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I’m glad you’re covering this Michael. My fellow young generation needs a greater understanding of showmanship of the past.
PS: If you ever need help with 70MM in Chicago, let me know. I have a small listing.
“IMAX will face challenges down the road. It only holds a slight technological edge in the digital projection market and any theater with stadium seating willing to double stack two 4K digital projectors and beef up its sound system could create a similar viewing experience.”
All Steven Spielberg (or another director with clout) needs to do is shoot a movie in 70MM, strike up a select few of these prints, and this whole DIET-MAX stuff will be put to shame.
I’ll wait for an indie theater corp to install a SDS-70MM projector. THAT, will be something.
I don’t think there’s ever been a theater in South Holland. I know that the Kerasotes Showplace 16 in nearby Schererville, IN took a bite out of RO when it opened in ‘96. Anyway, even with the ones in the mall, it still did great business. I think that the problem was management. The upkeep began to get bad, and the slection of movies went down (mainly in 9-10). I mean, who books “Roll Bounce” (good movie though) in 9-10 over “Flightplan”?
BTW, River Run showed “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Lethal Weapon 2” in 70MM.
You know that either AMC or Regal is next. The reason being their spree in buying up other chains, and spending hundreds of millions in converting to digital cinema.
Audiodude, when you say ‘Tinseltown complex in South Holland’, are you refering to the River Run (built & opened by M&R in ‘88) up the street in Lansing? Of course, it’s now called the Lansing Cinema 8.
Anyway, the last time I was in #9 was back in June 2004 to see “Chronicles of Riddick”. And the auditorium while big, was in bad shape. I nearly slipped while walking along the isles. And this was because of uncleaned popcorn butter. And most of the seats were so dirty that it made the blue look nearly black. Today, the windows and doors are all boarded up. So I can kinda tell that the insides ain’t pretty. This may be a rough estimate, but to get that building back to all it’s splendor, I might be looking at 2.5 to 3 million. I want the redo to look like these places
Back when I was going there, my only complaint was that the restrooms were too small. That’s what I also aim to fix. Seating may be reduced to 880-900 in #9, and about 700 in #10 to create expanded concessions and restrooms. It will be complicated, but I think it can happen.
Right now I’m trying to build up discrestionary funds, because I’ve heard that most financial investors will want a show of faith or something to that effect.
I like the idea of a John Hughes film festival. And nice list of movies there. I don’t know I would’ve been able to book all of them, due to the Lansing down the street.
Jimpiscitelli, no doubt I’m aiming to reopen 7-8 and 9-10. 9-10 still sits off Torrence Ave in the mall lot, boarded up and all.
I cited IMDB as a source. It’s at the below the list of Chicago area theaters that played “Impact”.
Wow, the A.D.D./I WANT IT NOW!! generation strikes yet again!
I tell ya, there’s never been a greater time for a new 65MM production.
Must get Spielberg to shoot “Lincoln” in 65MM
Of course, I wrote this on 12/9, which was the actual 25th anniversary.
Has anyone heard of the roadshow style release of “Che”? If McClurg were open, it would be the ideal place for it.
Aek316, I still hope to purchase it someday. I know Baum Realty has no plans to reopen it as a cinema, but stranger things have happened. Their plans to turn it into retail have apparently fallen on their heads quite a few times. But with the bad economy, maybe Baum will give up the property. If that happens, I’m back in business. IMO, I would add 2 to 3 screens by buying adjoining retail space. This way, you can show more art films while getting a regular first run booking in #1 (downstairs) and #2 (upstairs). And I would add bathrooms and a snack bar upstairs.
When it was triplexed in 1987, #1 sat nearly 760, and 2-3 were around 230-250.
If debt this bad can get to National Amuesments, then it most certainly will get to Regal in a few years.
Anyway, I saw a rendering of this place. I wish we Chicagoians had a theater this big right now.
Aww man, I wish this could come to the Chicago area. I know this will be a feast for the eyes.
But seriously, I hope to reopen the River Oaks screens. I’m currently writing up my business plan, and gathering up funds as a show of faith to investors. Hopefully, this place can rise again soon.
If (when) I reopen RO, #9 (you’ve heard it here first) will feature a new curved screen that can also handle 70MM 6 track as well as DTS, and SDS 70MM. Other changes will include new red velvet rocking chairs with memory foam cushions, a red/gold decor around the curtains, and a dramatic gold lighting scheme when the curtains are closed. This will be a true showmanship cinema.
I would’ve booked “Bangkok” in the mall theater. I also had “Tropic Thunder” in mind for #10. In fact, It would’ve been 7,8, and 10. And here’s more movies that I would’ve booked on this screen from 9/26 to now
9/26/08 – EAGLE EYE
10/17/08 – W
10/24/08 – HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR
11/7/08 – CHANGELING
11/14/08 – QUANTUM OF SOLACE
11/26/08 – TWILIGHT (moveover from #10)
Upcoming movies on this screen include “FROST/NIXON” and “THE SPIRIT”.
I dream, don’t I?
“I guess that means that when all the theatres have digital in a few years (perish the thought) that the first say 10 rows cant be sold because the picture will be blurry. Don’t seem to have that problem with good old 35 or 70MM. Makes you wonder…”
Last year I went to see “Beowulf” in 3D, and the 3D scenes were at times, straning to the eyes. I often had to rub them so I could enjoy it. Hollywood will tell you that it brings lots of crowds, yet it grossed 82 million out of it’s 150 million budget.
And there was a similar thing with “Superman Returns” in IMAX 3D. The picture quailty in the 3D scenes weren’t very good. But…
I had to sit in the front row when I saw “W”, and guess what? No blurry images. Very little grain was visible. And it was a 35MM presentation.
If anything, this “Benjamin Button” mishap is a premonition of what’s to come. Hollywood’s disturbing habit of rushing things are slowly but surely catching up to them. They fool people into thinking that digital is “sooo much better”, and they spend all this amount of money to convert these screens, yet they could be restarting a much better format in 70MM. I don’t care what anyone says, but digital will NEVER top the quality of 70MM. Come to think of it, a 35MM print fresh from the labs often top digital.
This is what Hollywood should be looking at
Did I mention that a 35/70MM projector costs about 20/30 grand, and even less if it’s reburbished? And it can last for decades? The new 4k’s are about 150/200k, and could break down in five years. Or in a night.
Paul and BW, how are you guys willing to bet that in the next few months, improvments will start being made?
I finally went here in August to see the latest “Mummy” flick, and I was impressed with the place. For an old building with management who runs good theaters (Water Tower, Burnham Plaza, Stratford Square) in the ground, it was in decent condition. What I hope Visionary will do is install new carpeting, improve bathrooms, new decor, because the current state makes it look like a seedy nightclub. This is really evident in the hallway leading to auditoriums 3-4. Of course new seats and lighting in the auditoriums themselves would be swell. The current condition is a lot better than what some user reviews at yelp.com make them out to be. But then I was at an afternoon showing. All and all, I will return soon, and combine it with another trip to Carmen’s Pizza (great stuff) a few blocks away.
I can’t remember the exact seating count, but #1 seats 140. 2 seats 100, 3 and 4 both seat about 120.
Everyone give props to Paul, who predicted that Village Theatres would be gone by 2008. With my theater corporation yet to get off the ground, this was a lesson in how NOT to run a business. It is truly sad how some once good or great theaters have died early deaths under Village’s reign. Had someone with a plan entered the business, Burnham Plaza and the Village in old town would’ve been around longer. Same can be said for Stratford Square, which could’ve survived in it’s original carnation. I would’ve added 2-4 screens to it, then remodel the nearby Bloomingdale Court. Yeah I know the new Century/Cinemark is the thing, but I still love those early 80s mall theaters with big screens and simple decor. And SS opened in March of 1981.
Anyway, rant over. But looking at some of their theaters, Water Tower’s days were numbered long ago. They really went under when ICE management took over, then couldn’t pay taxes. And I don’t know how long Lincoln Village has. The current mix of Bollywood and first run movies aren’t bringing in LOTS of people needed to stay strong. And it needs improvments badly. And on another note, Phoenix Theaters is reopening Golf Glen soon. And me, I’m going after River Oaks (keep fingers crossed everyone!). I have a name for my potential corporation too, but I want to suprise everyone.
Rant really over. And happy thanksgiving everyone!
Awesome find. Thanks for sharing.
Does anyone know the seating capacity for each of the ten screens?
I’m aware of that website Justin. I often write to the editors. But there needs to be something like it to reach young people who don’t know about 70MM. If there’s a way we widescreen fans can get teen-based sites to link in70mm.com, then that would be a good start.
Here’s another site that teens need to see
PS: Notable 70MM engagements at the Meadow include “Temple of Doom”, “2010”, “Stakeout”, and “Last Crusade”.
Top down masking, arrrggghh! I only go to places like that because it’s closer to where I live, but I’m slowly getting away from that. Now I could accept the new Kerasotes if they built it like the Showplace in Niles, Il (love that theater, and it has side-masking), but this is turning out to be just another shoebox that’s too often today. And while I never went to the Meadow, I can agree with people’s comments regarding the possible closure. Here in Chicago, theaters with super large auditoriums are becoming scarce. And I must change that.
Movie534, soon, I want to start some kind of myspace page or fansite that explains 70MM to the teenage audience of today. And I want the page to include a plea to filmmakers to shoot with a camera like the Arri 765 or the Super Dimension 70. If you know anyone who might do know how to do this, then let’s get 70MM off the ground again!