Weekly Cinema Digest – Friday 7 August 2014

By | August 7, 2015 3:44 am PST

USA – Kurt Hall is retiring and stepping down as President and CEO of National CineMedia (NCM Inc.), parent company of the largest cinema advertising operator in the US. He was instrumental in building up NCM and reinvigorating the cinema advertising (or “pre-show”) market in North America, but is sadly likely to be remembered for the failed merger with Screenvision. The search is on for a replacement. LINK NCM also published its quarterly results, which were up, but the $26.8 million termination payment for the failed merger stung. LINK

France – Consolidating its position as the leading pan-European film service provider, Ymagis has acquired the Eclair business. Eclair group had similarly to the likes of Deluxe suffered from the switch away from photochemical film services. The business now focuses on subtitling/versioning, content distribution, restoration and post-production. PDF link Ymagis has also reported its half-year profit and the company is continuing to steadily grow. PDF link

USA (NY) – Regal has expanded its motion seat partnership with CJ to two multiplexes in New York after the success of the first 4DX installation in California. Regal Union Square Stadium 14 on Broadway and Regal E-Walk 13 in Times Square will both have the new technology in December. More than 23,00 4DX seats are said to have been installed in 182 cinema in 34 countries. LINK

India – Reliance ADAG has completed the sale of Big Cinema to Carnival Cinemas. The deal netted R-ADAG INR 700 crore (USD $109.7 million), which will be used to pay down the debts of Reliance Capital. R-ADAG still holds Big Cinema properties worth INR 200 crore (USD $31.36 million).  LINK

Cinertain

USA (CA) – This drive-in cinema is surviving and thriving by being mobile and going to where the audiences are with their inflatable screen. Cinertain is using places like Blaze parking lots to showing re-releases like “Back to the Future II”. Apparently since they don’t own the land they screen on studios won’t let them have new releases. LINK

Germany – Ecco Cinema Supply and Service is a new company launched by industry veteran Thomas Ruttgers. “As independent experts he and his team of six aim at being a single point of contact for exhibitors while becoming more involved in the integration of technology innovations and products.” A website, we are promised, is “coming soon”. LINK

India – Cinema advertising keeps growing in India thanks to multiplexes and aggressive marketing. Across all cinemas the medium is experiencing a year-on-year growth of 25%. PVR alone has seen it grow 178% over three years. LINK

UK – Cinema goers at Manchester’s Trafford Centre Odeon complained after a false fire alarm lead to an evacuation. “Evacuation procedure needs some work,” one patron commented after the film kept playing as they were being told to leave. LINK Meanwhile a power cut in Gloucester meant that Cineworld patrons did not find out if Tom Cruise survived to the end of the latest “Mission: Impossible” film. (Spoiler: He survives.) LINK

Cinema opening/Closings

UK – Ipswich Buttermarket centre is set to get an Empire cinema late next year. The proposal effectively puts an end to Vue’s plans to open a cinema in the same location.  LINK

Romania – Cinema City has opened a new multiplex (its 19th and second with 4DX seating in Romania. The 10-screen multiplex in City Park Mall Constanta cost €6.5 million. LINK

India – PVR plans to open 10 more screens in Chennai by 2016. The operator already has a seven-screen complex in Ampa Mall. PVR earlier failed in its efforts to buy local chain SPI Cinemas. LINK

Wurlit

UK – Not so much a cinema as an organ. Europe’s largest Wurlitzer, once the sound that accompanied every silent film in picture palaces, has been brought back to life in London. It has over 1728 pipes housed in four separate rooms, four keyboards, one pedal board and 241 stop keys. And apparently it sounds amazing. LINK

Finally

USA (TX) – Alamo Drafthouse’s latest “turn off your cellphones” PSA; we salute you. LINK

(On a related note, I read that “Oculus Cinema aims to be just like real cinema, will let friends across globe talk during movies“. Somebody PLEASE explain to Occulus that you’re supposed to SHUT UP in the cinema.)

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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