The latest movie theater news and updates

  • November 24, 2003

    Ambler Theater Helps Revitalize Town

    AMBLER, PA — The Philadelphia Inquirer has this report on the now-thriving Ambler Theater:

    “With a $2 million makeover, including restoration of its Moorish terra-cotta facade, the 75-year-old theater reopened in February as a two-screen first-run movie house. A $1 million renovation is under way to accommodate a third screen.

    The Ambler Theater now draws 1,500 moviegoers a week. Its success has been a fillip for the renovation of at least a dozen properties around it, from a stationery store, an art gallery, and a fitness center to a discount outlet that soon will metamorphose into an Irish pub."

  • Detroit Twin Seen in American Splendor

    The Detroit Twin in Lakewood, Ohio appears in the recent film American Splendor. It is the theater where Harvey Pekar goes with his nerdy friend to see Revenge of the Nerds. There is a good exterior shot of the theater. More info is available on Lakewood Buzz.

  • November 21, 2003

    Today’s Newsreel

  • November 20, 2003

    AMC and Loews Cineplex in Merger Talks

    AMC Entertainment, whose theaters account for about 12 percent of domestic theater revenue — more than any other chain — is in talks to merge with Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which accounts for 4.6 percent of the market, published reports said today (Wednesday). Spokespersons for each chain declined to comment on the reports. A merger of the companies would face intense regulatory scrutiny inasmuch as the two chains currently closely compete in many large markets and in some cases have theater complexes situated in close proximity to one another.

  • More AMC/Loews Coverage

    Here’s a roundup of reports about a possible merger of the country’s most successful mega-circuits:

    Variety: AMC, Loews eyeing major screen team (sub. required)
    “AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex are in talks about a merger with a goal of striking a preliminary agreement by year’s end. agreement by year’s end. A combo of AMC and Loews — the No. 1 and No. 5 U.S. exhibs — would create a mega-circuit of more than 5,600 screens.”

    The Hollywood Reporter: Double feature: AMC, Loews talk
    “Details about the structure of a possible AMC-Loews union are still murky, in part because Loews' parent company, Toronto-based Onex Corp., and AMC’s majority investor, Apollo Management Lp., have no immediate plans to liquidate their respective stakes in the theater chains, sources said. What is clear is that AMC chief executive Peter Brown would head up the combined entity, though plans for the rest of the two management teams remain uncertain.”

    AMC: AMC Entertainment Inc. Confirms Preliminary Discussions
    “AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMEX:AEN), one of the world’s leading theatrical exhibition companies, confirmed today that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation about a possible business combination.”

    National Post (from Canada): Onex in talks with AMC to create movie colossus
    “The announcement of talks between the two comes shortly after it was revealed that the initial public offering of Onex’s Canadian movie theatre business will likely raise less money than originally expected. The Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund now is selling 17.5 million units at $10 each, raising about $175-million. That’s down from $235-million in the original prospectus. The trust’s yield also was boosted by about one percentage point.”

  • Pioneering Theatre Historian Remembered

    Brother Andrew Corsini Fowler, 87, a native Chicagoan who helped found Theatre Historical Society of America in 1969 with Time-Life Editor Ben Hall, of New York, died recently while in convalescent care in Notre Dame, Indiana.

  • November 19, 2003

    Cinema Treasures Appears in Film Journal International

    Exhibition monthly Film Journal International included Cinema Treasures in its the October 2003 issue. Thanks go to Kevin Lally, Film Journal’s managing editor

    Authors Seek Cinema Treasures

    Film Journal International’s business/exhibition editor, Andreas Fuchs, has joined forces with Ross Melnick and Patrick Crowley, founders of CinemaTreasures.org, on a book that holds much promise to the exhibition industry. Cinema Treasures combines a survey of 100-plus years of motion picture exhibition history with profiles of theaters around the world. In addition to many classic palaces, which still have to present films today, the book will showcase movie theaters across all major eras (from the 1890s to the 1990s) and architectural styles. There will be single screen theaters, twins, triplexes, large-screen cinemas, multi- and megaplexes.

    Many of our readers' theatres have already been included, but the authors invite everyone to submit materials. A nomination form and more information is available online at cinematreasures.org/book/. Feel free to email . Cinema Treasures is due in spring 2004 from MBI Publishing.

  • Update on Portage Park Theatre

    Paul Warshauer, the new owner of the Portage Park Theatre, sent in this update about what’s happening at the Portage Park:

    “Now the City of Chicago wants us to install an emergency generator to back up the two other systems we spend lots of money to replace. It never ends! The landlord refuses to install it but eventually he will be forced to if the theatre is ever to open. Still we wait and have no revenue coming in…no ticket sales, no concession sales. We cannot last forever here.

  • November 18, 2003

    DCI Releases Newest Digital Projection Standard

    LOS ANGELES, CA — According to a report from Millimeter, Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), the digital cinema joint venture created by Disney, Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Warner Bros., has released Version 3.0 of its open digital projection standard. The new version includes support for a “4K” projection system (with 4096 by 2160 pixels) that is also backwards-compatible with existing “2K” digital projectors.

    Read the press release

  • Boeing To Sell Digital Cinema Division

    EL SEGUNDO, CA — Boeing has announced its looking to exit the digital cinema business and is seeking a buyer for its digital cinema division, according to an article in the Seattle Times. According to a spokesman, the company believes digital cinema will continue to fail “until the industry adopts standards and comes up with the right business model for it.”