CJ Cinema Digest – Monday 1 August 2016

By Patrick von Sychowski | August 1, 2016 3:36 am PDT
Josetxo Moreno

Golem’s Moreno dead, Villette outdoor cinemas held indoors, Cameron on cinema, Ukraine & Russia cinema laws, Cinemedia insolvent, Secret Cinema “Dirty” BO haul, André Rieu record, Cinemark gun incident, Regal robbery, MIT glasses-free 3D, AMC to teach Odeon concessions, Argentina concessions smuggling, Barco Escape “Star Trek”, Epic seating, Cineworld opening and chicken in cinema.   

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Spain – The co-founder of Spanish art-house chain Golem Josetxo Moreno has passed away age 62. He set up Golem in 1980 together with Otilio Garcia Gobeo and Pedro Zaratiegui. Moreno was a passionate supporter of independent cinema and directors such as von Trier, Kitano and Kaurismäki. Golem has six cinemas with a total of 42 screens in Pamplona, Bilbao, Burgos and Madrid. Screen Daily – 25 July 2016

France – The Outdoor Film Festival de la Villette, which was cancelled following the Nice attack, has resumed… indoors in Paris’ la Grande Halle. Other events had also been cancelled, while there is increased security for things such as Paris Plages urban beach. 20minutes (FR) – 28 July 2016

Terminator 2 3D

USA (CA) – James Cameron and producing partner Gale Ann Hurd talk to Variety at Comic Con about their views of cinema and more.

Well, you’ve got high frame rate. You’ve got HDR. Brightness levels are critical. Dolby is doing a whole high-end experience. There are IMAX-like things that are proliferating. I just think it’s incumbent on the exhibition community to provide the absolute maximum possible experience. We’re never quite there. The tech is always a little ahead of the mass rollout.

Ahead of “Avatar 2” there is “Terminator 2” in 3D coming out in October, which Cameron is heartbroken about won’t be in 10 foot-lambert in most cinemas. Oh, and VR makes GAH throw up. Variety – 25 July 2016

Ukraine – A new cinema law set to be introduced in Ukraine is set to support the construction of cinemas in small towns, as well as providing funding to Ukrainian movie production. There is also tax credits for foreign films shooting in Ukraine. Screen Daily – 22 July 2016

Russian – Cinema chains and television networks may be taxed under new proposal by the Russian government. A suggested 3% from cinemas and 0.5% from television would go towards funding domestic film production. The proposal is not popular with cinemas. A similar proposal was rejected in 2011. Screen Daily – 22 July 2016

CineMedia logo

Germany – Post-production and dubbing operator Cinemedia AG has been declared insolvent. It is the parent company of Berliner Synchron GmbH, which handles dubbing for major distributors, but which continues to operate and is not immediately affected by the insolvency. Munich-based S&L Medien Gruppe has been mentioned as a possible buyer of Berliner Synchron. DGAP (DE) – 27 July 2016

Event Cinema

Secret Cinema's "Dirty Dancing".
Secret Cinema’s “Dirty Dancing”. (photo: Screen Daily)

UK – Secret Cinema’s staging of “Dirty Dancing” has outgrossed the original release, with the new version taking GBP 1.9 million (USD $2.5 million), compared to GBP £1.62 million (not adjusted for inflation) in 1987 and GBP £224,000 for the 20th anniversary re-release. The numbers are up on the GBP £1.33 million for the “28 Days Later” stagings that preceded it, but well short of GBP £6.45 million that it took for “Empire Strikes Back”. Variety reports that Secret Cinema is scouting for locations in Los Angeles to hold some of its future events. Screen Daily – 28 July 2016

André Rieu’s 2016 Maastricht Concert
The King of Waltz – with fireworks!

The Netherlands – André Rieu retained his event cinema crown, with his 2016 Maastricht Concert becoming the highest grossing music concert in the UK at GBP £1.4 million. It was beamed on Saturday 23 July at 7pm and Sunday 24 July at 3pm to 544 locations across the UK and Ireland, as well as 266 further cinemas across Europe. Cinema Live handles the event, which has since gone out to the rest of the world as well. Screen Daily – 25 July 2016

Law & Order

Cinemark, Paducah, KY
Cinemark, Paducah, KY (image: Google Streetview)

USA (KY) – A 64-year old man has been charged with pulling a gun at a 38-year old father, who got into a fight with the man after he complained about the dad’s 14-year old son kicking at the back of his seat. The incident took place at a screening of “Star Trek: Beyond” at the Cinemark Paducah. It is legal to carry concealed firearms in Kentucky, but Cinemark has (similarly to most US theatres) a ban on bringing firearms into its theatres. (Thank you to J.A. for alerting us to this story.) Lexington Herald Leader – 26 July 2016


UK – Two thugs broke into Regal Cinema in Evesham and stole money donated for the upgrade of the cinema. The theft was caught on CCTV and police are appealing to the public for further information. Worcester News – 25 July 2016



USA (MA) – MIT has developed a technology that it claims allows for glasses-free stereoscopic 3D on large screens.

What Cinema 3D does, then, is encode multiple parallax barriers in one display, such that each viewer sees a parallax barrier tailored to their position. That range of views is then replicated across the theater by a series of mirrors and lenses within Cinema 3D’s special optics system.

But because it currently requires 50 sets of mirrors and lenses and only works on a screen the size of a piece of paper, don’t expect it in cinemas in time for “Avatar 2”. Or “Avatar 3”. Or perhaps any of the “Avatar” sequels. MIT News – 25 July 2016

Concessions / F&B

Odeon concessions - how much room for growth? (photo: Odeon website)
Odeon concessions – how much room for growth? (photo: Odeon website)

UK/EU – Jan Dawson analyses the AMC-Odeon & UCI deal for Variety and thinks that increasing concessions spend is at the heart of it.

If AMC could raise European per-patron concession revenue from $3 to the company’s U.S. average of $7, that would translate to additional annual revenue of $300 million to $400 million; even a $1-$2 increase per patron would mean a rapid payback on the acquisition. And food and beverage revenue has far higher margins than ticket spending.

But Odeon is already testing new retail strategies, such as having Costa Coffee and Ben & Jerry franchise in-house, so it is not clear how much know-how the Americans can export to Britain. Variety – 28 July 2016

Cinema food smuggling
The smuggler in action. (photo: infobae screenshot)

Argentina – The topic of bringing your own food and drinks into the cinema has flared up in Argentina, with several patrons filming themselves engaging in food ‘smuggling’ and being stopped. Both the country’s Constitution and Civil Code are invoked, but Hoyts has its own rules about what you can and cannot bring in. But with concessions accounting for 40% of turnover, it would not be a viable business if outside food replaced its own offerings. Infobae (ES) – 30 July 2016


Barco Escape

USA (TX) – An interview with Todd Hoddick and a look at the “Star Trek: Beyond” release in the Escape format, for which 20 minutes of the film were especially formatted. The plan is still 100 theatres by the end of 2016 and 1,000 within three to five years. Jerry Bruckheimer is also said to want to “re-envision” one of his early films in the format. Top Gun anyone? Meanwhile Numerama has an article (in French) on the three-screen Screen X cinema concept from South Korea’s CGV. Fortbendstar.com – 27 July 2016


Epic Theatres
Epic cinema experience coming here. (screenshot: Orlando Sentinel / Fox 35)

USA (FL) – Epic Theatres is on an expansion and upgrade spree, having opened its first cinema in Orange County (FL) and is currently constructing two more, in Mount Dora and Titusville. It is spending around USD $10 million on land and development, with another USD $2-3 million on the interiors. Recliners and large screens, up to 69 feet (21 meters) wide, as well as hot food and bar, are major selling points. Orlando Sentinel – 27 July 2016

Cinema opening/Closings

The Michigan State Theatre.
The Michigan State Theatre. (photo: SE Mi Start-up)

USA (MI) – The Michigan State Theatre is getting a USD $5 million upgrade this autumn. The work will make the cinema ADA-compliant and add a lift to the rear alley. The cinema marquee will also be restored, so that it looks like it did in 1942 when the cinema first opened. The cinema itself will be split into four screens, ranging in seating from 50 to 180 seats. SE MI Startup – 26 July 2016

From pool into cinema.
From pool into cinema. (photo: Christopher Chan / Herald Sun)

Australia – A derelict swimming pool in Cranbourne could be turned into a cinema, if a plan by several business people in Melbourne comes to fruition. A proposal has been submitted to the City of Casey for the site on Grant Street. The proposed cinema would include four screens, a bar, a cafe and lounge area. Herald Sun – 27 July 2016

Australia – Palace Cinema is opening a ten-screen multiplex in Double Bay. The cinema will open on Cross Street in late 2018 or early 2019. Palace Cinema is also renovating the popular Verona cinema. Time Out Sydney – 27 July 2016

Cineworl Dalton Park. (photo: Sunderland Echo)
Cineworl Dalton Park. (photo: Sunderland Echo)

UK – Cineworld’s Dalton Park cinema will open on 9 September. The seven-screen cinema will have over 1,000 seats and a Baskin Robbins ice-cream counter. The opening creates 30 new jobs. Sunderland Echo – 25 July 2016


Strange cinema date.

UK – What is the most common and what is the strangest thing to be left behind in a cinema? Empire cinemas decided to get to the bottom of these two problems, finding that the most unusual items included a live chicken left behind by its human date, false teeth and a blow-up doll of Simon Cowell.

Empire also surveyed 2,000 audience members, asking which items they’re most likely to leave in their seats. Coats (24 percent) beat out wallets and purses (19 percent), and mobiles (16 percent) to the number one spot. Glasses, brollies and keys are also up there on the list. Thirty-three people slipped their shoes off mid-film and forgot to put them back on (how far home did they get?). And 27 people admitted to leaving a piece of underwear in the cinema – the dirty devils.

Can you top that for strange item? Replies in the Comments section below please. Time Out London – 25 July 2016

Patrick von Sychowski
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