The latest movie theater news and updates

  • January 27, 2006

    Mark Cuban asks “What business are theaters in?”

    In his latest blog entry, Mark Cuban, the spirited owner of Landmark Cinemas, takes a frank and fascinating look at the state of the exhibition industry.

    On collapsing the “release window” between theatrical exhibition and other release formats (DVD, iTunes, Cable, etc.)…

    How sad is it when the President of the National Assoc of Theater Owners doesnt think his members can create a better movie going experience than what we can see in our houses and apartments ?

    Guess what John, I can whip up a mean steak, but I still like to go to restaurants. Because I enjoy it. I enjoy getting out of the house with family, friends, who ever.

    On shifting demographics…

    The experience that a 16 year old expects is going to be completely different than what a 35 or 55 year old expects.

    When a 16 year old goes to a movie, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with answering your cellphone, talking back to the screen and texting your heart away during a movie. The movie is just there because its better than doing the same thing sitting or walking at the mall, or hanging in your buddys smelly bedroom again, listening to his mom yell at him.

    All of the above drives anyone not in that demographic crazy. So when a couple of 35 year olds go to see King Kong, not only can you pretty much bet that they arent going to have a great experience during the showing of the movie, but they probably didnt have a great experience before they even got their seats.

    On giving theaters a piece of the DVD business…

    Its also probably a good time to take steps to be paid for the role you play in promoting the sale of DVDs and TV. You already know that you platform movies and create demand for future sales. Your problem is that you dont get paid for it. DVD sales now exceed box office sales and you dont get a nickel of those DVD sales. Its time for that to change.

    On what business theaters are in…

    First of all, I dont think they know what business they are in any longer. It appears they believe they are in the business of showing the movies Hollywood gives them and praying that Hollywood makes good movies and spends enough money to drive people through the doors so they make some money on the boxoffice and concessions. They arent.

    So, what do you think Cinema Treasures fans? (Read the full blog post and then comment below!)

  • Group Buys Penn Theatre; Seek to Restore, Reopen

    PLYMOUTH, MI — The Friends of the Penn, a group of local investors made up of seven area business people, have purchased the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth, which has been closed since 2004, for $1.2 million, according to this story in the Detroit News. With the purchase complete, the group now intends to turn its attention to raising an additional $1 million to restore and reopen the 1941 Art Moderne theater located on Penniman Avenue.

    The Friends of the Penn plan on using the theater to screen second-run movies as well as hosting live performances, including the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. One of the investors, Donald Soenen, a Plymouth resident since 1969, says, “In Plymouth this is a big deal. There is tremendous support for the arts here…the real reason all these people have gotten involved is because they also believe this theater should be preserved because it will be a benefit to the community.”

  • January 26, 2006

    Saluting Animal Lovers and Lovers of Classic Film at The Landmark Loew’s Jersey

    JERSEY CITY, NJ — On February 10 and 11, Friends of the Loew’s begins its Spring season of classic film weekends at the Loew’s Jersey Theater.

    In partnership with Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, The Loew’s Jersey is proud to present three films that depict the complex relationships between humans and animals:

    Friday, February 10, 8 PM: BEST IN SHOW (2000/90 min) — A wickedly funny and intelligent character comedy that gently sends-up the peculiar world and characters of dog show competitions.

    Saturday, February 11, 4 PM: OLD YELLER (1957/84 min) — One of the best loved live-action features ever made by the Walt Disney Company.

    Saturday, February 11, 8 PM: THE MISFITS (1961/124 min) — The final film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, “The Misfits” also starred Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach. It is a powerful tribute to the majesty and vulnerability of the Old West’s wild horses, symbols not just of the Old West but of independence and fundamental goodness — and of the fragility of the same.

    Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and finding homes and new lives as loving pets for greyhounds that have been “retired” from racing.

    The Landmark Loew’s Jersey is an arts and entertainment center operated by Friends of the Loew’s, a non-profit organization.

    For more info, please visit www.loewsjersey.org or www.greyhoundfriendsnj.org, or call 201-798-6055.

  • Looking for Theater / Performance Venue

    I am interested in purchasing an old theater / performance venue for a theater company located in New York City.

    Must have proximity to NYC, but am flexible about area. Space can accomodate live performance as well as film projection. Please contact me should you have any leads. I appreciate any help I can get. Contact Jenny via email: .com

    Thanks to all,
    J

  • January 25, 2006

    Old theater photos on display in Yonkers

    YONKERS, NY — The Grinton Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue, in Yonkers has a few pictures of the former RKO Proctors and Loew’s theaters, both located on South Broadway in downtown Yonkers. Loews later became Brandt’s Yonkers. The display is titled “Yonkers Then and Now”, and features many interesting photos as well.

    FYI: The photos belonging to the Yonkers Planning Dept would be available for copying under the Freedom of Information Law in the event you like them after seeing them on display. Most others belong to the Yonkers Historical Society which may sell reproductions.

  • College student seeks long-term dream

    Hello, I am a current college student who is majoring in Theater Operations, and am looking for a 70’s-80’s style live stage theater to one day call my own. This is nothing short-term, but if anyone knows of something in the greater northern Sacramento, CA area, please let me know.

    Thank you.

  • January 24, 2006

    New Metro Twin closes; Owner plans to scrap interior

    NEW YORK, NY — According to this report from the New York Times, the New Metro Twin has closed for good and the theater’s owner is planning to gut the interior.

    While the theater’s exterior has been an official landmark since 1989, the interior does not have the same protections. (You can see a few shots of the interior here.)

    Mr. Bialek has been authorized by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish the interior of the Metro, whose exterior was declared a landmark in 1989. He said he is considering leasing the space to a dinner theater, a restaurant or a store, or perhaps reopening it as a multiplex.

    This is indeed a sad day for moviegoers in Manhattan. The megaplexes continue to eat away at the city’s remaining single and twin screen moviehouses.

    (Thanks to Howard Haas for sending this in!)

  • Demolition of the Historic Adelphi Theater

    CHICAGO, IL — A sad day here as another one of Chicago’s historic theaters faces the wrecking crane. At around 2:00pm Friday, January 20th, the fight to save the Adelphi Theater was crushed as the wrecking crane opened it’s huge steel jaws on it’s bucket…. then closed the bucket’s jaws equally as quick…. then taking hold of it’s first few chunks of bricks and then dropped them from the bucket to the ground.

    Within minutes most of the back wall of the theater that runs along Ravenswood Avenue was a pile of rubble ready to be carted off.

    It’s a sad, sad day.

  • January 23, 2006

    Fulton Cinema moves to 8-screen building

    FULTON, MO — B&B Theatres is shutting its doors on the historic downtown building and moving to a new 8-screen cinema on the south end of town in May, 2006.

    The old building is currently only 2 screens. The main auditorium is located downstairs, and a steep set of stairs leads to the smaller upstairs auditorium, a renovated balcony.

    “Having only two auditoriums limits the movies we can show,” says current Fulton Cinema employee Alex Dzurick. “We always have to keep a family-friendly show in, and we don’t always get the newest releases.”

    The B&B Theatres chain has owned the building since 1980, and it is currently the only theatre in the city.

    “I grew up in the old place,” says Dzurick. “My mom worked there before I did, and I spent my toddler years under the counter reading while she ran the box office. It’s going to be hard to leave, but it will sure be nice to have more screens.”

    The new building will be an 8-screen complex, all on the same level. Some current employees are helping to build the new building, but not Dzurick.

    “I’m not old enough to work in construction,” he says. At 16, Dzurick is the youngest employee at the Fulton Cinema. “It’s hard being the new kid, but a lot of them knew me before I got the job. I even work with some of my teachers and siblings of classmates.”

    The project is slated for completion in May, and the theatre hopes to open for business mid-month. The old building is being turned over to the Fulton Fine Arts Council, and it will be renovated into a live stage for community productions. The upper floor and screen will be removed and the upstairs will become a balcony again. The marquee will be removed and projectors taken out.

    But there will always be the faint, lingering smell of hot buttered popcorn.

  • Matt Dillon Supports Pelham Picture House

    PELHAM, NY — “It’s really heartbreaking when you see old movie theaters torn down,” 41-year-old actor Matt Dillon said at a fundraiser for the historic Pelham Picture House. He was quoted in a story by Rebecca Baker Erwin that appeared Sunday, January 22 in Gannett’s Westchester County paper, The Journal News.

    Dillon was back home in Westchester Saturday night as the main attraction at a sold-out event which brought 900 people to the Hilton Rye Town to support the nonprofit film center. Dillon grew up in Mamaroneck, where he was discovered in middle school.

    The fundraiser’s goal was to raise $150,000 to create a three-screen theater that could show a variety of films. It was sponsored by Picture House Regional Film Center, which bought the movie venue November.

    More details can be found in the full report.