Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 13 March 2015

By Patrick von Sychowski | March 13, 2015 6:07 pm PDT
TCX toho Dolby Atmos

Japan cinema major Toho is going all out with Christie Vive Audio and Dolby Atmos solutions in several of its flagship cinemas, with particular focus on the Toho Cinemas Extra Large Screen (TCX) premium large format (PLF).

Christie®, a world leader in entertainment solutions, announced that TOHO Cinemas, a subsidiary of TOHO, Asia’s leading film, theater production and distribution company, is poised to launch a new revolution in cinema sound throughout Japan with the installation of Christie Vive Audio™ surround sound solutions, powered by Dolby Atmos® sound technology. Installed by Xebex, a subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., the initial rollout of Christie Vive Audio will include installations at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi, the flagship and crown jewel of the organization, as well as Fujimi, Oita, and Shinjuku.  LINK

UFO Moviez

India – More bad news for India’s e-cinema operator UFO Moviez, which does not need this kind of publicity just prior to a proposed IPO.

The EOW will summon Sanjay Gaikwad, founder and managing director of UFO Moviez, and his partner Narendra Hete, in a case of criminal breach of trust.

Advocate Anjali Jagtap lodged an FIR that she was not paid her fees for a land deal. “When IT officials raided the digital cinema firm’s premises in 2013, it transpired that they had paid the amount. But the complainant stated that she had not got her fees (around Rs 3.5 crore) for the over 1,100-acre deal in Panvel,” said an EOW officer. “We have registered the FIR and are probing the case,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, EOW.  LINK

Cineplex Germany 500

Germany – Cineplex, the biggest exhibitor in Germany, celebrates its 500th screen. Although Cinestar is still larger in terms of seat-count.

Cineplex Germany is celebrating a milestone: the cinema group, the operator families and Thomas Rusch achieved with the opening of Cineplex Amberg the threshold of 500 screens. The opening of the new multiplex was celebrated officially not yet, however, as a result of reworking on an adjacent restaurant business so far could accommodate only four of eight rooms to regular operation. Currently expect the operator with a dedication ceremony in April.

Cineplex event has grown into the largest cinema halls after grouping Germany, before the Cinestar group, which however has more seats. Meanwhile, there are already the next opening of new Cineplex shareholders to: In the spring, the Cineplex Baden-Baden to open the Schweikart family, Rusch want in the summer to celebrate the next premiere in Germering, Baunatal builds Schaefer Family and the Thomas family in turn would id already after the opening in Amberg on the new Cineplex in Neumarkt Upper Palatinate.  LINK

Cineworld Logo

UK – Cineworld had a profitable 2014, outperforming the rest of the market. Not surprisingly it expects 2015 to be even better.

Cineworld Group Plc’s full-year pretax earnings more than doubled, helped by higher box office revenue.

Britain’s largest cinema operator said its pretax profit jumped to 67.3 million pounds for the 53-weeks ended Jan. 1, from 30.9 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue rose 52.5 percent to 619.4 million pounds ($927.12 million).  LINK

Spanish affair

Spain – Cinemas in Spain are hoping for a lowering of the tax paid on tickets.

Spain is abuzz with chatter about the possibility that the government could lower the 21 percent sales tax on movie tickets to 10 percent, while the prime minister has clearly said he has no immediate plans for the move.

The Spanish daily ABC cited unidentified sources in a report alleging the government’s intention to lower the controversial sales tax, one of the main battle cries of the culture sector.

The move would be considered a huge victory for the movie industry, which has protested the measure since it was implemented in 2012 and has blamed it – in part — for plummeting ticket sales.  LINK

TGV Cinemas

Malaysia – The introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) is not worrying Malaysian exhibitor TGV Cinema.

The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on April 1 will have a minimal impact on ticket sales for TGV Cinemas, which operates 28 multiplex cinemas nationwide, says Chief Executive Officer Gerald V. Dibbayawan.

He said cinema ticket prices in the country are still the lowest in the region, and the six per cent GST is unlikely to deter the public from going to the movies this year.  LINK

Secret Cinema empire Strikes Back

UK – Secret Cinema has announced that its next not-so-secret film event will be “Star Wars Episode V: the Empire Strikes Back.” Hopefully lessons will have been learned from the problems with the “Back to the Future” event last summer.

Secret Cinema is to stage a two-month run of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in London this summer, following its hit production based around Back To The Future in 2014.

The event specialist will present the film in a secret London location from June 4 to August 2 and will take viewers “on a journey through the world of Star Wars”. LINK

The Guardian immediately asks “Does Star Wars show Secret Cinema has lost the force?” But to us it seems like a canny choice. Tickets go on sale March 18th.


Germany – The School Cinema Week went off well in Germany, showing silent films like “Battleship Potemkin”, despite many being home with the flu.

The makers to register it with joy – like the new record for the notifications. At the 61 000 visitors this time round, 675 Hessian schools and 76 movie theater. Claudia Dillmann, director of the German Film Institute, which also leads to the magic of cinema back: “To see a movie, you have this experience in this intensity only in the movies,” she says. The aim of the SchulKinoWochen be it teaching young people to “next of media literacy and the love of cinema”. “Anyone who has ever seen a silent film?” She asks the group. Many have. It could be more, but actually occupied cinema is half empty. The flu.  LINK

PVR Orion Mall

India – A gloomy outlook for multiplex sticks this quarter in India.

The March quarter is typically a lean one for cinema exhibition companies in India, with examinations spoiling the party. There’s the [Cricket] World Cup, too, this time, which is expected to affect footfalls in this quarter. Also, there haven’t been many hit movies in this quarter so far. Those reasons could well mean that the financial results of PVR Ltd and Inox Leisure Ltd for the current quarter aren’t going to be as good as the December quarter. However, since expectations are running low, it may not surprise investors much. Moreover, from a long-term perspective, investors are sitting on handsome gains. Stocks of both PVR and Inox Leisure have delivered phenomenal returns in the past three years, easily beating the Sensex.  LINK

Gfinity eSports

UK – Plans for a second eSports venue, even before the first one in Vue Fulham Broadway (London) has opened.

Despite making plans to open the Gfinity Arena in London later this month, the first dedicated eSports arena in the United Kingdom, the eSports events firm has already announced plans to expand to a second location in the area.

In an interview view PCR Online, Neville Upton, chief executive of Gfinity, said eSports would only become more popular with time. “There are already over five million fanatics in the [United Kingdom] and this number will increase. The 70 million people who viewed eSports regularly last year were watching 19 times a month.” LINK


India chief censor

India – Do you remember that scene in “Amadeus” when the Emperor complains of “too many notes“? That’s apparently what India’s Chief Censor is like. The last Chief Censor was removed for being too corrupt (and an philistine unfit for the office).

A prominent member of the government censors took to social media on Thursday to rail against its chairman, exposing rifts within a censorship panel that has thwarted the theatrical release of films such as Hollywood hit “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Ashoke Pandit, a Bollywood film-maker, accused censor chief Pahlaj Nihalani of treating the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) like his personal fiefdom.

“Films after films are becoming innocent victims of his mindless tyranny,” Pandit wrote on his Facebook page.

“His ridiculous diktats and autocratic functioning has made CBFC a laughing stock.”  LINK


Olorama smell-o-vision

Spain – The problems with all smell-o-visions technologies is not how to create the smell but how to make it go away when the scene changes.

One night four years ago Raul Porcar, computer engineer, was watching ‘El Hormiguero’. In one experiment performed by Pablo Motos and his team on the television began creating a kind of sulfurous smoke. The presenter regretted that the audience could not smell the result of scientific proof. At that time, Porcar began devising a device that allows the viewer to smell the aromas that appears on the screen. The original idea came from television, but the Valencian engineer approached the invention to the movies. “In the 50 were tried something similar, but went wrong,” he adds.  LINK


Ecuador porn cinema

Ecuador – The last two porn cinemas in Equador are managing to hang in there, despite the advent of the internet.

For a genre built on frenzied promiscuity, pornography draws a remarkably faithful crowd in the Ecuadoran capital, whose last two porn cinemas are just surviving the Internet age thanks to a trickle of steadfast patrons.

The Hollywood and the America, the last movie theaters of their kind in Quito, used to get more than 1,000 clients a day in the late 1980s, screening international porn stars’ latest escapades around the clock.

The two cinemas are both located in central Quito, a neighborhood more known for Catholic churches than porn in this traditionally conservative city of 2.5 million people.  LINK


Max Linder Paris

France – Paris’ quirky Max Linder cinema will celebrate its first century shortly.

Max Linder is one of the most unusual cinemas of the capital. A single room, a single film, two to four sessions per day. The Clint Eastwood film is on display until March 18. Then it was the turn of Big Eyes by Tim Burton. ” Our program is demanding , “says Jerome Bauer, Max Linder position for 8 years. “Here, we do not do cinema popcorn, “he joked, referring to the sweet and mainstream films released in other cinemas. “The Max Linder only offers films in original language versions, we target a different audience than the Rex , “says Jerome Bauer claiming the brave choice. In fact, the audience is moviegoers, regulars, subscribers. Few teenagers, some students, many active and retired.  LINK


India cinema intermission

India – Complaints about the lengths of advertising intermissions at Inox and other Indian multiplexes.

Watching movies at multiplexes was fun till the other day, but a heavy dose of advertisements before a show starts and during the interval has started making a dent into the fun factor. At Inox theatres, the average interval time has been extended to 25-30 minutes. Others like Mukti World and PVR have extended their interval break to well over 15 minutes.

For Alipore residents Chanda and J K Chowdhury, Forum Mall is just a five-minute drive. Yet, they travel more than 2km to Mukti World near Ballygunge Phanri to watch a movie. It’s not that the projection system or seats at the latter are better. They take the pain just to avoid the barrage of ads at Inox.  LINK

Outdoor Cinema

Drive in cinema Alexandra Palace London

UK – It must be spring if announcements are starting to arrive for drive-in and open air cinemas in the UK. This one looks quite nice.

Iconic venue Alexandra Palace is hosting a brand new season of cinematic events harking back to 1950s nostalgia.

Opening last night with a screening of 1985 cult favourite Back to the Future, the ‘Drive-In Film Club’ is giving Londoners the chance to catch their favourite films from the comfort of their own cars.

The series of screenings, being held by Experience Cinema, will run until March 27 and will include film classics such as Grease, Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and Pulp Fiction.  LINK

Hot Tub Cinema Birmingham

UK – More screenings added for Birmingham’s Hot Tub Cinema.

Hot Tub Cinema has added more dates to their Birmingham schedule after the original ones started to sell out.

Screenings will now include The Hangover and Mean Girls, which should prove to be very popular.  LINK

Law & Order

Inox Garuda

India – Sadly molestation (and rape) of women in India is still not getting the police attention it deserves, judging by this woman’s experience at an Inox cinema.

A lackadaisical security staff at the mall and the delay in filing a complaint with the police will most likely see a pervert go scot-free after he molested a 39-year-old lady while watching a movie in the multiplex in Garuda Mall on the night of February 18. The incident itself occurred three weeks ago, but despite the police being in the possession of the precious CCTV footages, they are unable to gain a breakthrough in their stalled investigations.

The Ashoknagar police, investigating the case, analysed all the CCTV footages in the mall after the complaint was received.  LINK


Reel Chippenham

UK – GBP £2 million to make create more screens and also make this cinema accessible to all.

AN investment of £2 million is to transform Chippenham’s cinema and make it accessible to all.

KC Suri, who owns the Astoria Reel as well as 14 other Reel cinemas across the country, says he is going to pump £2m into the Marshfield Road building to upgrade it from two upstairs screens to five screens across two floors.

This will allow wheelchair users to go to the cinema in Chippenham for the first time since the 1960s, with wheelchair access on the Dallas Road side.  LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

AMC Promenade 16
credit: CinemaTreasures.org

USA (CA) – The lease of this AMC cinema has been acquired by mall operator Westfield.

Westfield Corp. has purchased the AMC Promenade 16 theater complex in Warner Center from EPR Properties, a Kansas City, Mo.-based real-estate investment trust, the company said Thursday.

It is the third big retail acquisition in the west San Fernando Valley that Westfield divulged this week.  LINK

Campbell town cinema

UK (Scotland) – A good fundraising campaign for one of Scotland’s oldest cinemas.

The near £3m required to redevelop one of Scotland’s oldest cinemas has almost been raised after Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) announced its £300,000 investment in Campbeltown’s Picture House.

The A listed building was established in 1913 on the seafront in the heart of the town on the Kintyre Peninsula. It was the oldest purpose- built cinema still fully functioning in Scotland until the Hippodrome in Bo’ness reopened in 2009. Even on the international stage, the Picture House has a record matched by few. The oldest cinema, The Lumiere in Pisa, opened just eight years earlier.  LINK

Wellington Telford cinema

UK – A cash boost to the plans to bring back this cinema in Telford.

Wellington’s Clifton Cinema closed in 1989 and has stood empty for three years following the departure of the Dunelm furnishings shop to Telford’s Forge Retail Park.

Plans to turn the building, which once had 1,300 seats, into an arts venue have been gathering steam, but after a developer expressed interest in turning the site into housing, they received a lift last night.  LINK

Cardiff Premier Cinemas

UK (Wales) – Tickets capped at GBP £4 when this former Odeon cinema re-opens under new management.

Premiere Cinemas is planning to open its five screen cinema in the former Odeon at Cardiff’s Capital Shopping Centre on April.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is likely to be the first blockbuster film to be screened at the venue which was formerly run by Odeon.

The firm behind the venture already runs cinemas in Romford, Worthing, Kings Lynn and Lytham St Annes.  LINK

Halifax cinema

UK – Fancy buying an old three-screen cinema in Halifax, Yorkshire that’s been closed for a while? Starting reserved price is just GBP £0!

The leasehold for the former ABC cinema building, at Ward’s End, is on the market with leisure property specialist, Fleurets

The building has a rich history – It first opened 77 years ago as the Regal cinema and stood on the site of Ward’s End Hall.  LINK

Landmark Loews New Jersey

USA (NJ) – A closed Landmark Loews cinema in New Jersey has proved a veritable treasure trove of historical artefacts.

Way, way up in the projection booth — 105 steps above the lobby in this elevator-less theater — you can see remnants of cinema history you probably won’t find anywhere else, outside of a film museum.

There’s a Vitaphone projector, created in the 1920s to show films with sound; a 70mm film projector saved from a Washington, D.C., theater (Egan hopes to have it up and running this year); and two Brenographs, fancy slide protectors popular in the 1920s and ’30s.  LINK


 Walter popcorn

This week in cinemas, one of those rare films about people who work in cinemas, “Walter”. Don’t wait for it to come out on Netflix.

Convinced that he has been called by God to decide who goes to heaven and hell, 18-year-old Walter (Andrew J. West) is a perfectionist who maintains order in his life both at home with his over-concerned mother Karen (Virginia Madsen) and at his job taking tickets in the local multiplex. At work, he has his eye on the smart-sexy Kendall (Levin Rambin), but is too shy to speak to her and is teased mercilessly about this by bullying colleague Vince (Milo Ventimiglia). Then a ghost named Greg (Justin Kirk) starts taunting him as well, and Walter finally agrees to see a shrink (William H. Macy) in the hopes of restoring order to his life.  LINK

Patrick von Sychowski
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