiar landmark to pedestrians who frequent Berkeley’s Solano Avenue, with its classic marquee hovering above the sidewalk and vertical signboard visible from more than a block away.
On paper, the theater sounds like a magnet for activity. The 21,578-square-foot building, constructed in 1925, can host approximately 1,000 people between its two screens. Coffee shops, eateries, specialty stores and residences surround the venue, encouraging a steady stream of foot traffic through the area.
But the Oaks Theatre has sat empty since 2010, after the Metropolitan Theaters Corporation concluded its operations there. Its marquee is entirely blank — save for a smaller sign, advertising its sale by Gordon Commercial Real Estate Services for $4.25 million.
On Aug. 15, city councilmember Sophie Hahn announced in a press release that a contract has been developed for the theater to be sold to Touchstone Climbing — which, as of now, intends to convert the movie theater into a climbing gym. The details of the project, however, are not yet set in stone.
From Gizmodo.com: What is the sweet spot for getting people to join a movie theater ticket subscription service? For six years, MoviePass has struggled to answer that question and now, under former Netflix exec Mitch Lowe, it’s introducing a radical plan: Selling customers’ data and charging $10 a month for all the silver screen action you can fit into your life.
From the Asbury Park Press: The giant steel teeth of an excavator tore the back wall off the old West End movie theater, exposing rows of blue seats as the planned demolition began on Monday morning.
The 1970s-era theater on Ocean Boulevard, which hasn’t shown a movie in nearly 20 years, is being razed for a mixed-used building that will house a synagogue and seven retail storefronts.
Locals remember the theater as a popular hang out for “Indie-style” or independent movies.
“It was a good place to go on a Friday or Saturday night for a few bucks and then go over to the Ink Well for coffee,” said city resident and Long Branch Historical Association member Beth Woolley.
The theater opened on Feb. 15, 1974, with a showing of “Crazy Joe,” starring Peter Boyle and Walt Disney’s “Fantasia.”
The theater was called “The Movies I and II” and was a twin complex that could show two movies and sit 650 people. The Music Makers Theatre chain eventually acquired it.
Two vacant adjacent structures to the theater that were most recently occupied by a bagel shop, a uniform clothing store and an Italian restaurant will also be demolished — but at a later date. An unoccupied two-story apartment building behind the theater is also expected to be knocked down in the future.
“The theater is being demolished (Monday). At this point that is the only building that has been issued a demolition permit,” said Kevin B. Hayes, the city’s acting business administrator.
A video of the theater’s demolition can be seen above.
Chabad of the Shore, a nonprofit religious institution at 620 Ocean Ave., owns the buildings.
The Chabad of the Shore’s site plan was approved by the borough’s Planning Board last October, after initially being denied by the Zoning Board in 2013.
That rejection was made on the basis that religious uses were not permitted in the city’s West End, a neighborhood of small businesses and residences a block from the beach.
From the Buffalo News: After more than a three-year absence, Buffalo will once again get a downtown movie theater.
AMC Theatres, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, will open an eight-screen movie house in the former Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, 639 Main St., which closed in June 2014. The AMC Market Arcade 8 is expected to open in spring 2018.
“We think having an eight-screen, state-of-the-art AMC movie theater will make downtown Buffalo and the City of Buffalo an even more attractive destination for people living in the city, and living throughout the region,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “It will bring more excitement to the Theatre District, and more people who will patronize the various businesses and shows.”
The Benchmark Group announced in September 2014 that the Leawood, Kan.-based circuit had signed a letter of intent to open a movie theater. But a change of theater company executives after negotiations were well underway contributed to the 35-month delay, Benchmark officials said. AMC’s concerns over adequate parking, and the chain’s unfamiliarity with opening in an urban setting were also factors.
July 25, 2017
From Nerd Reactor: The best theater experience you’ll ever encounter is opening its milestone 100th theater in sunny Southern California. Today, Dolby announced that it has opened its 100th global Dolby Cinema location at AMC South Bay Galleria 16 in Redondo Beach, California.
“This global milestone highlights the strength of Dolby Cinema, with more than 325 Dolby Cinema sites installed or committed,” said Dolby in a statement. “As well as amazing studio support with more than 100 titles released or announced.”
Flushing, Queens, NY: After three decades, work finally begins on redeveloping historic Flushing theater
From Crain’s New York: Xinyuan Real Estate has started work on a Flushing, Queens, condo project being built around the RKO Keith’s Theater, a partially landmarked historic building that has gone through numerous owners and failed development attempts for decades.
The Chinese company, which recently completed a condo project on the Brooklyn waterfront called the Oosten, has selected Gilbane Building Co. as the contractor, according to permits filed with the Department of Buildings.
Xinyuan said that the project is moving forward on schedule, which according to documents submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission this spring, indicates that it is safeguarding and preserving the landmarked portions of the theater, which include the grand foyer and ticketing lobby. It then plans to shore up parts of the foundation supporting these areas before razing the rest of the building sometime this fall. The company is aiming to complete the project in 2020.
From MLive.com: The Hollywood adaptation of one of the most infamous moments in Detroit’s history – the 1967 riot – will screen nationwide Aug. 4.
But a select few will be in line to see the movie on Tuesday at The Fox Theater during the Detroit world premiere.
The event beings at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The screening, however, is an exclusive red-carpet affair with an invite-only guest list, according to Annapurna Pictures, the studio producing “Detroit.”
From the Hanford Sentinel: On July 31, The Metro 4 Cinemas will screen its last film.
The closing was announced on the theater’s Facebook page on Friday: “We are very sorry to be announcing that we will be closing The Metro 4 Cinemas. We’ve enjoyed serving you over the past 10 years and thank you for the loyalty you have shown.”
Some patrons of the theater may be in shock and disbelief, but signs on the doors confirm that the theater is indeed closing.
Culver Theatres opened the Metro 4 in 1983. In 2007, the owners of the building turned operations over to North American Cinemas, who gave it a $50,000 renovation that included upgraded projectors, sound and concessions.
North American Cinemas later became Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, the same company that owns Sierra Vista Cinemas 16 in Clovis.