Tag Archives: Dubai

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 6 March 2014

Screenshot 2014-03-06 15.34.10

UK: Cineworld Didsbury near Manchester has allegedly had some particularly unwelcome visitors recently: cockroaches. More worryingly, some staff claim the cinema is hushing up the issue:

The M.E.N. [Manchester Evening News] was alerted by a concerned member of staff, who said cockroaches had been a long-standing problem.

The worker, who also claimed staff were told to keep quiet about the outbreak, said: “Customers have seen them. Staff have raised it lots of times but they have been told that they have to keep quiet. Staff have complained to managers but have been told not to say anything to the wider public.

“The cinema hasn’t closed once. Cockroaches have been seen in the food area and the bar. I have seen them crawling in a sink. It is absolutely disgusting and we have to work in it.”

The cinema wouldn’t comment on claims that its staff were told to keep the outbreak under wraps.

Apparently it is not the first time that pest control has been called in to the 11-screen multiplex, though the cinema’s management claim to be on top of the situation, as quoted in M.E.N.:

They said they are ‘confident’ the outbreak is fully under control and would be ‘resolved shortly’.

Bosses said health and safety was of ‘utmost importance’.

Manchester city council said it was informed by the cinema of a ‘low-level infestation’ last October.

Cineworld Didsbury’s own website boasts:

Cineworld Didsbury contains licensed bars, perfect as a breakout space for meetings or a drinks reception to round off the day. Our professional caterers can provide anything from pastries on arrival to a full hot buffet, and we can offer fantastic corporate deals on refreshments.

Let’s hope the cleaning staff and routines are equally up to scratch. . LINK


UK: Cineworld hasn’t had the best of quarters, with profits dragged down by the merger with Picturehouse (more on that in the next item).

Britain’s largest cinema operator Cineworld Group Plc <CINE.L> said full-year pretax profit fell 19.3 percent, hurt by transaction and reorganisation costs related to a recent acquisition and a regulatory probe.

Cineworld said pretax profit fell to 30.9 million pounds ($51.7 million) in the year ended December 26, from 38.3 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue rose 13.2 percent to 406.1 million pounds at the only listed cinema chain in the UK.  LINK

UK: Cineworld has had to sell one of its cinemas in Aberdeen over competition issues related to the Picturehouse Cinemas takeover:

But today, Aberdeen City Council once again announced that the Belmont Cinema would be taken over by new bosses.

Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) are the parent company of the Edinburgh-based Filmhouse cinema and will begin operating the Belmont from the start of next month.

The move comes after Cineworld, who own the Picturehouse Cinemas group, were forced to sell one of their Aberdeen properties by the Competition Commission.

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that The Centre for the Moving Image, which manages the Filmhouse in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, has been selected as the preferred bidder for the operation of the Belmont Media Centre.  LINK

UK: An independent cinema in Norfolk is abolishing its Monday promotion (GBP £3) and instead cutting the prices on all shows to just GBP £4.

Film fans will soon be able to see the latest screenings at a reduced price – thanks to Lynn’s Majestic Cinema’s bid to support businesses by bringing crowds back to the town centre.

Cutting the standard price of tickets by more than a third, the team are hoping to encourage more to venture into the town centre to watch the latest releases on the big screen.

Manager Tom Cundy said: “We want to offer a price that is affordable to everyone, we think our prices are already good but now we want to encourage more people to come back to the town centre.

An interesting and bold experiment. One that we will track. LINK

Read More »

Cinema News Roundup – 29-30 May

-Thinking of searching your cinema patrons bags for camcorders? You could end up like a somewhat indiscreet Canadian cinema owner who was ordered to pay C$10,000 in damages to a woman and her daughter for violating their privacy. From CTV.ca, “Security guards didn’t find any video equipment in the family’s bags, but did turn up a large selection of snack food, which they asked the family to take back to their vehicle, Lurie said. “They did so willingly. But they continued the search of the bags and while searching they also uncovered some birth control pills belonging to the older daughter,” Lurie said.” Needless to say, this proved a bit of a surprise to the mother, who promptly sued Cinemas Guzzo in Montreal. Mr Guzzo, VP of the cinema says searches of patrtons bags will continue, but “I don’t want to put my hands in your bag. In fact, leave the bags in the car.“”;

- BECTU, UK’s Media and Entertainment labour union, has launched a study of how the future will impact cinema technicians. The unions website lists a set of ‘Future challenges’:

* How will an increase in digital projection affect projectionist roles?
* What new skills challenges do staff face?
* Is there room for new skills to be developed alongside the current skillset?
* Are significant job losses a necessary consequence of digital projection?
* How will digitisation affect career development?

These are important questions and it is good to see BECTU taking this up at an early stage. Hopefully in addition to the Cinema Exhibitors Association and to the BKSTS, BECTU will also co-ordinating it with other public efforts in the UK, such as those of Skillset, in the digital field;

- NEC is touting its new high brightness projector ahead of this weekend’s US release of Pixar’s “Up.” The NEC NC2500S-A 2K digital cinema projector will be used at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre, according to the press release, which goes on to say that it, “allows 3D content to utilize the full 2K resolution of the 1.2” DMD from Texas Instruments using triple flash technology for smooth motion. With an increase in resolution and brightness of up to 33 percent, compared to previous generations, the boost in performance means a greater viewing experience for theatergoers.NEC is offering this upgrade “free” to all pre-existing customers, presumably meaning that they will swap out older projectors.. NEC wishes to make it clear that it is NOT offering this upgrade “free” and that it is a parts upgrade, not a complete swap of the projector;

– Active 3D eye-wear company XpanD is supplying its glasses to Spanish exhibitor Yelmo. From the press release, “Yelmo Cines, which has a prominent presence with 370 screens and growing, a driving annual attendance over 12 million and a leading position, will continue to help drive the digital expansion by installing 29 XpanD 3D screens in 2009, six which are already operating.” Technically, XpanD is not installing ‘screens’ as you can move the glasses and IR transmitters between any auditoriums in a multiplex. Interestingly no mention of Arts Alliance, who had previously trumpeted how they were helping expand Yelmo’s digital capabilities for 3D. What’s the Spanish word for ungratefull?;

- Despite the economic downturn in Gulf state cities like Dubai, the multiplex boom continues according to Khaleeji Times. “Watching movies is going to get a lot better with The Dubai Mall all set to open the Reel Cinemas, one of UAE’s largest cinema complexes featuring 22 screens and a seating capacity for 2,800 people. The highlight of the cineplex is the introduction of the Hollywood Chic design concept, which ensures a modern ?cinema experience.” It will also feature the first dedicated art-house halls in a Dubai multiplex, called Platinum Movie Suites. The company is a joint venture established between Cathay Organisation Singapore and Emaar Malls Group Dubai in 2007;

- Possibly stung by the decision of AMC and Regal Cinema to go with Sony’s 4K projectors, Christie Digital has put out a press release announcing that “Independent exhibitors continue to embrace proven Christie DLP Cinema® projectors.” Upon closer reading the press release turns out to be about Christie’s work with dealers and re-sellers for the 2K projectors to offer “more customizable programs that provide marketing and sales support, technical advice and expertise, maintain spare parts inventory, and deliver a streamlined RMA process which resolves issues quickly and speeds up the advanced warranty replacement process.” It then goes on to list several testimonials. All true and important, but no doubt Christie would have preferred to put out a press release with the name ‘Regal’ or ‘AMC’ in it, rather than ‘Classic Cinemas’ and ‘Essex Cinemas’, fine independent exhibitors though these may be;

- Growth in 3D and large format (LF) cinemas is what is driving Ballantyne of Omaha’s expansion of its cinema screen manufacturing capacity at its Canadian Strong/MDI Screen Systems subsidiary, according to this press release. “The expansion effort, which began in the latter half of 2008 and will continue through 2009, is focused on expanding plant capacity and productivity, as well as improving production methods to further enhance screen quality.” The expansion wil tripple capacity. It goes without saying that it is great news in these tough times to see an industry and company expanding instead of laying of people or asking for bail outs;

- AMC is raising $300m worth of capital to help pay for $250m worth of debt, according to this announcement. “AMC Entertainment Inc. (“AMC” or the “Company”) announced today that it is proposing to issue $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2019 (the “Notes”) in a private offering that is exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Company intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from this private offering to purchase the Company’s outstanding $250 million aggregate principal amount of 8?% Senior Notes due 2012 (the “2012 Notes”)” The difference of $50m will be used for ‘other general corporate purposes‘;

Two historic cinema buildings in Scotland’s two principal cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, face demolition. The razing of Clerk Street’s Odeon Cinema (pictures right) has been given the go ahead by Edinburgh’s City Council, but “Proposals to demolish the auditorium of an historic cinema in Edinburgh are “not justified”, according to a report commissioned by Historic Scotland,” reports BBC News. Meanwhile, The Scotsman reports that, “a historic former cinema in Glasgow is facing demolition after fire ripped through it in the early hours of yesterday morning…The Coliseum had fallen into disrepair and was on the Register for Scotland Buildings at Risk list. Originally a theatre, it opened in 1905 and was based on the now demolished Ardwick Empire in Manchester, and seated almost 3,000 people.” It was the first cinema in Glasgow to show ‘talking pictures’, but like all-too-many UK cinemas only survived as a bingo hall in its last 15 yearts of existance.

Sony’s 4K finds home in Singapore’s Cathay

Slowly-slowly Sony is starting to make inroads into multiplexes with its 4K digital cinema projector. It hasn’t been helped by the recent Beowulf 3D near-hysteria, which was strictly 2K (and Imax), but we should see some more deployments before the end of the year. In time for CineAsia comes the news of the deployment with Singapore’s Cathay Cineplexes, whose involvement with digital cinema dates back to the pioneering day of Christie 1.3K DLP Cinema projectors in May 2004.

From the press release:

Sony is equipping two Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore, including their flagship The Cathay Cineplex, with the ultra-high-resolution SRX-R220 Digital Cinema Projectors. Combined with Sony’s LMT-100 Media Block servers and LSM-100 Screen Management System, the projector systems are specifically designed for digital cinema applications. The project is expected to be completed early next year. Upon the completion of the installation, movie-goers are able to enjoy the ultimate viewing experience jointly presented by Sony and Cathay Cineplexes.

“We are very impressed with the CineAlta 4K technology, as well as the professional services rendered by Sony. The deployment of the enhanced digital technology in our cinemas demonstrates our continued commitment to provide quality entertainment to our valued patrons,” said Suhaimi Radfdi, President of Cathay Organization Holdings Ltd. “We are now planning to introduce this advanced technology to our cinemas in Malaysia and Dubai, so that more movie-goers can immerse themselves in the superior cinematic experience.”

So Sony can stick at least two more pins into its world map soon. Rumour also has it that there will be some Central European 4K announcement as well soon, but not until after CineAsia. Let’s if any 4K movies will be distributed to these cinemas from Technicolor’s newly-announced Singaporean digital cinema hub.

Kids urinating in cinema – problem in Dubai

Next time you curse stepping on a sticky patch at your cinema, consider yourself lucky that you are not living in Dubai. It could be something a lot less pleasant than some old soda spill. That seems to be the view of this female cinema patron from Dubai, despite the fact that the country is considered to have some of the most modern cinemas and multiplexes in the Middle East:

How much is the general public of Dubai willing to tolerate? And why? From bad service in restaurants to rude and impatient salesmen in shops, the icing on the cake now is… urine smelling cinema halls.


It has been witnessed that maids escorting 6 – 8 children cannot possibly make 8 trips to the toilet. Therefore the helpless children are urinating in the cinema halls. Perhaps a new policy to rid this unacceptable behaviour? One maid per two children? Just a suggestion…
Do we all have to be victims of this act of selfishness? Has Dubai really been reduced to this?… I hope not.
Angry Movie-Lover

So next time you send off your maid to take your brood of eight children to the cinema, my suggestion is that you fit them all with catheters before plying them with cola and popcorn. You know it makes sense.

(NB: As far as we know, the children in the picture above are not, nor have they ever relieved themselves in a cinema or multiplex auditorium, but are for illustrative purpose only.)