The latest movie theater news and updates
April 10, 2017
From Fox News: Despite the offerings of streaming networks and video-on-demand, movie theaters are seeing tremendous audiences this year.
Ticket sales and domestic grosses haven’t been this high since 2004, and with the current revenue for the first three months of 2017, so far the box office totals are on track to beat last year’s record $11 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.
And a study conducted by the National Association of Theater Owners found that more people are going to the theater than all professional sporting events combined.
One reason is that the studios, taking a page from premium cable and streaming channels such as Netflix, are doling out their films on an ongoing basis, not just waiting for the traditional summertime or award-season release times, says Leslie Combemale, a film critic at Cinema Siren.
“Studios are releasing films throughout the year, and people are getting excited about that,” she said. “And there are so many platforms available, and movie theaters and studios are watching that.”
“King Kong,” was released in early March, an extremely unusual time in the year for a big budget film, and it’s currently one of the top grossing films of 2017.
Also, many of this year’s blockbuster films were released in IMAX and 3D, where ticket prices are higher, she said, citing “Captin America: Civil War,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Logan” as examples.
Disney, which includes LucasFilm, Pixar and Marvel, is laying out a slate of movies and choosing its release dates three or four years ahead of time, forcing other studios to work around them by distributing their films throughout the year, said Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer of The National Association of Theater Owners.
From MySanAntonio.com: San Antonio-based movie theater exhibitor Santikos Entertainment will hand over operations of its two Houston theaters to national chain Regal Entertainment Group, Santikos announced Monday. Regal — based in Knoxville, Tennessee — will sign long-term leases for Santikos’ Silverado IMAX and Palladium AVX theaters in the Houston area, operate the two theaters and develop an additional Houston property, according to a news release. Santikos will use funds from the deal, an undisclosed sum, to finance its “philanthropic mission” in San Antonio, the release said. The theater chain changed its name from Santikos Theatres to Santikos Entertainment last year and became a division of Santikos Enterprises LLC. Santikos Enterprises manages the theaters along with the Santikos family’s real estate holdings and investments.
April 7, 2017
From the Calaveras Enterprise: The Angels Camp Theatre opened its doors Feb. 9, 1924, as the Mother Lode Theater, with a miniature revue accompanied by a five-piece band. Since then, the theater has seen many changes, yet has always been an integral part of the community.
“It’s magical,” said Jeff Olson, the manager since 1999, of playing movies in the city. “I get to watch kids grow up and share in that magic.”
Olson believes movies are not just for entertainment; they make memories.
From The State News: This June will be the 30th anniversary of the closing of East Lansing’s last movie theater, the Campus Theatre, whose lobby once sat at the Grand River Avenue location that is now the textbook section of the Student Book Store.
Student Book Store assistant manager Mike Wylie grew up in the Lansing area, and he fondly remembered seeing movies like “Thunderball” at the Campus Theatre as a child.
“I (grew up) in a neighborhood with a lot of kids,” Wylie said. “You rode your bicycle down here and went to a movie.”
It has been nearly three decades, though, since anyone has ridden their bike to a movie on Grand River Avenue.
Until the 1980s, downtown East Lansing had two movie theaters: the Campus Theatre and The State Theatre, which hosted films and sometimes live performances. When MSU alumnus and Curious Book Shop owner Ray Walsh was at MSU in the 1960s and ‘70s, he said he saw films at both theaters.
April 4, 2017
From tpr.org: As early as next year, the City of San Antonio could begin a major renovation of the historic Alameda Theater located downtown.
The Alameda, built in 1949, was once the largest theater for Spanish-language performing arts in the United States. It has been mostly vacant for several decades but was purchased by the city in 1994. City plans call for reopening the Alameda as a Latino-focused performing arts venue.
Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told council members that the renovation includes construction of a large stage and up to 1,500 seats.
“The way performances are done today is a little bit different, so we’ve talked about doing a thrust stage where audiences can have a more intimate setting when they’re watching a performance. The theater has great bones. We really need to focus on that finish out to include also improving the stage, doing better seating, and also restoring the art amenities that are already in there.”
From the Lansing State Journal: Known to most as The Michigan Theatre and Arcade, one of the grandest theaters in the state opened as The Strand Theatre in 1921 on South Washington Avenue.
Originally intended for vaudeville and live events, it was designed with a long arcade that included two levels of shops. The cost was a then-outrageous $500,000.
The theater started showing films in the 1920s. Ravaged by fire in the 1930s and partly razed in 1983, it’s now known as The Atrium Office Center. What’s left of the tiered balcony is still visible on the building’s east side.
Other Lansing theaters included The Gladmer Theatre, The Bijou Theater, The Capitol Theatre, Colonial Theater, Empress Theater, Garden Theater, Orpheum Theater, Plaza Theater, Avenue Theater and the Theatorium.
East Lansing’s State Theatre, at 215 Abbott Road, came along in 1927 and had 800 seats. The Campus Theatre, at 407 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing was built in 1950 and seated 1,500.
March 28, 2017
From The Joplin Globe: When the 66 Drive-In Theatre — one of the few today with roots on the route — opens Friday, it will be in the care of new owners for the first time in more than three decades.
Tourists who today come from around the world to experience America’s Route 66 history are joined at the theater by locals, many of whom have early memories of the drive-ins that once dotted the region.
As a girl, Amanda Pearish-Rinehart spent weekends going to drive-in theaters with her family, and she said supporting the Carthage theater seems like the right thing to do.
Plus, it’s fun.
“I spend about half of what I spend to take them to a regular theater, and we have a much better time,” she said.
Nathan McDonald didn’t grow up around drive-in theaters, but he said they got into his bloodstream during his 10 years of working at the 66 Drive-In as a security guard.
From the Denver Business Journal: Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres is selling its Olde Town Arvada 14 Theatre on April 2.
A spokeswoman from the company wrote in an email: “As of April 2nd the theatre will be closed. As of Thursday, April 6, the Olde Town will be in the hands of new owners. Thank you for your years of patronage.”
March 24, 2017
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Two Nevada Assembly members want to take another stab at saving the Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas.
Democrats Heidi Swank and Elliot Anderson of Las Vegas introduced a bill Monday seeking $3 million for the Division of State Lands to purchase the shuttered theater near downtown Las Vegas.
From Curbed NY: Bed-Stuy’s Slave Theater, a nexus of black culture from 1984 to 1998 and the birthplace of a new wave of political activism in a time of heightened race relations in NYC, is no more. Brownstoner swung by to find that the historic building at 1215 Fulton Avenue, between Bedford and Nostrand streets, has been completely demolished. In its heyday, the theater was a gathering place for rallies lead by the Reverend Al Sharpton, who credited the talks with shifting the center of New York’s civil rights movement from Harlem to Brooklyn in a 2012 Times article. Now cleared, the site is awaiting its future as a mixed-use building developed by Industrie Capital Partners.
Although the Slave shuttered in 1998, its demise began a decade later following the death of its proprietor, Judge John L. Phillips Jr.. The theater became embroiled in a dramatic ownership dispute with allegations of elder abuse, back taxes, and politically-motivated revenge. The property was poised to hit the foreclosure auction block in July 2012, prompting local theater group New Brooklyn Theatre’s attempt to crowdfund the Slave back into existence.