Comments from John Fink

Showing 176 - 200 of 718 comments

John Fink
John Fink commented about Southington 12 on Dec 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Not sure if this is correct but it appears from movie tickets.com it’s a rare Rave that never converted to digital and apparently is showing Happy Feet 2 in Technocolor (film-based) 3D.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Maplewood Theatre on Nov 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

@Poland – – this is one of the rare downtown ones Clearview didn’t buy. Clearivew as an operation has gotten better, and spends resources upgrading the concession areas, bathrooms, and seats – – but never on correcting major mistakes made in the projection room when subdividing theaters. So many of the theaters they buy were poorly built/subdivided that you’d have a better experience in a discount house.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Limited patience for limited releases on Nov 17, 2011 at 9:34 am

I agree – it’s the experience that matters – which is why good film festivals are addicting. AMC and Regal are pretty clueless about experience. Theaters like Alamo Drafthouse and the Nitehawk (in Brooklyn) get it, embrace it, and deliver a pretty great experience. I had been at Nitehawk with 3 friends that love cinema a few weeks ago – we saw one movie and decided because we had a great time (food, beverages, and a great pre-show instead of advertisement crap – I’m bias because that night they were showing a short I made before Martha Marcy May Marlene, but still) we decided to see the midnight show that was about to start for a different show. That’s not many places were a great movie experience where everything is done right that makes you want to have another experience right after the one you’ve had (that and you have to be a certain kind of person) – but Regal and AMC aren’t it.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Limited patience for limited releases on Nov 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I’ve driven to Toronto for certain films that aren’t playing in Buffalo, mostly by Canadian filmmakers I’m interested in. I did it for Bruce MacDonald’s This Movie is Broken – which was brilliant (although not as eventful a screening as Edward’s – – this was a normal Saturday afternoon at the Scotiabank Theatre). I normally have to have another reason to be in Canada though – and seeing a film I can’t see in the US feels like a major bonus. I was enrolled in a graduate seminar at University at Buffalo, Canadian Studies, last fall and we had two joint sessions with colleagues at Brock University in St. Catherine’s, ON – and what was showing at Cineplex/Empire Theaters during our two class meetings in Canada….luckily Street Dance 3D (a british version of Step Up 3D that never found US distribution) and that hilariously awful (and iconically Canadian) Score: The Hockey Musical!

Otherwise – a good part of my life was spent across the river from NYC, where I had the good fortune to see virtually anything I wanted to see in a given week.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Flix Stadium 10 on Oct 24, 2011 at 7:19 am

Dipson’s major upgrades are almost finished – they replaced every surface in the place and then some – digital sound, stadium seating with leather seats, two rows of D-Box Motion Code seats in one of their larger 3D auditoriums (4 3D systems in all). The theaters are a tad smaller than Regal’s but the quality of the presentations is finally as superb as Dipson’s other locations (Flix was showing signs of wear and tare – – now its on the way to becoming the finest multiplex in the area).

Now known as Flix Stadium 10.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Antitrust lawsuit against Cinemark revived on Sep 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

And in how many markets where a Regal and a non-AMC share bookings is Killer Elite opening at the independents? (I looked at two I know of and in both markets Regal had it)

John Fink
John Fink commented about Jem struggles with digital conversion on Jul 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I fear this will be common, I live in Buffalo which is a market that has seen a few digital conversion (only one multiplex I believe is 100% digital in the market), and I’m wondering what will happen if the actual “drop dead date” for film of 2012-2013 actually does happen. I’m guessing the stream will slowly trickle down to nothing as smaller wide releases (say in the 400-1500 screens range) may simply stop being offered to theaters on film, until major releases and art films are also only available by hard drive.

We see it now with major chains careful about converting their higher profit locations and markets while taking a wait and see approach to the others. 70,000 though sounds steep, and there are different business models including Virtual Print Fees they might be able to take advantage of. I hate the idea of people having to travel an hour or more just to see a film, any film.

Although some small town theaters have jumped they gun and gone digital, it’ll be a battle for theaters on the bubble in very small markets.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Chautauqua Mall Cinema I & II on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Large glass lobby within the mall, a small concession stand – two long theaters one to the left, one to the right – – the restrooms are down a few flights of stairs (below the projection rooms). It’s clean and in good shape for its age, another well run Dipson location.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Princeton Theater on Jul 12, 2011 at 8:48 am

The theatre is on the market for $400,000 – – here’s the real estate agent’s page with pictures:

http://www.fctuckeremge.com/property/property.asp?PRM_MLSNumber=180971&PRM_MlsName=EvansvilleIN&VAR_AgentCode=98886&VAR_OfficeCode=FCTE06

John Fink
John Fink commented about MoviePass Out: Exhibs Miffed, MoviePass Beta Suspended on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I disagree – dhroc: I doubt a chain will be held hostage, they will still be setting their own price – if anything I’m not sure how MoviePass will make money.

Dipson Theaters in Buffalo NY offers a season pass program and their biggest in-market competior is doing just fine. Movie theatres survive by selling popcorn and soda at perverted mark-ups anyway. If this forces a certain core of movie goers to go a little more often (and thus have more to spend on popcorn/soda) then I don’t see how it’s a bad deal for anyone except MoviePass (I’m not sure how their business model will really work, perhaps they’ve got a deal with MovieTickets.com that allows for this, I’m not sure the value of which they can sell advertising can subsidize heavy movie going- I see about 250 films a year in a theatre).

What’s wrong was this was sprung on exhibitors without having procedures in place and to deal with customers with MoviePass. Once in a while on my way somewhere I’ll stop by the Dipson Theatres in Batvia which is 30 miles outside of buffalo, and it takes them a while to find the procedure for the season pass program.

The example I give is this: the other night I saw Mr. Popper’s Penguines because I had nothing else to do. If I had to pay $9 I sure as hell wouldn’t have. To make the film more palitable I got popcorn and soda. The sale that matters to the theatre (popcorn/soda) would have been lost had I decided to do something else that night. At a cost prohibitive $50 a month (double what the Dipson season pass costs me – $300 a year) unless they announce some “light” program it will only attract folks who really want to see two movies a week. But I agree, theater chains should offer a season pass program, even though those come with limitations.

I also have, over at my blog, a few ideas on how and why I think chains need to embrace a more social model for getting folks in the door, the way film festivals do it.

John Fink
John Fink commented about MoviePass Out: Exhibs Miffed, MoviePass Beta Suspended on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm

The deal must have been done through movietickets.com – which AMC is a part owner/founder of. This would explain the absence of Fandango Theaters owned by Cinemark (Century) and Regal which operate in SF. This would indeed be problematic for a national roll out. Still I think MoviePass is a step in the right direction, as is making moving going more social – encouraging it is step one. I hope chains will learn this is what sets them apart from watching a movie on TV. That and bigger screens.

John Fink
John Fink commented about MoviePass Out: Exhibs Miffed, MoviePass Beta Suspended on Jul 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

The thing nobody seems to remember is AMC once tried this – some chains (Dipson in Buffalo) do have a season pass program. Here’s a link to my blog which covers this in painful, painful detail: http://www.johnfinkfilms.com/Blog/Entries/2011/7/1_Movie_Pass__the_rejected_savior.html

John Fink
John Fink commented about Film Vet Offers Advice for Rejuvenating the Industry on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I’ve always said – if a theater can capture the excitement of a great film festival they’d have an experience everyone would want – excitement – I’m not sure how you build on that but their are chains (Alamo Drafthouse is one) that are.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Rave Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 on Jun 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

blog from LA Times with a pic (very few pictures also at Rave’s facebook page):http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/06/former-magic-johnson-theaters-reopens-as-rave-cinemas.html

John Fink
John Fink commented about Lehigh Valley Cinemas on May 14, 2011 at 3:29 am

I’m not sure what the AMC 14-plex above references but Carmike had at that time just opened a 16-screen theater by the Airport. AMC of coarse really did nothing when they took over the theatre and last I had gone their, the summer during AMC’s take over, the place was not nearly as busy as it was a few summers earlier. Two things I remember: there was what might have been an old lobby with a concession stand and the far left of the complex (a marquee above it directed patrons to the entrance with box office to the left). On that side of the complex they had (not sure if this was an expansion or not) up about five stairs two smaller(?) theaters and restrooms. Not sure these were ADA compliant. The remaining 6 were at ground level. The main restrooms I recall were upstairs (not uncommon in GCC sites – Buffalo where I presently live is like a GCC museum with the multi-era Thruway Plaza, the 80’s era McKinley Mall, and the 70’s era Eastern Hills Mall – which has the aforementioned restrooms on the second floor along with the former Ocean County Mall). This one did have a handicap restroom by the concession stand. Can anyone shed any light on the expansion and/or division it took to get to 8 theaters?

John Fink
John Fink commented about Towson Commons 8 closing on May 15 on May 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

What evidence do you have that Clifton Commons and Bridgewater Commons aren’t doing well? I’m guessing Bridgewater Common’s Fork & Screen conversion came because AMC already has market saturation with the nearby Aviation 12 and they wanted to do something different at an upscale mall. Clifton Commons, also 100% digital unlike Towson Commons (did you only choose former General Cinema theaters with “commons” in their name?).

Clifton Commons seemed to be in fine shape last time I visited, fully staffed and crowded it seemed as busy as it ever was during the General Cinema days.

John Fink
John Fink commented about NCG Courtland Cinemas on May 12, 2011 at 2:04 am

NCG is reopening the theater on May 20th.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Landmark Theatres put up for sale - but only if the price is right on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Could be Sundance Cinemas big chance……

I don’t see Regal and AMC buying Landmark.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Nitehawk Cinemas to bring dine & view to Williamsburg on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

The Alamo Drafthouse has been talking about a NYC theatre for years – not sure what neighborhood they were looking but Williamsburg would seem ideal. The dine-in model has taken two forms: upscale and draft house – AMC has figured out a way to screw up both and I’m a little surprised they aren’t looking at exporting the model to a level at the Empire 25 (as far as I know anyway). Seeing how well the Alamo experience worked during its peak time (SXSW) I have to say it efficient, the food is pretty good (not great but good), the service is fast and not very distracting verses AMC which has over complicated a simple model. This project sounds pretty cool though.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

Worth noting is the theatre closed with the RKO Century name. Cineplex Odeon had never put their logo/name on the place. I suspect this was due to the fact the theatre had been considered in renderings of the plaza circa it’s 1996 expansion. I had first come here in the 1990’s. I believe Cineplex also had run a theatre at the then Bergen Mall in the late 80’s/very early 90’s. There was also a drive in next to the GSP (which is now a parking lot off Route 4 – on the far right near Nordstrom).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Bow Tie Cinemas acquires Reston Town Center 13 on Apr 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Congrads – that’s a really great and ambitious plan at Reston Town Center – I hope somebody snaps some pics for Cinema Treasures – a National Amusements / Cineplex hybrid is something worth documenting!

John Fink
John Fink commented about Hartford to get Luxury Cinema with Grill on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:18 am

Mike – the Hartford International Film Fest is in November – that’d be an awesome way to open a new plex.

John Fink
John Fink commented about Moral hits rockbottom at the Colonial Twin! on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I was a patron of the Colonial Twin and I never really found the employees to be a problem (I take these videos as dicking around when there wasn’t customers around – in between shows, ect). Truth is they could have provided perfect customer service but the place was falling apart, it was so musty I really stand seeing a movie there so we’d go elsewhere. Although my biggest regret is at least not seeing In & Out there (filmed right across the street, this and The Game were the last attractions – my guess is it was victim of the recently, enlarged Loews Wayne, which went from 8-14 screens, and Kinnelon – even though that theatre is truly an awful experience).

I can’t say Pompton’s downtown helped – it still isn’t a large draw. The place now seems to be working out okay – the top theatre is the home of the Smiling Rhino Theatre company and the rest of the building is used by Windsor School and as a youth center. If they ever get their plans going to revamp downtown Pompton Lakes, I hope a 4-8 screen boutique theater would come into town, it has potential. As for these videos – it nice to see the theatre back, I’m sure you guys sold my grandma and I popcorn at some point, probably during that summer where all you were showing was In The Line of Fire and Last Action Hero (we saw them 3 times!).

John Fink
John Fink commented about Hartford to get Luxury Cinema with Grill on Mar 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm

What’s the rest of the project look like? Downtown Hartford could certainly use a movie theatre and more shopping (granted there’s a few fun bars downtown, theatre and restaurants – there’s little else). I would be great somehow if Real Art Ways could have a presence downtown.

I’m surprised there’s out of market interest in Hartford downtown. Perhaps if there was larger retail commitment they could have attract a more national chain (AMC/Rave/Regal). A cinema grill would work – – an Alamo Drafthouse franchise + Hartford – – that’d be an amazing contribution to the cinema scene. (Full disclosure: the Hartford International Film Festival has been kind enough to support/show my work for the past three years, so I think very highly of the Hartford movie-going scene).

John Fink
John Fink commented about AMC may abandon struggling downtown megaplex in Minneapolis on Mar 26, 2011 at 9:16 am

True but it sounds like they had either wildly successful builds like Skokie or really bad losers like Neonopolis and Abacoa.