Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 1 June 2015

By Patrick von Sychowski | June 1, 2015 3:05 am PDT
Dolby Cinema AMC Prime

USA (CA) – High-Def Digest has the first in-depth review of a Dolby Cinema/AMC Prime, this one situated at the AMC Deerbrook 24. Lots of pictures and a take on both “Tomorrowland” and “San Andreas” in Dolby Vision and Atmos.

Prior to venturing to the theater, I contacted AMC, and let them know my interest in writing up a piece. I asked if they wouldn’t mind chatting about the new theater either before or after my visit. AMC’s response was quite cordial, but throughout our email exchange, they seemed to act as though I might be being just a bit too curious. (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.) Ultimately, I attended a weekend showing, after which I had AMC answer a few follow-up questions.

The experience was a bit bizarre to say the least.

Overall the impression is very positive, though the cinema lacks the prescribed Dolby video wall entrance (coming later this summer).   LINK


Indonesia – Blitzmegaplex is on a major cinema expansion drive, set to grow its current network of 12 multiplexes with 93 screens with a further 20 cinema and 150 new screens. “Listed cinema chain operator Graha Layar Prima, which owns the Blitzmegaplex brand, plans to spend up to Rp 240 billion ($18.2 million) to build 50 cineplexes in eight locations in Java, a spokeswoman says. Yulia Sunardi, the PR director at Graha Layar, said the eight locations were Surabaya in East Java province; Bandung, Karawang and Cirebon, in West Java; Tangerang in Banten; Pulomas in East Jakarta; and two cineplexes in Yogyakarta.”  LINK

PVR Cinema

India – India’s largest cinema chain PVR reported a net loss for the previous quarter and -1% audience decline for the year as a whole. “The consolidated revenues for the quarter slipped 5% to Rs 301.5 crore [USD $47.38 million]. The operating profit for the quarter declined 64% to Rs 12.7 crore [USD $1.99 million]. The consolidated annual revenues rose 9% to Rs 1,486 crore [USD $233.57], with net profit of Rs 11.6 crores [USD $1.82 million].” Footfall was down 12% in the quarter, mainly on account of the Cricket World Cup, though ticket prices rose 5%. Despite record blockbusters like “PK”, 2014 was not a great year for Hindi cinema.  LINK

Clevedon Curzon

UK – More proof how profitable bar/cafe partnerships can be with cinemas; this chain is paying GBP £50,000/year to this community run cinema (NB: not to be confused with the Curzon Cinemas chain). “A new branch of Loungers, the fast-expanding Bristol-based cafe bar chain, is to open in Clevedon’s historic cinema. From Monday builders will start transforming a little-used part of the Curzon Community Cinema into Teatro Lounge.”  LINK

India – Carnival Cinema’s recently acquired Big Cinemas got an award and cinema topics were discussed at the Business World Cinema Exhibition Awards and Conference in Mumbai recently. “A panel discussion titled, “Popcorn, the Saviour?” was also organized where Film Trade Analyst KomalNahta, Carnival Cinemas CEO P V Sunil, Vijay Kapoor of PVR, DevangSampat of Cinepolis and BharathanKandaswamy of IIM Ahmedabad discussed the mechanisms of the multiplex economy in India.”  LINK


India – Things seem to be going from bad to worse at India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), with new chief Pahlaj Nihalani making his predecessor’s “tumultuous reign as CBFC chief seem like a Care Bears’ convention. It hasn’t even been six months since the new CBFC was installed, but Nihalani’s colleagues seem to have had enough of him. A number of them have told The Economic Times that they will vote against  him in a trust motion that is slated to take place on 9th June.” LINK

Kino Nowe Wroclaw

Poland – Film News Europe’s Cinema of the Month is in Poland’s Wroclaw (Capital of Culture 2016) and it provides an interview with its manager. With nine screens it does not just do niche films. “Kino Nowe Horyzonty/New Horizons Cinema has nine screens with 2,329 seats. Plenty of film-related activites are organised in a space of almost 7,000 square metres. The programme of New Horizons Cinema is dominated first and foremost by European artistic cinema.”  LINK


China (Hong Kong SAR) – IBM’s Aspera has been selected by three Hong Kong-based media companies, including for the distribution of DCDMs. “IBM (NYSE:IBM) has announced that three Hong Kong-based media companies, Encore Inflight, Interface Video Production Ltd. and Yapku, have selected high-speed transfer software from Aspera, an IBM company, to speed the worldwide exchange of large video files with content producers, partners and clients.” The Aspera solution replaces Interface’s legacy FTP system. LINK

Event Cinema

Secret Cinema Empire Strikes Back

UK – Secret Cinema has released the first pictures of what the “Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back” experience will look like. “Photos released on the group’s Facebook page show how they presented a recent nightclub in the style of Star Wars – complete with musicians and others in costumes. The pictures appear to show the level of detail organisers are going to, to make the event as immersive as possible for the audience.” LINK

Cinema Opening/Closings

Bolton Scaffolding

UK – Building a new cinema inside an existing shopping mall is never easy, as the photos from this scaffolding infested mall in Bolton where a nine-screen cinema will rise testify. “The firm has now placed scaffolding inside the centre to allow workers to access site where the cinema will be created. Work to build the 123 metre crane is expected to continue next week, with the machine then being used to lift the large steel structures for the cinema building onto the shopping centre.”  LINK

UK – Looks like no new cinema for Scarborough any time soon. “Plans for a five-screen cinema in Scarborough town centre have suffered a blow after the council rejected the release of land for development.”  LINK

Durham cinema

UK – Durham Council has outsourced the running of its cinema to Picturehouse, saving itself GBP £200,000 per year and getting an estimated GBP £3 million in promised investment. “Durham County Council has appointed Picturehouse Cinemas to run the cinema at the Gala Theatre in Durham City and hopes the outsourcing deal, effective immediately, will lead to new cinema screens, as well as a new food offer, at the Gala, plus an enhanced cinema programme for Bishop Auckland Town Hall (BATH) and more community film screenings.”  LINK

Japan – Enid’s last cinema is closing. “Eniwa city’s only movie facility, Eniwa Toho Cinema 8 is closing on the 31st. In its heyday it boosted the film culture of the region, which counted three cinemas just in Eniwa, but now the lights of the silver screen disappear.” Given that the city now only has 60,000 inhabitants, perhaps no surprise but cinema closures are all too common in Japan.  LINK

The Light

UK – Work has begun on Walsall’s GBP £12 million waterside cinema. “The new town centre complex, which will also feature bars and restaurants, is being built by Light Cinema and will be first in the country to boast the latest hi-tech Extreme screen.”  LINK

USA (CA) – San Francisco’s cash-strapped independent cinema Roxie has reached a deal with its landlord for another three years. “Located at 3117 16th Street in the heart of the Valencia corridor, where many neighboring businesses are being converted to condominiums or restaurants, the Roxie has had financial problems for many years. The city’s longest-running movie theater, it’s the home for dozens of different film festivals each year and also has a subsidiary that distributes independent films.”  LINK


Vilnius Airport cinema

Lithuania – Vilnius has become the first airport in Northern Europe with its own ‘cinema’. “According to the airport, the FilmBox LT cinema will excluslvely show short movies, documentaries and cartoons by Lithuanian filmakers. It says that the idea of an “unconventional passenger lounge” at Vilnius Airport was implemented in co-operation with the Lithuanian Film Centre and will remain on site until the end of the year.”  LINK However, at Hong Kong’s airport there is an Imax cinema.

Patrick von Sychowski
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