Theatrical Exhibition

Started by wilberfan, August 08, 2019, 02:25:03 PM

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wilberfan

AMC Reaches Deal With Warner Bros for 45 Day Theatrical Window in 2022

QuoteIt's a scary, uncertain time for the entire movie industry, and for theater owners in particular. Covid variants coupled with vaccine hesitance is proving unpredictable for an industry built on bringing people together in enclosed spaces, but it seems that AMC and Warner Bros are banking on 2022 being better.

Variety has the information shared with AMC and its investors on an earnings call that says the massive theater chain (biggest in America) has reached a deal with Warner Bros for their 2022 slate to be released exclusively in theaters for at least 45 days before appearing on HBO Max.

That means the day and date on HBO Max will be gone next year. If you want to see movies like The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, Aquaman 2, and the next Fantastic Beasts then you're either going to have to go see it in theaters or wait a month and a half to watch it at home.

On the one hand, this is good news for movie lovers who value the theatrical experience. On the other, we're still in a pandemic and, unless a lot of Anti-Vaxx folks change their minds, we could be in a perpetual boom and bust cycle with COVID-19, so who knows what the hell the future looks like.

But Warner Bros is banking on 2022 being better. On top of this new deal with AMC, they recently entered another one with Cineworld, which owns all the Regal Cinemas, for the same 45-day window.

Has Theater-Going Been Permanently Changed by the Pandemic?

That's the $64,000 question. My feeling is that the convenience of seeing a major new release at home on a service you already subscribe to outweighs the "effort" it takes to wait a month and a half or go see it in a theater. 45 days is a long time, especially for those who want to be a part of the discourse.

Maybe that doesn't affect non-event movies, but for stuff like The Batman and Aquaman? Yeah, it won't be as easy as deciding to load up The Suicide Squad instead of paying the extra money to see it big and loud at a theater.

What does this mean for the future of HBO Max? Surely that'll see a dip in subscribers with its biggest drawing point, day and date big event movies, taken away. However, Warners must think the theatrical window means big money, or else they wouldn't be making this move.

Also of note, that earnings call revealed AMC's plans to institute Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even the ability to accept Bitcoin for tickets and concessions in 2022 as well.

Now if they'd just make sure all their screens, not just their premium Dolby and IMAX screens, were bright and loud then they'd truly have a good leg up in the fight to pry audiences off their couches.

AMC Theatres to Accept Bitcoin as Payment by End of 2021

wilberfan

Is Moviegoing Undemocratic?
The plan to distribute the art-house film "Memoria" in one theater at a time has set off a heated debate over whether the idea is elitist or inspired.
A.O. Scott

I saw "Memoria" during the New York Film Festival, projected on a screen in a room somewhere other than my house. It's a strange, captivating movie, graceful and elusive, with a distinctive pedigree. Starring Tilda Swinton and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who is from Thailand, "Memoria" was shot in Colombia and will be that country's official selection for the Academy Awards. At once emotionally resonant and tricky to describe, it's the kind of challenging movie that critics embrace in the hope that it might find an audience beyond the festival circuit.

It will have that chance, though not in the usual way. On Tuesday, Neon — the art-house distributor that brought the Cannes prizewinners "Parasite" and "Titane" to North American moviegoers — announced plans to release "Memoria" later this year. As first reported in IndieWire, Neon will open the film in New York in December, after which it will move "from city to city, theater to theater, week by week, playing in front of only one solitary audience at any given time." No itinerary has yet been released, but one place you will not be able to see Weerasethakul's movie is in your living room. According to IndieWire, "it will not become available on DVD, on demand, or streaming platforms."

Never? I suspect there will be a Criterion Blu-ray one of these days. In the meantime, Neon's news caused a predictable kerfuffle on film Twitter, whose denizens like nothing better than a heated argument about a movie very few people have seen. The set-to in this case was between those who applauded the "Memoria" strategy as a defense of the aesthetic superiority of going to the movies and those who scorned it as elitist and exclusionary.

Here we go again. In general, I take a noncombatant position in the streaming wars. I'm in favor of people seeing movies in the best possible conditions, and I'm aware that sometimes those conditions will be fulfilled on the home screen. If you can't make it to the cinema, the cinema can come to you. Clear sound, full screen — can't lose.

I also think that the terms of the streaming vs. theater debate are misguided. How is it that a quintessentially democratic cultural activity — buying a ticket and some popcorn and finding a seat in the dark — has been reclassified as a snobbish, specialized fetish? The answer, I think, is a form of pseudo-populist techno-triumphalism that takes what seems to be the easiest mode of consumption as, by definition, the most progressive. Loyalty to older ways of doing things looks at best quaint, at worst reactionary and in any case irrational. Why wouldn't you put your movie out there where everyone could see it?

Everyone, that is, who subscribes to a given streaming platform or pays retail for video on demand. Netflix is not a public utility. Furthermore, the universal accessibility that is part of the ideology of streaming looks in practice more like a kind of invisibility. If you can watch a given movie whenever you want, you never have to watch it at all. Or you can pause after a few minutes, check out something else and maybe come back the next night. A partially read book can shame you from the night stand, but an unstreamed movie drifts alone in the ether.

That is the fate "Memoria" is resisting. As an object and an experience, it resists the rhythms of home viewing to begin with. Swinton's character, an expatriate named Jessica, seems literally lost in space and time, experiencing the world in a way that alienates her from other people and her own consciousness. She hears noises inaudible to anyone else and finds companions who may not exist. We don't know if the explanation is psychological or supernatural, or whether Weerasethakul is dabbling in science fiction, metaphysics or some of each. What we do know is that the streets of Bogotá and the lush slopes of the Andes look beautiful in 35 millimeter, and that the sounds and images cast a delicate spell.

The magic may require a theatrical setting. Abstract, slow-moving films that aren't propelled by dialogue or plot don't lend themselves naturally to couch-bound, distraction-prone viewing. Weird movies are best seen in the company of strangers. Did you see what I saw? What was it, anyway? The algorithm won't help you.

"Memoria" is hardly alone in demanding a different kind of attention, and it's unlikely that the week-by-week, one-theater-at-a-time release strategy will become a widespread business model. But there is something beautiful, even utopian in the idea that another way of looking is possible, that habits can be broken. That we might have to go find movies out in the world, where they are looking for us.

wilberfan

Netflix bought the Egyptian Theater last year, and is renovating it (which is wonderful news).  For my fellow Angelenos, here is a recent photo of the inside.

There are also shots at the bottom of this link on the history of the theatre.  (Scroll all the way down for the most recent shots.)

https://losangelestheatres.blogspot.com/2017/02/egyptian-auditorium.html

Balcony GONE!


WorldForgot

This place iz off-putting - it has the aesthetic of a posh hotel meets furniture-store cafe. Anthology and Spectacle, even the Quad, deserve the appraisal this house got. I wonder if the goss' will ever come out.

https://twitter.com/diaz_devan/status/1499535777449103363

WorldForgot

Mooky Greidinger, the CEO of Cineworld Group Plc, talks to Bloomberg

QuoteWhat was the pandemic's effect on the size of your business? Can it ever get back to what it was?

The slate of movies was not continuous. You have a movie like 'Black Widow' or 'Shang Chi,' and then for 3 weeks have no other significant release. You can't run a business like that; you need a flow of product. People who love to go to the movies expect two or three new ones every week.
Um, for real? Those expectations seem a bit high. At that rate, you can't expect them all to be good, right?

QuoteDoes this new shorter window increase the odds of a deal with Netflix?

No. We are open to show any movie given to us. If Netflix will decide to change their policy, we'll be very happy to get into negotiations with them and show their movies.

What is their policy?

Netflix had their policy that was a very short window for bigger movies. I'm not an expert in Netflix's business, but I think that a longer window would be beneficial. It would create a much better exposure to their movies before they are on streaming. And will create for us additional product.

QuoteBut studios have shifted some genres away. When is the last time a comedy did really well in theaters?

There were no comedies produced because of Covid. Trust me, the minute you will have a good comedy, it will go into cinemas.
:ponder: lol

QuoteYou mentioned 'Avatar' earlier. It is the highest-grossing movie of all time, but do people still care about that movie after all these years? What are your expectations?

The original 'Avatar' will become the second biggest movie of all time after the 'Avatar 2' release.

wilder

Landmark Pico To Close At Month's End In Huge Blow To Los Angeles Arthouse Scene
Deadline

With the Hollywood Arclight already closed, now comes another blow to Los Angeles' specialty cinema scene: The 12-screen Landmark Pico is closing at month's end after 15 years, the chain said today.

Landmark Theatres' flagship venue, which has been a destination for countless Academy screenings since 2007 in addition to Deadline's Screening Series over the years, will be shuttered when its lease expires May 31.

"For months, we've worked to extend our tenancy of the Landmark Pico but have been unable reach terms," Landmark Theatres' President Kevin Holloway said in a statement. "We're exploring opportunities to expand our Los Angeles footprint, which we hope to be able to share more on soon."

The timing of today's news is particularly unfortunate as specialty cinema has begun a comeback, with A24's Everything Everywhere All at Once putting arthouses back on the rails after a long pandemic-burdened dry spell. The Michelle Yeon-fronted pic opened March 25 to more than $500,000 from 10 screens in L.A., New York and San Francisco for a hefty $50,965 per-screen average. It is racing toward a $50 million haul, with $42.7 million through Sunday and counting.

The Pico's pending closure also will hurt the box office for upcoming adult-driven limited-release titles like Downton Abbey: A New Era, which will lose a key L.A.-area venue.

"We send our deepest appreciation to the Pico staff, guests and the filmmaking community for their support over the years," Holloway added.

Deadline spoke to some specialty distributors who said that they hadn't been wowed by grosses out of the Landmark Pico since theaters reopened. The venue went from being a mall with foot traffic way-pre-pandemic to an empty office building. Couple that with an older-skewing audience that was hesitant to return during Covid, and the Pico just didn't keep up with the clip that other theaters were rebounding in Los Angeles.

What happens now? Sources say the AMC Century City and the AMC Grove as well as Laemmle theaters now will be the prime destinations for prolific arthouse fare.

The Landmark Pico at the former Westside Pavilion on Pico Boulevard near Westwood Avenue also boasts upscale amenities and caters to special events, with technology features including a video simulcast system for broadcasting overflow screenings, presentations and Q&As.

It is part of the chain that was acquired in 2018 by the Cohen Media Group's Charles S. Cohen. Landmark Theaters operates nearly three dozen theaters with 195 screens, including recent acquisitions in the Chicago area and Annapolis, MD.

Landmark continues to run L.A.'s historic Nuart Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard near the 405. That 1929 venue, which Landmark has operated since 1974, is undergoing a major renovation that began in March.

WorldForgot

Netflix reportedly plans to keep some movies in theaters for longer before streaming, including its upcoming 'Knives Out' sequel

QuoteBloomberg's Lucas Shaw reported on Sunday that Netflix is considering releasing some movies in theaters this year with an exclusive theatrical window of 45 days. That's longer than the window Netflix has typically given the movies it releases in theaters, and more in line with what is emerging as a new windowing standard.

Two of the movies in consideration, according to Bloomberg, are the "Knives Out" sequel and director Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Bardo."

Netflix declined to comment on the Bloomberg report when requested by Insider.

RudyBlatnoyd

Quote from: WorldForgot on May 17, 2022, 04:11:43 PMNetflix reportedly plans to keep some movies in theaters for longer before streaming, including its upcoming 'Knives Out' sequel

QuoteBloomberg's Lucas Shaw reported on Sunday that Netflix is considering releasing some movies in theaters this year with an exclusive theatrical window of 45 days. That's longer than the window Netflix has typically given the movies it releases in theaters, and more in line with what is emerging as a new windowing standard.

Two of the movies in consideration, according to Bloomberg, are the "Knives Out" sequel and director Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Bardo."

Netflix declined to comment on the Bloomberg report when requested by Insider.

Have Netflix finally realised that the old Hollywood studio model of releasing a movie in theatres first and then only later releasing it to home entertainment is actually potentially more profitable than just dumping it straight to streaming without any fanfare and then watching lots of your subscribers leave because they've learned to value your content as little as you appear to do? For a bunch of super brain geniuses, these silicon valley guys seem to miss the blindingly obvious quite often when they engage in 'disruptive' business practices.

wilder

Cinerama Dome Returning With New Name - Variety

QuoteThe application does not disclose the news that fans most want to know — that is, when the theater will reopen. But it does include schematics showing that the company plans to reopen the Dome as well as all 14 screens of the former ArcLight Hollywood. The facility has been dormant since the pandemic began more than two years ago.

WorldForgot

Can't say I'm excited that it's leaning so much on the restaurant portion, but from a business model perspective it's probably wise considering the LA clientele.

WorldForgot


wilberfan

Flipping Quentin's Vista

EXCLUSIVE | Legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and private-cinema maestro Theo Kalomirakis join up to transform a neighborhood hangout into an international film-lover's destination

by Michael Gaughn
July 29, 2022

Building a movie theater on the dirt lot where D.W. Griffith shot the massive Walls of Babylon sets for his once revered now reviled silent-movie epic Intolerance is kind of like building on an old Indian burial ground. And yet that's where LA's Vista Theatre rests, and it's hard not to sense the presence of silent movies past—and of a whole alternative, and slightly unsavory, history of Hollywood—emanating from it like a wraith.

The Vista has been through a lot. Originally christened the Lou Bard Playhouse and offering both live performances and movies, its premiere screening in 1923 featured the biggest child star of the day, the now forgotten Baby Peggy. Assuming its current name
c. 1930, the theater became something of a changeling, for a while showing first-run films, then second-run, foreign, and classic, during the '60s dabbling in some very adult burlesque, and, for an extended stretch, soft then hardcore porn.

After a brief stint as a revival house, the Vista transitioned back to first-run in the mid '80s, but thanks to midnight screenings, a steady flow of special events and premieres, cameos in films like True Romance and The Swinger, and the lingering reputation of its shapeshifter past, it's become a magnet for independent, cult, and B movies and other manifestations of alt. The sidewalk beneath its marquee is pitted with celebrity handprints à la Grauman's Chinese. You won't find any Cary Grants or Steve McQueens there, though, but Bud Cort, Kenneth Anger, Ray Harryhausen, and the cast of Dark Shadows instead.

So it's not hard to see why the Vista might catch Quentin Tarantino's eye. A patron for years, Tarantino came to resonate so strongly with the theater's vibe that he decided to snatch it up, freshen it up a bit, and see if he couldn't turn it into a must-see destination for rabid film nerds like himself.

His affection for the Vista seems to spring as much from what it's not as from what it is. It's not an opulent movie palace like Disney's flagship El Capitan 11 miles [actually only 3 -- wilbz] down the road but a kind of mini palace with a neighborhood-hangout feel. And it's not located in the heart of Hollywood, like the El Capitan, Grauman's, Pantages, or Cinerama Dome, but in a nebulous no-man's land tucked between Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and, just down Sunset Blvd., Little Armenia. It might be wry but not wrong to think of the Vista as the brick & mortar equivalent of the defiant outsider, the unbowed survivor.

It's a little harder to understand the theater's attraction for designer Theo Kalomirakis, whose reputation rests largely on bringing exuberant flair, tempered by tasteful restraint, to creating private cinemas, a category of design that too easily and often descends into excess and kitsch in the hands of others. But much of the Vista, from its iron-maiden-like box office to its well-intended stabs at hieroglyphics to its looming Nile-Delta-by-way-of-Topeka pharaohs, is pretty much an altar to kitsch.

It's not like Kalomirakis even knew the Vista existed before he took on the assignment of translating Tarantino's wishes into a satisfying reality. His involvement is due mainly to some deft but determined bird-dogging by the previous owner, Lance Alspaugh, who's been retained to manage the theater and shepherd the renovation. A devotee of Kalomirakis' work, Alspaugh slipped a copy of Private Theaters, the sumptuous coffeetable-book presentation of the designer's early efforts, in front of Tarantino at a planning meeting.

As Tarantino flipped through the book, Alspaugh started making the case for retaining Kalomirakis but quickly realized he could save his breath. It was clear from Tarantino's expression he was hooked. "We don't really need to talk about this anymore," he said. "This is obviously the guy."

Kalomirakis politely declined the first time Alspaugh called—and the second, and the third. Content with the life he's carved out for himself since moving back to Greece, Kalomirakis was taking on few new projects; plus, his experience with commercial theaters is limited. But, adopting the same tactics he deployed to convince famed designer Joseph Musil, who had renovated the El Capitan, to flip Coronado's Village theater, Alspaugh quietly persisted, with his gentle persuasion eventually winning Kalomirakis over.

The Theo/Quentin honeymoon proved short-lived, though. Having been told the plan was to leave the Vista's auditorium pretty much as is, Kalomirakis assumed his mandate was to do the rest of the theater in the same Egyptian Deco style. And although Tarantino liked Kalomirakis' initial design, he ultimately deemed it too elegant, coming back with suggestions for faux cinderblock walls and an outsized RC Cola

It wasn't until Kalomirakis heard about the decidedly casual grunge-ish look planned for the coffeeshop and gaming arcade that will occupy the storefronts to either side of the Vista that he got where Tarantino's trying to go. Not wanting the theater to feel so exclusive that anyone hesitates to enter, Tarantino instead wants to create an everyman's retreat that evokes his own early experiences of going to the movies.

That realization was a revelation for Kalomirakis. The common bond between him and Tarantino, it turns out, is exactly that intense love, born in childhood, for the whole experience of watching movies—a shared origin story that runs so deep it's been the inspiration, and constant source of sustenance, for both of their careers. Seeing that Tarantino was more interested in staying true to his emotional roots than to the bones of the Vista gave Kalomirakis a new and more potent source of inspiration to draw on.

Embracing that come-one-come-all, come-as-you-are dynamic, Kalomirakis quickly created a new design that Tarantino just as quickly blessed—which is a good thing since the renovation is already well under way, with the lobby already gutted. Early, likely optimistic, estimates pointed toward a December reopening; early to mid 2023 is looking more realistic.

But there's a whole other layer to this story, one that's been all but lost in all the attention paid to the acquisition and renovation. That Tarantino is having the projection booth rebuilt to accommodate his personal dual-format 35mm/ 70mm projectors isn't too surprising given his well-known preference for film over digital. But what might get the savvy to sit up and take note are his plans to show first-run movies on film, having prints struck even for titles pegged for digital-only release—which is of course damn near everything.

To that end, Tarantino has formed a kind of cabal with other movies-on-film fans like Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Judd Apatow, with this formidable band of insiders pooling its resources to get prints made and help put the Vista firmly on the radar of the film-forever crowd. Since probably no one but Tarantino has the necessary sway and determination to pull something like this off, it seems likely the Vista reborn will be—and remain—one of a kind.

It's obvious Tarantino's Vista isn't going to be just some neighborhood haunt or famous filmmaker's vanity project but, in its unassuming way, a mecca, an off-the-beaten-path everyone's-invited celebration of the movies, a unique night out for anyone seeking a new old way to see the latest fare on film.

(Follow link for photos.)

WorldForgot

QuoteThe Theo/Quentin honeymoon proved short-lived, though. Having been told the plan was to leave the Vista's auditorium pretty much as is, Kalomirakis assumed his mandate was to do the rest of the theater in the same Egyptian Deco style. And although Tarantino liked Kalomirakis' initial design, he ultimately deemed it too elegant, coming back with suggestions for faux cinderblock walls and an outsized RC Cola dispenser that would overwhelm what Kalomirakis had in mind for the concession stand. (There's even talk of a Mold-a-Rama.

It wasn't until Kalomirakis heard about the decidedly casual grunge-ish look planned for the coffeeshop and gaming arcade that will occupy the storefronts to either side of the Vista that he got where Tarantino's trying to go

Hahah, that's cool! It sounds like the vibe will fit well with the east side/los feliz crowd.