Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 11 March 2015

By | March 11, 2015 1:44 am PST

An interesting partnership between Christie and D3D Cinema to cater to the somewhat forgotten dome cinema market. The architectural requirements means that this won’t be a major league Imax/PLF format rival, but could fill an untapped niche. Christie and D3D previously collaborated on the Moody Gardens project.

Christie® and D3D Cinema have partnered in a joint effort to provide a premium experience using Christie’s laser projection platform for tilted giant screen dome cinemas. R&D and preliminary testing is underway in conjunction with a host of third-party partners, from veteran dome cinematographers and post-production labs to optics specialists and test bed theaters.

D3D Cinema will be shooting original dome test footage in multiple digital and 70 mm formats in the coming months. Classic 70 mm dome content will be scanned at 11K resolution, mastered and frame-interpolated for laser optimized high dynamic range and high frame rate playback. The world’s first and only projection display capable of reaching Rec2020, Christie laser technology provides the widest color gamut available and the company is designing its laser-illuminated cinema projector solutions to accommodate the configurations necessary for proper dome exhibition. Testing will continue through the summer with an anticipated demonstration to select buyers in the fall of 2015. The system will be made available through D3D to institutional dome giant screen clients with D3D targeting the first rollouts for integration in early 2016.  LINK

Poland Isis flag

Poland – A Polish municipal cinema in Bydgoszcz has found itself the unlikely target of a hack attack purporting to be from ISIS (Islamic State). Strange target or a moronic prank?

To attack probably occurred over the weekend, because the strange contents page surprised the employees of the Municipal Cultural Centre yesterday morning. Kino Orzel (“Eagle”) is part of the MCC. When you open the web site showed a red inscription: “Hacked by Islamic State”, and under it – the flag of the “state”, which is a black rectangle with Arabic subtitles.

Thanks to the person who recognized the language could decode them. It is the Muslim profession of faith: “There is no God but Allah. Muhammad is His messenger. ” Under the banner of repeated information that the site was hacked by ISIS (Islamic State abbreviation), http and eloquent post: “We are everywhere”, bearing the [;-) emoticon] symbol of a winking eye.  LINK

Tall Cinema Poland

Poland – Elsewhere in Poland, tall people get a good deal in this cinema. I for one hope it catches on elsewhere.

Taller customers of Planet Cinema, in the city of Katowice, complained about not having enough leg room, and that they were facing complaints about blocking the view of smaller cinema-goers.

The cinema’s solution: offer tall people their own special film screenings.

On ‘High Tuesdays’ the cinema only seats viewers in every other row, so everyone can stretch out without blocking anyone else’s view.

Despite the increased size of the customers, tickets are 20% cheaper than normal, and everyone gets a free serving of popcorn.  LINK

Avatar Australia classification

Australia – The Aussie Board of Classification has decided that 2D and 3D versions of the same film do not have to be classified separately. Amazingly it has taken them the best part of a decade to decide this.

The reason I bring this up is simple: today people charged with sending products in for classification received an email. Great news everyone! You no longer have to classify the 3D and 2D version of a product separately! Hurray!

Wait, what? So until now publishers and movie distributors had to classify the exact same product twice because there was a 3D version of the exact same product?

Apparently so. Take a look at the image below [above]. Look at how many times Avatar has gone through classification. Six times. Six times!  LINK

PVR luxury seats

India – Business Today has an in-depth profile of PVR and its rivals as they start to compete with luxury seats and quality improvements as well as sheer scale and screen numbers.

But PVR is not alone in focusing heavily on this aspect; its rivals are doing the same. If PVR screens provide wider seats, for instance, than Cinepolis theatres allow

pvr-cinemas-screens_031015011424more leg space. “We lose one or two rows because of the extra leg room we provide, which amounts to 15 to 20 per cent of total revenue,” says Shukla. “But we are willing to lose out on business to bring back patrons. Our overall occupancy rate is higher than the industry’s 26-28 per cent.”

How much difference does improving the theatre experience make to revenue? Bijli says the acquired properties PVR has renovated have shown a 10-15 per cent increase in revenue so far. “Our pay per head, or the average earning per moviegoer, has gone up 12 per cent in the April quarter of 2014/15, compared to the corresponding quarter last year,” adds Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure.” Ticket prices can be raised, but what really increases revenue is more income from food and beverages (F&B), and from ad films and posters.  LINK

UFO Moviez

India – The founder and MD of Indian e-cinema operator UFO Moviez has had his house and offices searched by India’s fraud police. India’s market regulator had previously sought “clarifications” in connection with UFO’s proposed IPO.

Following a complaint and an subsequent FIR, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police conducted house searches at the office and residential premises of Sanjay Gaikwad, the founder and managing director of UFO Moviez, the world’s largest digital cinema distributor, on Tuesday. While investigators remained tightlipped on the case, sources the case includes sections of cheating and forgery.

On Tuesday, a team of EOW investigators visited the firm’s office premise at MIDC Andheri and Gaikwad’s home near Thane where the searches were conducted. “We have recovered a few documents and other paperwork in connection with the case. Searches are also being conducted at the homes of other senior company officers,” said an EOW officer. No officer was willing to come on record and the circumstances surrounding the matter remain unclear.  LINK

Qube logo

India – Meanwhile UFO’s rival Qube has been defending itself against accusations of profiteering.

After the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) raised the issue that the digital cinema providers have been charging high price, Qube Cinema Network has issued a statement to clarify the issue. The statement says that they do not charge for executing censor cuts and that print cost has been flexible from 2005 and has not increased since then.

Three charge options are mentioned, which include Rs 22,500 — towards flat charge with unlimited run and number of shows, Rs 9000 — towards a weekly structure for upto 28 shows for a week and Rs 325 — towards per show basis subject to minimum of 7 shows.  LINK

AMC McGuffin

USA (KA) – The Kansas City Star looks at the ways that cinemas are trying to lure back viewers. Comfy and shaky seats, along with alcohol mostly.

Jack Oberleitner of Oberleitner Associates Cinema Consultants said multiplexes are trying to lure audiences by offering deluxe auditoriums equipped with super plush seating and quality service.

“All the way up to full meals with cocktails, beer and wine service. … It seems like the trend is that a lot of people are willing to pay a premium to attend movies in this kind of luxurious surroundings,” he said.  LINK

Law & Order

Uphaar cinema fire India

India – Sad proof of how slowly the wheels of justice turn in India.

It was in March last year that the conviction of businessmen Sushil and Gopal Ansal was upheld by the Supreme Court for criminal negligence leading to the Uphaar cinema fire tragedy which killed 59 people and injured hundred others in 1997.

But a year on, arguments for the sentencing is yet to begin – the bench of judges hearing the case could not agree on quantum of sentence.

The case is likely to come up for hearing in April. But the families of the victims are not very hopeful.  LINK

Technology

Glasses subtitling

Germany – Researchers at Zwickau University have developed eyewear that provides subtitles overlayed on an image of the cinema screen.

A closed caption data glasses for cinema was developed by researchers of the Zwickau University. You should not only hearing-impaired or deaf people served, but to address about anyone who goes to the cinema abroad and the local language is not powerful. The glasses are connected to the smartphone, identified on the app a film by speech recognition and outputs the text synchronously. Conceived in collaboration with the project office Greta & Starks glasses should at the computer fair CeBIT in Hannover: shown (public days 16 to 20 March).

The app behind the glasses has been around since the end of 2013 and is named Starks ( iOS , Android ). It shows during the film on the smartphone display to so-called HoH subtitles (Hard of Hearing), in which not only the spoken dialogue, for example, important background noise is described.  LINK

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades

“They want to see less of us.”

Vietnam – Some 20 minutes of the film has been snipped to make a sex-free “Fifty Shades of Grey” suitable for release in Vietnam.

Censors in Vietnam have released a radically cut version of the erotic film Fifty Shades of Grey – with all the sex removed.

The film, based on EL James’s best-selling novel, first opened in February and has grossed at least over $500 million in global sales.

News that the film was to get a cinema release at all was met with excitement by many film-goers in Vietnam, which is known for its conservative cultural views.  LINK

Crowdfunding

Suns Cinema

USA (DC) – As the US capital could soon be home to a tiny cinema in a former cellphone shop.

As cherished arthouse theater West End Cinema’s life comes to an end, a new indie theater’s life is just beginning. Or so they hope.Today, Suns Cinema—an in-the-works arthouse movie theater in Mt. Pleasant—launched an ambitious Kickstarter to help fund the costs of opening. Express first reported about the new one-screen movie theater that’s the brainchild of Mt. Pleasant residents David Cabrera and Ryan Hunter Mitchell. According to the duo’s Kickstarter page, their dream of opening a small repertory cinema in D.C. stemmed from film nights they hosted “where locals would gather in a strange home to eat, drink, and sit on couches or floors to watch strange movies. After months of searching, the duo finally found a permanent spot in their neighborhood to make the dream a reality.  LINK

PLF

IMAX Logo

Denmark – Copenhagen is set to get Scandinavia’s second commercial Imax screen. Work is already underway for on in Stockholm.

IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Vue International, a leading global exhibitor , today announced an agreement for an IMAX® theatre to be added to the CinemaxX multiplex in Copenhagen, Denmark. The deal marks IMAX’s first commercial theatre agreement in Denmark.

“We are committed to delivering premium entertainment experiences and IMAX is an extension of this strategy, serving as the anchor attraction for our multiplex in Copenhagen,” said Tim Richards, CEO, Vue International. “We are absolutely delighted to be the first to bring audiences in Denmark, IMAX, the world’s most immersive way to experience the biggest blockbuster films, which we are confident will further strengthen our business and thrill our guests for many more years to come.” LINK

People

Amy alamo

USA (TX) – Alamo Drafthouse has made an new appointment as it focuses on expanding its youth and family programming initiatives.

Amy Averett has been named Director, Family and Community Engagement and is leading the new area of programming. Amy has been with the Alamo since 2010, leading community programs and private events department.

“The average age for attendees of the ballet, the symphony, the opera and even the cinema is rising,” says Alamo founder and CEO Tim League. “I got into this business because I loved going to the cinema at a young age. As the Alamo expands, our primary mission is to share our love of (and respect for) cinema, from blockbusters to classics to foreign film, with young people. Promoting Amy to this position is the first important step to achieving this goal.”  LINK

Outdoor Cinema

Dubai outdoor cinema

U.A.E. – It seems like there is a lot of outdoor cinema options in Dubai. Perhaps understandable given the weather.

If you’ve had your fill of mall multi-screens or worry about catching that pesky air-con cold, don’t worry. Here are some of the best places to get yourself a dose of popular culture while also adding a little style and alfresco flair to your movie nights.

JLT OUTDOOR CINEMA
The upcoming programme in the laid-back surrounds of JLT park – located between clusters O and P – is packed with independent movie screenings and cool kids’ animations. There are plenty of food options too courtesy of Wokyo, the Panifico food truck and Maria Bonita. All screenings begin at 7.30pm; just bring cushions and blankets and settle in for the night under the stars.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

USA (TX) – There is no stopping Alamo Drafthouse (and why would you want to?), particularly in its home town of Austin.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is pleased to unveil plans to open its sixth Austin location, Alamo Drafthouse Mueller, at Mueller’s town center, Aldrich Street in east Austin. The theater is slated to open in 2016.

“Ever since Mueller was first announced many years ago, we have loved the idea of opening up a theater there. Mueller is a groundbreaking development and a really cool neighborhood,” said Alamo founder and CEO Tim League, “we are excited to be working with Catellus here and honored to be a part of it.”  LINK

PVR Cinema

India – A new multiplex opening for PVR.

PVR has opened a new multiplex at MSR Regaliaa Elements Mall, Bengaluru. PVR’s seven screen multiplex enabled with state of art technology, 3D technology with 7.1 channel sound, plush interiors and a wide range of F&B has become operational on March 9, 2015.

With the opening of this Multiplex at ‘Bengaluru’, the total screens count has gone up to 469 Screens at 105 Locations across 44 Cities in 14 States and 1 Union Territory. The opening of this prestigious Cinema is a part of PVR’s organic growth strategy of PAN India expansion and increasing its presence in major cities.  LINK

And another one in Karnataka.

PVR, the most premium film and retail entertainment company operating the largest theatre circuit in India is celebrating its presence in Hubli, Karnataka. PVR Cinemas further expands its business with the four screens multiplex in the city and stands at a total of 51 screens and 7 properties in the state of Karnataka.

Committed to taking the cinema going experience to new heights, PVR felt it imperative to bring the brand to Hubli. Considered as the education hub of India, the twin city (Hubli- Dharwad) is host to over three lakh students and has also marked its presence as an important industrial hub. Sighting the immense propensity of entertainment consumption, PVR has invested in trying to meet the growing demands of this dynamic market.  LINK

Toronto underground cinema church

Canada – Another cinema set to become a church.

A few months after the old Toronto Underground Cinema space came to life again for theatre extravaganza Boomer (and just a few short weeks after Trash Palace’s Stacey Case told us the city’s trashiest screening series would favour finding another tiny micro cinema home over taking over TUC), the latest tenant of the roomy subterranean Spadina cinema is not an arts group but a church.

Kingsway Community Life Centre’s modern-y church (you know the type) took over the cinema as of mid winter this year, over two years after TUC closed its doors for good. The church itself seems chill, but I’m guessing staff won’t be dressed as gory Clue cast members.  LINK

Finally

Frankenstein poster

 A rare three-sheet poster for “Frankenstein” is set to auction for a six figure amount. It was found in a closed and boarded over projection booth in a remodelled cinema.

Hot on the heels of November’s sale of the most valuable movie poster ever sold at a public auction, Heritage Auctions’ Movie Poster Signature Auction returns March 28-29 with a selection of large-size rarities never before offered to collectors. A monstrously-sized Style C three-sheet movie poster for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931)—the only copy known to exist—lurches ahead of the group with a $100,000+ pre-auction estimate.

“Only a small handful of one sheets including one teaser, one six sheet, one insert, and a restored half sheet are all that have appeared of the Frankenstein posters,” said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage, “and this poster is the only known copy of either of the two style three sheets created for the debut of the film.”  LINK

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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