Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 2 July 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | July 2, 2014 11:56 am PDT
Cinema Popcorn Buckets

Here is some interesting and much needed research into the study of nutrition and eating habits of cinema goers. Dr. Rachel Crockett, Senior Research Fellow at London’s University of Greenwich Faculty of Education & Health, led the research that resulted in the “The impact of nutritional labels and socioeconomic status on energy intake: An experimental field study,” has been published in the international journal Appetite

People munching popcorn in a cinema don’t change their eating habits whether the snacks are labelled high fat, low fat or not labelled at all, even if they are concerned about their weight, according to a new study led by the University of Greenwich.

But add in a third factor – the socioeconomic background of eaters – and some quirky results emerge. When concerned eaters of higher status saw the low fat label, it made them eat more than their unconcerned counterparts.

Labels had the opposite effect on concerned popcorn lovers of lower status: they ate less of the low fat snack – and less of the high fat snack. But they did tuck in as normal to the unlabelled tub. LINK


Germany: The German cinema trade body AG Kino-Gilde weighs in on the day-and-date release debate in an article with the headline “AG Cinema Guild makes front against distorted picture of Day & Date experiments”. But as so often the article/interview with Christian Bräuer is behind a pay-wall, so we only get teased with the intro paragraph. Obviously AG Kino-Gilde do not want this discussion to be widely read.

The pros and cons of the ultimately unsuccessful experiment of “Love Steaks” is discussed passionately in the industry (and beyond). It was repeatedly in this context recently that Thomas Paris wrote about the first wave of the EU-funded evaluation experiments that led the field, but it was limited in general to that excerpt that… LINK

Germany: Also behind the same paywall is the six-month figures for German cinemas. Not encouraging reading, based on the headline, with an eight per cent fall year-on-year according to data from Rentrak.

Rund acht Prozent Minus im deutschen Kinomarkt. Zum Ende des ersten Halbjahres steht laut Rentrak beim deutschen Boxoffice ein Minus von rund acht procent. LINK

Annette Mischke, Reinhard Abitz and Lars Baumgart
(From left): Annette Mischke, Reinhard Abitz and Lars Baumgart

An award has been handed out to the most outstanding small German cinema in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the prize goes to the Savoy Cinema in Borderholm. It is good to see local government valuing their small cinemas and recognizing them as important centres for the wider community. Something for others to copy. AG Kino has a full list of all the honourable mentions.

In noble ambience and adorned with lots of socializing in a happy gathering yesterday evening 100 cineastes celebrated the awarding of the cinema prize to Schleswig-Holstein in Bordesholmer Savoy. In addition to 18 other winners from the entire country the team led by Lars Baumgart Schulstraße won one of the coveted awards. Nineteen cinemas won 18 prizes with a total of 27,500 euros.

The Savoy Cinema hosted the event because in the past year it had won 3500 euros in prizes. The Prize 2013 went to Bordesholm, because there is much more on offer than you can expect for a small place actually.

What makes a good cinema? The selection of films plays not only a role, even width effect, public relations and the atmosphere in the rows in front of the big screen also play a role. As well the Savoy is multi-function venue which scored a few points, especially after its rebirth in 1998 when the house was nearing the end and was revived by the initiative of many citizens. LINK

UK (Wales): Could taxpayers in Wales end up having to pay for Odeon to build a cinema in the town of Bargoed. That is what Nigel Dix, Labour councillor for Blackwood and member of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s regeneration and scrutiny committee claims.

The Rhymney Valley Express recently reported how plans for the cinema had faltered as the cost would exceed the allocated project budget of £6.9m.

Leader of the council Keith Reynolds emphasised the council remains committed to making sure the cinema development is brought to the town, with national chain Odeon named as the preferred tenant for the cinema.

According to Coun Dix, the council are looking to take out a £4m loan to plug the funding gap. But he believes that could come at the taxpayers’ expense as the loan will not be recovered by revenue generated from the lease. LINK

Maxime Cinema

UK (Wales): Meanwhile, signs that the economy in Wales is not doing brilliantly. Either that or everyone suddenly wants to work in cinemas.

More than 450 people have applied for just 38 jobs at a cinema being developed in Blackwood.

The Maxime Cinema in the town centre began taking applications for the jobs three weeks ago.
Within 45 minutes of submissions being accepted, at least 100 people had applied through the Job Centre. LINK

Premium Cinema

Penn Ketchum
Penn Ketchum

USA (PA): Not every luxury cinema development is a shoo-in as this cinema operator in Lancaster county Pennsylvania appreciates after dropping plans to develop a luxury two-screen theater in York, according to the York Daily Record.

Penn Ketchum, managing partner of Penn Cinema here, had unveiled plans for the $750,000 venture a year ago.

“Despite the support and best efforts of many of York’s civic leaders, I was unable to put together a sound business plan in the face of a very difficult lending environment,” he told the newspaper. LINK


UK: Vue has appointed a new Managing Director for its UK and Ireland operations. Kevin Styles was formerly CEO for Best Buy and Trade Depot (Kingfisher Group). The move signals intention to grow in and beyond the three key markets of UK/Ireland, Poland and Germany.

Styles will report to Vue CEO Tim Richards, deputy CEO and CFO Alan McNair and COO Steve Knibbs. He will take up his position from July 21, 2014.

According to Vue, the creation of the new position will pave the way for more company growth. LINK

South Africa: South Africa’s largest cinema advertiser has a new Sales Manager.

Scott Lawrence
Scott Lawrence

Proud South African Scott Lawrence has become the national sales manager for Cinemark, putting his rich industry experience and diverse set of skills into his love for the big screen. “Who doesn’t love cinema? On a personal level, it’s working with a medium that I enjoy. On a professional level, I believe cinema is evolving in an incredibly exciting way.”…

South Africa, he explains, is a treat when it comes to the big screen. “Compared to the Middle East, where movies are cut and sliced in order to be approved by the censorship board, I am loving being able to see a whole plot.”

When it comes to the trend of online movie viewings, Scott says this isn’t necessarily a threat as people who love movies, love the experience of cinema. “They love the smell of popcorn, the big seats and seeing the movie on the big screen.” LINK

Event Cinema

India: Multiplex pioneer PVR is trying to create an audience for event cinema in India. A noble effort, though not the first event cinema in India, as Adlabs Cinemas and More2screen brought Glyndebourne operas to cinemas across India exactly five years ago (). I know this because I was involved in that effort.

As a leader in the entertainment business PVR understands that there is this and much more that can be offered to audiences. With this thought PVR has brought Event Cinema i.e. Alternate Content to India.

The House, the first interactive play showcased at PVR Cinema’s performed by Mind Reader Mohit Rao took the audience on an incredible journey. The show involved live participation from members of the audience. Hosted by PVR Cinemas, this play was a combination of movie experience, with all the thrills of a live show.

The play explores the secret experiment performed in a mysterious house. Set in 1870, in the backdrop of an old house in the Victorian Era, this play is poised to be an phenomenal psychological thriller. LINK

Law & Order

Russia: The new law that bans the use of obscene language in films and public performances has come into force and arthouse cinemas in Russia are particularly concerned.

Anna Pendrakovskaya, chairperson of Gosfilmofond, told Newsru.com that the new law would have an effect on film clubs and the screening of arthouse films rather than on the powerful companies.

She argued that the law “will not hit commercial [films], but the very development of cinema”. Therefore, she argued that a ‘time out’ should be taken until the end of the year in order to revise the law.

Indeed, Moscow International Film Festival’s president Nikita Mikhalkov had himself suggested last weekend that there might be a need “to make some corrections, but not change the whole law. And it may be necessary to look at the individual cases”. LINK

Digital Death Watch

Bruce and Lesley Thompson
Bruce and Lesley Thompson are closing the Ohakune cinema their family has run for 90 years.

New Zealand: The oldest family-run cinema in New Zealand has been forced to close after 90 years of operation as film runs out.

In a little mountain town otherwise famous for carrots, time has run out for a piece of Kiwi cinema history.

Ohakune’s timber-floored Kings Theatre, now on the market, has not only one of the longest histories of any New Zealand cinema, but also one of the most fascinating.

During the 90 years the Thompson family have run it, it has been involved with some of New Zealand’s most cherished films. LINK

Germany: The German town of Giesling once had five cinemas. In 2012 it looked like the last one – Gloria – would be closing its doors for good too. But Alexander Kern, the son of the couple who had been running it for the past decade, stepped in.

As the end of 2012 ran the negotiations between the families of core and Bernauer to a possible takeover of cinema, has Alexander Kern made ??”a life decision.” With the Stuttgart business consultant Matthias Filbinger, a son of the former Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, as a mediator, both parties have agreed after a tough, many months of struggle. When the funding was, the core bought the Gloria Kino Center. Swiftly and consistently, the family has begun the conversion of new technology and modernization, Alexander Kern has quit his job and came back as a manager of the family business. Today, the formerly dilapidated cinema is a modern movie theater, the halls are renovated with new seating. Four digital projectors, including three 3-D-capable, enabling the cinema owner to show significantly more copies of films, including more blockbusters. LINK


Spain/ICTA: Preceding CineEurope was ICTA, which I wasn’t able to attend or review (due to SAWA/Cannes Lions clash), but FJI has a good summary of what was said and shown.

With 130 attendees from over 20 countries, the 19th International Cinema Technology Association Seminar Series Europe at Cinesa Diagonal Mar cinema in Barcelona. Spain, on June 14-15 was the most successful edition since its launch nearly two decades ago.

Thomas Rüttgers, international VP of the ICTA and host of the last two editions of the event, stated: “ICTA has experienced an extraordinary development in Europe over the last two years. Our member base has nearly doubled and we are proud that we could now create a truly European network to exchange ideas and discuss recent developments in our industry. What’s more, we would like to thank our friends at UNIC and EDCF who again contributed to our program and supported our activities.” LINK

USA: Slightly old news, but since we didn’t cover it then, a brief mention of Regal having passed the half-way mark with its installation of Vista.

America’s largest theatre circuit, Regal Entertainment Group, has reached the halfway point in rolling out software products from Vista Entertainment Solutions to its 574 theatres across 42 states. The rollout is on track to be completed this year.

Vista was confirmed last year as Regal’s software supplier following a competitive evaluation process and a successful trial in five pilot theatre locations that demonstrated operational efficiencies and other bottom-line benefits. LINK

UK: More interesting attempts to create cinema-on-demands screenings with the help of social networking apps and tools – this one with ourscreen.  (Note to self: follow up to find out how the screening went).

Film fans are being given the chance to control what is screened at the Exeter-based cinema after it joined up with the first social platform of its kind, ourscreen.

The UK based digital-social platform aims to support cinemas across the country and empowers film fans, communities, schools and businesses to create and attend screenings of their choice at their local cinema.

In three steps ourscreen allows cinema-goers to pick a film, choose a date and then invite people along to view their choice. LINK

Cinema Opening/Closing

Scotty Seddon
Scotty Seddon

Australia: This three-screen cinema is looking to expand with two more screens, primarily to show event cinema and host events.

Scotty’s Cinema Centre is planning to create two new movie theatres in a $400,000 expansion.

The cinema lodged a development application (DA) with Port Stephens Council in June to change the vacant gym next door into a cinema.

“We had been looking at expanding for a number of years and the opportunity finally presented itself,” owner Scotty Seddon said. LINK

Nightlight Cinema

USA (OH): This looks like a really fun and funky new little cinema.

Reportedly the first new cinema in downtown Akron in 30 years, the Nightlife lays claim to some serious bragging rights. According to its owners, it’s the only micro-cinema in Northeast Ohio. Located at 30 North High Street, it only has 50 seats but it’s got a brand-new Christie digital cinema projector and an 8.1 surround sound system. The concession bar will serve traditional movie snacks such as popcorn and soda but will also include pastries from the Blue Door restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls and Cupcake Binge in Munroe Falls. LINK

USA (MI): Taylor, on the outskirts of Detroit, is getting a new 10 screen cinema courtesy of MJR. Article commentator “codfilet” writes “”Grand Taylor”???? LOL! That bar will be open for only a day or so, until the first shooting.” ‘Larrycarr’ counters “shooting? maybe you thought it said detroit. taylor is not known for shootings” but ‘umyea’ affirms “Taylor is as bad as Detroit”. Let’s hope not.

MJR Digital Cinemas announced Tuesday it is moving into the old Star Theatre building on Eureka Road in Taylor, across from the Southland Mall.

Extensive building renovations are scheduled to begin by the end of July and be completed in time to open for the 2014 Christmas season. The newly renovated theatre will be called the MJR Grand Taylor.

The cinema will have 10 deluxe auditoriums with 1,100 seats — big, wide, overstuffed fully reclining electric chairs complete with footrests. LINK


[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X9Ua8gwKxA[/youtube]

A horror film set in a cinema – it is bound to be terrific (we hope). Just like films showing airplane crashes don’t get shown inflight, this one might play more in the home than on the big screen, I fear.

There have been relatively few horrors set in the cinema, unless you count that fourth-wall-breaking scene in Gremlins 2. But The Last Showing seeks to change all that, with Robert Englund playing the demented puppet master who turns a locked cinema into an impromptu horror movie set for two unfortunate punters. Have a look at the trailer here.

Englund plays a cinema projectionist who is laid off by the multiplex where he has worked for years. Furious and out for revenge, he traps a young couple in the cinema after hours and sets in motion a plot to make them the stars of a horror movie, with the CCTV cameras rolling and the stage set for a bloody finale. It may not involve Freddy Krueger, but we suspect there will be blood. LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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