The latest movie theater news and updates
January 6, 2006
FLUSHING, NY — Our friend, Thomas Stathes (Tom S.), has organized a petition to save one of the historically & architecturally most important theaters; the RKO Keith’s Theatre in its entirety.
The theater is located at 129-43 Northern Blvd, Flushing, N.Y. The current owner, Boymelgreen, plans to only save the landmarked lobby, & demolish at least 95% of the cherishable theater, for a glass curtain to view the lobby and a glass multi-use high-rise. I urge everyone “Nationwide” to sign the RKO Keith petition, & show your support, since time is of the essence! In addition, please forward the petition link to as many contacts as possible:
We believe it is of utmost importance to: 1.Fully restore & rebuild ALL architectural features which make the RKO Keith a distinguishable famed theater (Facade, auditorium, lobby, etc); 2.Encourage developer Boymelgreen to compromise by building above the RKO Keith, which will leave the base as it was always meant to be. The Keith was already built once, & there is adequate funding, so there’s no reason why it can’t be preserved/restored in its entirety, to respect its significance & grandeur; 3.Let the public be heard, and factor in the concerns of the majority; 4.The Landmarks Preservation Commission should landmark the RKO Keith’s, & work with Boymelgreen closely.
Looking for a small 1-3 screen theater to lease.
Theater must be currently open or able to re-open without any serious work done. Theater should be in or around a med to large size town with a population of 100,000 or more.
If you have an unprofitable theater, plan to retire, or have a tenant that can not pay the rent or is on the verge of closing down, we are interested.
January 5, 2006
In a new article on Slate, Edward Jay Epstein looks into the economics of the exhibition business.
While most of you are probably aware that theaters make much of their profits from the concession stand, there’s plenty in this article you might not have thought about before.
Once upon a time, movie studios and movie theaters were in the same business. The studios made films for theater chains that they either owned or controlled, and they harvested almost all their revenue from ticket sales. Then, in 1948, the government forced the studios to divest themselves of the theaters. Nowadays, the two are in very different businesses. Theater chains, in fact, are in three different businesses.
First, they are in the fast-food business, selling popcorn, soda, and other snacks. This is an extremely profitable operation in which the theaters do not split the proceeds with the studios (as they do with ticket sales). Popcorn, for example, because of the immense amount of popped bulk produced from a relatively small amount of kernels—the ratio is as high as 60:1—yields more than 90 cents of profit on every dollar of popcorn sold. It also serves to make customers thirsty for sodas, another high-margin product (supplied to most theater chains by Coca-Cola, which makes lucrative deals with theater owners in return for their exclusive “pouring” of its products). One theater chain executive went so far as to describe the cup holder mounted on each seat, which allows customers to park their soda while returning to the concession stand for more popcorn, as “the most important technological innovation since sound.” He also credited the extra salt added into the buttery topping on popcorn as the “secret” to extending the popcorn-soda-popcorn cycle throughout the movie. For this type of business, theater owners don’t benefit from movies with gripping or complex plots, since that would keep potential popcorn customers in their seats. “We are really in the business of people moving,” Thomas W. Stephenson Jr., who then headed Hollywood Theaters, told me. “The more people we move past the popcorn, the more money we make.”
The Garden Theatre in Charleston, SC has been “converted” into an Urban Outfitters retail store.
Does anyone know of other theatres that have been reused or converted by Urban Outfitters?
January 4, 2006
I am looking to buy and renovate a 1945 theater in small town Missouri. It is still in operation but is severly run down.
Looking for suggestions for sources for grants,special financing, etc. Also looking for ways to find seats, and other items from the era.
Hope to hear from some people. Email or call 314-252-9955 x107.
I am looking to buy a theater in Atlanta. If anybody has any information on a theater being available here please contact me on my cell (646) 327 9785 or email me at .
Our apologies for yesterday’s comment outage. Due to a database issue, the comments weren’t loading correctly, but it’s all fixed now. :)
January 2, 2006
Cinema Treasures would like to wish everyone who uses our site a Happy New Year!
RALEIGH, NC — I’m currently working on a story which features the Ambassador Theater… for historical accuracy I’m wondering if anyone has pictures or where I can find them?… Any help would greatly be appreciated.
December 30, 2005
ABC is reporting the bad news that everyone has been pretty much expecting… ticket sales continued to drop this year:
The bad news is that audiences did not exactly go ape over the rest of 2005’s cinema offerings, making this the third straight year of decline in Hollywood ticket sales — the first such stretch of bad news in 40 years. Because of the continued falloff — sales are down 12.6 percent from 2002 — a growing number of analysts are wondering whether America’s movie habits are changing permanently.
“The industry has to consider whether or not American audiences are sending a message about the quality of the movies they are getting — or just the way and the place in which they get them,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, a firm that analyzes box-office trends. “You can bet that producers, writers, directors and studio heads are all huddling intensely to consider what this means and change their behavior to keep it from continuing.”