Comments from John Fink

Showing 526 - 550 of 712 comments

John Fink
John Fink commented about Showcase Cinema 14 East Hartford, CT To Close on Aug 28, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Yeah but this is the last of its kind – a 70’s style multiplex, I for one liked how retro it was when I was living in CT. That and they had, for some unknown reason the best popcorn in the area. There was something about driving past that huge theater on 84, all lit up and empty on a weekday night (ussually on the way to the Showcase in Manchester). That and Hartford will be losing screens for Indian movies.

Now what would be great is if R.A.W. and Wadsworth Anthemium teamed up and opperated a huge art house/art gallery combo.

To be fair I had a feeling this would be gone when I heard Manchester would be expanding, apparently they are building four new theaters on to it but I’d imagine they had to cut a theater or two out since the lobby was a bit small for the new food features. Showcase Buckland Hills (which opened in 1998) has always been a quality theater even though its I-Max is tiny. Maybe the Palace will take on the Bollywood movies?

It should also be noted that Cinema City, the commerical art house in Hartford will likely soon close when Criterion Cinemas opens at Blue Back Square in West Hartford. At one time Cinema City and East Hartford were the only game in town, and still to this day they have a policy of not playing the same movie at the same time.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 on Aug 16, 2006 at 11:36 am

It seems unlikely Regal will keep the Nathins menu items around – I don’t know Regal Cinemas as well as I know Loews, AMC and National Amusements but I don’t recall any Regal Cinemas serving hot foods. AMC did keep the hot food items around when they aquired Loews and further back when they aquired General Cinema but as far as I know didn’t add a fast food line up to any new constructions.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Washington Township Cinemas on Aug 3, 2006 at 2:04 pm

Yes. But Clearview Cinemas charges higher prices than AMC, which lowered a few of the Loews sites (Pallisades was once 10.00 as Loews, AMC lowered it to 9.50 – evenings). Since Clearview doesn’t offer quality projection (they simply don’t care about proper framing – I know, tragically if you want to see an art picture in Northern NJ you’re likely going to a Clearview site) or even stadium seating. They charge as much as the larger chains but don’t offer the same quality movie going, yes they have invested in revamping lobby areas but the core problems at Clearview still remain. That “nice crowd” you talk about at Washington Township, the type of people that see art movies is likely no more, not saying its gone ghetto but they’ve stoped showing art movies focusing on what Emerson used to show.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Historic Wellmont Theatre for Sale or Lease! on Jun 29, 2006 at 3:23 pm

I love this idea – it is simular to Real Art Ways in Hartford (minus the gallery) but Montclair needs a non-commerical art house movie theater that shows alternative types of movies like R.A.W.’s cinema. I’d diffinatly plunk down the money for a membership in a not for profit venue like this.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews and AMC to Sell 10 Theaters on May 26, 2006 at 6:09 pm

So…months later and still no word on buyers for all the complexes. I know Chicago, Union Station, and Kabuki have buyers, but (as far as I know and I’m hoping you’ll tell me otherwise) no word on Fenway and E-Walk, right?

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC fires (then rehires) veteran ticket-taker with tattoos on May 25, 2006 at 9:46 am

Sure. I’ll tell you why Regal is stupid as I mentioned above: they made a bunch of bad business decissions which have forced them into cheapening the movie going experience by having to think outside the box and capatalize on the captive audience. Every wall it seems is for sale at Regal as flat pannel displays in the loby promote everything. The reason, I suspect is that they have to make up for major opperating losses, they were not the wisest of theater chains as we all know, often building large multiplexes and megaplexes some few miles apart from eachother, often in poor areas. They expected growth and didn’t find it. They were the hardest hit during the multiplex crash in 2000 because they opened more theaters than anyone else. This was stupid.

And as we all know in the case of Regal many of their sites are currently abandoned or are being run by other companies as discount houses. North Bergen, NJ is an example of how stupid Regal actually is. I don’t say this because I have a vendetta against Regal they just made the same mistake twice in a town that couldn’t suport two multiplexes in an area that wasn’t underserved. As a result they no longer opperate in North Bergen.

Addressing the question of this post AMC seems to have a policy that forbids employees from this sort of self expression, thats fine but its stupid for them to fire someone who has faithfully worked for the cinema for 15 years on the basis of his tatoos. It screams of age discrimination but there may have been another reason that we don’t know. I wish we knew the real story.

Furhtermore not all chains are bad. The best in the country is National Amusements (you don’t have them in Texas) – they often get the framing spot on, quickly address any problems and opperate extremly clean theaters with top quality snacks. AMC is okay, but they’re theaters in my experience can get a bit dirty, they have a little work to do on bathroom and theater cleanlyness (and even more work on the Loews side since Onex ran their fleet into the ground). Cinemark I’ve only visited a few times, they seemed pretty decent.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Historic Wellmont Theatre for Sale or Lease! on May 24, 2006 at 4:36 pm

Oh if I had the capital to turn that place into a pimped out luxery cinema, taking on the space behind the ground level theaters and convertiting it in to a stadium seating theater and fixing up the balcony to provide extra leg room. Man, that would make one hell of an alternative space and movie theater with a gallery and maybe a bar. I would love to see this place become the type of high end cinema (still keeping the original archtecture of coarse, that’d be a shame to see it gone). Still its a major loss since the Clairidge isn’t showing anything too alternative, despite the posters for Drawing Restraint, Look Both Ways, and The Beauty Academy of Kabul it will never show these movies – it favors “safer” art movies that make money, like Art School Confidental.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC fires (then rehires) veteran ticket-taker with tattoos on May 24, 2006 at 2:17 am

Regal is by no means a good theater company – they have made extremly stupid decissions in their rather short (they were founded in the late 80’s, they aren’t as old as AMC and National Amusements) history.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC fires (then rehires) veteran ticket-taker with tattoos on May 23, 2006 at 6:16 pm

If he’s been there for 15 years he was hired by General Cinema, who didn’t have a problem with him. Why fire him all the sudden, AMC? AMC themselves aren’t so great, they often don’t hire the best people – if he had been with the theater for 15 years he probably was a quality employee. Another stupid move from the company that thought the solidly proforming The Aristocrats would have little box office potental, even in major urban markets.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Red Carpet Theaters?!? on May 22, 2006 at 4:48 pm

It sounds honestly like it was just a brand name – perhaps the studios had an affliation with the cinema or a deal to show their pictures. Granted the practice of block and blind booking are long gone, it still sort of exists. In NJ, for example it seems that Ridgewood and Hawthorn (which don’t share movies) often will each show films from the same studio most of the time. While not written in stone most of the time Columbia and Fox films open in Ridgewood, Hawthrorn gets WB and Universal. Now this distinction may have been replaced with “now showing in select theaters”.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Wellmont Theatre on May 22, 2006 at 4:00 am

It’s sad to see its gone, especiallly since they used to show somewhat more daring movies than Clearview. The Screening Zone (always a crummy theater – but I liked its alternative edge) had programed good stuff as well. Than Montclair became more and more upscale and it seemed like The Clairidge is the only one that surived and they only show major art pictures, nothing alternative or from micro distributers. Montclair, with once 11 art screens now only has 6 – this is a major loss for film fans in the area, Montclair isn’t what it used to be.

I wish a non for profit would take over the Welmount, and do something with it where it became a cultural center (like Real Art Ways in Hartford) – with a gallery, bar, lounge and most importantly a home for documentary, alternative, and indie film. Now that concept would diffinatly hinder The Clairidge and their domination to show “safe” studio-indie division released pictures that are poorly projected with endless commericals before the trailers.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Wellmont Theatre on May 21, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Any update on this place? It’s currently closed (the recording claims its for renovations but the Robert’s Theatres website removes any mention of it, only posting showtimes for Chatham). Have we lost it? The Clairidge is a decent cinema but not great, I know the parking situation (the construciton of new parking structures) hurt a lot of Monclair business this past summer, including this theater too I bet. Hopefully it will return better than ever, and hopefully with more daring art pictures too.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Marquee Theater in Springfield, MA Closes on May 20, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Well its back – now as an Entertainment Cinemas.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 on May 18, 2006 at 7:28 am

Crown may not be a likely buyer, in Florida they cut there losses and closed a theater and sold one to Cobb.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Rockaway Inner 6/Outer 6 on Apr 25, 2006 at 11:25 am

Even more perplexing is this going to be an ‘AMC Loews’ site or will it be branded with AMC. If it’s ‘AMC Loews’ then it may sell tickets off of Fangango verses MovieTickets.com (although they tell everyone to go to moviewatcher.com and AMC sorts it out from there). I look foward to the new theater regardless. I haven’t seen the Loews brand come down anywhere, it apears they any aquired sites (even sites with Cineplex Oden signage) will be known as “AMC Loews” instead of changing everything (like AMC did with GC sites it took over, then again this was techincally considred a merger). I guess we will have to wait and see, truth be told it’s probably smarter for them to open the Rockaway site as an AMC since AMC was already well known in Rockaway and their opening day ads can proclaim “AMC returns to Rockaway Towne Square Mall”.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Interstate Theatre on Apr 23, 2006 at 5:38 pm

It is, the theater was also known as Sony Theatres (it was opened by Music Makers). I saw one movie there late in its run but remember the fight (by the bowlers of the community) to keep Interstate Lanes open. The bowling alley was actually well run and successful, why the devoloper knocked it down I don’t know (I guess Boarders and Bed Bath and Beyond yeild more rent revenue). I saw Air Force One at the Interstate. I remember the lack of computerized ticketing and the large but simple theaters (painted purple I think). Interstate and Edgewater had slightly lower ticket prices than other Loews/Sony Theatres in Northern NJ (as they were older and didn’t offer the digital sound and extra padded seats that the younger Loews locations did).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Sundance Kabuki on Mar 24, 2006 at 2:47 am

View link

It will reopen in late summer or fall.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Sundance Kabuki on Mar 23, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Not only will this remain open but will become a Sundance Cinema. Whats odd about this move is Sundance Cinemas was one of many things to lead to the bankruptsy of General Cinema as Redford refused to remodel existing GC locations in upscale locations. It also didn’t help that Redford wanted to spend 2 million dollars per-screen on such weird ideas as natural fiber seats and retractable roofs (this was planned for Portland, OR). GC was later bought by AMC. Redford has aquired what I susspect is a well run and popular house and plans to retrofit at least 5 screens with stadium seating and add two bars in the complex. It will undoubtably be trendy and I can’t wait to see it. It will soon be known as the Sundance Kabuki 8.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Mar 17, 2006 at 6:43 pm

The theater looks very classy after the renovations, sort of like a low-rent version of Criterion Cinemas in New Haven in its color scheme. The new seats are comfortable and the new snack bar area and bathrooms were bright and clean – on that level the experience is above that of a discount house (during my last visit in December 2005 I strugled to find a seat that wasn’t broken).

I did unfortunatly have a few problems with Cinema 12 tonight: the first, we walk in about 15 minutes early to a theater that wasn’t cleaned (our tickets were ripped and we were invited to sit down) only to have a manager ask us to leave so they could clean. I asked why the ticket taker didn’t have a door schedule. Clearview is never as organized as the bigger chains when it comes to customer service. Secondly the theater’s tempature varried from too warm at times to freezing cold. Thirdly the projection was canted, an employee had assured me he’d tell someone to fix it, it was never fixed. Forth: they still haven’t fixed the problem with sound traveling from other theaters into your theater, I can’t wait to see an art flick next to a loud action picture next time I go to Cinema 12, oh boy! And lastly: they spent all this money on an upgrade and yet they didn’t bother to put in Stadium Seating. This is no low-priced theater either, its $9.50 – the same as theaters with stadium seating and more ammenities. So what they have new seats and a pre-show (called “The Clearview” which is essentally propaganda for Cablevison and its networks), I can’t wait for the new AMC at Rockaway.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Tribeca Cinemas on Mar 15, 2006 at 4:38 pm

It apears this theater will be the center of the Tribecca Film Festival which is oddly moving up town this year to play at locations as far North as Lincoln Square (which angers me to no end that movies in the festival will play so far from Tribecca since the original goal of the festival was to bring revenue in to lower Manhatten and areas directly impacted by 9/11). I guess all of Manhatten has, granted, but the new locations at AMC/Loews make it hard to catch multiple screenings, last year the furthest up they went was a screening or two at the Prada store in So Ho.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Megaplex 8 at Thanksgiving Point on Mar 12, 2006 at 9:31 am

Yes. But a movie theater by industry diffinition has to have 16+ theaters to be called a megaplex. This is a multiplex. (Although if they were include Multiplex in their theater’s name they would be sued by National Amusements).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Buckland Hills 18 + IMAX on Mar 4, 2006 at 6:36 pm

This one is due to be converted into a Cinema De Lux, the property has a liquor permit notice.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Mansfield Cinema 14 on Mar 3, 2006 at 6:40 pm

Yeah but this one was poorly retrofitted (provided with the fact it simply didn’t have the height to do 18 inch risers). I’ve seen very good retrofits – National Amusements in CT retrofitted theaters in East Windsor and Berlin and the job was well done (except for the large houses in East Windsor, the spaceing is a bit akward but giant screens make up for it). Clearview’s screens are rather small and this one (at $9.50 a ticket) is over priced.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Digiplex Bloomfield on Mar 3, 2006 at 3:16 am

I guess Crown Palace 17’s discount policy during the week (6.00 for adults, 4.00 before 6 and for everyone else at night), their new student rate (since the theater is close to a few schools), and the fact the theater was in poor repair, had bad sound, and uncomfortable seats was the reason it hasn’t been a top proformer lately. I agree a cinema cafe would do well in that location.

I had also heard of rumors years ago that Entertainment Cinemas wanted to expand the theater to have 12 screens (this was during the multiplex boom (1998-2000) that brought the Hartford area a bunch of new multi and megaplexes – including the Palace 17, Buckland Hills, and Loews Plainville). Also too BCG owns (I belive although I am confused about) the nearby Simsbury Commons 8, even though the signage still says ‘Hoyts’ I belive the rights reverted back to Boston Culinary Group.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Mar 1, 2006 at 12:36 pm

Finally, but Clearview will have a problem I think in that now that AMC has taken over at Loews and prices are either lower or equal that to Clearview without offering the same ammenities (especially if AMC goes to town and retrofits some sites with stadium seating) this could be problematic for the company that brings neighbors to the movies.