Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3 on Jun 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Re: masking – I can vouch for Cinema #1 – they even had proper masking for a press screening of Hateful Eight in all of its ultra-wide scope glory.

As for new builds – Alamo and iPic have masking, along with Metrograph. Alamo Brooklyn will also be getting 70MM for Dunkirk according to a Facebook post today – hopefully they’ll also bring in some repertory 70MM at some point too.

John Fink
John Fink commented about City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3 on Jun 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm

I believe Reading owns the building and land – they have options on the table with a partner but it doesn’t appear as if they have tenants or actual plans for what a new build on the site would look like and include – just feasibility studies. I don’t think any plans have been presented to the city or community board so I’m going to guess Cinema 1,2,3 is safe for another year or two (they’ve been talking redevelopment for a while with no definite plan in sight). From the photos on Yelp it does appear it was in rough shape prior to the recliner reseat – it didn’t get a huge overhaul other than new paint, carpets, flat screen movie-posters both inside and out, and the new tiers in Cinema #1’s balcony. I don’t get here nearly enough but it’s a much nicer experience than AMC – clean, good presentation, good snacks – actually in that regard its the complete opposite of AMC Amazing.

John Fink
John Fink commented about City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3 on Jun 26, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Cinema 1,2,3 was updated with all recliner seating a few years ago and a few modern appointments (flat screen monitors throughout the lobby and two concession stands – once featuring coffee and desserts and the other, upstairs with traditional movie items). All and all it’s a modern mini-multiplex while keeping a lot of its 60s architecture and classic charm – and both times I’ve been there I found the presentation to be excellent. Cinema 1 is 70MM capable and they often have a city-wide exclusive on titles where it is available. The reason it may go is that Reading owns the property and may put it to a more productive/lucrative use – but they’ve also been saying that for years…. (Reading/City Cinemas also offer “Recline for $9 after 9" on weekdays with half-price concessions here – a hell of a good deal anywhere, but especially in NYC)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Tilghman Square 8 on Apr 17, 2017 at 9:48 pm

New Vision’s management team previously founded Clearview, Access IT/Cinedigm, and Digiplex, a few went to work for Carmike and New Vision’s HQ is what was Digiplex’s corporate office. The company was formed right as the AMC merger was approved and backed by private equity. It’s interesting this time around AMC didn’t do a deal with a top ten chain (in the past they swap theaters and cash with Regal to satisfy the DOJ when they acquired Kerasotes and Loews Cineplex). This time around they sold two to the small Picture Show chain and the rest to New Vision. NV’s base this time around is much stronger than the kinds of mom and pop and small exhibitors that Digiplex and Clearview consolidated – the group includes a couple of recliners and bars, a dine-in theater, and a few premium large screens (Big D and IMAX). We shall see what the plan is for NV – if they like Digiplex and Clearview take the company public and grow or focus on running these locations and upgrade a few of the smaller/older theaters in their new portfolio.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

It’s a shame they’re allowing this to continue – I had spoke to the CQO about an issue at their “new” “downgraded” IMAX at Palisades Center where a light above the screen washed out any dark scenes. The rest of this complex is terrible – the last two 2D films I had seen here had the Real D polarizing filters on and the only presentation that was quite good was Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in 3D because Sony made special accommodations. They should have made special accommodations to present the film in a better theatre…..

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal Hamilton 12 on Feb 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

It’s having a soft opening this weekend

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Plaza 8 on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

There’s a higher resolution one version of this one on Cinema Treasures – considering this is my photograph I think I deserve the credit and not elmorovine.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Theatre 7 is equipped for DCP and 35MM and plays host to Terror Tuesdays and Weird Wednesdays – two signature series imported from Austin that make use of Alamo’s AGFA (American Genre Film Archive).

Print quality varies – sometimes you get a nearly pristine print, other times it can be a struggle to watch something scratched and terribly faded.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow-Tie Wayne Preakness Cinemas on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm
  • the theater doesn’t have recliners – they have very comfortable black leather rocking chairs that were installed by Clearview (similar to the ones at the Bellevue in Upper Montclair).

Bow Tie hasn’t made too many physical changes as it was the rare all digital Clearview location (most had a digital screen or two for 3D) and it was in good shape. Very few artifacts from the photographs remain (in public view) unfortunately just the flooring in the front lobby and a series of bars (also visible in the lobby) – the rest is modern with the concession stand having undergone a renovation within the last few years of Clearview’s run.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Allwood Cinemas 6 on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:59 pm

I’m surprised this theater hasn’t been closed by the health inspectors and/or the free market. Empire Cinemas knows how to run theaters into the ground, they’re even too cheap to install an automated light system to switch on so you can find your seat (they usually thrown on the cleaning lights or don’t turn on the lights at all). Not to mention recliners that are broken/missing parts, poor presentation, and the fact they moved the old Columbia Park seats into the two larger houses (they’re not fully a recliner-plex). Empire Cinemas and AMC are just simply the worst – it really sucks for Clifton.

Commons is in a slightly better state of repair truth be told, but needs a full renovation immediately (the last show I attended had whole rows replaced with seating that didn’t match the rest of the auditorium – probably salvaged from an AMC that underwent a recliner conversion – plus they left the 3D polarizing filters in place for a 2D movie that was already dark and grainy by design – terrible company).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Kinnelon 8 on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

It was taken over by the same owner as Teaneck Cinemas – Bow Tie did a great job of running this place but the physical layout with low ceilings makes it difficult to do anything significant to increase screen size. Hopefully the new owner will continue to make improvements – the theater could certainly use some new seats.

Teaneck Cinemas was in terrible shape when they took over and it evolved into a very nice, clean and modern movie theater with stadium seating and high back rocker seats – – so I think Kinnelon is in good hands! (The showtime are a still a little hard to find, but they’ve launched a website and are available on Fandango)

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC East Hanover 12 on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Finally. This theater was in truly awful shape last I visited from poor customer service to an awful smell in the auditorium and projection problems. Scary AMC is going to be the number one theater operator in the world when they can’t even get the basics right.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas on Jul 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

The theater served a limited beer and wine selection during Tribeca this year (only on the top floors – not in the main lobby). As for the clearance issue – everyone except Warners and Sony are licensing to whomever wants to show their films first run (The new X-Men oddly ended up screening in at the Regal, AMC, City Cinemas, and Cinema Village (!) down in the Union Square area).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Confirmed by the Cinepolis app – they also took over three in Jersey (Parsippany, Succasunna and Masnfield) and the Criterion Blue Back Square in West Hartford, CT. They also have a bunch of locations on the drawing board from TX to VA (and now with clearance being a non-issue they’re free to compete with anyone they choose to – which was a barrier to entry for many exhibitors looking to grow in the US).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinepolis Mansfield on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Now run by Cinepolis

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinepolis Parsippany on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Acquired along with Chelsea, Cinema 10, Mansfield and Criterion Blue Back Square by Mexico-based international exhibitor Cinepolis, marking their official entry into to North East (they have luxury, premium and traditional locations in CA and FL with a bunch on the drawing board).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow-Tie Cinema Palace 17 and BTX on May 30, 2016 at 9:24 pm

The Odyssey Theater was a purpose built large screen format screen with stadium seating sight-lines quite comparable to legacy IMAX and big curved screen. I’m sure that hasn’t changed with the digital upgrade – I can only speak for it when they were showing “enhanced 35MM” in the Crown days but the sound and presentation was quite good although like IMAX the screen didn’t have masking.

(This screen is much larger than the mini-IMAX National Amusements opened at Buckland Hills – despite opening with 15/70MM they sandwiched a slightly larger screen into a 250 seat, two story room — the was of course the beginning of the “lie-max” era!)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Walden Galleria Stadium 16 & RPX on May 22, 2016 at 10:08 am

Typically recliner seating cuts capacity by ½ to 1/3rd. AMC has a “new generation” of recliner that I’ve sat in, quite comfortable – that doesn’t recline as much that gets them down to about half capacity over regular seating. I’m a little surprised Regal is converting Galleria which I would assume is one of their top performers in WNY (if anything I thought the theaters were too small to begin with) given its location and age (it’s the newest build in the area). I guess they need to compete with AMC and Dipson.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amherst 3 Theatre on May 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Installed recliners late last year along with new carpeting and bigger screens (last time I attended I was in one of the smaller theaters, I believe it sat around 80).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal Royal Palm Beach 18 on May 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Exact same layout as Commerce Center 18 (North Brunswick, NJ) and Quaker Crossing 18 (Orchard Park, NJ)! (all three are getting recliner upgrades currently interestingly enough)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Commerce Center 18 on May 14, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Currently undergoing a recliner transition (I had been in one of the newly redone theaters #6 today – quite comfortable but not as plush as the AMC/Starplex recliners unfortunately). Peeked at the seating capacities on a few doors – the small ones are just under 50 now, the big ones are 207 now.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Middlebrook Galleria Cinemas on Apr 2, 2016 at 10:40 am

Currently undergoing a remodel under CineGrand – I believe recliner seats are on the way. CineGrand’s website is a bit odd (they run three others theaters, one in MN, one in CA and this one — talk about geographic diversity!). I think they fancy themselves as a luxury operator, they may be in Bulgaria — personally I think this site would have been a good one for a middle of the road dine-in theatre.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm

I saw an advance screening of Hateful Eight at Cinema 1,2,3 and in 70MM and the presentation was flawless including proper masking (something lacking in standard multiplexes). Too bad they didn’t show it during the general release.

I believe the Zig’s equipment was donated to FSLC and installed at Walter Reade which is a nice screening room so they definitely have 70MM (IMHO – digital or film FSLC constantly has the best presentation in town – Loews Lincoln Center has the same crappy presentation all AMCs do with Real D filters left on for 2D).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Central Plaza Cinema on Mar 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Party City is moving in – the upstairs does not appear to be used for retail. The exterior walls also got a facelift.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Garden State 16 on Dec 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm

AMC Prime Theatre is now open. Theater #15 has a (temporary) 70MM projector installed for the Hateful Eight Roadshow – decent presentation (although awkwardly letterboxed – leaving the bottom ¼th empty).

The lack of masking was the subject of a few complaints – the image size was about ½ a flat image in this auditorium (I’m not sure QT would approve – I wish Harvey had booked Edgewater Multiplex instead – they have a few big houses with side masking that would provided a better experience for sure, even if they aren’t properly set up for Ultra Pannavision either).

The other oddity about Theater #15 – it literally is the furthest theater from the concession stand – I doubt during peak times (this weekend) that 12-minute intermission is going to be enough time. It’s quite comical how AMC boasts about “innovation” when they pay such little attention to details.