Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about Quaker Bridge Cinema on Jul 18, 2005 at 4:04 pm

This was an AMC Theatre.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Essex Green on Jul 18, 2005 at 12:43 am

The thing is it doesn’t really – the “kids” that hang out in the green around by the theatre to me don’t suggest “gangs” in anyway, they mostly are like 14-16, they can get anoying but not violent or anything really. Maybe they had a problem. But the West Orange PD has a substation in Essex Green next to the theater. Another measure they took in cutting crowds is that they planted a garden where these teens used to dwell, confining the space in which they can chill to strictly in front of police substation.

The funniest thing are those 15-rules which I intend to post when I get the time. I’ve seen Codes of Conduct before at the movies, but this was written out in to such a long legal agreement form that I had to ask the management for a copy of them on paper.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Essex Green on Jul 17, 2005 at 4:46 pm

Yes. See General Cinema Essex Green I-III. This is a tottally new complex. The old cinema (behind Stern’s/Macy’s now) which was torn down after this one opened is the theatre you’re refering to.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinemark Valley Fair 9 on Jul 17, 2005 at 4:17 pm

I think this is a Cinemark location.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Essex Green on Jul 17, 2005 at 4:17 pm

I was there the other night. They now have a set of 15 rules, a massive code of conduct that is about as discript as a legal agreement, taking up an entire poster case (in type 14 font, I bet). These rules almost distroy the spunk of an Essex Green movie, they have made the lobby in to a virtual ghost town (elliminating most seating) – the cafe is now compleatly gone as well as any arcade games (the cafe at Clifton Commons is occasionally open).

It’s a little shocking AMC is still operating a 9-screen house, a few years before the merger they gave up the Headquarters 10 (not all that far from this one) because it was too small for their fleet. I’m shocked AMC just doesn’t offer this one up to Clearview (even though it does have stadium seating and still does pretty well for itself).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Angelika Film Center on Jul 16, 2005 at 9:41 am

I wonder if TMNT was around the time they were aquired by City Cinemas. Miramax once tried to aquire them at a certain point. I remember reading an article circa the 1997 I guess that folks feared the Angelika would become mainstream after The Crow II and Great Expections played there as well. But damn, Teenage Mutant Turtles II – thats funny as hell.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Angelika Film Center on Jul 16, 2005 at 8:10 am

The theatres in Texas are nicer than the one in New York. Thats sad. Years ago they talked about expanding that brand name elsewhere (this was circa the multiplex boom) including across the river in Hackensack, NJ. The Angelika usshered in a new age indie filmmaking, I think, its suggests names like Hal Hartly, Jim Jamerish, and Richard Linkletter. The way I look at it is the cinema still opens new talent (The story with The Talent Given Us is the filmmaker actually apraoched the manager of the cinema and asked them for a booking after the corporation saw it and felt it was worthy), and maybe its as exciting as ever. Tragically it doesn’t open films by the talent it discovered (partly because they’ve moved on to bigger pictures) and partly because the Landmark and IFC Center are now in town.

Weird how the only other Angelika’s are in Texas and have way more ammenties then the orginal Angelika. They did remodel it about 3 years ago putting in new seats, fixing the bathrooms, classing up the cafe area, putting in new carpets and fixtures. Seeing indie films in dumps like this kinda adds to the feel of what you’re seeing. Then agian, Angelika has opened some prestigious studio movies- it has a relationship with Warner Brothers and often screens many of their Warner Independent releases as well as films by Chrisopher Guest. Recently too they’ve shown Million Dollar Baby and Matrix Reloaded. In Texas they mix it up with a prestigious new studio movie and a few art pictures, whereas in New York that sort of thing is uncommon.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Jul 16, 2005 at 3:56 am

I just thought of this last night when I was there: that glass lobby design is a homage to General Cinema- which formerly sat on this site (see General Cinema Troy Hills) from what I gather. If it was built before the 80’s it probably had that open glass lobby design.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ritz Center 16 on Jul 12, 2005 at 1:04 pm

This is probably the first all art/higher end product type of megaplex in the country, it simultaniously shows pictures that are playing in the three Ritz sites in Phildelphia. Mostly art films the theatre also aims to provide a more mature audience than the average multiplex, they don’t allow children in unless they are with an adult.

John Fink
John Fink on Jul 11, 2005 at 1:14 am

Could this have been another name for what is Valley View Cinemas. I just saw an add linked off the Cinemart website that listed this site as a United Artist theatre- I know they owned the cinema at Preakness for a while.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cinema I, II and III on Jul 10, 2005 at 9:00 am

Was the bowling alley owned by GC Companies?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Regal Union Square Stadium 14 on Jul 10, 2005 at 3:20 am

Yeah, Robert, I agree with you about those screens, especially the auditriums with balconies (4 and 8) – 8 is larger, I think and sitting in the balcony actually makes it dificult to see the screen (I wonder if subtitles are cut off) whereas theatre 4’s screen is too high so sitting in the balcony is actually a good viewing experience. As for those prices- DOESN’T MOST OF THE TICKET PRICE GO TO THE STUDIO? I don’t see the benifit of having unreasonable (10.75!) prices. I once e-mailed National Amusements to protest a price increase at one of their sites (9.75 in Manchester, CT, making it the most expensive theatre in CT). They claimed they were being “competitive” when in all honesty all the cinemas in CT are pretty much N/A sites, everyone else at that time was pretty much charaging 8.75. These folks are greedy and want to look good in front of the studios by putting up high per screen averages. As well know they are now being burned as folks are resisting the high prices and renting DVDs.

As for Regal’s concession prices, they are also the same outside of Manhatten as well – no where else does a large popcorn and a large soda cost 11 bucks. This is true not only of Regal Union Square but also at the Regal in Waterbury, CT atleast, so I’m sure its everywhere. It’s a shame the largest movie chain in the world doesn’t make movie going an affordable activity. They have the power to and they don’t.

John Fink
John Fink commented about UA Crossbay on Jul 9, 2005 at 4:34 pm

Same goes for IFC and Clearview Cinemas (also a cable vision company) yet IFC Center isn’t a Clearview location in the least. It doesn’t even offer the same type of cola. As for this discussion on going art house or not, another sign that a theater isn’t compleatly 100% well is if they start showing Bollywood or porno. Bollywood and Porno are interestingly enough the only two genres that you know exsactly what you can expect before you enter the theatre because there is a list of conventions that go along with the genre.

As for second run- we need more of them. Interstate Theatres is one chain (a division of Cinemark) that is a true discount chain (showing movies often weeks before they are on DVD) and they have had great success at Columbia Park in North Bergen- the place is packed every night for $2.00 movies. This pricing structure may not work for N/A or Regal but it does work.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Empire Cinemas Columbia Park 12 on Jul 8, 2005 at 6:30 pm

We might wana consider changing this one to reflect its current status at 10-screens. Instead of displaying a movie title above the door Theatre 1 displayed “Do Not Enter” – when I asked an usher why they weren’t using the theatre his responce was “It had burned down” apparently it had sustained some fire damange, as did the theatre located directly above it #7.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Wayne 14 on Jul 5, 2005 at 4:22 pm

Loews Wayne and Medows 6 are pretty much identical in design, that was until Loews Wayne cut the two largest houses in half to become 8 and then later added 6 to become 14. The Medows 6 is still open, as is the Plaza 8 (down the street) – both are low price first run houses, hanging on until Muvico comes to town.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jul 5, 2005 at 2:50 pm

The only theatres I expect to close are those that are already not long for this world, I doubt AMC would close a profitable cinema just because its old and only has 5 screens. If anything, if a cinema still puts up a profit and a deveoloper/land owner still is interested in having a theatre on the property it’ll have a life with some other chain. Look at the many General Cinema locations that found life in other forms (many are bar/grill types of cinemas) – I don’t think many folks have to worry about losing their jobs except those in New York. (And hey, Loews Theatres are currently poorly run- why would they want those people hanging around tarnishing the AMC name).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Wellmont Theatre on Jul 3, 2005 at 5:52 am

I figure they’re only using about half the theatre in the current configuration, whats behind those two theatres downstairs, is it being used? If so they can atleast put in two more screens (with stadium seating probably) or, even better take down that sad screen in the balcony and recreate the balcony with this new space with a huge new screen- that’d be the way to go.

Still, I admire that this the loby is pretty much nicely in tact.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Abby Cinemas on Jun 28, 2005 at 12:46 am

I remember wen it was Loews, during its last days this was a discount house. It closed (and newspaper ads still ran for it for three weeks) and remained closed for about a year or so until Magic Cinemas aquired it (they were building a fleet of cinemas including this one, Bergenfield, Northamption Crossings, The Colony, and Hadley 11). Regal later took over Magic Cinemas' operations and sold the Bergenfield, Colony Theatre, and this one to Clearview. Clearview closed it later, as Joe Masher notes.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Abby Cinemas on Jun 27, 2005 at 5:40 pm

Also known as Loew’s Abby, Magic Cinemas, Regal Cinemas, Clearview Cinemas, and I think one other chain before Galaxy Theatres. Is it successful if its changed owners so many times?

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Stroud Mall 7 on Jun 27, 2005 at 1:09 am

Hoyts built ugly theatres too (Enfield Mall in CT a good example). National Amusements ought to change the game up in Eastern PA and put in a Cinema De Lux, that’d be a nice culture shock coming from this rundown house to high end luxery. Stroud Mall itself has a retro feel to it, the whole place seems trapped in the 60’s except for those kids dressed in black hanging around Hot Topic.

Maybe the entire mall ought to be persurved as a musem or 60’s themed shopping and entertainment destination. Too bad they remodled it a few years ago.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Clifton Commons 16 on Jun 26, 2005 at 3:53 am

Funny story about the projection at Clifton Commons. Back when it was General Cinema I went to see a movie called Charlotte Gray there, the projection was fine until the end of the movie when Charlotte goes back to see her long lost love, whom she had been lieing to the whole time (even using a diffrent name). The projection was scrambled almost, like something had fallen out of sinc.

By time I got out to the manager’s desk and informed them of the problem the projectionist had started working on it, I came back in the theatre and the cleaning folks were starting to walk in. The partrons at the bottom had told them “no, we still have to see the end of the movie.”

A few minutes later the movie started up, Cate Blanchett returns to the villa and the only words she utters “I forgot to tell you, by the way, my name is Charlotte Gray” then the credits start to roll.

But I like this theatre anyway, its the only cinema in the county with stadium seating.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Jun 25, 2005 at 6:30 pm

This may be Clearview’s most profitable location, but weirdly they’ve upgraded and redone the loby areas and hallways several times (new carpeting and a paint job). First in blue, then in its present color, a wacky lime green- but the actualy theatres are still the same, and unfortunatly quite rundown. The seats are over 10 years old, the old carpeting remains in the theatres (while the new loby sports a wacky carpet to compliment the color pattern). Strange, considering I know at the movies I spend more time in the theatre than in the lobby.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Headquarters Theatres on Jun 23, 2005 at 11:12 am

Clearview does show art movies, but the ambitious plan for the Headquarters didn’t really happen. It’s a multiplex, simular to when it was run by AMC, they added a few touches to make it more Clearview-like, but no major upgrades/improvements really (excpect new seats).

Morristown is very cool, but its not a college town (all it has is CCM), if it were like Montclair, perhaps it would be showing more art films. I did see Amalie there years ago, so they will once in a while play something like that but when push comes to shove its more likely that you’ll be seeing something like Unleashed there than the Enron movie.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jun 22, 2005 at 4:36 pm

Ron, things need to get shaken up at Loews, from a customer stand point AMC is a far better chain than Loews, I could go on and site atleast 10 bad movie experiences at diffrent Loews across NJ, NY, and CT. I didn’t know Budco Theatres, but Loews, in all honestly has run its coarse. It’s brand name is even spelled wrong (for the puriests, it should be Loew’s!) The days of the Loew’s movie palaces are over, the new cineplexes they built are ugly and cheesy looking, they did all this to themselves, bassicly. Their operations are flawed. Hell, they can’t even keep open a little ice cream and coffee stand and thier hot foods kitchen at their Paramus Ten Plex while the National Amusements down the street keeps pretty much an entire foodcourt open (four diffrent concessions offering real food). Loews is flawed, their theatres smell (part of the reason is that Nacho Grande they offer), and the quality just isn’t there (they were well run under Sony’s ownership). I say bring on AMC, they have a corporate philosphy. They usshered in multiplexing (they weren’t the first, ofcoarse), but they used it as their marketing ploy- they have a corporate idenity. Loews, quite honestly sucks these days, always a problem, really bad popcorn. Say what you want about AMC, the experience there is second only to National Amusements from a multiplex operations point of view.

Then again I know what its like to lose a movie theatre or chain you really loved, but AMC is so much better than Loews, essentally we’re losing the WORST CHAIN CURRENTLY IN OPERATION. And this is a very good thing.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jun 22, 2005 at 1:02 am

AMC was one of the only chains that didn’t fall in 2000, they were smarter about how they built and managed their theatres. They are sort of the Wal Mart of multiplexes, they offer 28 screens of movies at slightly lower prices than REG, they have their nitch. Loews' prices were higher (for, in my opinion a lesser quality experience). AMC isn’t in CT (and will only have two locations in that state) so they seem like a likely candidate to aquire Crown, but remember with Crown they own a few older sites, its' not just megaplexes like the Palace 17- they’d also have to deal with the awful, rundown, misrable Cinema City. Can other chains survive in this Regal/AMC universe? I don’t know, it’ll be interesting to see with this expansion of the AMC brand if theater have to lower their prices to be competitive with this giant.