Comments from John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com)

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John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Any other 'Urban Outfitters' theaters? on Jan 6, 2006 at 5:51 am

Now if Urban Outfitters launched its own chain of movie theaters…think about how cool that’d be…

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Slate on the 'Popcorn Palace economy' on Jan 6, 2006 at 5:50 am

Another observation I observed is staff doesn’t care about picture presentation. I went to see Memoris of a Geisha at the Clearview Kinnelon 11 last Sunday and told some idiotic usher about about a problem with the framing, he interupted me in the middle, calling his manager by saying “yo, we got a problem up in some theater in the back, go check on it” – thats all. It wasn’t fixed, I didn’t want to sound snobby and get into the importance of mise-en-scene in a movie like that, but… as a young person myself though I take offense to that last comment, I’m ussually the first person to go out and tell them the pictures out of focus or framing. Some chains are high quality, customer driven and they do care (National Amusements), other chains are trying to get you in and out (Regal Cinemas and Clearview). N/A’s aproach is interesting – make going to the movies an event, by doing so they charge significantly more but it’s worth it for the high quality snacks and atmopshere, they encougage you to hang around (and spend some money).

With that said I’d love to see the return of the intermission. Peter Jackson has enough clout, if he said “mandatory 10 minute intermission” they’d do it, even though chains themselves are reluctant to. Bollywood movies ussually have one built in to the story, National Amusements choses it off and keep the film going, but if they did offer an intermission I probably would be inclined to get candy for the next half of the show. If anything Peter Jackson can be unfair to the bladder after that Pepsi you upsided because it was only a quarter more than the medium.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Jan 3, 2006 at 11:26 am

I was there over the weekend, in theater #4, one of those larger houses and had a problem finding a seat, the theater was only 25% filled but a lot of the seats (which have been in opperation for 11 years now) are falling apart or bent in odd ways from use. And this is a first run house that charges more than Clifton Commons and Essex Green (due to the fact they don’t offer student rate anymore, the adult rate of 9.50 is equal to that of Clifton). The customer service is good and the snack bar has been upgraded several times (they now serve chicken fingers), but quite honestly I spend more time in the auditrium then I do at the concession stand or in those repainted hallways.

Clearview is a small and frugal chain, they’re building two new screens at Cinema 10 (without stadium seating) and have replaces the seats there, yet Cinema 12’s seats are uncomfortable and in need of retirement. The theater I was in was in simular shape to that of an 11 year old discount house. Granted they are a small chain, but they charge the same price (or more) as the larger chains theaters so we should all demand the same quality movie going. I probably won’t be there again for a while.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Loews East Hanover 12 on Jan 3, 2006 at 11:17 am

East Hanover opened in December 1993, one of the first in what the company called the Star design, which became the standard (the curved signage reading Loews Theater). This one actually oppened as Loews before Sony aquired the company (and the name was changed to Sony Theaters before eventually being changed back to Loews with the opening of the New Brunswick 18-plex).

It was nice at the time, now its standard and even outdated, the seats are still original (although better mainatined than Cinema 12, which is starting to become as run down as a discount house). Parking is a mess, they used to have security directing traffic on weekend nights, with a sectioned off “drop off zone” around the back to facilitate the movement of traffic in front of the theater.

I agree with Justin, all the current theaters in Morris County will most likely take a hit, but East Hanover, as you point out has always showed a bit more upscale product like Brokeback Mountain then the new Rockaway theater will (aside from that standard one or two rare films they’ll undoubtably show early in their opperation to decifier if there could be a market for it at the theater). If Rockaway becomes too popular I wonder if they will look in to upgrades or discount pricing (Loews responded to Edgewater Multiplex by drastically lowering prices in Ridgefield Park), but Route 10 is a well traveled highway itself, as is 46. Cinema 12 and Cinema 10 will survive, it’ll just be easier to find a parking space (although you have to wonder if AMC’s prices are lower or equal to Cinema 10 and 12’s $9.50 – will Clearview be forced to adapt by offering stadium seating and a rewards program like Moviewatcehrs?).

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Loews and AMC to Sell 10 Theaters on Dec 29, 2005 at 4:06 am

See, I disagree with you in that I think the history of any theater is important to cinema studies, in the 1950’s when people started moving away from the cities and you had chains such as AMC and GC building suberban theaters (in malls ussually) that had to have an effect on the types of films made. Until Cinematour and Cinema Treasures the study of exhibition was really just a small footnote in Cinema Studies. So any theater impacting any culture could be determined to be a cinema treasure in that we can study its effects, not just those that are grand movie palaces of the studio era.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Woodbridge General Cinemas II on Dec 28, 2005 at 6:19 pm

..sounds identical to the old GC on Route 46 in West Patterson, now also an Office Max. Thanks for clearing that up I was wondering about it since the Movie City seemed very un-GC like, but I hadn’t noticed any listings for it in newspapers (the Movie City theater) so I had just assumed that it that was what they referred to. GC was at one time the largest chain in the country, and this proves it, they must had a nice market hold with theaters in Woodbridge, Menlo Park, and at Brunswick Square.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Woodbridge General Cinemas II on Dec 28, 2005 at 9:11 am

Actually, this one was behind (I think) Toys R Us and lasted a bit longer than the early 90’s, opperating as Movie City (before Howard Grant sold a chunk of the chain to Clearview and others to focus on Mega Movies at Brunswick Square) then a discount house for Clearview Cinemas.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Loews Meadow 6 on Dec 28, 2005 at 9:09 am

Regal’s venture in to North Bergen is flat out one of the stupidest movies in the history of cinema exhibition, I’m guessing they thought that Secacus and North Bergen would be considered two diffrent booking terratories, I remember when Bergen Plaza (now Cineplaza) opened, it was showing Titanic on two screens, after it had finished its run in Secacus, it has found its place though successfully showing Indian movies, whereas their other complex (opened just as Bergen Plaza switched its pricing to 3.50) Columbia Park is in a successful mall that is in a low income (3% sales tax urban enterprize zone) which eventually found success when Innerstate Theaters took it over and charged $2.00 for movies that were just comming out on DVD.

Both complexes have stadium seating but had this misfutune of not being able to run product on the same day as Loews. For a while Fox opened their movies in North Bergen (There’s Something About Mary played on 3 screens at Bergen Plaza presumably because it was the only movie making any money there, I doubt demand was that strong). Regal also played art films too, bassicly showing anything they could.

These theaters went discount I’m guessing because it needed to keep up with Ridgefield Park (a Loews house that also showed first run pictures for a lower price) and Clifton Commons and Edgewater which were successful (as they were in good locations) and had stadium seating.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Loews Wayne 14 on Dec 28, 2005 at 8:58 am

Okay, that didn’t make sense, bassicly one theater is behind the other, projecting on to what would have been the left side of the former auditrium wall, it wasn’t expanded out but the theater’s sight lines are good enough that you the divsion isn’t a hiderance (except for that long, dark hallway you have to walk down to get past one theater to the other).

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Loews Wayne 14 on Dec 28, 2005 at 8:55 am

Possable but these were larger than the current largest theaters there 3 and 4, they were split so that one theater is behind the other, in half, creating two shallow theaters.

Visual example:


| | | 7 |
| 6 | | _ |
| | to: | | 8 |
|
__| |
|
____|

note: not anywhere near scale, but you get the point.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Loews and AMC to Sell 10 Theaters on Dec 28, 2005 at 8:48 am

Fanny Mae sounds like the housing organization (?) but if these theaters were to close (like for example if Boston Common outright closed or was bought by Interstate Theaters and became a discount house) AMC would have a stronghold over first run movie going and thats what the sale of these theaters is trying to dissolve.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Loews and AMC to Sell 10 Theaters on Dec 28, 2005 at 5:02 am

Actually I think a condition of selling the theaters is that they have to remain first run, full priced houses. If all 10 were to become discount houses it would have the adverse effect of allow AMC to set prices in that region.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Loews and AMC to Sell 10 Theaters on Dec 24, 2005 at 1:19 pm

Clearview is in financial troubles, Cablevision its parent company wanted to sell off the unit- I doubt they’re in shape to take over E-Walk. Regal is the most likely suiter, but I’d prefer if it went to National Amusements (which would be their first in Manhatten, although they have ventured in to other urban areas) or if Muvico used it to get in on the New York market (before they open across the river at Xandu in East Rutherford). And when Loews was up for bid a few years ago Cinemark was interested, could they grow from this, they’re Interstate Theatres unit did (back when they owned it) take over Regal Columbia Park in North Bergen, NJ and they do own a lone theater up in Hadley, MA, so they might want to snag a theater in a prestigous location.

As for Sundance Cinemas, back when they were at GC Redford never wanted to retrofit any of their locations to be Sundance Cinemas, he wanted all new constructions, some with idiotic features including a retractable roof in Portland, OR and natrual fiber seats.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Luxury Cinemas 13 on Dec 14, 2005 at 4:10 pm

It’s owned by George Grant, who used to own the Movie City chain, some of which were aquired by Clearview, another one (about a mile down Route 1) is closed. Mega Movies is his entire design and in some ways almost seems like the inspiration for the food court at National Amusements' Cinema De Lux, this one pre-dates their first suberban (ie: not The Bridge) Cinema De Lux, Island 16.

I haven’t been here in a while but it’s well run, comfortable, modern and non-corporate.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Forestville Theaters on Dec 13, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Formerly a Loews Theater, then Sony – which closed when Loews Plainville 20 opened. The complex had two owners opperating under Movieland and Forestville Theatres, it closed earlier this year for good as a discount house. Frequently they’d show anything they could, Think Film and Lion’s Gate actually gave first run status to a few films there, Alone in the Dark played there opening weekend (at the discount rate), as did Punisher and Diary of a Mad Black Women. Think Film released the Assisination of Richard Nixon here the same weekend as it opened at Hartford’s commerical art house Cinema City.

The theater also housed the Hollywood at the Bayou program, a 16MM showcase of old Hollywood films. In its last reincarnation the theater had scrapped two 35MM projectors, opperating on 6 35MM cinemas and the Hollywood at the Bayou screen.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about UA Crossbay on Dec 5, 2005 at 7:08 pm

Mansfield, but the right to build on that site was retained form Nelson-Firman. We’ll see if they grow in the AMC/Loews merger, but I doubt it, actually.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about A Special Academy Award for the Best Run Theater? on Dec 5, 2005 at 4:05 am

It sounds like Cinema Treasures needs to start giving out awards, maybe by region.

Maybe a Cinema Tour members choice award.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 on Nov 30, 2005 at 6:38 pm

Is AMC/Loews going to have to sell off a peice of that you think? In New York they may not have a total monopoly but in Boston and Chicago they may. I wonder if we’ll be seeing Clearview Cinemas E-Walk 13 in a few months.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Nov 28, 2005 at 4:15 pm

Strange, they were open Wednesday night. The design almost looks like a Regal Cinemas- the two new theaters (located to the right at a 90 degree angle) will be designed so that the projection booth is about 5 feet above the floor- there will be chance they can upgrade the those two new houses to Stadium Seating in the future without digging underground.

As for the closure – it was extremly cold there Wednesday night (the new bathrooms had no heat for example). I don’t know whats going on with it. I asked the ticket selller if she knew when the project would be complete she had said December was the target date but she doubts it’ll be finished in time.

Interestingly enough I asked a concession stand attendent the same thing and she didn’t know either. I then commented that “those upstairs theaters are gone” – she said “yeah, we get a lot of complains”, I then asked if her she knew what those theaters originally were for. She didn’t. I’m not blaiming her but I thought that working there those upstairs theaters would be sort of an urban legend for the employees. Guess not.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Rockaway Inner 6/Outer 6 on Nov 21, 2005 at 4:59 pm

So what is the current status given the merger? Is the building being built? Will be it AMC verses being Loews. This is exciting as it will probably be the first (if not first) Loews devoloped AMC-opened theaters. Although during the crash they didn’t finish any GC theaters in progress (leaving two half-built Sundance Cinemas locations to later be devoloped as a Regal Cinemas “Movie Art” theater and The Bridge: Cinema De Lux).

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Nov 7, 2005 at 11:35 am

I’ve been turned away from shows there- it’s a mix of location (on a busy highway), the fact theres places to shop and eat in the area, it’s an area insitution (its been there for what, like 30 years now) and movie goers from the area who formerly went to the AMC theaters at Rockaway now have their choice between Cinema 10, Cinema 12 or Mansfield – reducing the screen count to 6, and the Rockaway theaters were extremly popular, Cinema 10 is the next best choice.

By the way, is construction comming along on the Loews/AMC Rockaway or has the project been shelved due to the merger and the current state of the exhibition industry?

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Nov 7, 2005 at 11:35 am

I’ve been turned away from shows there- it’s a mix of location (on a busy highway), the fact theres places to shop and eat in the area, it’s an area insitution (its been there for what, like 30 years now) and movie goers from the area who formerly went to the AMC theaters at Rockaway now have their choice between Cinema 10, Cinema 12 or Mansfield – reducing the screen count to 6, and the Rockaway theaters were extremly popular, Cinema 10 is the next best choice.

By the way, is construction comming along on the Loews/AMC Rockaway or has the project been shelved due to the merger and the current state of the exhibition industry?

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Nov 7, 2005 at 3:01 am

My point is generally an IMAX theater has to be in a metropolitan area- I’m assuming most people reading a message board dealing with a theater in North West NJ wouldn’t make the connection that Manchester, CT is 12 miles east of Hartford, so to quickly prove my point about IMAX theaters either being in large shoping centers or near/in cities its easier to say its in Hartford region. It seems like that status allows it more new toys to play with as well (they are showing Chicken Little in Disney Digital 3-D). My general point is although Cinema 10 is successful, Clearview most likely would not invest in all these extras because after everyone in Morris County has seen the new IMAX movie theres no one left. Manchester, for example has multiple colleges near it, it had the distinction of being the closest cinema to UCONN (open all year long) until this summer, as well as the city of Hartford. Succasunna just doesn’t have that population to get them in the way that those other IMAX sites do.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about AMC Empire 25 on Nov 7, 2005 at 2:53 am

It happened because AMC is ultra efficiant in moving a picture around to a diffrent theater at a diffrent time, I’ve noted that. While it may apear a movie should be playing in the same theater all day (even if it apears to only be on a single screen) it’ll play in a larger house when its in a higher demand. It apears that since Andrea shows at 6:20 and 10:45 they slipped in Chicken Little at 8:45 and forgot to change over the reel.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Nov 6, 2005 at 2:23 pm

I had remembered reading that the two new theaters would in total add 500 seats to the capacity – I’m guessing those will be large screened houses – no where though have I read that they will have stadium seating which is odd considering these are new constructions. I have my doubts about Clearview Cinemas building an IMAX theater, they are a small chain, they’ve only opened, I think two new theaters, although they have renovated all of them. Next I hope they get to Cinema 12 (the seating is 10 years old and the sound still creeps in from other theaters). Cinema 10 is constantly packed (more so now until AMC/Loews hits Rockaway) but I doubt an IMAX theater would work in that market (they ussually are in more urban markets in multiplexes – note Buckland Hills in Hartford, CT, Channelside Cinemas 9 in Clearwater, FL, City Center 15 in White Plains, NY and several others). Roxbury/Succasunna wouldn’t have the audience to suport that type of content on a week by week basis. Even if they were to convert a screen to show IMAX films (like Buckland Hills and City Center did), even if it were #5, the idea would not be accepted due to the lack of stadium seating and space needed for a giant screen. Currently the Mansfield Clearview is the multiplex (not single screen convert with balcony seating) only one in their chain with stadium seating (if you could even call it that).