Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 4 December 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | December 5, 2014 2:20 am PST
Hoyts logo

With Hoyt having called off an IPO of its exhibition business earlier this year, there is now speculation that it could be sold to a private equity investor instead.

Sydney-based Pacific Equity Partners is negotiating to sell the Hoyts chain – with 483 screens in Australia and New Zealand – to ID Leisure International Capital.

It is not clear yet if the sale, which is understood to be possible by the end of the year, will mean a change to the name or look of the cinemas.

The company could not be reached for comment, but negotiations are understood to be advanced.  LINK

JT logo

Netherlands – More details on the plans for JT to be one of the first Dolby Cinema digital PLF test venues.

JT Bioscopen and Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) today announced plans to open the doors of a Dolby Cinema™ in the newly constructed cinema complex of JT Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Dolby Cinema, a branded premium cinema experience, combines spectacular image and sound technologies with inspired design to make every visit a completely captivating cinematic event.

The new JT Eindhoven cineplex, opening on December 15, is one of the biggest cinemas of the JT branch and will host eight screens and 1,546 seats. The premiere screen in the new JT Eindhoven complex will be among the first Dolby Cinema installations, equipped with state-of-the-art image, sound, and acoustic capabilities. In addition, the design of the Dolby Cinema in Eindhoven was created to set a mood and draw audiences deeper into the story—while delivering the full impact of the filmmaker’s work.  LINK

RealD Glasses

Belt-tightening is continuing at RealD, which plans to save another USD $16 million through cut-backs in most of its divisions.

Beverly Hills-based RealD(NYSE: RLD) said it plans a $11.5 million reduction in operating expenses for fiscal year 2016 to $74 million to $76 million. Capital expenditures is expected to be $13 million to $15 million, a $4.5 million reduction from 2015’s guidance.

The company said the latest cost cuts will be implemented through headcount reductions, the downsizing of facilities, and the elimination of certain sales and marketing and research and development expenditures.  LINK

AMC Wanda logo

USA (CA) – Don’t judge AMC purely by its year by its year-on-year financial performance; its increasing ticket prices and concession charges are reason enough to buy shares in it – is the upshot of this analysis from Seeking Alpha’s Dallas Salazar.

I’m beginning to see the defensive nature of owning a movie theater name more and more these days after being presented some really compelling information at a recent conference by a friend. My friend made several great points and had some 2009 and 2011 data, which I would consider fairly recent and mostly relevant, that helped show the core defensive properties of owning a theater name:

  • Consistent in-trend till traffic, regardless of economic backdrop
  • Consistent, almost sequential pricing increases for both tickets and concession items
  • Consolidating industry in general
  • High barriers to entry for the “out of home” theatrical market
  • Ever expanding revenue segmentation diversification  LINK

Tim Richards

UK – Ticket prices are not what kept audiences away from the multiplexes this summer. That was the message by Vue’s CEO at the Screen Summit conference. So no surprise that he did not agree with Lionsgate’s UK CEO about variable pricing. The downturn is cyclical, Richards said.

“We’re in an industry in which people will pay virtually anything to see a film they really want to see. If there is a film they do not want to see they will not go even if it is free,” he continued.

“Every study we’ve done of our customers – and we do exhaustive surveys – shows that pricing is typically third or fourth on the scale [of concerns]. Parking is number one.”

Richards admitted that 2014 was “one of the worst performing years at the box office in memory,” with UK admissions down 5.3% year-on-year.  LINK

Kino teatr Warsawa

Russia – With relations between Russia and the rest of Europe at an all-time low, perhaps this should not come as a surprise. Incidentally, Warsaw’s “Kino Moskwa” was demolished in 1997 to make way for a shopping mall.

A cinema called “Warsaw” may disappear from Moscow. One of the capital’s deputies want the name changed due to the anti-Russian sentiments in Poland.

As reported by the newspaper “Izvestia”, the head of the department of culture of Moscow Sergei Kapkow intends this idea be evaluated by Muscovites. The proposal is to be found on the Internet on the “active citizen”.

Moscow deputy Oleg Korczagin explains that in Poland held anti-Russian demonstrations nationalists, so renaming the cinema becomes a necessity. He proposes to give him the name “Uprising” or “Fatherland”.  LINK

Reel Cinema Hull
photo credit: hulldailymail.co.uk

UK – Financial bungling comes to an end in Hull (European City of Culture 2015) in a mismanaged public-private deal for cinema staff.

Hull City Council has agreed to pay £120,000 to a cinema company to avoid continuing to pay three people it no longer employs.

The deal struck with Reel Cinemas has been revealed in a new decision record published by the council.

It comes after the Mail revealed earlier this year how the council was continuing to fund salary and pension costs for three staff who were transferred to Reel back in 2009.  LINK


4DX NYT Brook Barnes

USA (CA) – NY Times’ Los Angeles correspondent Brooks Barnes looks at how cinema are trying to attract back young cinema goers with 4XD-type seating, ‘second-screen’ interaction and ‘cinema barrage’.

“You’re trying to figure out if there’s something you can offer in the theater that I would not find appealing, but my 18-year-old son might,” Amy E. Miles, Regal’s chief executive, told attendees at a gathering of movie theater owners in 2012, when some of the concepts now rolling out were first discussed.

Disney over the last two years has conducted theatrical testing of an initiative it calls Second Screen. Moviegoers were encouraged to bring iPads and use apps to play games that relate to the action in the movie. During one test, conducted during a rerelease of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 50 percent of the audience had iPads.  LINK

4DX United Cinemas

Japan – United Cinemas in introducing 4DX and has partnered crowdsourcing company Ransazu’s Lancers to explore ways of utilizing the new technology best.

4DX ®, the seat moves to match the movie scene, is the latest screening system of attraction type that can be actually experience water and flavor, flash such as the special effects. In the past nine function of the addition to (move seat, wind, rain, mist, aroma, flash, bubble, smoke, air), the latest version of newly can experience the “snow” and “storm” appeared, “United I will be introduced to the cinema Toyosu “. “Snow” of the new features *, the effect of the introduction in 2015 since the spring of United Cinemas of the “storm” is to celebrate the opening of this theater, Ransazu member (below, Lancer) collected a variety of ideas from the creators of the video work By creating, and we will work to take advantage of new 4DX ®.
(* “snow” of the new features, the introduction of the effects of the “storm” is 2015 since the spring)  LINK


Cineplex Germany Detlef Bell

Germany – Cineplex has a new Head of International Coordination.

On 1 November, Cineplex Germany appointed Detlef Bell as their new Head of Internal coordination. Bell is also responsible for the fate of the future of the group in the management, together with Kim Ludolf Koch .

Bell moved to Wuppertal headquarters of Cineplex Group from a post as director of the theater Cinemaxx Wuppertal . During his time at the Hamburger cinema chain Bell was also assists as Regional Manager West and Senior Manager Human Resources, especially in human resources and tariff issues with tasks for the Cinemax Center.  LINK

Phil Zacheretti

USA (TN) – Film Journal profiles my former Reliance colleague Phil Zacheretti. He was a good man to work with.

Our Concession Spotlight this month expands beyond just theatre concessions, as we introduce you to Phil Zacheretti, president and CEO of Phoenix Big Cinemas Management (PBCM) in Knoxville, TN. Phil has a long, vibrant history in the theatre industry and has experienced the last 10 years of consolidation and digital revolution through the lens of his own company. The players within the industry have moved around and landed in various places of success, and Phil is no exception to this. Let’s start at the beginning of his career.   LINK



Hong Kong (CineAsia) – GDC will be unveiling its new TMS at CineAsia – and Celluloid Junkie will be there to cover this and more.

GDC Technology Limited (“GDC Technology”), a world leading digital cinema solutions provider, will launch its next-generation TMS-2000 Theatre Management System (“TMS-2000”), in Hong Kong next week. The TMS-2000 will be showcased at the CineAsia 2014, at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, from December 9th to 11th.

GDC’s TMS-2000 is the ultimate next-generation theatre management solution, giving exhibitors centralized control over their entire cineplex. The newly released system offers over 50 new features and improvements to the existing functionality of the TMS-1000, which is currently used in the operation of over 13,000 screens, across 2,000 theatres.  LINK (PDF)

Volfoni SmartCrystal

Hong Kong (CineAsia) – Volfoni will also be at CineAsia with their 3D system – facing heavy competition from Chinese 3D vendor providers.

Volfoni is excited to exhibit at CineAsia, held in Hong Kong: December 9-11, 2014.

Volfoni, an International 3D technology leader, will showcase their high end 3D system the SmartCrystal™ Diamond – along with the successful SmartCrystal™ Cinema suite of products already installed in over 2500 locations worldwide.

Designed in Europe and powered by Volfoni’s unique triple beam technology, the SmartCrystal™. Diamond is the most elegant, portable, and brightest passive 3D-system on the market (LEF 30%).  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Imax Ster Kinekor

South Africa – Having announced its new VIP cinema earlier this week, Ster Kinekor today took the wraps off its third Imax screen. “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” is the opening film.

Cape Town audiences will soon be able to enjoy the world’s most immersive cinematic experience when the new cinema opens at Ster-Kinekor Cape Gate on 11 December.

As it continues to bring ‘Great Moments at their Greatest’ to its audiences, Ster-Kinekor is delighted to be opening yet another IMAX® cinema, this time at its complex at CapeGate Shopping Centre in Brackenfell. One of the auditoriums at this site met all the stringent IMAX specifications in terms of in-theatre geometry to provide audiences with maximum immersion. The cinema has been transformed to include a floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall IMAX screen, superior acoustical treatment and IMAX’s projection and sound technology.  LINK

Apple theatre

USA (CA) – Is this the world’s most expensive theatre? And will Apple call it the iTheatre?

Apple is spending US$161 million just to build a new theater inside its in-progress “Spaceship” headquarter, or Apple Campus 2. BuildZoom (via Re/code) uncovered this Apple factoid through building permits filed with the City of Cupertino.

The entry describes the building as simply “Theater,” with the filing entity being Campus Holdings. Inc., at 1 Infinite Loop, in Cupertino, CA.

While little in the grand scheme of Apple’s unprecedented wealth machine, $161 million for a theater is a Crap Tonne™ of money. But, as Re/code put it, “Cost for Apple to Build Its Own Auditorium? $161 Million. Value of Secrecy? Priceless.”  LINK

Cineworld Lunen

Germany – Cineworld Lünen has extended its lease until 2028, which is a good thing given all the recent improvements it has been making to its site.

After this year revamping the counter system of gastronomy in Cineworld Lünen, designing a new lounge having expanded and installed in a seven screens the D-Box Motion Seats, operators drive Lutz Nennmann and Meinolf Thies’ enlargement of the cinema is consistently ahead. The two companies Nennmann & Thies announced today that the lease for the Cineworld Lünen has been extended.  LINK St Albans cinema

UK – 19 years is a long time for a cinema to be closed, but this venue in St Albans (the late Stanley Kubrick home) is making a welcome return.

Owner of the Odyssey, James Hannaway, said the historic entertainment venue will open on Saturday, December 13.

The cinema has been converted from a four-screen multiplex into a single art-deco theatre which will seat more than 400 people.

In a statement, Mr Hannaway apologised for not being able to invite everyone to the opening four nights but urged film-lovers to be patient – because, he said, the cinema is here to stay.  LINK

Ivaegh Movie Studios

UK (N. Ireland) – The best way to support your local cinema is not to sign a petition to ‘save it’ but to go and watch movies there. Regularly.

The Banbridge public have rallied to defend the Iveagh Cinema, which is facing the prospect of closure after planning permission was granted for a new cinema at The Outlet.

Cinema manager Giles Conlon said the cinema would need the support of the community if it was to have a fighting chance against the Omniplex chain.

And people in Banbridge were certainly quick to voice their support for the long established local business.  LINK

Preston Market Vue

UK – Vue is said to be considering shifting its Walton-le-Dale multiplex to city centre of Preston.

Vue Cinemas are understood to be in negotiations about a possible move to the Markets site.

Preston City Council is progressing a redevelopment of the Indoor Markets.

The scheme would see the Indoor Market, Market Hall car park and Lancastria House all demolished to make way for a new cinema and restaurant complex.  LINK

Harveys' Depot Lewes
photo credit: sussexexpress.co.uk

UK – Lewes looks set to get a four-screen community cinema.

Exciting plans for a four-screen cinema in Lewes have been unveiled by Harveys Brewery.

It has agreed to sell its depot site in Pinwell Road to a charitable trust seeking to create a permanent community cinema utilising the structure of the old office-cum-warehouse building.

The intention is to retain the external walls of the structure to form part of the new attraction, while the interior will be completely refurbished with a contemporary frontage sympathetically designed to blend with the local environment.  LINK

Bournemouth cinema

UK – Work has begun on the new GBP £50 million cinema and restaurant complex in Bournemouth.

With an 18-month construction period, Vinci is expected to complete by late summer 2016.

The two-acre site is a former NCP car park site next to Bournemouth’s main shopping area. The 120,000 sq ft scheme, developed by Licet Holdings, comprises a 10-screen Odeon cinema along with 14 restaurants pre-let to the usual familiar high street chains.

Andrew Ferguson, head of leisure at Legal & General Property, said: “Without question this is the most eagerly anticipated cinema and restaurant-led leisure development that the UK has seen in the past 10 years.”  LINK

Royal 3 Le Mars
photo credit: Bennet Goldstein, Le Mars Daily Sentinel

USA (IA) – Good to see a town council recognise the value of local cinema.

The city of Le Mars plans to buy a downtown movie theater from a bank that acquired it at a sheriff’s auction.

The City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve the use of city dollars to buy the Royal 3 Cinema to ensure it remains open, the Le Mars Daily Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1s00WAb ) reported. It will offer Northwest Bank $350,000 on the condition it donates $100,000 to a city program.

The bank bought the business after it was put on sale because its previous owner didn’t pay his debt.  LINK



An excellent and funny article about the world’s only blind film critic. Yes, he’s really never seen a single film.

The way sound and music convey information is an area of particular interest for film critic Tommy Edison. A star on YouTube, where his videos regularly rack up more than a million views a piece, Edison has reviewed dozens of movies with his signature good-natured style: lots of humour, lots of self-deprecation and lots of fast-paced banter.

But he hasn’t, in the strictest sense, watched any of them. Born with an undeveloped optic nerve, Edison has never been able to see. Endorsed by the legendary film reviewer Roger Ebert in 2011, and having chalked up appearances on countless US media outlets from CNN to the Howard Stern Show, Edison is known as the Blind Critic.

His motto: “No spoilers. I don’t even know what happened.”  LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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