Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 on Mar 24, 2006 at 2:47 am

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It will reopen in late summer or fall.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 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 AMC Classic Bloomfield 8 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.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 18, 2006 at 6:41 pm

Sadly the intermission is a thing of the past for most chain cinemas. Here in CT National Amusements does the exact same thing with Indian movies which is stupid. If people have a 5 minute break they may use it to go buy some snacks……right? Beside the point the whole idea of presenting classic movies that have ovatures and intermissions at a single screen theater as part of a program should be to perserve the big screen experience. By the way how is the expermient going for Clearview? Have the showings attracted a crowd?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Sunshine Cinema on Feb 14, 2006 at 7:25 am

My experiences have been good there, but since its a Mark Cuban owned house…they better be able to do better than watching it in your living room on DVD or HD Net Movies….

I have always liked this house, I ussually go on weekends the crowds are good as are the staff and the seats are comfortable, it’s better than the Angelika (even though i have a soft spot for the Angelika for some reason). Even the most high-end movie houses can have their off days.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Crown Abacoa 16 on Feb 10, 2006 at 6:27 pm

The theater had a history of operating losses aparently and Crown cut it’s losses and bounced out of that location. Before closing they had Crown Movie Madness – adults were $6.00, children/seniors/students and shows before 6PM were $4.00 – everyday. They also had an Odyessy screen (Crown also has one of these LSF theaters in Hartford, CT).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews State Theatre in Virgin Megastore in Times Square on Feb 9, 2006 at 5:09 am

Columbia Park 12 in North Bergen, programed by the owners of the former Cineplaza is the place on the East Coast to see Bollywood movies.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Empire 25 on Feb 3, 2006 at 6:06 am

AMC has 4 months to sell off E-Walk

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews State Theatre 4 on Jan 30, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Clearview would be a likely buyer but who wants The State with all of its problems (bad location, ect) and the fact your compeating against bigger and better theatres. Clearview probably could not afford E-Walk – it’s likely a national theater chain will grab that one (probably Regal but maybe Cinemark as they were previously interested in Loews). As for the Loews/Loew’s name – I doubt Loew’s is tradmarked anymore (Loew’s Jersey uses it, but it’s diffinatly not a Loews Cineplex Entertainment house). All this controversy about 100 Years of Loew’s is invalid, the name changed when the Loews Corporation was formed and the theaters were no longer urban palaces. Loew’s held some creadability but the Loews name holds as much nastalgic value as AMC Theaters. And most sites were poorly managed. I’m not sad to see the name go, AMC always ran a better theater if you ask me.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cineplaza 13 on Jan 29, 2006 at 11:10 am

It’s closed, as of this weekend they are screening the Indian movies at the Columbia Park 12 and have closed this facility – this is a loss for Northern NJ as those additional screens would play anything and everything – I saw a lot of revolutionary world cinema there including movies like Oldboy, Kings and Queen, and City of God. This place will be missed.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Angelika Film Center on Jan 29, 2006 at 6:51 am

Just a hunch: but those front speakers vibrating could have been the subway. This house is notrious for that reason.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Mark Cuban asks "What business are theaters in?" on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:45 pm

RE: CJC – I saw Glory Road in Hartford, CT opening weekend, the late show. Kids were running around the theaters and their phones were ringing. I informed security three times, they kicked them out the second time, then they returned again somehow. The third time did nothing. I probably won’t return but security staff is incompitant as are other workers when you complain about projection problems. They are also less apt to give you a free pass if you’ve had a problem that they could correct (unless you take the time to point this all out to the corporation). The experience at some theaters has been cheapened, and those are the theatres that honestly have no business charging top dollar, wheras I have no problem paying $10.00 a ticket for a top quality movie experience where everything is infocus, aspect ratios are respected, and the audience is clearly there to see a movie. I think the thinking behind going to the movies needs to change.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Mark Cuban asks "What business are theaters in?" on Jan 28, 2006 at 5:16 am

Well Landmark Theaters provides a more “adult” experience, I don’t know if age seperation is the answer. I hate when a cell phone rings during the show (and these days they don’t just ring, they ring to a polophonic impression of Laffy Taffy Remix) – at the same time I’d be sad if the window between theater and DVD vanished. In fact I considered seeing Bubble in the theatres and decided against it – why pay $10.75 a ticket (21.50) to see it at the Sunshine in New York when surly Best Buy will be selling it for $19.99.

But I agree – the movie experience needs to shift, the direction I think we should be going in is diffrent price points. Kids aren’t going to pay $20 bucks to see a certain movie at a high end luxery theater, they’ll opt for a place charging $8 bucks. I think we need high end luxery palaces and low end Regal Cinemas-types of theaters (that charge less than Regal). If you create an experience thats diffrent, that adds the excitement back in to the movies where people are well behaved (sort of like Landmark Theaters) then people will go. NATO has little faith in themselves to create that experience. I have always belived that if a first run theater doesn’t have stadium seating it shouldn’t charge as much as a theater that does, the movie theater industry needs to be more broken up by price points, charging more for high end, first rate experiences and drastically less for lower-end theaters.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC - Loews Merger to Close Soon on Jan 27, 2006 at 9:09 am

Will they rebrand? AMC’s website still sites as “Loews Plainville 20” – the phone message thanks me for calling Loews Cineplex Plainville 20. And how could they have closed the merger when Fenway and E-Walk are still operating as Loews/AMC sites? It also apears the State has closed as well and that the Magic Johnson theater in Harlem has been changed to the AMC Harlem 9.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:47 am

I figure AMC will try to put a multiplex in Garden State Plaza (Loews was trying to as well) and do away with the Ten Plex down the road – this one has been closed for two weeks now, it would have been shocking to see the AMC name on this one.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC - Loews Merger to Close Soon on Jan 26, 2006 at 3:16 am

Route 17 – a 60’s style tri-plex has been closed for a few weeks now I think. There was talk of opening a multiplex at Garden State Plaza (which is in the same parking lot as the Route 17 triplex) – theres a chance AMC will try again with that.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC - Loews Merger to Close Soon on Jan 25, 2006 at 10:46 am

What about the Star Theaters brand?

Secondly AMC gained several strong locations from GCC including Clifton Commons in NJ, GCC had a few new stadium seating theaters that were new, they took the good with the bad. GCC’s problem is they were locked into leases and expanded in the late 80’s/early 90’s before the stadium seating boom, leaving them with out of date 6-10 plexes and Regal and AMC were going crazy building new style megaplexes.

AMC has a lot of work to do on Loews to bring them up to their quality, just from a customer service point of view. I remember when the topic was brought up in an earlier post someone had complained that AMC brings in their management – the answer, Loews Theaters are dirty and poorly managed (it’s not just true of one theater – I have been to LCE theaters in five states). AMC is pretty good. General Cinema was always quality, and they really are missed.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC - Loews Merger to Close Soon on Jan 23, 2006 at 10:16 am

AMC didn’t close any GC theaters outright but it did close a few that were a bit out of date including the Leigh Valley Mall 1-8 in Allentown, PA.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Wayne 14 on Jan 22, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Really? They’ll probably make it look more AMC-like. AMC’s new constructions have awsome seats.