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It opened in the early 90’s (maybe 91) under General Cinema, for a while it would be excusive bookings of major studio movies before they would open wide, it was considered a prestigious venue. It didn’t have stadium seating, AMC probably hasn’t made that improvement to it. I hear a roomer a year or two ago AMC was looking to close it down, but last I heard its alive and well.
Formerly General Cinema.
This is pathtic, the worst theatre in the area. Hartford deserves an Angelika or a Criterion Cinemas, Real Art Ways and Cinestudio are much better than this moldly theatre that probably hasn’t been upgrade since the 60’s, the place smells moldly.
I’m guessing prior to the muliplex boom that took place in Hartford County they got away with this horrable theatre because a.– they were the only theatre showing major art movies (verses Cinestudio which shows art, alternative and some cultrually significant Hollywood films and Real Art Ways which shows art, alternative films and documentaries) and b.– because its compition was the Showcase East Hartford, which is only in slightly better condition. Why upgrade the lobby? I’m there for the theatres, to see a movie, thats where I’ll spend more time.
I’m looking foward to the day it goes dark and Criterion Cinemas comes to West Hartford. I don’t have anything against old constructions but they have to be upgraded and at the very least they should have put in new seats.
I think Touchstar still owns this one. It was a Cineplex Oden, but closed before the merger. Touchstar runs it as a discounted first run theatre (tickets are 5.75 for adults and 3.50 for children and seniors). The touchstar organization also runs the Southcase 7, down the street, a former Regal and even before that part of the first fleet of the Cobb chain, as well as a former General Cinema in Altamante Springs.
Thats horrable considering the triplex was nice and didn’t really attract a huge, obnoxious crowd. The theatre still does well, it proves AMC won’t close a theatre because it’s “too small” for them, they have modified the grounds to make it less teen friendly but I never saw a real problem there, the movie goers (a cross section of diffrent races, ecnomic and social backrounds) never seemed to cause a problem, I always thought of it a nice place to go to the movies.
The Cinema De Lux concept is alive and well, but they have a diffrent feeling than The Bridge, which is like going to a trendy club or something. Both Bridge locations, one should note, came about when other chains devloping the sites went bankrupt- The LA Bridge was suposedly going to be an Edwards Cinema and the PA location was going to be Sundance Cinemas- both half constructed and adapted by designer Dyana Lee. I was hoping they’d adapt others this way, putting in stadium seating in their older houses, I imagine it could be done (in CT they updated two with stadium seating: Berlin and East Windsor). Cinema De Lux is a great concept, they’ve only opened one non-De Lux site in three years, but it only works in high income areas (I don’t know if this site is one). National Amusements seems to be shifting its focus on this high income areas (especially considering since in NJ they own the theatre with the highest ticket price, Edgewater).
National Amusements brings folks in by offering luxery services at their Cinema De Lux locations, these theatres are first rate all the way (City Center in White Plains by far a wonderful theater) – I think folks don’t like long lines and lots of previews (City Center starts the commericals seven minutes early, the feature starts about 7 minutes after the start time, thats not so bad).
Then again National Amusements unlike Regal, which built anywhere and everywhere opening plenty of loser sites, studies the sites for years before building one of their high quality theatres. Quality and atomphere are the way to go. N/A and Muvico are the future. Regal, simply dominates because it owns the most screens, but most of their theatres are ugly.
Opened as Magic Cinemas. Opened with 11 or 12 theatres and expanded later to 16.
In regards to that question posed by Jennifer Fieber the truth of the matter is IFC Films has created theatrical versions of some of its TV documentaries. A Decade Under the Influence was shown in theaters and shown on TV in a double the lenght extended cut. This is nothing new, look at the films of Bergman. IFC Center, however hasn’t gotten around to that yet.
Whats more offensive are those PG-13 rated softened versions of pictures that Miramax dumps in to theaters only to, months later, offer an Uncut R-rated (or hardened “unrated” version) for purchase. IFC isn’t doing that sort of thing.
1994 was pre-expansion back when it was still a 10-plex (I saw The Truth About Cats and Dogs while on vacation there) – the 24 screens I think arrived in 1996 (14 new stadium theatres and 4 retrofitted). I belive the main houses (which are quite an experience) – now theaters 1 and 2 (at the new entrance across from Virgin Megastore and Wolfgang Punk) are THX certified, as for the rest I’m not quite sure, but whats the big deal with THX anyway, it’s pretty much a scam.
The former main houses (the two located next to the snack bar in the old 10 plexes) were retrofitted with stadium seating.
This was a General Cinema location.
This was an AMC Theatre.
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.
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.
I think this is a Cinemark location.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Was the bowling alley owned by GC Companies?
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.
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.