Redstone criticizes cinemas

posted by ceasar on November 30, 2007 at 7:47 am

Here’s an interesting story on the differing views of cinema in the Redstone family.

Precisely what caused the rift between Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari, may never be known, despite vague suggestions of disagreements over “corporate governance.” But one major source of friction between the 84-year-old chairman of National Amusements, the company that controls Viacom and CBS, and his 53-year-old daughter is clear: She’s sanguine about the movie-theater business, while he thinks it’s on its last reel.

Amid the glamour of assets like Paramount and MTV, it’s easy to forget that privately held National Amusements, started back in 1936 by Sumner’s father, remains an important player in the theater business, with about 1,500 screens around the world. Shari, who owns 20 percent of the company (her father controls the remaining 80 percent), has run the theater unit since 1999 and is relentlessly upbeat about it, even as insiders speculate that Sumner would rather sell the whole thing off. Does Shari know something about the popcorn economy that her father doesn’t?

Read the full story in Conde Nast Portfolio.

Comments (6)

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 30, 2007 at 8:33 am

Why am I not surprised? Summer Redstone is an old fart who’s played a significant role in destroying movie theatres over the past 30 years or so. Fight on, Shari!

P.S. I LOVE The Bridge in Los Angeles. My top choice to see a film on a Sunday afternoon.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on November 30, 2007 at 8:34 am

And, by the way, the headline is wrong. It’s not Shari that’s criticizing cinemas. It’s her old fart papa Summer.

ceasar on November 30, 2007 at 9:27 am

Let me tell you what is interesting. I heard accounts that Summer and his daughter are feuding among each other. But the portfolio article had showed that cinemas like Carmike,Regel Entertaiment Group all thier earnings were down this quarter.

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on November 30, 2007 at 10:26 am

I think from a movie patron’s point of view, it all inevitably comes down to the experience you get when you go to the movies…

Yes, there may very well be valid reasons for high ticket & concession food prices and 30 minutes of commercials before the movie.

Yes, these inconsiderate idiots who seem more interested in their cell phone, or those who won’t stop talking, or those who choose to unwrap their candy during the movie and not before, may all think they have valid reasons for doing so.

Yes, the crap you’re watching on the screen has likely been done before and has now been recycled, re-imagined, re-invented, or whatever bullsh*t word the industry chooses to use these days.

But for the moviegoer, it all comes down to whether their experience at the movies is that of pleasure or irritation. If it is, in fact, irritation, then I’d be willing to bet the moviegoer is not going to care one bit about industry reasons and motives – they will simply choose to avoid the irritation of going to the movies and stay at home instead.

ceasar on November 30, 2007 at 10:41 am

u make a good point. Now in the article blame fell on the industry for letting the cinemas fall into these situtions. Also the Carmike,Regel Entertaiment Group, AMC, made agreements with the studios over dvd releases. Like the 6 month window which was agreed upon.
Now Moviegoer I happen to agree that the high ticket cost which has been incurred have cannibolized the industry more.

markp on January 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Just as Love movies-hate going put it, the experience of going to the movies today is not what it was in the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. Today we get slides, commercials, sheetrock palaces (as I like to call them). Why go out, when you can get so much more in the comfort of your own home? Money money money and idiots who only know how to push pencils, instead of film cans ruined the entire industry. As a projectionist of over 30 years, all I can say is wait until digital cinema comes along in a year or two. Talk about the final nail in the coffin…

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