Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 21 July 2014

By | July 21, 2014 8:42 am PST

EVS is getting out of the digital cinema business (almost). Having launched a digital cinema server business and set up integrator XDC (later renamed dcinex) almost 15 years ago, the manufacturer is returning its focus to its core broadcast equipment business.

No need for lengthy analysis, other than to note that EVS probably held off longer than it wanted too, isn’t seeing very much return on its overall investment and will not quite be rid of the digital cinema connection until it disposes its newly gained Ymagis shares and bonds. The press release tells us that:

Under the agreement, EVS will receive at the closing:

  • EUR 2.1 million in cash
  • 288,851 new Ymagis shares
  • EUR 6.4 million in Ymagis bonds, which have a maximum maturity of 5 years. These bonds are associated with warrants.
  • In total, the approximate aggregate value of the different components (at last closing Ymagis share price of EUR 7.90) represents around EUR 10.8 million for EVS. On March 31, 2014 dcinex was valued at EUR 7.9 million on the EVS balance sheet.

In addition, dcinex will reimburse the currently existing shareholders’ loans. Today, the loan granted by EVS (including interests) amounts to EUR 1.5 million.  LINK

With digital cinema deployment coming to and end in western Europe (still some mopping up in southerns and eastern Europe), Ymagis can now focus on being a pure service company. Given that digital cinema is a small market with tight margins we should expect yet more consolidation.

Cineworld Ashford Kent

Cineworld has introduced allocated seating in UK, which has lead to confusion and criticism from some customers. A poll of 2,000 readers of a local paper in Kent saw 67% vote ‘NO’ to the allocated seating policy and some customers are threatening to cancel their Cineworld Unlimited. The multiplex chain is alone amongst the major operators in the UK in offering a monthly card allowing unlimited* movie viewing.

Critics said problems with the new system include confusion over row and seat numbers, people ignoring rules, arguments and problems with booking tickets online and the website crashing. Yesterday, KentOnline revealed an argument had broken out during a screening of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie in Ashford when a group of five sat in the seats booked by other customers. Little Burton resident Kirsty Poynton said the beginning of the film was interrupted due to the disagreement. She said: “There was an argument between a large group of people at the screening.  LINK

But Cineworld is standing its ground with the new policy and a spokesperson quoted as saying, “The decision to introduce allocated seating was made following extensive consultation with cinema users. Whilst we recognise this has not been a popular decision with some customers, the overall and majority of feedback from customers visiting our cinemas has been positive.” (*Terms and Conditions apply – of course). Business

PVR Cinema

India – An Indian cinema operator whose future plans you can depend on as not just being hot air, PVR is set to invest in significant growth, though it will face challenges in the south of the country.

Multiplex operator PVR Ltd will invest Rs 250 crore [USD $41.46 million] to add 100 new screens this fiscal as part of its expansion plans, a top official of the company said. PVR currently has 444 screens in 101 properties spread across 43 cities and targets to touch 1,000 screens by 2017-18 through organic growth. The company is also coming up with four Superplexes that has a minimum 12 screens and multiple formats under one roof. The first 15-screens Superplex will be at Logix shopping mall in Noida to be launched during Diwali this year. “We will open 100 new screens this financial year with an investment of Rs 250 crore. These screens will be spread across the country with focus on South India,” PVR group President Pramod Arora told PTI.  LINK

Lippo Group Logo

Ind0nesia – No less serious are Lippo Group’s plans for Indonesia’s Cinemaxx chain.

Indonesia’s Lippo trading and industrial group said that it will spend some $517 million (Rp6 trillion) developing and building its new circuit of Cinemaxx cinemas in the huge country. In a press statement on Thursday Lippo said that the cash would be spent over 10 years to create a 2,000 screen network of theatres spanning 300 locations and 85 cities. That is an increase from its previously stated ambition of opening 1,000 screens over the next 5 years. “Cinemaxx plans to develop its network in areas that have yet to be covered by the business,” said Cinemaxx CEO Brian Riady in a statement.  LINK

Box office sign neaon

USA – With this year’s North American summer box office in the doldrums there is already soulsearching and questions about who will save the cinema. The answer appears to be Hispanics (Latinos) and women, as IndieWire picks through the analysis from the trades.

The good news is that there have been no big box office disasters like last summer’s RIPD or The Lone Ranger, but the fact is that people especially young people seem to not be going to the movies. Data shows that the youth demographic of frequent moviegoers (ones who go at least once a month) is down between 15 and 17% Interestingly, women, the entire gender that Hollywood has in the past dismissed because we were “unreliable” are shockingly becoming the most reliable audience out there. No shit. We’ve been saying this for years. The Wrap reported on the growth of Latina women earlier this week, and now The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the tent poles are suffering this summer because they are not interesting women.  LINK

China – An on-demand cinema has opened in Wuhan’s River City. It has the ability to play live content as well as from a library of several thousand titles. Not sure how this squares up to the Chinese movie import quota restriction.

It is understood that between 1895 Amy Street, a total of 28 different movie theme package, in addition to providing the viewing needs, but also to connect a TV signal to watch live football matches and so on. Operating theater director Yang Yifan, said: “Ordinary theater might favor a single and passive, on-demand theater selling point is that private space.” It is reported that the size of the package between on-demand theater can accommodate six people and three people were around, the per capita consumption reached 50 yuan, slightly higher ordinary theater, only 2D sources available. Reporters learned that the 8000 film source is on-demand theater biggest selling points, including not only the earlier release film, as well as overseas release but did not reflect domestic films. For copyright questions whether formal, Yang Yifan stressed that “the biggest difference is that with the video halls formal sources, not just use an ordinary theater play digital hard drive, foreign films are also genuine copyright.”  LINK

Event Cinema

Python Rutzy strike

UK – The surviving Pythons held their live (mostly) event that went out to over 2,000 screens around the world. They also did a shout-out to the striking staff of the Brixton Ritzy, demanding a living wage from the Picturehouse/Cineworld managers.

Cinema bosses have planned to open the Ritzy for the streaming of Monty Python Live from the O2 on Sunday, despite an official strike being scheduled for that day – the first time they’ve attempted to break a strike action.

In response, Ritzy workers have asked supporters to assemble outside the cinema from 4.30pm to make up a ‘massive, peaceful, noisy protest to fill Windrush Square.’

On hearing the news of the strike breaking, Monty Python star Terry Jones posted on Twitter to urge fans to ask for their money back and not attend the screening. LINK

Berkoff Fringe Odeon

UK – The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will be beaming eight shows to Odeon cinemas across the UK later this summer.

Theatre, opera and comedy shows at Southside venue Summerhall will be broadcast on Odeon screens nationwide throughout August.

Digital arts group Hibrow has teamed up with the ­cinema giant to make sure people further afield can enjoy a snapshot of the Fringe, with eight new shows to be ­transmitted to selected Odeon screens from Dundee to ­London.

Today, the partnership ­between Hibrow Hour and the Odeon was described as an “exciting new digital frontier” for the festival.  LINK

Bolshoi ballet HD

Russia – Russian soft power will be on display on screens across the US and Canada in seven HD productions in the second half of this year.

 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema announces that it will present seven productions in HD at more than 450 movie theaters in the U.S. and Canada during the 2014-15 season. This is the fifth year of the Bolshoi Ballet broadcasts, presented by Pathe? Live and By Experience.

The broadcasts begin with The Legend of Love on October 26, with choreography by Yuri Grigorovich, legendary Bolshoi ballet master and choreographer. Pierre Lacotte’s The Pharaoh’s Daughter (recorded) is set for November 23, followed by La Bayadere (recorded) on December 7, and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker performed on December 21.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Paris last porn cinema

France – The 71 year old owner of Paris’ last pornographic cinema, Le Beverley, is looking to close. Not surprisingly, the migration of porn to the web is to blame. Let see if it will be recused and re-born like the one in Brussels.

“Before we had theme nights, it was reading erotic poetry written by customers,” recalls Maurice Laroche. It renews programming Beverley each week with two “new” 35mm roll film or digital from the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s The owner provides with the last distributor of pornographic films, “it is to live one the other, we support each other, “says the owner. Beverley received “twice as many customers it ten years ago,” recalls the owner. But the consumption of pornographic videos is “85% on free sites,” according to a survey conducted in December 2013 by Harris Interactive for the French film producer X Marc Dorcel, the European leader with a turnover of 27.5 million euros in 2013.  LINK

Brooklyn porno cinema

USA (NY) – Meanwhile the last porn cinema in Brooklyn, located in the middle of a jewish Hasidic neighbourhood,  is also probably not long for this world. But the sticky floors and strange patrons didn’t deter these hipster urban explorers from Vice. (Beware the descriptions are rated NC-17)

At first glance, the Cinema Kings Highway looked shut down—the marquee was totally empty, and wooden boards covered the box office walls. The only indication that the theater was open was a printed sign directing us inside, where a taciturn, middle-aged Pakistani gentleman with a gold tooth sat at the box office. Admission was $12, which cost less than a mainstream movie theater but more than I expected a porno theater to charge. “This is porno theater. You understand?” he asked me about four times as I tried to buy a ticket. “We show pornos. People fucking. You know this?” I gently told him I understood and gave him my money. It took every ounce of self-control within me to refrain from saying, “Wait, this isn’t a revival screening of Feivel Goes West?”  LINK

Kino Femina WarsawPoland – Femina, one of Warsaw’s oldest cinemas is set to close to make way for a discount store.

Femina is has been visited by Varsovians for decades. It was built before the war. During the occupation, there was a show for German officers, but after separating the ghetto theater opened in the building. Appeared in, amongst others, Mary Ajzensztadt called the nightingale of the Warsaw ghetto. Most Jewish artists perished in the ghetto or been murdered in the concentration camps. Their tragic fate commemorated by a plaque embedded in the cinema hall. After the war, in 1958, of Warsaw again started to walk to the Femina on screenings, and after 34 years the building was remodeled. The resulting there then three additional rooms. And such a small multiplex operates today.  LINK

Carmike Big D seat

USA (VA) – The opening of Carmike 13 in Montgomery, VA, had already been pushed back from 18 July to 25 July. Now it is being pushed back further.

The current opening date for the new multiplex on Chantilly Parkway is Aug. 8. The centerpiece of the theater will be its “Big D” auditorium, which will have 561 seats and an 85-foot screen. Other features of the new cinema include beer and wine sales, free soft drink and popcorn refills and an expanded menu with food choices such as hamburgers and mozzarella sticks.  LINK

-palmtrees-frombackofresort.jpg20100924

USA (CA) – California-based Maya Cinema has signed an agreement to open a 16-screen multiplex in a resort in a Riverside County resort.

Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino and Maya Cinemas have entered an agreement to open a 16-screen movie theater at the resort. It is slated to open in fall of 2015, the theater chain announced Tuesday. The theater will include 130,000 square-feet of retail space, officials said. The theater will offer visitors 70,000-square-feet of movie-going amenities, a sound system that will be a first of its kind in the country and new multiplex 72-feet wide screens that will be the largest in Riverside County, according to a news release from Maya Cinemas.  LINK

Finally

MK2 cinema Paris

The Huffington Post has a beautiful collection of photos of movie theatres in Paris.

Paris is an undeniably cinematic city. So it might seem backward, wasteful even, to spend a few hours of a visit there shuttered inside a dark movie theater. But Paris is one of the undisputed capitals of film, and time spent in one of its cinemas is time spent exploring a rich side of the city’s culture and history. If Paris looks like a movie set, many of its theaters are no exception, distancing themselves from generic multiplex chains. In the last several years, a new wave of theaters has popped up that gives moviegoers an opportunity to appreciate film through the lens of modern luxury and nostalgia. Here we have seven excellent places to take in the Seventh Art while you’re in Paris. —Alexandra Owens  LINK

Le Louxor Paris cinema

Patrick von Sychowski
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Patrick von Sychowski

Patrick was a Senior Analyst at Screen Digest, went on to launch the digital cinema operations of Unique and Deluxe Europe, then digitised Bollywood at Adlabs/RMW, and now writes, consults and appears on panels about cinema all over the world.
Patrick von Sychowski
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