Comments from John Fink

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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 Dine-In Disney Springs 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 Cinepolis Parsippany 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.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Kinnelon 8 on Jun 9, 2005 at 8:03 pm

The theatre currently is comprised of the Kinnelon 1-3 (which, may techincally be in Butler) and Kinnelon 4-11. The Kinnelon 1-3 was formerly the Meadtown Cinema, behind Butler Bowl this was a one screen location (formerly a Jerry Lewis cinema). CJM, a local chain aquired by Clearview ran this as well as the ‘Kin-Mall 8’ which was built in 1992.

The theatres took over what was once half the mall. The mall’s supermarket expanded, a back section was closed off (thats where the cinemas are) and a very small indoor convience center style mall exists now with a hair salon, ice cream eatery, pizzaeria and a variety store (that kinda of stuff).

Clearview went on a buying spree in 1997 or so, aquiring CJM (as well as Nelson-Firman and others). The Meadtown Cinema was closed for a while before this (I don’t think it ever operated as a Clearview). In 2000 Clearview Cinemas reopened the Meadtown deviding it in to three very small theatres (the one screener was formerly a Jerry Lewis cinema, meaning it was small already). The cinemas now operated as the Kinnalon 1-3. Up the hill at the Kinnalon 11 the cinemas were renumbered (#1 was now #4 and so forth).

The cinemas still do well, but this numbering system makes it hard to tell what building you’re actually in (I’ve had friends buy tickets at the 4-11, only to be told by a ticket taker that they had to go down the hill to the 1-3). The 1-3 were orginally supost to show art films, they played Gods and Monsters and Hidious Kinky there amongst others as their opening features. Now, that kind of content at the Kinnelon 11 is rare.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Loews Route 18 Theatre on Jun 9, 2005 at 2:04 pm

They closed Route 18 to open an 18 plex (on Route 1). Ironic. Now this is some sort of rug store I think. Also known as Sony Theatres Route 18. It had two screens before closing.

Was this a former Music Makers house?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Oakland Twin on Jun 8, 2005 at 8:54 pm

Owned by Roberts theatres, the mall has been compleatly revamped, no evidence of the cinema is left (as Shoprite expaned the mall’s layout shifted). The final shows occured in, I wana say 1993-ish. I think the Kinnalon Mall 8’s opening could have been the final nail its coffin. The theater was a discount house before closing.

Weirdly I remember they got a new sign in front before they closed. Now it bares the Shop Rite logo.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Ocean County Mall Cinema on Jun 8, 2005 at 8:52 pm

Yep. General Cinema design with three large screens, the space is now occupied by Applebees.

Amazing it hung after Loews opened the Seacourt 10 literally across the street. I remember the design had bathrooms on the second floor. They also showed art films and Disney/Touchstone products to combat Loews/Sony.

This place was quite nice I remember (I was only there once)– a typical General Cinema. I miss them.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Starplex Brunswick Square 13 on Jun 8, 2005 at 8:49 pm

Some time in the mid to early 90’s this cinema opened as Movies at Brunwick Square Mall, with 5 screens, deviding the General Cinema house (which I think was a twin). The cinema then closed a few years later and was tottally retransformed in to Mega Movies (even though it looks like a National Amusements house and has a Nathan’s and a Ben & Jerry’s it’s not, although I wonder if somehow this one inspired Cinema De Lux?).

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Starplex Ridgefield Park 12 on Jun 8, 2005 at 8:45 pm

Yeah, it played in one of the smaller downstairs cinemas- the cupholders were replaced with a joystick like device with three color buttons on it that were lighted.

The film took a turn in its narative, asking you to select what happens next (it was projected off lazer disk with Sony Doublebright projectors), simular to that of interactive voting programs (like they have at LSC). There were two Interactive Films that showed in the mid 90’s: Ride for Your Life and Mr. Payback.

This cinema was also invovative in that they once housed a simulator (also built on Sony Technology if I’m not mistaken). This house used to be amazing, before Loews became Loews Cineplex…then it was all down hill (starting with that awful new popcorn they introduced about 4 years ago).

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Headquarters Theatres on Jun 8, 2005 at 6:08 pm

5 Theatres in the basement, 5 on top, two snackbars, the levels are pretty much the same except for Theatre 5 on the top floor, which has a balcony (currently closed to the public). A standard late 80’s AMC. Clearview added new highback seats which could potentally make it hard to see (the seats, simular to those at Cineplaza in North Bergen are really designed for stadium seating). The screens are curved and the place is well kept.

John Fink
John Fink commented about UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 on Jun 7, 2005 at 2:54 pm

Loews Cineplex in some markets have revitalized former flagship houses that fell by the wayside by offering cheeper admission prices (LCE Ridgefield Park and the Medows 6/Plaza 8 in Northern NJ and Loews 34th in Manhatten are examples), I belive they also found success. Clearview also does it in Bergenfield, NJ and Clifton, NJ (to compete with big name chains National Amusements and AMC, respectivly). Glad to see it worked for Canada, I think it could work here too. Aren’t you all sick of paying 10.25+ (US) for a night at the movies?

The MPAA ought to worry about price controls for movie going instead of piracy, they aren’t exsactly acting in our interests so much as Hollywood’s. Bootleg movies suck, first of all, but I can understand why so many people perfer to buy a copy of something for 5 bucks on the street instead of paying 10.25 to see it on the big screen.

John Fink
John Fink commented about UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 on Jun 7, 2005 at 2:10 pm

Hollywood and Bollywood- all those Bollywood movies now copy from rap music videos. You’re right. It’s a sad time to be a film goer, everything seems recycled, very rairly do I get excited about something “new.” It’s just “new” spins on old things (Bewitched looks awful by the way). As for the ads (many of them are the same that show on TV), the exposure and backlash is heavier now than I think it was before, part of the reason is that standard 20 extra minutes tacked on to the running time. Regal does “the twenty” which is less anoying because the ads play instead of slides, the trailers are supost to start at the posted film start time.

I actually suspect theres a chance the price could drop in the coming months if the box office is still failing. Famous Players did it in Canada (I don’t know if it worked or not). Still though once they broke the 10.00 barrier in New York (which they were reluctant to do for atleast 2 years until Loews did it) it seems like they had now shame about raising it every quarter- now Loews in Manhatten is up to 10.75 and the movie industry is hurting- I wonder why.

John Fink
John Fink commented about UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 on Jun 6, 2005 at 7:38 pm

Wouldn’t you say that those endless commericals and high ticket prices are part of the reason Hollywood is hurting with the current box office slump? I think people are just anoyed, I’ve never been to the Sheepshead Bay cinema but it sounds like a nightmare (hell, it was compaired in an above comment to LCE Pallisades Center, my least favorite theatre as that one is always dirty, movies sell out, the projection is constantly awful, the popcorn is terrable, and it also happens to be the most expensive theatre in the area). I miss the days of those small little independent chains in which you had the choice of going to the top quality corporately owned cinema or the small independent without digital sound and the bells and whisles, but it was cheap and did the trick. Those days are gone, part of the reason is Clearview Cinemas (I know you don’t have them in Brooklyn) but they and Regal wiped out the neighborhood small chains through aquiring cinemas. (I know UA was never a small chain, I’m talking about the early days of Regal Cinemas- what they did in Florida and NJ/PA).

Regal, though, has been opperating cinemas better than UA had, I think. UA, rightfully so is notirious on this website for running them in to the ground, Regal is somewhat better at opperating cleaner houses.