Comments from John Fink

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John Fink
John Fink commented about New quad theater set to open in downtown Hartford, CT; first in decades on Oct 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

This venue sounds great, much like the Violet Crown in Austin which works really well within the Second Ave district, not sure if it’ll work as brilliantly in Hartford but it does make sense. There is no movie-going options in the city (apart from the occasional screenings at Wadsworth). I do very much like the way Violet Crown is programed, often with hip upscale movies (like Celeste & Jesse Forever) and I think thats a nitche that can give it an advantage over Art @ Cinema City and what was in the planning stages intended as an art house in Blue Back Square.

Programing for the community is key – I imagine if they replicate with great programing both on screen and live entertainment in the lounge they can build an audience of young professionals and folks on date night and it’ll be a cool place. Hartford could use that kind of venue. If they program it with multiplex crap you can see at Buckland Hills it will suck.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Succasunna Cinema 10 on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

@ Hammer – the upstairs theaters were gutted back in 2005 (the whole building was closed for a few months while they built two new screens). I don’t see any evidence, with the refacing it looks like a normal modern multiplex. (inside it still has issues including sound bleeding from auditorium to auditorium, unless its been corrected in the last 5 years).

John Fink
John Fink commented about City of Aurora Survey results in: most want the Century 16 reopened on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

These news stories are all like a month behind….

John Fink
John Fink commented about Center Valley, Promenade 16 on Oct 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

One of 16 theaters Rave Cinemas operated on behalf of its former parent company Rave Reviews Cinemas, and was included in the sale to Carmike.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Buckland Hills 18 + IMAX on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:32 am

It’s actually 18 screens now – – two were added before Rave took it over (right around the time East Hartford and East Windsor shut down).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Update on The Ziegfeld: 'The Master' doesn't help on Sep 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I still have no clue who’d want to buy Clearview Cinemas which is a mixed bag with several decent multiplexes and many more that were cheaply constructed, lack stadium seating – oh, and will have to be upgraded to digital – – like really soon. Interestingly when I was home last in NJ, two theaters I visited The Clairidge (Montclair) and Sunshine (NYC, run by Landmark Theaters) both showed first run films in 35MM. In Buffalo, NY – – a city otherwise a good 20-30 years behind the times culturally, our two main art houses (Amherst and Eastern Hills, run by Dipson) just went 100% digital.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Tilton 9 Theatre on Sep 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Currently closed – – however they’ll be getting an IMAX screen (not sure if its a retrofit with stadium seating or a new addition…)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Movieland 8 Theatres on Sep 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

There’s a reason not to eat the popcorn. It is a small business running on very tight margins and I’m not sure if they’ll convert to digital (they were asking folks on their Facebook page to vote for Movieland for a $250,000 small business grant). It looks Movieland, Market Arcade and North Park will be the last to go digital, if at all.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Block E 15 on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

Officially closed. So it looks like the strategy Crown Theatres once had for building these sites failed – – http://www.specialtyretail.net/issues/nov98/CROWN.adding%20gems%20to%20the%20crown.htm (consider the level of underperformers they’ve had including three failed multiplexes – Neonopolis, Block E and Abacore) – – I believe this one closed because they had a deal that essentially allowed them to not pay rent as long as they made under a certain number, no wonder AMC wanted to stick around.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Williamsburg Cinemas to open for holidays on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

Indeed – was down on Grand a few weeks and it looks close to being ready – the structure was build with work moving along inside. Great neighborhood for it (although the theater itself does look at a tad out of place/too modern)

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Kennedy Commons 20 on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

AND it’s still on the AMC website: http://go.amctheatres.com/canadian-theatres

John Fink
John Fink commented about Dobie Theatre on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

It still looks like its in tact: the lobby is somewhat open to the public (the theaters I imagine are behind a hallway that’s locked. I spent the summer working at UT Austin and had walked through the mall a few times, it’s was pretty dead (then again it was the summer) with a stores appealing to mostly students. I’m wondering if SXSW will call upon the Dobie to provide the space they’ll be losing down at the Alamo South.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on Sep 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

Getting 3 new screens and a new lobby as part of the plaza redevelopment, slated to close in January for much of 2013 (this may present a problem the rapidly growing SXSW – which grew to include 2 screens at the tiny Violet Crown last year, now it’ll be down 3 screens with not much room at the convention center). Maybe The Dobbie (which looks to still be in tact) can serve as a temporary venue…

John Fink
John Fink commented about City of Aurora seeks citizen about what should happen to the Century 16 on Sep 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I agree with Tim O'Neill – – reopen the place except for Auditorium #9 which should be a memorial to July 20.

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC Essex Green on Aug 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm

THIS actually isn’t a picture of this theatre. This is another Cinema Suites location. You really cannot trust what Jeterga is posting here.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Westfield Hawthorn Mall expansion plan includes movie theater on Aug 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Cinemark does – all be it with large screens, stadium seating, and no masking – a scope movie was shown on a flat screen at their brand new Stroud Mall because as their manager calmed “most movies aren’t made in scope anymore”. (I hope this isn’t what their “NextGen” is all about it, it makes premiere theaters look cheap).

John Fink
John Fink commented about New Mission Theater on Aug 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I have no doubt Alamo will do an excellent job on the preservation end – I personally think The Ritz in Austin is first rate (although it was probably an empty shell when they got to it) – but it’s a classy looking joint. It’s refreshing to have a company run by movie fans with excellent tastes and instincts – verses MBAs who manage every complex with a once size-fits all attitude.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Movieland 8 Theatres on Aug 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Boy this is still a popular theater underscoring the need for more discount theaters, but while they clean between shows – I feel like more important issues are largely ignored (like repairing wear and tare, painting, etc). Today the air conditioning was out in the 3 big theaters to the left of the concessions. The musty odor virtually makes it impossible for me to get through a show there – not to mention the humming sound and underlit projection. I’d say you get what you pay for but I’d say you get even less. Dipson owns several theaters of this vintage and guess what – they do the little things to keep them in good shape, Eastern Hills is equally as old and its both spotless and well maintained. With that said it appears Dipson is moving ahead and keeping pace with digital conversion (AMC and Regal in town I believe are all digital now) – with Amherst, Eastern Hills and McKinley almost at 100%. I’m not sure MovieLand and Market Arcade will make it once film prints become unavailable (although who knows – maybe the owners of this place are saving up to go digital by not taking care of the physical building). It’s a shame because people are very loyal to this theatre – perhaps another operator who specializes in discount movie theaters (PictureShow or StarPlex) could do better as they’ve also mostly converted their discount operations to digital.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers on Aug 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Taking a look at pictures from the neighborhood it looks comparable to the Alamo South Lamar, I imagine it’ll be programed accordingly. (Lamar is all digital, excellent presentation – with a few 35MM in place, they have a few special events but The Ritz, 1 ½ miles away runs events every night). They consider the Lamar location to be a bit more “family friendly” – and the Alamo is most of the time (not of coarse during Terror Tuesdays or Weird Wednesdays).

Think of the Alamo as a cross between the best movie theatre you’ve ever been to and The Cheesecake Factory (in that they have a huge menu, and it’s all fresh and delicious). They care about the presentation and movie selection – as well as having a world class beer and cocktail selection – and they have lines around the block because seeing a film there is just more fun than seeing it elsewhere. (I just returned from 3 weeks in Austin and every time I go to my local, and very good theatre chain, Dipson – I’m slightly pissed someone won’t bring me freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of ice cream – 90 minutes into the movie – – the Alamo has spoiled me on other theaters). I can’t wait for Alamo to come to NYC so I can take my friends and show them just how awful AMC’s Dine In Theaters are.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Nearly-new all-digital quad theater up for auction on Jul 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

So what’s the deal with it, it’s listed as a “distressed” property that was in operation for a very short period of time. What is distressed about it? Is it DCI compliant? (I assume so but in Buffalo we have two small “micro-cinemas” that show movies off BluRay DVDs). And they have laser tag?!?! Looks like a fun place.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on Jul 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

The future of this theater is still in limbo as new developers were hoping to demolish the mall for apartments – they were hoping to keep the Leauges as tenants by including a new Alamo and Highball. That deal fell through which is great, I personally love this location and the plaza it’s in, the plaza retains a vintage funky-ness that Austin is slowly losing in favor of redeveloping areas into “mixed use” complexes. This theatre – like The Ritz is great, although the only thing that can be annoying is showtimes can change frequently as they bring in all kinds of special (often amazing) programing. Actually I shouldn’t complain, the Alamo is brilliant, it’s a theatre run by movie lovers who care about the experience and presentation, with surprisingly good food and drinks – it’s no wonder they have lines out the door on weekends (I recently saw Ted here with a delicious glass of agave ale and popcorn – one of the most enjoyable nights at the movies ever).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Century Aurora on Jul 25, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Cinemark and the community are figuring this one out now. I think Theatre #9 should be the memorial and if they can they should separate the roof and back wall to create the memorial space, as that theater has lost the magic forever. Any time there has been a shooting death in a cinema, it’s been a one-off thing (sometimes gang related), not a massacre. There is no rulebook for this, but I don’t think leveling the complex and pretending a cinema never existed here is a way to honor the victoms either. I hope some how they can create a quiet space of reflection.

I’m not sure if Cinemark or the mall own the land, there’s always the possibility they could demolish it for a big-box store. Here’s some local coverage: http://www.9news.com/news/local/article/279470/222/Future-of-theater-shooting-site-unknown

John Fink
John Fink commented about Forbes lists 10 theaters worth traveling for on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:04 am

Really kind of a boring list, many of which we know about – I’m sure there are other hidden gems around. It’s more of “if you’re in this hot destination, check out this theatre” – especially some of the multiplexes they listed.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Century Aurora on Jul 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I am really sad – I almost went to this theatre a few years ago while on business in Denver. I really hope NATO does something (they way they did after 9/11) to help the victims with a night where the proceeds are donated to help those especially those that may have lifetime disabilities as a result of this disgusting horrific terrorist act. The cinema for me is a sacred space, it’s a place where anything can happen (on screen) and where you go to leave your life behind and see the world in someone else’s eyes for 2 hours.

With that said, I’m not sure what the future of the complex will be: on one hand the show must go on, we must not let this terrorist win (I know he’s not a “terrorist” in the traditional sense, but he is a heartless cruel mass murder). I’m not sure if the complex can reopen, certainly not Theatre 9. Theatre 9 has really lost that magic forever – I’m interested to see what Cinemark will do next with this cinema, which once upon a time – less than a week ago, was just another modern big box multiplex in the suburbs.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cineplex buys four Canadian AMC Theaters in Ontario and Quebec on Jul 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

I’m surprised Cineplex was able to pick up Yonge & Dundas without having to sell Scotibank. I imagine Cinplex may creatively reduce screen count either with more fun centers or subleasing space. I knew the writing was on the wall for AMC’s Canadian operations when I attended a show at Winston Churchill last fall: no pre-show video or slides, no additional concessions beyond the usual and ice cream, the theaters were still mostly 35MM (and they showed a 35MM rolling stock advertising AMC Gift Certificates from the 90s), the awful Stubs program hadn’t replaced MovieWatchers in Canada, and one of the larger theaters was closed off.