Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 28 April 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | April 28, 2014 8:09 am PDT
Wang Jianglin, chairman and founder of Dalian Wanda Group

China: The Wall Street Journal notes that the imminent Wanda Cinemas IPO is very much a Wang family affair. Here are some takeaways from the company’s IPO prospectus:

-China’s largest cinema chain takes a dim view of the domestic movie industry. In the risk factors section, the prospectus notes that “while Chinese films have achieved a certain volume, there are relatively few films of commercial value” and regulations limit foreign film imports. Therefore, Wanda faces risks resulting from the “lack of quality films in China that can really win good praise and reviews and completely satisfy market needs and the cultural demands of viewers.” Oliver Stone would probably agree.

-Wang Jianlin is a generous big brother. In 2010, he gave each of his four younger brothers a 0.6% stake in Wanda Cinema Line for one yuan only. Wang Jianlin himself owns roughly 67% of Wanda Cinema Line, primarily through Dalian Wanda Group, while son Wang Sicong owns 1%.  LINK

Having raised USD $314 million from the AMC IPO Mr Wang (and family) have clearly got a taste for the riches that cinema IPOs can offer.

Moshe Greidinger

Romania: An interview with Moshe Greidinger, CEO of Cinema City (which is merging with Cineworld but keeping its brand), about plans for Romania and beyond.

It seems like most of the future growth is to be expected in the Central and Eastern Europe market. One or two more Imax cinemas are planned for Romania and apparently they cost two million euros to open. Poland is the exhibitors biggest market, then Israel followed by Romania and Hungary.

Q: What is the expansion plan for Romania for the coming years?

MG: We plan to open 22 new cinema’s in Romania between 2014 and 2016. We might be a bit late, as the shopping mall’s are built by developers, not by us. The economy also has an influence However, it looks that we are going to build around 22 cinemas. Romania is going to be the country were we will grow the most.

Q: How many new openings do you plan for the rest of Europe for the next three years?

MG: We are talking about something like 500 to 600 new screens.  LINK


Smartjog Ymagis logistics

Germany: Smartjog Ymagis has extended its E-Delivery network in Germany to a further five cinemas with a total of 36 screens.

Das E-Delivery-Netzwerk von Smartjog Ymagis Logistics wächst: Ab sofort bereitet der Dienstleister für die fünf Kinos Filmpassage Osnabrück (neun Säle), Filmpassage Mülheim (acht Säle), Cineworld Lünen (fünf Säle), das Lumen in Düren (sieben Säle) und das Cinemaxx Solingen (sieben Säle) die notwendigen Installationen vor. Mit der Ausstattung dieser Häuser mit Satelliten-Equipment wächst das Netzwerk insgesamt um weitere 36 Säle.  LINK

The expansion comes the same month as Ymagis Smartjog took over Arqiva’s satellite delivery network for DCP feature films, trailers, adverts and live events:

Ymagis ‘s subsidiary Smartjog Ymagis Logistics will take over the satellite receivers installed and managed by Arqiva in around 750 connected theatres in more than 10 European countries, including 378 in the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as 137 in Italy, which will join its existing network of 1,964 connected theatres in 9 countries. With this acquisition, Smartjog Ymagis Logistics will manage the largest digital cinema delivery network in the world.  LINK

With digital cinema roll-out completing in Europe country-by-country, consolidation is to be expected with a handful of logistics operators such as Deluxe, Smartjog Ymagis and Unique Digital.

Tugg logo

Australia: The first outing of Tugg’s cinema-on-demand has taken place in Australia.

The first US title from Tugg’s library to be screened in Australia will be Why We Ride, a US documentary about the passionate devotees of motorcycle riding, which played on more than 140 screens in 37 States.

Following requests from residents of Alice Springs, the docu will be shown at the Alice Springs Cinema on May 11 and 13. Tickets are selling fast including among biking groups who plan to ride to the Alice for the screenings.

Launched in the US in 2012, Tugg has amassed a library of more than 1,700 titles and last year facilitated more than 1,500 screenings throughout the US.  LINK

Event Cinema

Monty Python live

UK: As reported earlier in Celluloid Junkie, the Monty Python reunion show will be beamed to cinemas 20 July courtesy of Picturehouse Entertainment.

“Thanks to the wonderful invention of moving pictures, The Last Night of Monty Python is coming to a cinema near you,” said the Pythons in a statement. “Get your knotted handkerchiefs out and warm your brains one last time at any one of 450 cinemas across the UK, and 1,500 across the world. Join the crowd live from London’s O2 in a final weepy, hilarious, uproarious, outrageous farewell to the five remaining Pythons as they head for The Old Jokes Home … on the big screen, in HD.”

Details of the 450 UK cinemas are yet to be revealed but a spokesman for Picturehouse confirmed the global screenings would include the US, Australia, Sweden, Russia and Poland.  LINK

Digital Death Watch

USA (NY): Long Island’s Cinema Arts Centre narrowly escaped digital oblivion.

“Without the digital equipment, we would have had to close for the simple reason that we would no longer have had the technical ability to show new movies,” explains Dylan Skolnick, the Cinema’s co-director.

The Cinema received private and state support for the campaign; with a $20,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation, they closed a gap. In total they raised $165,000 required to purchase digital projection equipment. “The Cinema uses the power of film to create a sense of community around important issues like the environment, social justice, and human rights,” says Mary Beth Guyther, program officer at the Long Island Community Foundation.  LINK


India: This past Saturday was World IP Day and it was marked in one of the industries hardest hit by film theft: Bollywood.

On April 26, 2014, in association with strategic alliance partner, the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC) and leading multiplex chains across the country, the MPDA launched an online quiz for multiplex staff entitled ‘Be A Movie Cop’. This initiative attempts to raise awareness on the threats and challenges of camcording in cinemas, while rewarding theatre staff with exciting prizes, including a ‘Movie Cop’ badge in recognition of their efforts to curb content theft in their cinemas.

“We are happy to collaborate with the Motion Picture Dist. Association, India and the APFCC on this interactive and educative initiative. Cinema staff are the frontline of defense and need to be equipped with the right understanding and tools to help combat camcording in cinemas,” said Ashish Saksena, Chief Operating Officer, Big Cinemas.  LINK

Crowd fundraising


USA (MA): Here is a clever and funny YouTube video for the fundraising to help the Plimoth Cinema raise the funds needed to convert to digital.

The interpreters at Plimoth Plantation wanted to so something special to support Plimoth Cinema’s campaign to purchase a new digital projector that will allow the Cinema to continue screening the newest and best independent films. So, they reached forward from the 17th century to create a clever short film for the occasion.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Steve Tisch Cinema Saban Centre

USA (CA): 1 May is the opening date announced for the The Steve Tisch Cinema Center at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, which will coincide with the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival’s gala honoring Carl Reiner and Sid Ceasar.

The Saban Theatre, which opened in 1930 as the Fox Wilshire movie palace, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

“The establishment of the Steve Tisch Cinema Center will allow us to recapture the storied legacy of film premieres and screenings,” said Rabbi David Baron of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre.  LINK

Carmike Cinema logo

USA (AL): Carmike has announced the opening of a 13-screen multiplex in Opelika, Alabama on 1 May.

The new 13-screen theatre seats over 2,800 guests in luxurious comfort and all auditoriums in the leading-edge entertainment complex are equipped with stadium seating, comfortable high-back rocking luxury seats, retractable armrests and convenient cup holders. The BigD, Carmike’s premium large screen format experience auditorium, seats 580 patrons. All auditoriums in the Tiger 13 contain large, wall-to-wall screens, DLP digital projection and digital surround sound.  LINK

Zurich cinema 2015

Switzerland:  Half a million Swiss Francs have been approved by the local Kanton government for the construction of a new cinema near Zurich, but Sfr 110,000 is still needed for the budget of Sfr 1.6 million. 

Baustart für das Kulturkino mit 84 Sitzplätzen und einem Foyer mit Barbetrieb soll im Frühling 2015 sein. Ab Herbst sollen im quaderförmigen Bau unter dem Dach des Gebäudes 192 die ersten Filme gezeigt werden. «Wir warten nur noch auf die Baugenehmigung, dann kann es losgehen mit der Detailplanung», sagt Heusser.Das Kinoprojekt sei aus «kulturpolitischer Sicht zu begrüssen», schreibt der Kantonsrat in seiner Begründung. Winterthur und die Region erhielten dadurch «ein eigenständiges Programmkino mit einem Fünftagebetrieb, in dem künstlerisch wertvolle Filme gezeigt werden.»  LINK

Inox multiplex small

India: Inox is opening a multiplex on the principle of ‘small is beautiful’ in the southern Indian city of Visakhapatnam.

The concept of ‘small is beautiful’ has been the guiding principle in the design, construction and leasing of the property. The built-up area of about 1 lakh square feet includes 55,000 sq. ft commercial space, 35,000 sq. ft. of multiplex and 15,000 sq. ft. of office space in future, spread over ground plus six floors.

The multiplex will have five screens to be operated by INOX. The smallest theatre will have 125 seats and the biggest will have 314 seats and the total seats in all the theatres put together will be 914, which was less than the 1,050 seats that Daspalla Chitralaya theatre had in the past, Mr. Mangaraj said.  LINK


Park Hall cinema Cardiff

This has got to be one of the most clever cinema nostalgia things we have come across in a long time – images of old and closed cinemas in Wales’ Cardiff superimposed on their current buildings.

From the giant 2,800-seater Capitol theatre on Queen Street, to the independent Monico in Rhiwbina many of us remember visiting in our youth, Cardiff has a rich movie-going past.

Sadly they are all gone – replaced by shopping complexes, bowling alleys and modern flats.

Now, though, they have been brought back to life, just as the city itself was earlier this week when we brought you similar spellbinding images of Cardiff as it was in previous eras

The mesmerising images you are about to see really are something incredibly special, placing the iconic cinemas of Cardiff’s past back where they belong…on the modern-day streets of the city.  LINK

Olympia Cinema Cardiff

Patrick von Sychowski
Follow me