Tag Archives: Arclight Cinemas

Daily Cinema Digest – Fri/Sat 7/8 March 2014


We don’t normally start with a Finally-type of story, but this one is just too amazing to leave to the end. A cinema built and abandoned in the Sinai desert, with a story that is worthy of a film by Werner Herzog or a scene from Lost.

This extraordinary outdoor cinema was captured by Kaupo Kikkas, an award-winning Estonian photographer who explains the story as he heard it. After running it through Google translate from his Estonian website, this is what I gathered from his account of what happened to the abandoned cinema of the Sinai… Firstly, it hasn’t been around that long. Kaupo says it was installed “somewhere in the beginning of this millennium”. And it wasn’t built by Egyptians but rather one crazy Frenchman. As the story goes, this unnamed Frenchman, who likes to smoke a lot of cannabis (and presumably has a bit of money to throw around), was hanging out in the Sinai desert one day with his friends and decided that the one thing the place was missing was … a movie theatre! (Duh).

Be sure to click the LINK to Messy Nessy Chic to see all the photos and read the entire remarkable story.

Digital Death Watch

UK (N. Ireland): East Belfast’s Strand Cinema will be transformed into an arts centre with the help of a £40,000 loan from Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT). But what on earth is Chief Executive in right of the picture holding?

The famous art deco building – which incorporated shipyard influences from the nearby Harland & Wolff, including porthole windows and lighting – first opened its doors as a cinema in 1935. Due to a lack of modern projectors, the cinema had not been able to show the newest movies but has now received new projectors, marking the start of a wider refurbishment project combining new technology with the traditional fabric of the building.  LINK

USA: An art-centre in Miami has also upgraded to 2K and surround sound thanks to a grant.

Three years ago, an independent theater called O Cinema opened in the Wynwood Arts District with the hope of bringing independent and foreign films to Miami’s urban core. This year, the theater celebrates its surprising success with new programming and upgrades that will give it a greater sense of permanence in the community. Co-founders Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell had the idea to create what is now O Cinema back in 2008. Thanks in large part to a $400,0000 grant by the Knight Foundation through the Knight Arts Challenge program, they were able to execute their ambitious plans to build an independent theater in Wynwood, but the project was not without difficulties. LINK


USAArcLight Cinema has announced that it will start developing original content for the big screen and the small one (i.e. online).

The L.A.-based luxury cinema chain will co-produce footage of red carpet premieres, press junkets and other behind-the-scenes interviews with people in the industry and feature these clips on its website and in theaters before movie showings. The cinema will also promote the footage on its Twitter account. In February, ArcLight partnered with production company Mid-Century Media, started by former CNN entertainment correspondent JD Cargill, to begin developing the content.  LINK

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Los Angeles Magazine and ArcLight Cinemas Hit The Road With March Screening Series

It has always been our goal here at Celluloid Junkie to bring our readers any of the interesting or noteworthy ideas we run across in the worldwide motion picture distribution and exhibition industries. The hope is that spreading the word about such items will help spur your own innovative efforts.

With that in mind, today I received an email promoting a special screening series taking place in Los Angeles (see below). In conjunction with the publication of their March issue which focuses on road trips, Los Angeles Magazine is teaming up with ArcLight Cinemas for a retrospective series of classic road trip movies. The screenings will be held at ArcLight’s Hollywood multiplex on Tuesdays and Sundays throughout the month of March.

Showing classic movies is not a new concept for Arclight Cinemas. The exhibitor has been holding Arclight Presents… screenings since 2002 when their flagship cinema first opened in Hollywood. If one of the most important factors in making such a series successful is marketing, then working with Los Angeles Magazine to help spread the word to a broader audience is a smart move on Arclight’s part.

Focusing on the theme of road trip movies may be a stunt, but not necessarily such a bad idea. It gives the program a hook, or at the very least a purpose, however slight it may be.

Now that digital cinema has been rolled out throughout North America, other circuits could just as easily curate and produce similar retrospective screening series to help boost attendance on days when admissions are traditionally low (e.g. Tuesdays and Sundays). Additionally, finding media outlets to work with in large urban areas should not be too difficult. Los Angeles Magazine is a part of the Emmis Publishing empire which publishes five additional regional magazines including Texas Monthly, Cincinnati Monthly, Indianapolis Monthly, and Atlanta. Modern Luxury is another regional magazine publisher with titles in Manhattan, Houston, Aspen, San Francisco among many others. Surely there must be similar outlets in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

Let us know what you think of Los Angeles Magazine and ArcLight Cinemas teaming up for the Road Trips screening series in the comments below. Good idea? Bad idea? Could such retrospectives work in other cities?

Arclight Presents... Roadtrip Movies

Arclight Cinemas Announces Sixth Southern California Multiplex

Arclight Hollywood and the Cinerama Dome

Arclight Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome (Credit: BudCat14/Ross)

Last October we got wind that a new multiplex was being proposed for Santa Monica Place, a mall in Santa Monica, California. These plans were confirmed earlier today when Arclight Cinemas announced they had entered into an agreement with Macerich, the mall’s owner, to open a 14 screen cinema at Santa Monica Place by mid-2015. Unlike some of its existing locations, Arclight may find it slightly more difficult to achieve success in Santa Monica.

The theatre will occupy 44,250 square feet on the third floor of the mall, just above Bloomingdale’s. Santa Monica Place was originally designed by architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1980. It underwent an extensive multi-million dollar remodel starting in 2007, which gutted the inside and removed the mall’s roof, turning it into an indoor/outdoor facility. Since the mall reopened in 2010, the third floor has been occupied by L3, a seldom used venue rented for events and parties.

Arclight Cinemas already operates five other multiplexes throughout Southern California, including cinemas in El Segundo, Hollywood, La Jolla, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks. The circuit will be opening its first East Coast location in Bethesda, Maryland later this year and has broken ground on a location in Chicago, Illinois which is scheduled for a 2015 debut.

Ever since Pacific Theatres launched Arclight Cinemas back in the early 2000s, the circuit has garnered a reputation for offering the premiere movie-going experience in Los Angeles, catering to the regions cineasts and serious film buffs. Arclight is considered one of the pioneers in premium mix-use cinemas, helping establish the format with amenities such as a lobby restaurant and bar, gourmet concessions, black box auditoriums, stadium seating with extra leg room, no late entries, reserved seating, a ban on advertisements before screenings and an eclectic mix of big budget blockbusters and art house movies.

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Sundance Cinemas Brings Its Art House Mentality To Los Angeles

Sundance Sunset CinemaThe opening of the first Sundance Cinemas in Los Angeles seems a perfect way to bring summer to a close. The new theatre opened in the space once occupied by the Sunset 5 which Laemmle Theatres operated for two decades before it was shuttered last December. The new venue has been named Sundance Sunset Cinema and, much like the Sunset 5 before it, will feature mostly independent and art house titles. It opened on August 31st.

Sundance Sunset Cinema is the fifth location to be opened by Sundance Cinemas, which operates theatres in Houston, TX, Madison, WI, San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA. A sixth location in Westchester, NY is planned for later this year. The circuit is part of the Sundance Group, the corporate entity that houses all of multi-hyphenate Robert Redford’s Sundance related businesses, including the annual festival. The actor/director, who grew up in Los Angeles, recently told KCRW radio host Warren Olney on “Which Way LA“, that the opening of Sundance Sunset Cinema is a bit of a homecoming for him.

“…I feel that it’s a chance to bring back something that I truly loved as a kid,” said Redford. “….you bring it back in a way that you experienced films when you were young. You didn’t see six trailers in a film blasting your ears away.”

Expanding Sundance Cinemas has been a longtime goal of Redford who has always thought the 10-day film festival he holds every January in Park City, Utah could easily expand throughout the entire country if there were theatres to show independent films. In the mid-1990s, as the Sundance Film Festival grew ever larger, Redford said, “…it didn’t seem to have that opportunity because there was still a lock by the major studios and the theater owners. There was not enough space or a place for independent films at that time. So the decision was to go electronically and so we started the Sundance Channel, but in my head the better preference was always going to be could we do a live experience.”

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