Tag Archives: Odeon

Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 8 April 2014

Imax China

Imax is to sell 20% of its China business to two Chinese-based entities in return for USD $80 million and a firmer foot hold in the world’s soon-to-be largest cinema market.

IMAX Chief Executive Richard Gelfond said in an interview that investment fund China Media Capital and private-equity firm FountainVest Partners would pay $40 million each for 10% stakes by early 2015. He said the deal gives IMAX local partners who will open up expansion opportunities in one of its most important markets.

The investors will shepherd a public offering of shares of the China operation, IMAX China Holding Inc., in the next five years, Mr. Gelfond said. IMAX China will be paying IMAX Corp. an ongoing trademark and licensing fee for the right to use the IMAX trademark in China, a spokeswoman said. IMAX China is aiming to list in Hong Kong but will be positioning itself to list on other China exchanges, such as in Shanghai, in case that doesn’t work out or a better opportunity arises on the mainland, a spokeswoman said.  LINK

Not only will this allow for expansion in China, but Imax must also be hoping to neutralise the nascent threat from CFGS - though this is not mentioned in the above article.

NAB

Barco laser projection

USA (LV): Lasers are coming! This follow-up article from David Keene provides excellent insights from the pre-NAB Cinema Summit on what is happening on the laser front.

The first shots were fired on Saturday, in the session “Laser Illuminated Projectors: What’s New and When Will They Arrive? Bill Beck, President of BTM Consulting moderated panelists Pete Ludé, CTO of Mission Rock Digital; Goran Stojmenovik , Product Manager Laser Projection, Barco; Richard McPherson of NEC Display Solutions; and Don Shaw, Senior Director of Product Management for Entertainment Solutions at Christie.

The panel was straight forward– not your typical panel involving a lot of speculation and vague talk of coming solutions. It was three major projector manufactures explaining their new Laser projectors. And surprisingly, this was not a “me too” exercise: each company is launching a very different kind of Laser projector and/or 3D solution into the market this spring.  LINK

You Will Be Amazed To Find Out What The Differences Between The Different Laser Projector Solutions Are!

Read More »

CinemaCon 2014: Press Release Roundup

CinemaCon Logo

PLEASE NOTE: If we missed any individual press release it was not done purposefully. If you would like us to include a CinemaCon related press announcement in a future roundup, please forward it to tips@celluloidjunkie.com.

Historically companies and organizations doing business at trade shows and conferences have relied heavily upon press releases to get their message out to an industry. This has been especially true at CinemaCon and ShoWest before it. This year was no different.

The first day of the show always sees a flurry of announcements “hit the wire”. As the week (and convention) progresses the number of releases tends to dwindle. We thought it might be useful to sum up all of the announcements made at this year’s show, and when appropriate, provide a bit of insight or analysis. Here are the releases published during CinemaCon 2014 listed in alphabetical order by company name:


Arts Alliance Media
The London based digital cinema integrator and software developer is is always good for a few releases during industry trade shows. CinemaCon saw them release no fewer than four. The first announced the launch of a new software solution called AdFuser. The software was designed for all aspects of on-screen cinema advertising. The software is capable of planning campaigns and managing inventory, targeting ads to appropriate genres or audience demographics, automated ad playlist creation, ad content delivery, reporting and much more. AdFuser can be used in either an extremely granular or completely automated fashion.

Our Take: AAM’s cinema advertising software has been in development for years so it is interesting to see them finally launch the product. We have yet to have a close demonstration of the solution, but look forward to seeing it in action. The company is entering a niche market with a stiff competitor (Unique Digital) that has more than a decade head start in the space.

AAM announced a software deal with Vox Cinemas, a cinema chain based in the Middle East. The circuit will be employing AAM’s suite of software to manage their digital cinema technology and operations. This includes solutions such as Screenwriter Plus (Theatre Management System), Producer (Enterprise Circuit Management System) and Locksmith (Enterprise KDM Management) and Lifeguard (NOC Tools). Vox operates 9 complexes which account for 92 screens in Lebanon and the UAE.

Finnkino was already using AAM’s theatre management system (TMS) and will now upgrade to Screenwriter Plus, which has additional features for automation and monitoring. The circuit will rollout the new version of Screenwriter Plus throughout their 14 sites and at a later date has the option to include their 11 Forum Cinemas located in the Baltic.

AAM began as a digital cinema integrator with their own virtual print fees (VPFs) in Europe. They have now entered the complicated Latin American market with a series of partners, most recently Quanta-DGT. The trio announced three deals for VPF rollouts with three exhibitors in Uruguay; Grupo Cine, Life Cinemas and Movie.

Our Take: This agreement is a perfect example of just how complex Latin America can be for the motion picture business. While the combined 61 screens covered in the contract already have digital cinema equipment installed, these screens will now fall under AAM/Quanta-DGT’s VPF agreements.


Barco
CinemaBarcoThe Belgian based projector manufacturer was incredibly active during this year’s CinemaCon, showing up at the conference with half a dozen press releases. Many of the notices centered around their new CinemaBarco initiative, specifically the 60,000-lumen laser projector the company is bringing to market. The projector is DCI-compliant and capable of showing 4K content all the way up to 60 frames per second. The Barco 6P laser projector is capable of showing 3D content in 4K at 14 ftL and is fully integrated within the DCI-compliant projector. It will be commercially available immediately in the United States and China before being distributed in the rest of the world by the end of 2014. The company demonstrated the projector at CinemaCon without a “shaking” screen.

To prove just how market ready their laser projector is, Barco announced that Cinemark would be the first exhibitor to install the new technology. The release didn’t specify precisely which sites Barco would be installing its high-tech projector in, though don’t be surprised if Cinemark Century 16 South Point and XD winds up being the first. That’s the Las Vegas cinema in which Barco was conducting off-site demonstrations of its laser projector during CinemaCon.

Read More »

UK Cinemas Are High Profile Targets For Anti-Sugar Campaigns

concession table UK

Calorie and sugar levels in UK cinema snacks

Having looked at challenges facing United States exhibitors relating to carbonated sugar beverages (Cinema’s Dangerous Addiction to Sodas), it is now time to examine the situation in the United Kingdom. The issue has come to the forefront with an article in the Daily Mail’s This Is Money section titled “The 35 teaspoons of sugar in a box of cinema popcorn: Cinemas slammed over supersized snacks“. The piece highlights the amounts of sugar found in the concessions offering of the UK’s Big Three (Cineworld, Odeon and Vue).

Coming hot on the heels of the new recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) to cut daily intake of sugar by half, the statistics in the Daily Mail’s article make for sobering reading. Effectively a UK cinema goer could consume his or her entire weekly sugar “allowance” in just one cinema visit, if they buy a soda and a popcorn. From the article:

A 200 gram box of toffee popcorn at Cineworld comes in at 840 calories and 121 grams of sugar, equivalent to about 30 teaspoons. Adding a 32oz Coca Cola carries an extra 407 calories and 101.2 grams of sugar, or 25 teaspoons.

A large bucket of sweet popcorn at Odeon cinemas amounts to 1,005 calories, which is more than half of a woman’s recommended daily intake. And at Vue, a 200 gram tub of toffee popcorn contains 138.9 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to about 35 teaspoons.

UK’s Weight Watchers has thrown its, um, weight behind this criticism, with a call to ban ‘super sized’ serving portions, as part of its ‘Slim Our Snacks’ campaign. Quoted in The Mirror:

Actress Patsy Kensit, 44, who is 9 stone (126 pounds or 57.2 kilos) after shedding 14 pounds with Weight Watchers, said: “The full-sugar fizzy drink and popcorn sizes are ridiculous.”

WeightWatchers’ Zoe Hellman said film fans should not be faced with “blockbuster-sized sugary and fatty foods”.

Cinemagoers Enjoying Concessions

While in the Daily Mail article:

Weight Watchers spokesman Angharad Massie said: ‘Cinemas are inherently family focused spaces, yet we all recognise them to be one of the worst spaces for promoting portions of high fat, salt and sugar snacks with little or no choice of healthier alternatives.’

Read More »

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

abandonedcinema2

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

Business

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

Read More »

GUEST COLUMN: Review – The Lounge at Whiteleys by Sally Hurst

sallyinbutcher As both an ardent foodie and lover of film, this trend towards fine dining at the cinema, and I mean served right in your seat during the film, intrigued me. Quite often I find myself tempted to wait until a film hits Netflix so I can curl up on my couch with my favorite bowl of homemade whatever, but the big cinema chains have caught on to my routine and they’re now offering commodious seats, alcoholic beverages, and more than just your typical popcorn, nachos or a hot dog to choose from on the menu. There are independent theatres that have been doing a version of this for years now, luxe seating with lattes and macaroons or wood fired pizzas and wine served up in the lobby, but a full-on dining experience in the dark, how exactly would this work?

The Lounge at Whiteleys Odeon was a blustery but thankfully short walk from my home in West London, past the neat rows of homes, doors wide open as parents were desperately trying to decamp their families into waiting Black Cabs to take them to Heathrow, to somewhere warm or maybe snowy for half-term break. It was the perfect afternoon for a movie! Whiteleys itself is somewhere I’ve always tried to avoid, not understanding the need for a shopping mall in such a vibrant neighborhood, the surrounding streets crammed with independent shops and restaurants. Much like any shopping mall in the center of a city, I find it disheartening, the diffused sunlight, the chain shops and faux sidewalk cafes. However, most movie theatres are tucked away at the top of these soulless spaces, and so past the Zara, the Café Rouge, the mobile phone shops, the M&S Food, I strode.

When I booked my tickets online, they urge you to arrive 30 minutes before the start of your film to take advantage of the full “Lounge experience.” I did as they asked and sat sipping a cranberry juice while watching well-heeled couples settle into the plush seats surrounding the bar. We were to be a small group, well the theatre only seats 50 at most, and at these prices, GBP £18.50 (US $30)per ticket, not everyone will indulge. Just five minutes before the start time, we were ushered to our seats, wait staff carrying our drinks on trays like they do at the finest restaurants.

photo 2

The seats are huge, reminiscent of the ones used in nail salons for pedicures (thankfully they don’t vibrate). A bright blue button on the arm of your chair can be pressed at any time to request a server come to you. On the other arm a small tray is attached and a menu awaits inspection. In honor of the recent Chinese New Year, there was a small selection of Dim Sum, and I thought I must indulge. Prawn and chive dumplings, if you please. The other dishes are divided into Finger, Fork, and Spoon categories. I decided to rely on my trusty fingers, thinking a fork banging on a plate might be just too much during the show. The hot dog, while tempting, was too close to what I might get at just any old theatre, lemon sole goujons too reminiscent of culinary school, sushi too dicey at this venue. I settled on the three fillet steak sliders with onion rings. We were still in the previews (I’ll most certainly be first in line to see The Grand Budapest Hotel) when all of my food arrived and a little wine chiller bucket was set up to hold my bottle of still water. Fancy, indeed!

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 20 February 2014

Screenshot 2014-02-20 14.50.11

Econsultancy has done a good job of comparing and reviewing the ticket booking customer interfaces of UK’s three leading cinema chains: Cineworld, Odeon and Vue. This review has relevance for ticket booking experience over the web for every country, even though restricted to just three in one territory. The author compares the web and mobile portals for ease-of-use, speed of booking, seat selection, repeat use and payment options. While it is worth reading the whole review, including the good use of screen shots, we won’t spoil your fun by revealing that Odeon fared worst, while Vue did well but Cineworld scored highest of the three. Link.

Technology

Laser projection: News from the HPA Tech Retreat by THR’s Carolyn Giardina that laser projection may have cleared a regulatory hurdle in the US. “Speaking at the HPA Retreat, Lude reported that international standards body International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) “is well on its way to redefining what a laser projector is,” meaning that laser projectors would no longer be considered a laser emission device. Instead, they would fall under lamp regulation, possibly as early as spring, he said. In the U.S. this classification would eliminate the need for a variance to use a laser projector, and so LIPA is encouraging the FDA to quickly adopt the IEC revision (when completed).” Good news for brighter 3D pictures. Link.

India/subtitling: Digitisation has leading to falling costs for subtitling, which in turn allows for wider distribution of (non-Hindi/Bollywood) Indian films. “Producers are learning that a film’s market widens with some investment in subtitling. Until recently, subtitling was a sidelined function in moviemaking and dominated by the NFDC (National Film Development Corporation of India). Sanjay Wadhwa of AP International, a leading distributor of Tamil films in overseas markets, said after the rise of India’s software industry, there are numerous requests to subtitle films from the West. ”Initially, we were unable to do so because the cost of subtitling then was about Rs 75,000 per print—more than the cost of the actual print,” says Wadhwa.” Link.

Politics

India: It is election year in the world’s most populous democracy and politicians in southern Indian state of Tamil-Nadu are busy currying favours with voters, including the promise of cheap or free cinema. “As the ticket charges are high in most of the cinema halls in Chennai and since many of them are being operated from commercial complexes, the Chennai Corporation would establish cost affordable cinema theatres to provide entertainment to people. Vacant spaces available at various places at Corporation of Chennai would be identified and ‘Amma Cinema Theatres’ would be established for the benefit of poor and middle class people.” Far from being ‘high’ even by Indian standards, ticket prices are regulated and capped by the Tamil state. Link.

Liquor licence

USA: Marcus Theatre’s plans to serve alcohol in its Fargo cinema is running into some local resistance. “Serving alcohol in one of the city’s major first-run movie theaters might be a tough concept for some here to swallow. But even if city officials sign off on the plan, a cut rate on the liquor license the theater owner proposed appears to be a total flop.” Link.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 12 February 2014

The flood-stricken UK county of Suffolk is to see a local cinema re-open after having seen an almighty flood. “The cinema, on London Road South, had 3ft (1m) of water in its ground floor, which damaged three screens and the foyer. Michael Hansell, manager of the cinema on London Road South, said: “The biggest surprise is how we’ve managed to turn it round so quickly. “It’s essentially a new cinema. Our insurance company were very proactive in getting industrial heaters in to dry the place out and the contractors began rebuilding in January.”" Link.

Cinema Opening/Closings

UK: “A derelict former cinema, which closed in 2005, has been sold at auction for £530,000. The five-screen Odeon on St Margaret’s Street, Ipswich, went under the hammer at Savills in London.” Despite its art-deco look the cinema was only constructed in 1991. It will be likely turned into a night club. Link.

UK: “NEW plans for a town centre development in Stafford will be unveiled later this week. The redevelopment of the former Riverside leisure centre and Bridge Street car park, planned by developers LXB Properties, was first approved in February 2012. The latest version of the plans, which now includes a cinema on an adjacent Bridge Street site, will be put on public display at the old Express and Star office.” Link.

USA: Southbury, CT “The Zoning Commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Pomperaug High School, 234 Judd Rd., Southbury. Applicant Southbury Village Square is seeking to amend the zoning regulations “for the proposed establishment of a Planned Development District (Southbury Riverview Cinema & Playhouse) for the mixed use of a commercial building to include the following,” according to the meeting agenda.” Link.

USA: “Q Cinemas, a Missouri corporation that was formed a year ago, is planning to bring a movie complex to Joplin in connection with the construction of a new public library at 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue. The 12-screen cinema in Joplin would be the company’s first.” Link.

Finally

CineStalgia: A look back at one of the oldest cinemas still standing in Spain’s capital. “One of Madrid’s very first cinemas, the Cine Doré opened at Calle Santa Isabel 3 in December 1912. It showcased the relatively newfangled invention of cinema, still in its infancy during the early twentieth century. On entering the cinema, or ‘salon’ in 1912, visitors would have marveled at the spacious screening room; there was enough space for an audience of 1,250.” Link.

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 29 January 2014

Ispwich Odeon

UK: Fancy going up against not one but THREE cinemas in Ipwich? If so then you are in luck, because the original £1m asking price just halved. “The former Odeon cinema at the junction of St Margaret’s Street and Woodbridge Road was built in 1991 but closed in August 2005. It had become unable to cope with the competition from what is now the Cineworld cinema on Cardinal Park and has lain empty ever since. Despite several new owners and proposals to turn it into a leisure complex no one has yet been able to give the building a new lease of life.” Maybe because in addition to the Cineworld there is the two-screen Ipswich Film Theatre and a proposed nine-screen Vue. Caveat emptore! Link

UK: Meanwhile in Trowbridge a long and strange battle comes to an end with the granting of the right to build a second multiplex. “The decision brings to an end a lengthy and often bizarre cinema war in Trowbridge. The town had no cinema for 30 years until Prorsus revealed its plans for the Bowyers’ site, which has lain derelict for five years. It wanted to turn it into a supermarket and leisure park with an eight-screen Cineworld multiplex, six restaurants and a pub. Then another developer arrived with plans for a slightly smaller Odeon cinema and hotel on another derelict town centre site a couple of hundred yards away.” 400 people marched through town in protest at the decision. Link

Cinema Opening/Closings

USA: No sooner had they announced the Spring Hill, Tennessee multiplex… “Carmike Cinemas, Inc., a leading entertainment, digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today announced the further expansion of its presence in Fayetteville, NC with the new Patriot 14, which is being constructed at 4761 Lake Valley Drive. The theatre is slated for a Grand Opening celebration late fall of 2014.” Link
Middleton Arena
UK: Cinema returns to a Manchester suburb. “A cinema is set to return to Middleton town centre for the first time in more than two decades. Bosses at Middleton Arena have revealed they are planning to install a high definition 3D cinema screen in the auditorium to showcase the latest blockbusters at a series of film nights. Centre manager Claire Costigan said the screen, which will also be used to broadcast live sporting events, will ‘fill a real gap in entertainment’ in the town.” Link

Technology/Access

UK: The Electric in Nottingh Hill is considered one of London’s most luxurious cinema, but it also has another interesting feature that comfy seats. “But one of the main reasons it’s BEST is because every Monday they have movies with Subtitles. So we get to watch a film and leave happy, appreciative and ready to take on the biggest of film critics. You just get your money’s worth in terms of comprehension you know? Never will we ever miss a beat. Whether it’s a character’s mumble, song lyrics or distorting vocal effects.” As someone who isn’t hard of hearing but still switch on subtitles on DVDs and Netflix I can definitely see the appeal. Link

USA: Will Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset, be a ‘cinema killer’? Probably not, but interesting potentials for immersive storytelling. “Mitchell and Oculus product lead Joe Chen, who brought Oculus to Sundance, said they’ve seen an uptick in the last six to eight months in the number of people in the film industry interested in how the VR headset could be used for movies. Among them was Alfonso Cuarón, who recently visited Oculus HQ to learn more. Mitchell notes, rightly, that the director’s Gravity, with its POV shots framed by the astronauts’ helmets and the vast scope of its scenes, would be perfect for VR. ” Link

Read More »

Daily Cinema Roundup -Thursday 8 May – “the best industry you could want to be in”

- Things are returning to semi-normal in Mexico, with fear of an H1N1 pandemic abetting and cinemas outside of the capital are re-opening, we are told by THR.com. “All employees must wear protective masks and those handling food are required to wear rubber gloves and wash their hands frequently. After each screening, theaters will be scrubbed down with detergent or a bleach solution. Additionally, audiences will find antibacterial gel at the entrance of each theater.” An unintended side-effect of the mustn’t-call-it-swineflu is that cinemas will smell fresher than ever before;

- If yesterday’s item about r$5.5m golden parachutes-for-failures at Carmike left a bad taste in your mouth, here is a story of a better run family cinema operation in the US deep South, Malco Theatres, from the California Chronicle. “Jimmy Tashie points out that Malco has survived ” depressions, recessions, wars and even home theaters.” He says he looks forward to seeing how technological developments will further influence film operations. “Where can we go from here? Well, 3-D and digital cinema for one,” he said. “At present, Malco is branching out and showing live feed from the New York Metropolitan Opera, concerts, sporting events and even teleconferencing.” Malco is also actively supporting  independent film organizations like the On Location: Memphis International Film Fest, the Indie Memphis Film Festival and the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi, as well as providing a cast-and-crew screening to the undeservedly straight-to-DVD political thriller “Nothing but the Truth“;

- Staying with US exhibitors in the South, Regal Cinemas has appointed former CFO Amy Miles to take over as CEO from the chain’s founder Mike Campbell, while SVP finance David Ownby is new CFO and Gregg Dunn stays on as President/COO, according to THR.com. “Campbell described his new role as one focusing on corporate strategy. “This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for several years,” Campbell said. “I informed our board a couple years ago about what I was thinking about doing, and they are glad I’ll still be engaged.” Miles said she was pleased to be handed the corporate reins “in such an exciting time for Regal and the theater exhibition industry.” ” It is Ms Mile’s quote that is today’s deadline banner and we fully endorse her view – this is the best industry to be in, and not just because the box office is doing well;

– Some digital signage news from the UK and US. Odeon has been using signage from Connectvision (pictured right) to drive concession sales in Liverpool and Belfast, according to Digital Signage Today. “By using dual-purpose tills we have more flexibility at the point-of-sale. If the need arises we can use the concessions areas for both concession and ticket sales. Connectvision allows us to use the bank of screens to maximum effect when promoting popcorn, drinks, confectionery and other concessions, as well as topical special offers linked to films at the cinema,” said Alison Burns, retail manager U.K., Odeon U.K.” Meanwhile in the US Santikos Theatres uses Allure Global Solutions‘ signage (top), according to Digital Signage Expo.  “A large screen displaying animated beauty shots of beverages pouring over ice and other imagery which promotes brand awareness and appetite appeal are a part of the overall solution for Santikos Theatres. Allure Global has seen sales lift for digital promoted products in the area of 7-9% for their digital menu boards in a theatre environment. Also, internal proprietary research with a beverage company and a theatre chain has shown that the incidence of a beverage purchase is 10% greater after viewing its digital imagery on a screen, than from its static counterpart.” Will these interactive signage displays show the calorie count in New York cinemas, as recently mandated, we wonder;

– But no signage, digital or otherwise, for Doncaster’s Odeon, whose art-deco building is threatened by demolition, we learn from South Yorkshire’s The Star. “An English Heritage report turned the building down for listing because it had been too heavily altered inside and outside to be of interest in a national context, but said it made a positive contribution to the Hallgate conservation area and could be a candidate for a local list. The Friends of Doncaster Odeon (FODO) was set up to try to save the building. Spokesman Ray Nortrop said much of the information put forward by the trust echoed its own experts’ advice. The Odeon, formerly the Gaumont Palace, opened in September 1934 and was designed by the architects WE and WS Trent. ” Not every cinema is wort saving, but surely Doncastrians desefve a renovated cinema more than a casino in its place. As a commentator notes in DigitalSpy, “Now there will be no option but to use the chav infested VUE” while another one opines “Vue Doncaster – number 1 for people who want to watch films in a shoebox.” Visit this great site for some beautiful photos of what the cinema used to look like. It was also where local lad Daniel Craig saw his first Bond film;

- Projector maker Ballantyne of Omaha has reported Q1 results for 2009 and business is looking good with reveniue up almost 10 per cent, according to Reuters. “Q1 2008 net revenues increased 9.8% to $14.2 million compared to Q1 2007 net revenues of $12.9 million. The increase was principally due to recording as revenue in Q1 2008 the sale of digital projection equipment in 2007 on deferred payment terms.” That’s a five-fold growth in digital projector revenue, which “more than offset an anticipated decline in sales of traditional analog film projection systems.” More reasons to be cheerful, even though gross profit was down slightly from $2.7m to $2.3m. Warren Buffet, he of Omaha too, could worse than to invest in this company;

- There appears to be no end in sight to the stand off in India between film distributors and multiplexes. This leaves Hollywood distributors with a dilemma, as a backlog of US titles builds up that will fight even harder than usual with local films for screens this summer. From Business of Cinema. “As was reported by Businessofcinema.com last month, some studios had postponed the release of their films in India in order to show their support to the producers. Two big movies that are slated to release from Fox Star Studios and Sony Pictures Releasing of India are the Hugh Jackman starrer X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Tom Hanks starrer Angels & Demons respectively. Promotions and marketing activities of both movies had been kept on hold until yesterday’s meeting.” If the releases are delayed much longer the main beneficiaries will sadly be the pirate disk vendors, who are all to ready to step in and sate the demand;

- Which leads us to the larger question, is global day-and-date increasingly unavoidable in today’s wired world. The Guardian dwells on this question in an article headlined ‘If you can’t buy it legally, of course you’ll download it‘. Far from condoning it (OK, maybe other than for TV shows), the journalist  out  that “There was a time when the system worked. From the earliest days of cinema, a system of staggered worldwide releases of Hollywood movies developed. It made sense: there were only a certain number of prints and it took time to ship them across the world. Nick James, editor of the British Film Institute’s magazine Sight and Sound, told me that in the 1970s you could sometimes wait two years to see a Hollywood film in the UK.” But those days are over and global advertising creates global awareness and instant demand, which is why “It’s time for staggered releases to end. Every day they continue, more people, tired of seeing adverts and reviews of shows and movies they won’t be able to buy legitimately for months or years, call up a techie friend and say “that torrenting thing, how do you do that?“” I still remember the ShoWest a few years ago when Jack Valenti gave what inadvertently amounted to a Master Class in How To Download Films From The Net. If anyone didn’t know the way to do it before the presentation, they were fully qualified to fire up their torrent engines by the end of it.

RealD Scores Hat Trick in 3D Deal With UK’s Vue

vue-logo Digital 3D provider RealD was bagged three of the top three UK exhibitors with the announcement that Vue will be converting 200 screens using RealD’s solution. This follows hot on the heels of #1 exhibitor Odeon/UCI’s deal for 500 screens and #2 exhibitor Cineworld’s deal to convert 30 of its 73 sites. From article in THR.com:

Vue Entertainment, the U.K.’s third-largest theater operator, is turning to 3-D technology, striking a deal with RealD to add 200 screens equipped by the 3-D specialist.

Vue and RealD said Monday that the rollout of RealD 3-D-enabled screens already has begun, with an installation at Vue’s flagship location in the British capital, Leicester Square.

“RealD 3-D is the market-leading choice for its remarkable track record of providing a superior viewing experience, something we can’t wait to bring to our many locations across the U.K.,” Vue CEO Tim Richards said. Read More »