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The Worldwide Cinemas remained under the Cineplex Odeon aegis to the end and was the last C.O. house in Manhattan.
I think it’s safe to say, on the corporate level, Regal (and most chains) ultimately don’t care much about the customers who attend their theatres; to them, they’re consumers and little else.
The Olympia became a quad, I think, sometime around 1981, and remained so through the end of the Golden management era, in the spring of ‘87.
I had a chance, while in Boston last week, to peer in through a small crack to the right of the former entrance to the Copley Place Cinemas and, surprisingly and for what it’s worth, there is one sign of what formerly occupied the space – where the ‘sloping’ floors of the auditoriums once were have been filled in with cement of a slightly different shade than that of the remainder of the floor.
I’m sure Regal would claim, in a polite moment, they charge such high prices because of the rent they pay for the site, but, if they had a couple of martinis in them and were feeling particularly blunt, would comment that since it’s NYC, hey, what else could you expect? You’re supposed to be gouged…
Thanks for capturing the theatre locations Loews Theatres Management and Cineplex Odeon Corporation were forced to divest themselves of prior to their merger in ‘98. The two exceptions were the Regency – Cineplex Odeon was allowed to hold onto the Regency due to its impending shuttering and demolition – and the Art Greenwich, which closed as a Cineplex house that winter and, while the various permit and neighborhood considerations were worked out prior to the site being redeveloped as an Equinox Fitness Club, re-opened in late February of '99 and operated as an indie through May of the following year.
I think a $2 house could survive if located in the right neighborhood in the outer boroughs, but not in Manhattan; the rents are too killer and, even with packed houses for every show and every audience member buying a medium soda and popcorn (or the price equivalent of the two), the owner would probably have to consider him or herself the beneficiary of a miracle if they somehow managed to break even.
As for studio ownership of theatre chains, don’t Paramount and Warner Bros. own Mann Theatres 50/50? I seem to remember one studio getting into a pissing match with the other (Paramount, I think it was, getting ticked off with Warner Bros.) a couple of years back and withholding their product from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for a time as a result…
I just caught an error in my posting, detailing the history of Clearview Cinemas site acquisitions and debits since they entered the NYC marketplace. They actually lost control of the Metro Twin in August of 2004, not 2002. Apologies for the inaccuracy.
To possibly acquire at least a print copy of the most recent annual report, Theatrefan, you might want to try contacting Loews Cineplex via their website. I did the same a few years ago, under the guise of being a ‘potential investor’ and was sent a copy of what was then their current report. Worth a try, although I’m pretty sure the excuse I used wouldn’t work so well for you, in light of current events… :–)
Thank you from me as well, Warren, for that photograph. I know you probably won’t respond to this compliment, but I’m sure I don’t speak alone in stating you’re one of the most valued contributors to this site.
From those who attended the Kenmore in the ‘80s (such as yourself, Al) and the '90s, how many of its original architectural elements remained, post-multiplexing and after becoming a Cineplex Odeon property and do any still exist in its current incarnation as a Modell’s Sporting Goods store? I thought I read it had been, at best, mostly gutted, but would be grateful for some confirmation.
The Loews name is likely to fade away in the merger, Theatrefan. That, to me, is one semi-sad part of the transaction, strictly from a historical perspective, not based on what the now-corporation has become in recent decades…
Since entering the NYC market in 1998, Clearview has acquired one theatre, the soon-to-be-former New York One and Two; its debits, in chronological order: the 34th Street Showplace (Clearview sold to new property owner; closed in August of ‘99), the Park & 86th Street Cinemas (lease not renewed; closed in September of '02), the Olympia Twin (Clearview sold to new property owner; closed in December of '02), the Metro Twin (landlord assumed control of property; closed in August of '02 and re-opened as independent this past December), and the Beekman (landlord assumed control of property; closed this past June 26th). Meanwhile, corporate sibling IFC assumed control of – and, of course, to much recent ballyhoo, renovated – the former Waverly Twin.
Any word on a potential buyer?
I think UA80 might have been injecting a bit of sarcasm into his post, Warren.
Loews leases out the screens booked with Bollywood product. As for the day-and-date releases with the E-Walk, the studios don’t quibble as the extra screen at the State allows for carryover audiences, much as the double-bookings at the Astor Plaza did and the State isn’t a threat to the grosses at the E-Walk. The Astor Plaza, meanwhile, had the benefit of being a prestige house which drew loyal audiences and the studios, as a result, eventually saw the opportunity to have their films booked there also as a welcomed bonus.
The Film Forum might have outbid those other theaters (or chains) for ‘Saraband’, may have made an initial deal with Sony Pictures Classics to run an exclusive engagement, only for that portion of the arrangement to have later been dropped, or there might have been some other sort of ‘gentleperson’s agreement’ or original arrangement made for it to have been booked there concurrently with the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
The Triboro (which I’m too young to have attended) was torn down for THOSE?!? What… a… disgrace…
For what it’s worth, in resolving a four-plus month-old mystery, Fred Astaire’s final film was the 1981 thriller (and former Showtime staple) ‘Ghost Story’.
True, Dave, true – seems like the renovated quad at the 86th Street East was almost an accident…
Given those screen counts AMC sees as ideal in its business model, can we also expect them to cut loose the Loews Village VII, the six-screen Loews 19th Street East and Loews 84th Street Theatres, and Loews Orpheum VII or might they make an exception given each site’s clout in their respective zones?
Did Regal own the Crossbay 1? If so, the reason for its closing is as obvious as the pretty green-inked paper that Philip Anschutz probably counts at night in lieu of sheep…
The Angelika is the perfect model for corporate arrogance, plain and simple. The ownership figures people will go there just because of the brand name – presentation and creature comforts, be damned – and while they’re still doing solid business, with all the competition nearby, as hardbop noted, the quality of the bookings has slid in recent years, and that’s no accident. What would be interesting – and unfortunately it’s not going to happen, for obvious reasons – would be to book the same highly-anticipated indie-type flick at the Sunshine and the Angelika at the same time and see which theatre drew the higher grosses. There’s little question as to which would be able to make that claim; the intriguing part would be by how much – and that would be a truly interesting barometer of just how far the Angelika’s reputation has fallen…
Shouldn’t that be ‘Cinderella Man’? :–)
Given the times, thankfully the AFA owns their building, ensuring they’ll continue to be around…