Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about IFC Center on Jul 27, 2010 at 5:23 am

Chuck’s link from Jan 18 shows The Waverly Cafe (to the right of the entrance, which was probably at that time only open for “special events” at that time – I think the cafe only operated for a year) and the Jul 27 link shows the empty store front. In place of the Cafe are two auditoriums: one that’s acceptable (4), the other that is downright shameful (5). 5 is currently showing Valhalla Rising – you’d be better off watching it on your iPhone 4 than in that auditorium (I saw it on a huge screen at TIFF last September, it’s meant to be seen that way).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow-Tie Cinema Palace 17 and BTX on Jul 25, 2010 at 12:41 am

Cinema City is covered here by the Courant – so far it sounds like they’re doing the right things – I hope it remains and develops into a place for the Hartford film community and they get more involved. Parkville certainly isn’t a bad place to be with Real Art Ways down the street and the annual Hartford International Film Festival (if Bow Tie and the city lent some additional support that festival could grow and increase attendance – which in return would boast Bow Tie’s bottom line in developing a special wing for film goers with taste). Here’s the article on the new theater:

View link

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinema City 4 on Jul 25, 2010 at 12:30 am

Now closed – but excellent news for fans of the seats – they might have a new life at another Bow Tie Cinema: View link

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinema On The Mall I & II on Jul 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Alright – my last post was about the Regal (which has no cinema treasures page)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinema On The Mall I & II on Jul 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Was this one a Hoyts / Cinema Centers ?

Box office on the first floor, theater is on the second floor of the center court (entrance adjacent to the food court). Didn’t go in, just saw the lobby area, which made me think Hoyts.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Avatar re-release date set on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm

then again anybody remember THE PASSION RECUT …… (insert random crazy Mel Gibson-ism here)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cineplex Cinemas Queensway & VIP on Jul 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Saw Inception digitally projected here in Theater 9 tonight in D-Box Motion Code – very impressed with the technology which is more fun and immersive than 3-D. Theater 18 is their new digital large screen answer to IMAX – Ultra AVX, which recently opened with Twilight: Eclipse.

The theater was packed, even on a Sunday night with shows sell out – extremely popular and it has the aforementioned Pizza Pizza and Out Takes, as well as Alan Smittee’s bar, Yogen Fruz and Tim Hortons.

My only problem with Theater 9 is that it wasn’t masked correctly (they had it open for Flat when the film was in scope). Otherwise no complaints – we had a fun time.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Showcase Cinemas East Hartford on Jul 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Anything going on with my old escape from a rough day of school? I loved this place. It was the first theater we visited when we went to look at where I went to undergrad (UHa) and I frequented it often on late weekday nights where I’d have one of those giant 400 seat auditriums to myself. I made the mistake of taking a girl on a first date here to see Queen Latifia in Beauty Shop, she said to me “this is amazing, how could a theater this big have no one in here” – it’s no wonder they closed – all my favorite theaters where I see awesome movies alone like Cineplaza and The Screening Zone in NJ are gone.

The place is/was still in good repair and kept spotless by the staff – only ever had one strange complaint about it – they jumbled the last two reels on a Bollywood film. I remember thinking “gee, that movie just ended – what happened to the other guy” and then I stayed after the final musical number and then – there was another 20 minutes that explained it all. National sent me 4 free passes for bringing it to their attention.

I’m willing to bet if someone could/were to reopen this as a discount house (could probably never happen, I think the property was sold with the condition it could be a theater) it could do some solid business.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal Champlain Center theater closing for upgrades on Jul 13, 2010 at 6:29 am

I’ve seen this when a theater upgrades and they only have one mens/women’s room that they are redoing along with the rest of the complex. Clearview (who didn’t upgrade to stadium) closed a few theaters in Northern NJ at various points, for a few weeks at a time while they upgraded seating, restrooms and concession stands. Regal is probably going to overhaul the whole Hoyts plex and make it look like a new Regal (if it’s anything like other Hoyts it’s probably, ugly, 80’s, and utilitarian.)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX on Jul 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I just figured something about about this theater while looking at pictures on Cinema Treasures: I believe that the short lived CyGamZ entertainment center which closed prior to the sale to Rave was housed in the original lobby. Therefore it looks like 6 screens and a lobby were tacked on to one end of old Showcase 14. The old lobby housed CyGamZ. (CyGamZ still lives on in images on its myspace page). Please someone correct me if I’m wrong.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Scotiabank Theatre Toronto on Jul 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

They’ve shut down NY Fries, KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in favor of Pizza Pizza and a smaller concession stand that offers chicken fingers and fries (where NY Fries was). Surf City and Burger King are still in operation.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Former AMC Star Taylor reopens as the Spotlight Taylor on Jul 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm

While I certainly wish them all the best I’m always weary of operators talking about lower price points as a means of attracting business on first run engagements, I find most then charge more at the concession stand. I’m not sure if people are motivated by price, although they complain about it for sure. I find that the majority of movie goers and I’m using my friends as an example gravitate towards the “new” “comfortable” stadium plexes or to the local theater that has a convenient showtime, and away from older theaters. I’m not sure bargain days work – Clearview certainly packs them in on free movie Tuesdays (for cable subscribers with an Optimum card), but I’ve seen other chains with minimal attendance on special nights. I guess it’s all about how you get the word out and continue to promote.

Sure, theaters that are second run and advertise $2-4 shows seem to do well on that price point, but I find advertising “low prices” which are only a dollar or two lower doesn’t work, although I will point to a Loews Richfield Park which became a first run theater with a $6 ticket price while everyone was approaching 9-10, that worked. Now that AMC runs the show I believe they come in slightly lower (last I was there I think they were 9 verses 11 at the nearest competitor National Amusements), but it’s not something to brag about in print, for $2 more I’ll take National Amusements.

But I do wish any theater operator willing to go into the market all the best, perhaps they were able to negate a better deal which makes the site a more viable operation than AMC had. I’ve seen smaller operators that try and fail and others that are successful for a variety of reasons, I wouldn’t look at the airline industry, I’d look at theater chains (Harkins comes to mind first) that turned themselves around and how they did it.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Factoria Cinemas on Jul 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Cinematour mentions SRO Theaters (which Cineplex Odeon bought out in the Pacific Northwest)

John Fink
John Fink commented about RC Maumee 18 on Jul 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm

It depends on a few things – Rave sold the land the theaters sit on to Entertainment Property Trust, if they sold this one they’re still paying rent on it, if not EPT could be free to lease it out to another chain (like they’re doing at the Grand 24). But my guess is having another operator come in would defeat the purpose of closing up here, but I’m sure this is a nice multiplex that’s still in good condition (National never ran their theaters into the ground).

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Stroud Mall 7 on Jul 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm

I’m guessing that main auditorium would hold 299 (the magic number to avoid having to build in top access). I’m also guessing the new theater would get an entrance directly across from the Food Court.

It is the end of an era – Music Makers build really crappy looking theaters, acquired by Loews, while Red Bank is still in operation, this is the last still run as Loews/AMC. The only reason this theater did well is because no one came in and opened a modern multiplex within 10 miles, if that happened I doubt it would survived (then again a location in a still active mall with 7 screens is helpful).

AMC it seems has no interest in reviving many of their formerly viable locations: they let Cocowalk to go Paragon, Kerasotes build a theater the parking lot of their plex in Secacus, and Magic Johnson Crenshaw close up because they couldn’t agree with the mall who should pay for the cost of renovating the complex. Although in NJ Bridgewater and Menlo Park might be getting upgraded the Fork & Screen concept, AMC perhaps is more likely to build new than to upgrade.

I’ll have to check this place out when Cinemark reopens it (I tried to see something here a few weeks ago but nothing I hadn’t seen was starting within the half hour, I did snap a few pics of both theaters that I’ll send to Cinema Tour)

John Fink
John Fink commented about RC Maumee 18 on Jul 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

I don’t get it, I assume Fallen Timbers which was new was built because if they didn’t somebody else would have (like Rave). But I have to imagine National which was prudent in building sites examined the situation and decided to go Cinema De Lux here at roughly the same time it was building Fallen Timbers.

Of coarse in CT they closed 14 screens at East Hartford and added two and Cinema De Lux-ed Buckland Hills. Rave however only seems interested in continuing the cool Cinema De Lux stuff at The Bridge in LA and from what I’ve heard closed the other bars and restaurants, which leads me to think one of two things: having a lot of food offerings isn’t profitable (AMC did this when they took over Loews and General Cinema, they consolidated/cut back on food offerings), or Rave is stupid and they don’t get what purpose the Cinema De Lux concept served, which flourished when an adult oriented film like Sex & The City is out. I suppose there are different corporate attitudes and goals: Rave is digital, digital, digital – fine, but I personally like adding more of a social experience to the movie going which you would have to leave the theater complex to expand on.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Menlo Park 12 on Jun 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Due to get a Fork & Screen and Cinema Suite upgrade – I know AMC had plans for this at Bridgewater (I don’t know if those were approved) but it’s a good idea in an over screened area in an upscale mall that is still is as crowded as ever in advance of the Edison Town Center project that will happen down the street. I believe AMC will open a location that Kerastoes had been planning (tragic that Kerastoes won’t be opening one of their Showplace Icon sites). Here’s the article about Menlo:

View link

John Fink
John Fink commented about Randhurst 16 Theaters on Jun 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

There was a time when AMC was closing 10-12 screen theaters because they were “too small” for their focus (24-30 plexes…that was a brilliant idea!) But it’s weird, I imagine the theater as described was of the same vintage as General Cinema’s Essex Green 9 and Clifton Commons, two fine theaters that are still in good condition. Are they relocating to a better location? Is there another reason (ie: something moving in to the location the theater currently sits on?)? It’s strange that it would go unless there was some other issue there, if a screen reduction was what they were after they could simply close part of the building and convert it to retail.

AMC has been making a lot of weird decisions lately.

John Fink
John Fink commented about One theatre gone, another rises up on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I guess National Amusements didn’t have a restriction on a future multiplex on that site like they do everywhere else. Then again – who cares? It’s now Rave’s problem (not that Rave and the Angelika would go head to head on bookings).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Midland Theatre on Jun 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

I found this, not sure if anyone else has posted it, but this an interesting bit about the theater under Durwood’s ownership from 1965:
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John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX on Jun 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

According to this story, this and Empire are due to get an ETX screen. Then again this theater doesn’t have stadium seating in any other theater apart from IMAX and the balcony in Theater 1. I hope they leave Theater 1 “The Loews” in tact, it’s a beatiful auditorium.

View link

John Fink
John Fink commented about Batavia Showtime on Jun 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I stopped by for a visit the other day: two decent sized theaters, seats from a General Cinema with the Pepsi logo scrapped off (ie: an AMC era purchase, my guess is the University in Amherst). Non-discript and uncomputerized with a small snack bar and lobby. I hope other folks can offer some insight, the building itself is non-discript with no name, only a marquee with features listed next to roman numerals, the adjacent mall needs to be listed on deadmalls.com – there was nothing short of JC Penny’s, a dance studio, a candy shop and a restaurant inside a perfectly preserved 70’s era mall space.

John Fink
John Fink commented about More voices weighing in on issue of theater ownership by studios on Jun 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

Thanks Ron, correct me if I’m wrong but I assume in the case of Paranormal Activity 35MM prints weren’t struck until they had to be (which might explain why it took a while to go wide once it was clear it was a hit).

With that said I’ve noticed more and more festivals and art houses screening off SD and HD DVDs and other digital formats which have some advantages. In the case of the new Rush movie, it was digitally released so theaters had the flexibility of showing it at times when they weren’t typically crowded. I think in the move to go digital this could be a model for releasing documentaries and art films in a low risk way which is good, but I have no doubt this is the reason many don’t open wider or (I’ve seen this in Buffalo) there are these new digital film cafes popping up: if art films can’t play at art houses which only have pre-show projectors then perhaps this is an option.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Rockaway 16 on Jun 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I haven’t seen it (felt it?) in action but some multiplexes have DBOX (as opposed to D-Bags which there’s no shortage of anywhere) seats for action films: where you can feel the action! (Not sure if that’s a good thing). I might try to find an excuse to visit the Cineplex Queensway outside of Toronto for the experience.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Child-size 3D glasses for Toy Story 3 release on Jun 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

An excellent idea but I wish they would create sturdier Real D glasses one could purchase and perhaps get a $1 off the up-charge when used. I remember when the first Real D movie (the awful Chicken Little) came out and they made green framed glasses to resemble those warn by the title character. I thought it was a shame when U2 3-D came out they didn’t do awesome Bono 3-D shades for the experience (I’d pay for a pimp pair of Real D glasses).

I suspect the only reason this couldn’t work is because theaters use different systems, while the majority of those I’ve been to use Real D, there’s a few others out there that might polarize differently.