Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow Tie Cinemas acquires 95 screens from Crown Theatres on Dec 26, 2006 at 1:21 pm

In Hartford they only ever once had the personal intros, to about 5 people (the rest were lined up waiting to get in) for Roll Bounce, bassicly the manager said “please turn off your cell phones” – since I was in line, I only heard the last part of it. It’s nice, they used to do this too at (National Amusements) Edgewater Multiplex in New Jersey when they first opened, but that since has gone away.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 on Dec 12, 2006 at 4:42 pm

But Yahoo movie is showing it as Regal E-Walk 13: View link

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 on Dec 12, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Moviefone is wrong, just look at the way they spell “fone”…..have the other former AMC, now Regal sites changed? I know when AMC took over General Cinema it was a few months before the exterior signs switched over, and considering this is a huge sign in times square there are probably other issues there. It’s better to keep something up there (AMC didn’t cover the General Cinema signs) than nothing – Regal/UA ran the Columbia Park theater in North Bergen without a sign on it as it was “transitioning” to UA (even thought it never did and transitioned back to Regal, which made calling it UA Columbia Park pointless, where as Battery Park did actually transition to being a UA, including sign changes, but the signs now have changed to Regal). But there is no way in hell AMC would permit the site to be known as Regal Loews E-Walk.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Strand Theatre on Nov 27, 2006 at 2:18 pm

This was once part of Hoyts?? I didn’t know this. Were others part of Hoyts that are now and were owned by Frank’s Theatres? I’m confused. Hoyts' American operations were based in MA, and they had a financing deal with BCG for some of their MA/CT theaters, which were than reaquired. I know Hoyts was also going to build the Bayone theater that Frank’s Theatres finished. (Most newer Hoyts sites are run by Regal Entertainment Group, others are now opperated by National Amusements, Crown (now Bow Tie), and BCG’s Entertainment Cinemas/NorthEast Cinemas). Can anyone clarify the corporate relationship between Frank’s Theaters, Hoyts, and BCG?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow Tie Cinemas acquires 95 screens from Crown Theatres on Nov 25, 2006 at 6:53 am

Any word on the remaining Crown sites that Bow Tie didn’t aquire?

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Rockaway 16 on Nov 19, 2006 at 4:24 am

I saw Fast Food Nation in one of the smaller theaters – the screen was pretty big, the seats weren’t AMC style, but they were comfortable and had the love seats (the backs weren’t as high as they are at the Empire 25). The theater itself was well done – important to this site, Jordarmoviefan, because it could serve as a model for rebranding Loews sites, the Loews Cinemplex’s searchlight logo is shadowed in the art work and building design, while everything else is AMC. I don’t know if they ever will rebrand the Loews sites (I guess if they can get out of the Fandango/Screenvision deal, perhaps), but this is a good new theater, and one of several new complexes slated for Northern NJ (SOPAC is currenly open and is nice but its disapointing that Clearview is the only chain not building new theaters with stadium seating, the others on the way are the Muvico at Xanadu and a new theater at Garden State Plaza)

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Rockaway 16 on Nov 12, 2006 at 6:28 am

Originally to be opened as Loews (the name will likely be abandoned for any future new construction as the Loews name implies that they’d be a Fangango and Screenvision theater verses a and National Cinemedia theater) – it has a few key design features of a new Loews including the billboard sized movie posters. The design is also simular to that of the Loews Alderwood site near Settle, WA. I’m curious to see (and will see, I guess this weekend) if they’ve furnished the interiror AMC style with their seats and designs or if it will be Loews without the name.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Abby Cinemas on Nov 4, 2006 at 3:45 am

What do we know about New Day Cinemas? What sort of special programing will they play?

John Fink
John Fink commented about 'Death of a President' struggles to find exhibitor support on Oct 30, 2006 at 11:44 am

This is an odd case: the film has gotten mixed reviews. On one hand I want to see it, on the other hand (from reading the reviews) it sounds like it’s not a well made movie. It sounds like a gemick to sell tickets (although some reviewers say its thoughtful). Perhaps the chains (and I hate censorship, by the way) didn’t think it was very good. The trailer doesn’t grab me, personally. Still I’d like to be able to make up my mind. The distribution is odd – really its playing at any theater that will show it, which are mostly small regional chains (Entertainment Cinemas, Cobb, Great Escape) – Angelika and Landmark are showing it too. If it received a wide release on over 400 or so screens I bet it would have done pretty well with people curious about it. I’d be interested in seeing its per screen average, but its worth noting that a cinema as liberal as the Angelika Film Center in New York is only showing it on one screen, and they are the only cinema in Manhatten showing it, then again their audience is mostly driven to see films by their reviews and in this case the reviews were mixed, at best.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinema owner protests new films by shutting down theater on Oct 3, 2006 at 12:56 pm

This guy is engaged in a publicity stunt and a poor one. I agree why not show art pictures then if you dislike Jackass and Beerfest. If your community wants to see these types of movies and you don’t find them intelligent enough for an art picture than what are you doing in business in this community? This guy, quite honestly, an idiot. There are many other films out there, he’s not being forced to show Jackass Number 2 or Beerfest.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal Fenway Stadium 13 on Sep 19, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Regal is putting money in to the theater? Are they re-paint/wall paper everything to coordinate with the Regal colors like they did at Union Square and at Brass Mill Center in Waterbury, CT? I can’t imagine this theater is run down, General Cinema built theaters in such a way that I don’t think they ever looked run down, I imagine its simular to Clifton Commons in New Jersey, which is still in great shape and AMC (which hasn’t really put any money in to remodeling theaters) only installed new carpeting in theaters.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Brass Mill Center 12 on Sep 5, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Opened as Hoyts Brass Mill Center, but remained under Northeast Theaters opperation for about 9 months when most other Hoyts were sold. Three other Hoyts that didn’t become Regals were Enfield Mall (now run by National Amusements), Cinema City (closed for a week in September 2005 and reopened by Crown Theaters) and Simsbury Commons (still run by Northeast Cinemas).

Brass Mill Center underwent a renovation under Regal, implimenting a new color scheme and building a new snack bar. Hoyts opperated a gormet concession stand which is now gone (its a party room). The theatres themselves are okay with stadium seating and all the ammenties you’d expect of a modern theater. It’s on the third floor of Brass Mill Center, directly in the center of the building and visable from Route 84.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow-Tie Cinema Palace 17 and BTX on Sep 5, 2006 at 1:14 am

Best theater in CT?? Crown Palace is okay but I still contend the best theater in CT is down the street, Real Art Ways (good movies, projection, and the place is kept very clean). Crown Palace has obnoxious people who talk on their cell phones even during movies like The Passion of the Christ. That to me was kind of amazing. Although you can’t beat Crown Movie Madness – 4 bucks for a student ticket, you can’t even rent a video for that. What incentive do you have not to go to the movies.

Buckland Cinema De Lux/Showcase was better but at more than double the price. Still my rule was this: Crown during the week when it was empty, Buckland on weeekends – they had a nicer crowd there in Manchester anyway…and when the movie was sold out at Buckland – East Hartford, but that option is no longer there.

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.