Comments from Al Alvarez

Showing 2,676 - 2,700 of 3,087 comments

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cine Yara on Nov 21, 2006 at 4:41 am

LM, have you run into a Cine Victoria in Havana? I belive one of my uncles was manager in the 50’s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Nov 5, 2006 at 2:52 am

I obviously agree with Ed, although I am not as eloquent or patient.

I think Cinema Treasure needs to question the validity of those members who spend more time intimidating others than contributing to sites.

I appears to be the sound of one hand clapping and my suggestion was therefore autoerotic.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about AMC Empire 25 on Nov 5, 2006 at 2:27 am

AMC has these movie money cards that debit the amount at each use. I suspect homeless people get these from charities who fear giving out cash to alcoholics and drug addicts.

Every time I have been to this theatre I have found bag ladies and eccentrics around (one brought had a cat in a bag) although they were probably not homeless.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Criterion Theatre on Oct 30, 2006 at 2:24 am

Thanks Bob! I had not noticed.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about S.V.A. Theatre on Oct 24, 2006 at 2:26 pm

I remember using real butter at Cineplex Odeon. Post Garth Drabinsky we shifted to buttery flavored chemical and started charging extra for it, a stupid customer service fiasco that the local press rightfully had a field day but wrongly at the employees expense.

The Toronto boys couldn’t care less.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Tivoli Theatre on Oct 24, 2006 at 9:01 am

Child St., if you have a multi-regional DVD you can order these from Spain. If not, Maraka Video from Miami carries several titles and some non-regional versions can be found on ebay from questionable Latin American sources.

Some VHS versions are also available.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Bay Cinema on Oct 21, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Jkane, prophetically advertised as THE FIRST ROGER CORMAN FILM FESTIVAL it was a precursor to the Kips Bay’s exclusive first run of “GAS”, starring Country Joe and the Fish.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Bay Cinema on Oct 21, 2006 at 4:39 am

JKane, according to the NYT, the Roger Corman festival ran in early 1971 at the Kips Bay.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Oct 21, 2006 at 2:42 am

I am happy to report that Steve appears to be doing just fine.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Nova Theatre on Oct 19, 2006 at 10:16 pm

Ace, I have the book and can send you a scan if you write to me at:

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Oct 18, 2006 at 1:05 pm

??? I thought it was Steve C.’s brother who passed away.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Oct 18, 2006 at 12:38 pm

LUST IN THE DUST (1985) played at the Embassy and New Yorker. The Carnegie Hall was playing very eclectic arthouse repertory at the time.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Coliseum Cinemas on Oct 16, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Ace, I show it reopened as a quad in 1992.

My guess is it twinned around 1971.

Something called the Cinema 181 was advertising in 1966 and I have yet to figure out where that was.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Nova Theatre on Oct 16, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Ace, I can confirm that it was still operating as the Bunny (and Bunny Roof) well into the thirties. By the late forties and early fifties it was known as the Dorset.

The sixties and seventies remain a mystery to me but by 1981 it was already the Nova and it became a twin around 1989-1990.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Weber's Theatre on Oct 15, 2006 at 7:38 am

You’re right, Ron! That the photo in the Henderson book sure looks like the same location as that link.

Wallack’s was certainly mostly live theatre but it did show non-mainstream films also, mainly hunting and travel films sometimes accompanied by a lecture, not unlike Weber’s.

I am not sure it deserves a listing here but I am glad Henderson’s excellent book covers it.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Weber's Theatre on Oct 14, 2006 at 11:15 pm

Thanks Bryan. There were several Wallack’s locations over the years but the one I am enquiring about was located near Weber’s or was the same location as I cannot find an overlap.

It suspect that the promoter may have renamed the theatre when they leased it and then it reverted back to its old name like many Manhattan nightclub venues still do today.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Weber's Theatre on Oct 11, 2006 at 11:36 am

Here is a photo of the Wallack’s on 30th I am enquiring about.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about NYIT Auditorium on Oct 11, 2006 at 4:48 am

Whew! It’s back again and showing SCOOP. Flooding again, perhaps?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Weber's Theatre on Oct 11, 2006 at 4:25 am

Does anyone know if this was also known as Wallack’s showing movies in 1915?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Theaters afraid to play assassination movie on Oct 10, 2006 at 1:48 pm

The film has a “JFK” feel to it. It is false history footage treated as real and takes place in late 2007. I think the reason it was financed by UK TV is because the US is undergoing a really oppressive period for financing anything too controversial.
(I can’t wait for BORAT to hit the fan!)

I think those who say it is a small and minor film are correct, but then both Regal and Carmike have some theatres that do play such product.

I think Bush is a sacred cow for some and that is the reason this film upsets many who, if they saw it, would totally agree with the sentiments expressed anyway.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Theaters afraid to play assassination movie on Oct 10, 2006 at 9:12 am

This movie is actually quite kind to Bush. I am sure anyone who is offended has not yet seen it.

Forget Bush for a moment. If an American president were assasinated under the current climate, how would the US react? Would we overact with incorrect assumptions. That is what this film is about.

Regal and Cinemark’s stupid “shoot from the hip” responses are perfect examples of what this film unveils.

Congratulations to those two exhibitors for making the filmmaker’s hypothesis a fact so soon.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater on Oct 10, 2006 at 8:29 am

People constantly complain about prices then pay double at the new multiplex across the street. We charge as much as £8.90 ($16.50) and as little as £2.50 ($4.60)on bargain days across the UK.

Big films sell out and flops play to empty seats, even on bargain days. We find price seems to have little effect, even in small markets with high unemployment as long as it is comparable to the local price of a couple of pints of beer.

When PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or the latest HARRY POTTER come along, no one talks about prices as we turn crowds away. They happily pay extra to book in advance. When the feature of the hour is SNAKES ON A PLANE, every two-bit newspaper and magazine has a story waiting about the price of popcorn and how pricing and home entertainment is killing the movies.

You’d think by now they would have noticed they have been writing that same story since 1947.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater on Oct 10, 2006 at 4:29 am

I agree with all your points and understand that edgy screenplays are a bigger risk.

I can further say that the general drop is attendance (albeit slighter than we are lead to believe) is due to the over 35 audience who go to the movies once or twice a year and then can’t find a trailer enticing enough to prompt a quick return visit.

It also allows the suburban multiplex mall theatre to trump the older Cinemas Treasure that may count on older audience frequency. People still do want to get out of the house but the film diversity is just not there!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater on Oct 9, 2006 at 10:44 pm

Studies have shown that movie-goers are movie-goers. Even those buying pirate DVDs go to the movies, rent and buy legitimate DVDs.

Where I think we drop the ball as an industry is the overwhelming focus on 15 to 24 year olds. There is a glut of product for that market at the expense of everyone else.

You are correct in that there have always been exploitation (crap?)films. There was even a bigger glut of product in the forties than there is now. What has changed is the number of quality non-formula films.

You can go back to any year in the last century and find ten interesting cutting edge films. You are hard pressed to find three these days. It is now October and outside of VOLVER from Spain, I can’t think of any other great film that has come out this year.

You mom is right. Even in the dire late sixties/ early seventies product shortage you could find an amazing variety of films being made. Now you will find ten versions of the same plot in the same year all badly told. You need to watch Korean, Chinese and Japanese films to get anything original and even Scorcese’s THE DEPARTED is a remake of one of those.

So what has happened to screenwriters in the US, Schmadrian? Even TV is more creative.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez commented about Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater on Oct 9, 2006 at 6:17 am

Cinema will continue to re-invent itself. Here are some signs of hope:

Real D, for example, brings a new 3D system that won’t be on home TV for another ten years. Old films can be remastered into 3D and although it is still quite expensive Lucas is redoing all STAR WARS and footage of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN in 3D is breathtaking. James Cameron is making his next film AVATAR in 3D.

Muvico is experimenting with splitting adult screens from under 21 screens and therefore segregating the mobile phone and audience participation crowd from those who need to focus more on the nuances of JACKASS NUMBER TWO. That rowdy crowd is not new. It is just getting more agressive in the way they enjoy their films and it may be time to bring back the Drive-In and leave them outside again.

Concerts and sporting events on Digital will allow families to experience Marylin Manson and football games “live on screen” matches without the arena violence many big city venues provide.

There is no doubt theatres are changing but so is the content of what we view there as well as at home. The success of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, FAHRENHEIT 911 and AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH has been largely attributed to a belief that TV news is biased and that these films reveal something new.

They preach to the already converted willing to shell out ten dollars for a two hour newsreel with questionable facts. Can you imagine what these theatres would do if someone started to make good movies again?