Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 18 August 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | August 18, 2014 4:12 am PDT
James Holmes

Cinemark will also be on trial for the deaths resulting from the shooting and killing of 12 people by alleged mass-killer James Holmes, after a Colorado judge threw out Cinemark’s attempt to have the wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits dismissed.

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson on Friday rejected a motion for summary judgment filed by lawyers for Texas-based Cinemark USA to dismiss the lawsuits.

Nearly 30 victims or the families of those killed or wounded in the rampage have sued Cinemark, owner of the theater complex where the massacre took place.

In general, the lawsuits claim Cinemark had lax security at its theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora when a gunman opened fired during a midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”  LINK

Cineplex adults-only VIP cinema

Cineplex has opened Canada’s first adults-only multiplex. I wonder if it is also a way to get around liquor licence restrictions, as booze is served there, since no underage are admitted. But Cineplex has long been a pioneer, including supposedly the first one to introduce the concept of VIP cinema in Canada 15 years ago.

Cineplex VIP Cinemas Don Mills, Canada’s first theatre built just for 19-plus audiences, opened Friday in the former McNally Robinson Booksellers at the Shops at Don Mills.

The theatre, its adult status born of being licenced for beer, wine and liquor, has five auditoriums with reserved seating in oversized chairs with extra legroom — including two rooms with oversized faux leather seats that recline at the touch of a button and Dolby Atmos digital surround sound. There’s also valet parking.

“There’s a feeling of feeling of intimacy. You feel like it’s a special environment,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex Entertainment of the outlet he calls “the most refined movie theatre in North America.”  LINK

Hoyts logo

Australia – Hoyt’s is inching closer to an IPO.

Australia’s number two cinema chain Hoyts took a step closer to a share market flotation this week with the appointment of investment bank UBS as advisors.

The company is currently owned by Pacific Equity Partners, a Sydney-based private equity firm which paid A$440 million (US$410 million at current exchange rates) in 2007.

The company indicated in April that it would pursue an IPO, rather than a trade sale. (China’s Dalian Wanda, which owns AMC Entertainment, had previously been mooted as a buyer.) Recent estimates of the implied valuation range between A$700 million and A$900 million (US$652 million – US$859 million).  LINK


Mexico – Imax and Cinepolis have signed a deal to roll out more screens.

MAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Cinépolis, the world’s fourth-largest cinema exhibition company, announced an agreement for three IMAX® theatres to be located throughout the United States. The first theatre will be added to the Cinépolis Posner Park complex in Kissimmee, Fla., with locations for the second and third theatres yet to be determined.  The deal brings Cinépolis’ IMAX commitment to 25 theatres and marks the exhibitor’s first IMAX theatres in the United States.  LINK

Carmike Cinema logo

USA (NJ) – Carmike has closed the deal to acquire Digiplex.

Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC) announced the closing of its stock-for-stock acquisition of Digital Cinema Destinations Corp. (Nasdaq: DCIN) (“Digiplex”), including its 21 theatres with 206 screens and four location pipeline of 33 screens. Each outstanding Digiplex share was converted into the right to receive 0.1765 shares of Carmike common stock, or approximately 1.4 million Carmike shares in the aggregate.

Carmike expects to immediately integrate the 21 acquired theatres onto its national footprint and complete the pipeline theatre acquisitions, during Q3 or early Q4. The acquisition further expands Carmike’s domestic entertainment complex circuit to 2,900+ screens and 276 locations across 41 states.  LINK

Carnival Group

India – Unless Carnival acquires Big Cinema I fail to see how it will more than double its screen-count this (fiscal) year.

Media and entertainment firm Carnival Group will invest up to Rs 700 crore [USD $115 million] this fiscal to add 175 multiplex screens mainly through acquisitions.

In order to fund its expansion programme, the group is in talks with two private equity firms based in Singapore and London to raise around Rs 350-400 crore [USD $57 million-$66 million].

“Our vision is to have 300 screens by end of this fiscal. We will invest Rs 600-700 crore to add 175 multiplex screens,” Carnival Cinema MD Shrikant Bhasi said.  LINK

PVR Management

India – Economic Times looks at how PVR’s senior executives are criss-crossing the globe to learn about everything from 4DX to alternative content (event cinema), to be able to introduce the best of future technologies in their multiplexes in India.

The 4DX technology features seats that rock and roll, moving in sync with the action on the screen, even offering scents and smoke as well as lightning, wind and fog effects. “For me, it was too much,” said Bijli, sitting in his plush office in Gurgaon. “But the kids… they loved it.”

Bijli was in Bangkok to test how the audience took in the new system. The 4DX theatre experience had just passed with flying colours. The technology will be introduced next year at PVR’s 15-screen property in Noida, the biggest in the chain, as the cornerstone of its Superplex concept.

As Bijli returned from Bangkok, Kamal Gianchandani, president of PVR Pictures, the movie distribution division of the group, was preparing to travel to Bucharest in Romania. There, Gianchandani would meet executives of Grand Cinema Digiplex and Light Cinema.  LINK

Odeon logo

UK – The Financial Times meanwhile looks at how the likes of Cineworld are trying to embrace 4DX and event cinema as they expand both in UK and Eastern Europe, while also looking at Terra Firma’s (failed) attempts to sell off Odeon-UCI.

It first attempted to sell Odeon in 2011, but halted the process after bids fell short of its £1.2bn target valuation. Plans for a second sale attempt last year were scrapped following the poor performance of its Spanish division.

Odeon’s revenues fell 5 per cent last year to £707m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 24 per cent to £69m.

In an attempt to stabilise its performance, Terra Firma has over the past six months cleared out many of Odeon’s longstanding executives and replaced them with fresh blood.

Paul Donovan, Odeon’s new chief executive, is putting the group’s underperforming cinemas into a new division to be managed separately from its core estate.  LINK

Blue Star

Germany – Heinz Lochmann is apparently something of a legend in Germany for helping to rescue cinemas threatened with closure and turning them around.

And therefore you collect a cinema after another, even as journalists you call Grand Vizier of regional cinema work. Do you ever even keep track of how many?
Well, I admit, sometimes it is difficult to count already. But seriously. I do not collect so cinemas, but will mostly asked if I could help. And if I let myself be inspired by an idea, then I just have to do everything that it is implemented. It’s not about greed, as things get said jokingly, but always about the passion and love for cinema to me. I’m even the biggest movie fan. I am happy every time I see come with glowing eyes from the cinema visitors.
This passion’s it, as you have helped the Passage Kino in Hamburg to rebirth a few years ago?
Also, since I was an acquaintance addressed, as it was said: How can we save this history of the cinema? I’m so high, we got along well. And so Hamburg has to get back a piece of jewelry with three halls and 760 seats, with plush foyer and decorated in an Art Deco style. At the opening of the whole construction fence around it was fully written acknowledgments, in Hamburg “Evening Journal” was the headline: “Passage saved! A Schwabe invested 1.7 million euros, hamburgers are excited. ” And the “world” wrote the “cineastes from passion” so that they meant me.  LINK

Health & Safety

Lodi Stadium 12 bedbugs

USA (CA) – Don’t let them bite!

Downtown’s Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas was shuttered without warning Sunday and is expected to remain so today to conduct an inspection for bedbugs, disappointing dozens of moviegoers.

Unconfirmed reports of a bedbug infestation are dominating the theater’s Facebook page. A photo shows a woman’s back covered by red welts and claims to have been caused by bedbug bites received while sitting in the theater Saturday night.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Cinemark River Valley

USA (OH) – Cinemark is opening a new multiplex near Columbus, Ohio.

A new movie theater will open next Friday in Lancaster.

The Cinemark River Valley Mall and XD cinema stands next to River Valley Mall.

Lancaster hasn’t had a first-run theater since the June 30 closing of the Regal Entertainment multiplex in the mall.

The new 10-screen site will feature an “XD Extreme Digital Cinema” with a surround-sound audio system.  LINK

Cinema Carousel Muskoge

USA (MI) – Muskoge’s Cinema Carousel’s has almost completed its extensive make-over.

Loeks Theaters Inc., which owns the Muskegon-area’s largest movie theater facility at 4289 Grand Haven Road, has begun an extensive modernization of its auditoriums.

Remodeled auditoriums, additional seating, sound and movie screen upgrades and beer and wine sales are all part of the $2.5 million rejuvenation project, which began in March. The remodeling follows last summer’s digital cinema upgrade at the Getty Drive-In, 920 E. Summit Ave.  LINK

Caribbean cinemas

Trinidad & Tobago –  Puerto Rico’s Caribbean Cinemas has opened a new multiplex in T&T’s San Fernando. 

Located at the Tarouba Link Road, near Toyota’s headquarters, the new building will have ten auditoriums, stadium seating for 1,000, giant screens—four with 3D technology, 100 per cent digital projection—an arcade game room, two party rooms, concessions and deli cafe.

Robert Carrady, president of Caribbean Cinemas, which has an entertainment centre at Trincity Mall, said it cost the company more than $20 million to establish.  LINK

UK – Shepshed near Loughborough has not had a cinema for 40 years, but a could be getting a mobile cinema.

Shepshed Town Council has been approached by a company called Regal Cinema, asking for support for a cinema in the town.

The council, which along with Shepshed Town Team has been looking at the viability of bringing a cinema to the town, is welcoming the suggestion, and is preparing to meet with the company to find out more.

It is also arranging a site visit with the company to look at possible sites in the town.  LINK


Cycle powered cinema

‘Cycle-powered cinema’ – the headline says it all. But are these DCI-compliant bicycles?

Eight cyclists power the screen as the Action Bikes Cinema returns to Whitton this month.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is showing at the St Philip and St James Church on August 29.

There will be a licensed bar and food on site and guests are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs.

The cinema experience will help raise money for Re-Cycle Bicycle Aid for Africa.  LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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