Comments from John Fink

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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.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jun 21, 2005 at 1:25 pm

Isn’t Muvico coming to Leigh Valley, it was weird seeing the Leigh Valley Cinema close, I wish somehow it could have been perserved, its important in some way to the history of exhibition, current history, it had many GC design features that are now gone with the AMC closures. I can’t blaim them though. They closed Rockaway Mall when the rent doubled.

They are all about attracting crowds, and often times are smart about their programing (especially at Clifton Commons where they stagger showtimes and interlock, they do their best to keep shows from selling out despite the fact the theatre lacks an screen larger than 300 seats). I think AMC controlling Pallisades Center (a theatre you often have to buy tickets in advance for, especially on a Saturday night) they’ll make that theatre bareable again.

I do understand your frustration, the center city phildephia lacks movie theatres (except for The Ritz chain, really). Although, you gotta dig The Bridge. I think this new move will force N/A to build more/convert their chain to include more CInema De Lux locations to seperate themselves from AMC and Regal which are pretty much offering the exsact same product. This move will diffinatly impact the future of cinema exhibition.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jun 21, 2005 at 11:48 am

I wonder if a Clearview take over of some NY houses is possiable. When they merged with Cineplex Oden most of the Oden houses were sold off (as Cineplex Oden had, I think the most locations in Manhatten). What about 42nd street? Clearview Empire 25? Man, thats scary.

(Especially after Cablevision just spent a few million on the IFC Center, which is so tottally unrelated to Clearview they don’t even serve the same kind of soda)

AMC will probably do when they did with GC, keep the houses open and quitely close them off when their leases were up. They essentally are a chain of large houses, most with 16+ screens. I’m still shocked they’re opperating the Essex Green cinema in NJ (they sold off the Headquarters 10, only to a few years later aquire a 9-plex).

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Chestnut Hill 5 on Jun 21, 2005 at 11:44 am

I actually am going to have to disagree with Bigred here about AMC. In Northern NJ they actually lowered prices! At GC Clifton Commons they held the same adult price as GC did (for a year and a half after they merged) and lowered prices by 8.50 (from 9.00) at GC Essex Green. They also started to offer student rate. Their prices are cheaper than Regal, Loews, and National Amusements.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC, Loews Cineplex To Merge! on Jun 21, 2005 at 11:18 am

I suspect the Loews name will disapear as well, AMC wants to get its brand out there. I like AMC more than Loews, granted there is a historical context there (even though its name ought to be Loew’s! So all that mess about LCE celibrating 100 is crap, considering all their theatres at one point swiched to the Sony name). AMC offers student rate, movie watchers and significantly lower prices than the other chains have (if you don’t belive me price out a large popcorn and soda there verses at Regal).

Say all you want about AMC but they actually moved a movie palace and incorporated as part of a megaplex instead of building a tacky looking building with movie palace themeing. I supsect some of their locations may swich operators (maybe E-Walk will be sold off to either Clearview or Regal). This new company will still only be the number two exhibitor in the US, REG is just that huge. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know, AMC seemed to embody the big box theory that America seems to have been taking a liking to lately, yet they provide a good quality movie going experience everytime. Loews, in my opion does not- their theatres are ussually dirty, the pictures are framed wrong- atleast with AMC I know what I’m in for. I welcome this change, although I’m sad to see the Loews name go as well in a way. And, ofcoarse AMC has better popcorn.

Getting off topic, anybody here about the second comming of General Cinema as supsected on the Chestnut Hill Cinemas page? They were the best.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Empire 25 on Jun 21, 2005 at 11:10 am

Clearview wouldn’t go for it. Sell off the E-Walk, that theatre sucks. I hope this means Loews will start offering Moviewatchers. Loews theatres quality has declined shaply after they were sold off from the Sony Empire. I look foward to the AMC changes.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Clifton Commons 16 on Jun 21, 2005 at 1:30 am

General Cinemas loved THX (which is sort of a scam, a theatre can techincally be up to THX standards but the owner may not pay for certification, in which it cannot claim THX). This one has two, so does the new (as well as the old) GC/AMC at Essex Green in West Orange.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Loews Stroud Mall 7 on Jun 21, 2005 at 1:25 am

The only reason this theatre does well is because its in a mall, I remember going here a few years ago and it was the worst Loews I’ve ever been to. I was in the 5 screen part of the building, seeing Pirates of the Caribian (opening weekened, so I have to assume I was in one of the largest screens in the house). The sidelines were okay, they had high raked style seating (sort of like a primative form of Stadium Seating, but uncomfortable cup-holder-less seats.

The walls were made of some sort of blasted rock- I can imagine this is a retro delight for many but it was a shocker for me, even Loews has standards, this one was dirty, small, cramped. Maybe its been remodled? I don’t know. Music Makers sure knew how to build them- small and ugly. It had style, I will say that- it was the ugliest movie theatre I had ever been to.

Lord knows I’m not a Cinema Treasure puriest who belives only classic pallaces ought to be added to the list but Loews Stroud Mall is both a Treasure and a curse- would I be interested in taking an online tour of the theatre at cinematour.com, sure, would I be interested seeing a movie there first run, probably not. An experience, I will say that. (And the smallest bathrooms this side of the tragic set up at Island 16).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews Troy Hills on Jun 20, 2005 at 2:02 pm

Was this in the Troy Hills shopping center, where Amazing Savings is now, which eventually became a General Cinema?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Little Cinema on Jun 20, 2005 at 11:10 am

I think this house was where the food court currently stands and closed around the time Loews Wayne opened.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews Route 18 Theatre on Jun 19, 2005 at 5:54 pm

I think there were 3 cinemas in this area in New Brunswick at one time or another: Loews Route 18, Cinema City (down past Brunswick Square) and the GC/Cinema City Movies @ Brunswick Square/Mega Movies.

John Fink
John Fink commented about IFC Center on Jun 19, 2005 at 12:57 pm

Yeah, and the fact these are alternative films that rarely are shown except at Avent Gaurd film festivals is diffinatly a plus, although these are new digital artists instead of Brackhage classics or that sort, but who knows, they just opened (they’ll be showing a new short every week). It’s nice to see this type of filmmaking at a commerical cinema verses at a film festival or college setting. Vanco is on to something here, the Angelika ought to take notice.

John Fink
John Fink commented about IFC Center on Jun 19, 2005 at 12:00 pm

The spirit of the center is to show independent films, its bold of them to showcase short alternative works before the feature (Real Art Ways in Hartford also does this as well). IFC Center is alright, the seats you have to say are the most exciting thing ab out the place.

I was there on Friday night to see Me and You and Everyone We Know, in theatre 1, the main screen, which was projected in HD (the only theatre in the country to be showing the feature this way verses 35MM). The loby has kinda of a cheesy modified theme to it, diffinatly unexciting, a small snack bar in the corner. The bathrooms are downstairs, the design there is very cool, like going to a trendy urban cafe or club.

I didn’t venture downstairs or to the cafe. The projectionists deminstration outside caused the line for the mainhouse to be kept inside (funny thing is that neighborhood is noisy enough without the protest). The mainhouse is pretty nice, and a bonus for most fans of this site: it has a curtain!

Weirdly though this house isn’t even remotly affliated with Clearview Cinemas in the least (I was thinking for a time it would have been Clearview Cinemas IFC Center), they had Coke instead of Clearview’s cola brand, Pepsi. Bold of Cablevision to now be opperating two unaffliated cinemas within the same company. Maybe this means IFC Center will have a shot at expanding in to other markets. Let’s hope, this place is important (despite being in a loud bar-filled neighborhood).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Montgomery Cinemas on Jun 18, 2005 at 3:54 am

Isn’t this one still open, I’ve never been but I typed in Rocky Hill and saw a listing for a nearby Montgomery Cinemas. Is this the same one (that township was listed as Bella Mead). But it appears to be alive and well with 6 art features playing.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ocean County Mall Cinema on Jun 17, 2005 at 11:13 am

General Cinemas. This one was a GC. I think when the lease expired it was aquired by Cinemagic, who opperated discount houses in the area. It closed sometime I think before or around 2000. I’m not from the area so I don’t know when GC stopped operating it, but it was diffinatly before the days of the AMC take over.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Downtown Disney 24 on Jun 16, 2005 at 11:48 am

The theatre grew from 10 screens to 24 with the expansion of Downtown Disney to include the West Side district (probably explaining why this movie theatre is still known as the Pleasure Island 24 even though it doesn’t call the Pleasure Island district its home anymore. A few of the orginal screens are still there (I belive they have 18 theatres with stadium seating). The entire left wing (except for a retrofitted-with-stadium screen) is nearly intact from the days of the AMC 10-plex, as is the orginal loby (nearest to Planet Hollywood). The other loby (across from Virgin Megastore) is new and includes the gigantic screens 1 and 2, both with balconies.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amboy Multiplex Cinemas on Jun 15, 2005 at 3:48 pm

The Bridge concept though (which has a bar and small cafe, director’s halls, and lots of classy atompshere) seems dead. I gather those ones must be really expensive to build. That concept in the Cinema De Lux brand seems to be dead (I was hoping National Amusements would build one at Blue Back Sqaure when I heard that a 5-screen luxery cinema was slated to open there in West Hartford, CT).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amboy Multiplex Cinemas on Jun 15, 2005 at 3:48 pm

The Bridge concept though (which has a bar and small cafe, director’s halls, and lots of classy atompshere) seems dead. I gather those ones must be really expensive to build. That concept in the Cinema De Lux brand seems to be dead (I was hoping National Amusements would build one at Blue Back Sqaure when I heard that a 5-screen luxery cinema was slated to open there in West Hartford, CT).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Sunshine Cinema on Jun 13, 2005 at 6:59 pm

I agree, I just came back from the Sunshine, its so weird to have these paper receipts, but I’ve seen other theatres do it (Cinema Village did, as well as Touchstar Southcase in Orlando, FL). I don’t like it, they’re harder to lose and at 10.75, what excuse do they have to be this cheap.

Granted, maybe trying a new technology is bold, but some how I see how Celluoid Freak is offeneded. Barcoding is one thing. A cheap supermarket-like receipt is in some ways unprofessional in the cinema industry. Besdies, I just like having a hard ticket in hand neatly organized. This aproach is wacky.

Maybe I’m just not ready for it. But I’m glad somebody else out there agrees with me.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amboy Multiplex Cinemas on Jun 13, 2005 at 11:04 am

No, but they have the services Vito mentioned above.

Vito, why has National Amusements quit opening The Bridge: Cinema De Lux locations, the one in PA is awsome.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amboy Multiplex Cinemas on Jun 12, 2005 at 10:08 am

Any chance they’d knock down the Amboy Multiplex for an Amboy Cinema De Lux?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Allwood Cinemas 6 on Jun 12, 2005 at 10:06 am

The renovations mentioned above are different than those of the Mansfield 14/15 and the Washingtown Township which have a simular design and color scheme as the Clearview Cinemas website. The Allwood goes for classy gold trim. Granted this sure isn’t what it used to be, the hallways connecting the loby and the cinemas are much more pleasent to walk through than, say, at their Emerson Quad (which is essentally just painted gray).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Amboy Multiplex Cinemas on Jun 12, 2005 at 8:33 am

They were. These old style mutlitplexes are very much like big box stores. A good exsample of one is the Showcase Cinemas East Hartford (also N/A), I’m shocked that theatre is still open.

You’re all right though, National Amusements does have the best sound, projection and snacks in the industry, which is why they also charge a little bit more. Still, N/A is always a first class choice for movie going.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Parsippany Cinema 12 on Jun 12, 2005 at 7:07 am

It opened briefly for a week with only six screens (they were still working on the others). The referbished snack bar now features hot foods.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Kinnelon 8 on Jun 12, 2005 at 6:59 am

This one in general isn’t that great of a movie theatre, its not bad, its just the theatre is notrious for having small screens (the sound is good, however). There was talk of building a multiplex in Riverdale, down the road a few years ago, maybe that project will resurface as they are building up that part of 23.