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Thanks for the suggestions David. You can bet I will do my research into that field. The only thing I really know about all this is getting deals in advance. And that in some large metropolitan locations, studios will look for the best, top-flight locations for their important productions. Because it’s just River East and 600 North now, most (all) blockbusters are booked at both.
Back in the day when you had the five theaters that Tim Elliott mentioned, you could always tell that a special effects film will be at McClurg. An art house, Miramax-type production would be at Esquire or Water Tower. Some suspense thrillers would be Esquire or 900 North, and the comedies at WT. Ah, those were the days.
I dunno, the Ziegfeld in New York is still going strong dispite the AMC 25 and Regal E-Walk 13 being nearby. This may be due to it being New York, where there is always mega crowds. Chicago is slowly but surely becoming that way. More and more people will continue to move into the mag mile/streeterville neighborhoods. I assume that the screens at 600 North Michigan might be gone by this time (I may be wrong though) And if that’s the case, the seating capacity at the River East alone won’t be enough to handle the volume of people who go see movies. The art house fare believe it or not, plays to near sellouts, especially if it’s the right movie like say “Slumdog Millionare”, “Tell No One” (ran at the Landmark Century for a while), or “Moon”, which is still doing well at the Pipers Alley dispite being inferior to McClurg. Anyway, let me hurry to my next points
If River East becomes the sole theater in the area, you can best bet that those 21 screens will be for the mainstream fare. People who want to see movies with character and plot (and there’s lots of these, myself included) will be left out because RE’s got the summer blockbusters playing on 3-4 screens each. And holdover films will be shafted into the DVD-like screening rooms with 71-121 seats. Sure they’ll play some (key word) art fare during oscar time, but it’ll be scarce. What’s an alternative moviegoer to do? Well, this is where McClurg Court comes into play.
McClurg’s auditorium #1 if done right, won’t be hard to fill up. from 1987-2003 it sat about 760. If I were to get it and fix it up, the new capacity might be at about 680-700 because of my proposed leather recliner seats. The upstairs screens would be about 170-190 because of the new seats. Now it wouldn’t be just an art house, some main stream fare and a 2nd run from time-to time would be booked. A mainstream movie would usually be reserved for one screen (two if it’s The Dark Knight). Of course, RE 21’s got all the mainstream fare. This is true. But it won’t hurt them in anyway if the same movie is playing at another (my) theater. It’s like New York. You’ve got some explosion fest at the single screen, 1,125 seat Ziegfeld, and the same movie on five or six screens at the AMC 25. Both are doing great business. Or take Seattle, you’ve got a movie at the single screen Cinerama, and the same movie at one of the nearby megaplexes. The movie is doing great business at both locations. Again, those cities are larger in terms of people that here in Chicago. But we’re headed that way.
And it wouldn’t have to be 1st run/art films alone. #1 could host Chicago’s 70mm film festival similar to the one coming up in Denmark. #1 could also become an attraction to moviegoers, and tourists who stop in the area. Complete with curtain tabs, ushers, gourmet concessions, and an art gallery of sorts that explains the history of the McClurg Court theater and apartment complex. The smaller screens could hold festivals once and a while for student films. Heck, maybe some kind of performing arts could be held there too. I’m just throwing ideas around, but I and a lot of other people just don’t see a resurrected McClurg Court as being a failure. With new ownership, new ideas, an environment not geared towards teens on cellphones with a sworn oath to showmanship, you can’t go wrong.
Roosevelt Collection is a rental apartment/retail development that’s located at 150 W Roosevelt Road (Roosevelt & Clark/Wells St). The theaters will be at the end of the center. This link has renderings on how the complex will look when finished.
The Block 37 project is still on. Muvico Theatres will be on the fifth floor I believe. Since David Barton Gym moved to Roosevelt Collection, maybe the seating capacity at 37 might be increased. It will still have seven screens. Opening is set for this fall.
Has anyone walked past the Roosevelt Collection development lately? I can’t wait for the theater to open. I wrote to Dean Kerasotes himself, and he gave me a few snipets of info
The largest auditoriums will have side-masking (a reason to reduce on going to River East)
Two of those largest screens will be about 65 feet wide for ‘scope’ presentations. Both will also have 21 and older balconies with seating for about 150. By now you’ve probably heard about Jerry Kleiner opening a bar at the theater’s upper level.
It will have digital (he didn’t say if it will be all-digital) projection
You’ve heard it here first. I miss the Burnham Plaza, but the Showplace 16 is almost here.
It’s been vancant for 6 years. Looks like it will be staying that way for a while.
I wish the current owners can just give up, so I can try and pitch my art house ideas again. I really do believe if done right, it can be a winner. Granted, River East 21 is nearby and does great business, but art films are few and far in between. And 600 North Michigan almost always show RE films, and it’s very empty most of the time. In fact, if it closes soon, it won’t be a suprise. McClurg Court has the upper hand. Besides being in possession of the largest non-IMAX screen in Chicago, it is located across the street from the Streeter rental complex which will be completed soon. And it’s in walking distance from the Lake Point Towers. I wonder though, if one could buy the space next door and create screens out of that space, then take former 2-3 and return it to a balcony? I dunno, I thought I might throw some more ideas around.
I agree Chris. Here in Chicago, AMC’s River East 21 is just like this. That’s why I can’t wait for Kerasotes to show them how it’s done at the Roosevelt Collection with their planned 65ft side-masking screens.
Stake in Esquire Theater site to be auctioned
This is how the Showplace 14 will look when finished.
Is there any way I can see caps from BO magazine?
That’s cool. I’ve heard good things about that chain.
And another late 80s CO is saved!
Ahh Michael, I’m 19 (why did the great stuff happen before my time?). So I’ve only seen this on cable. A great movie, up there with “The Godfather” as one of Francis Coppola’s best. I would love to see a 70mm print of “Apocalypse” (hopefully in Chicago) someday.
I know my dad saw it at either State-Lake or River Oaks.
I wonder if they plan to combine screens? Thus getting rid of some that seat 67.
No. The Diana was always at 177th & Halsted in the Washington Square Mall. This is a freestanding structure at 182nd.
I haven’t been this way since May. Is this place still standing?
Movie534, read this. But especially read the last paragraph.
We need to band together to get Chris Nolan or another director that shoots on film to get behind this.
Does any of the screens at the Rockaway feature side-masking? By side-masking I’m talking about the screen’s masking opening up at the sides for scope (2.35: 1) presentation as opposed to AMC’s typical top-down masking (screen shrinking at the top/bottom for scope).
AMC has top-notch lobbies, exteriors, but the way they build their screens leave little to be desired. I just hope they’ve made an exception.
When I finally run theaters, I will have both film & digital. And will hire experienced projectionists to run film (hopefully Maxivision) in the largest screen.
I think that digital will become the new 35mm. When that happens, I’ll say OK. But what happens when audiences won’t be able to tell the difference of digital projection from what they get at home on TV, for free?
If there is any big 70mm comeback, then studios can’t make the mistake of blowing up 35mm anamorphic (or worse, spherical) films to 70. I’m talking about for the really special films, original 65mm photography that will take digital 50-100 years to match. While people may say it’s dead (and it certainly looks that way), it’s making a comeback, although on a slow pace. Like JSA said, Ron Fricke has a followup to “Baraka” called “Samsara” due for release next year. Tom Tykwer shot the last few minutes of “The International” in 65mm. And one could tell too, because the picture quality went from good to just great when viewed in 35mm. Marty Scorsese used 65mm for some scenes in his new movie “Shutter Island”. And if that doesn’t excite you, then I am about to share a rumor that everyday, is looking like the truth. Are you ready?
Christopher Nolan may be shooting his next film, “Inception” in a combo of 65mm for the dialogue, and IMAX for the action sequences. Someone saw him & his go to cinematographer, Wally Pfister, looking at the reels at Techicolor. Not to mention, he has more people in the sound department than one could need. And back in December, Nolan said he would like to do a 65mm/IMAX combo the next time around, because shooting dialogue in IMAX was hard.
I hope this is true. If it is, then that 3-D nut Jeff Katzenberg might wanna be shaking right now.
Even though I think James Cameron will elevate 3-D to a new high with “Avatar' this December, this article only proves what I’ve been saying since Real-D started. When people graduate from this phase, film will be the medium to bail Hollywood out. It will be like the 50’s all over again.
Very soon, people will be able to watch 3-D at home on blu-ray. When that happens, what next?
Large format film (and I’m not talking about IMAX).
SDS is Super Dimension 70, a new 70mm format which operates at 48fps and presents each frame rate twice at a display rate of 96 images per-second. It wouldn’t cost much at all to project. A 4k digital projector costs about 150-200 grand. With SDS-70, the theater/distributor would be leasing the projector, which would be paid for via the admissions sold.
Yes, 70mm has a ratio of 2.20: 1. But if the screen had side-masking for a 2.35: 1 presentation, 70mm masking would be no problem. But alas, this place features the top/bottom masking that makes it look like you’ve paid $10 to see a DVD.
Granted, major studios themselves won’t get off the digital tit to make 70mm. This would have to come from a filmmaker with the clout to do whatever he/she wants. I’ve seen a demo of this new system, and it puts digital anything to shame. Will digital become like 35mm? You bet. Will it top 70mm? Not until I am old and grey.
Thanks for the info Giles. I’m currently doing a study on modern multiplex screens that could show a 70mm or SDS-70mm presentation on one of the screens. Looks like I’ll have to exclude the Majestic from the list.
Are there any other multiplexes nearby that has side-masking?
Does the large screen have side-masking? I’m curious.
Would anybody be willing to describe the theaters themselves to me? Like the color of the seats, walls etc.. And do all the screens have side-masking?
Reopened today as the new 400 Theater. They’re showing “Transformers 2”, “Taking of Pelham 123”, “The Hangover”, and “Up” in 2D.
I will get down there again soon, but only when I can go to the nearby Carmen’s Pizza.
It will never happen for all movies. It may work for some indie productions, but for the most part, people still want the experience of being with others. We have it hardwired in our minds that we want to sit with a large crowd, laugh together, cry together, jump out of seats during scary movies, hold hands & cuddle with your date etc.. When was the last time a couple connected while looking at a computer monitor? And look at how many people met future spouses at a theater. And what about the number of fathers who connected with their children while at a theater? And this is a high number, since taking your teenage son to see “Die Hard” is cheaper than going to a sports game.
And then there’s women, who are social beings moreso than men (IMO), and will not settle for being parked on a couch for long.
If (a strong IF) movies/theaters begin to decline in favor for other activites, then Hollywood will go back and take a page from the 50s, and invent new ways to make movies bigger and brighter. Digital projection ain’t it, because thanks to the end of analog broadcasting, we’re now seeing it everyday for free. 3-D? Nope, because again, in a few years, you’ll be able to see a 3-D film on blu-ray. IMAX? No again, because thanks to the digital version, called LIEMAX or MiniMAX, the IMAX corporation just bended over & w—-ed themselves out in favor of getting rid of what works, which is large format FILM. But hey, they got a few extra dollars out of the deal.
So what will bail out the theatrical industry in the future? It’s very simple folks, FILM. No, 35mm is getting it’s last rites read by chains like AMC, Regal, etc… I’m talking about the one format that digital is 100+ years from trying to top. I’m talking about the format that digital Hollywood is trying to shield young moviegoers/filmmakers from. That is 70mm. People, if filmmakers began to shoot movies like “Star Trek” and “Harry Potter” in 65mm, with selected prints in 70mm, then this whole talk about 3-D this, Christie digital that would be over and done. People who’ve witnessed Rob Weisgerber’s Super Dimension 70 format have said it is 3-D without glasses. And for 70mm or any 70mm variation to work in today’s times, it can not under any circumstances be commercialized. That’s part of why 3-D will eventually wear thin, and that’s one of the reasons why IMAX is slowly but surely losing steam. They had a great thing with TDK’s selected scenes for the format, but they had to get greedy & convert conventional screens into screens that look like a bigger version of 1.85: 1.
70mm is something that can’t be put in a mall megaplex every 2 miles, but limit it to a premier theater in a downtown area. The kind of location that people will drive/commute 100 miles or more to if they really want to see said movie.
In a long awaited conclusion, if movie theaters are to survive into a the long term, the industry needs to be thinking a little more this, and less of this.