Boxoffice - August 2019

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The Official Magazine of the National Association of Theatre Owners

$6.95 / / AUGUST 2019

TEXAS

MAVERICK

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

CINEMARK CEO MARK ZORADI

UNITED

ARTISTS

CENTENNIAL

THE ICONIC HOLLYWOOD

STUDIO CELEBRATES 100 YEARS

AS IT BEGINS A NEW CHAPTER

SOLAR AT

THE CINEMA

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HOW

SOLAR TECHNOLOGY IS

IMPACTING THE CINEMA

BUSINESS

AUGUST

CONVENTIONS

COVERAGE OF SHOWSOUTH

AND CINESHOW 2019

Ansel BRIE LARSON Elgort STARS and IN Ashleigh Cummings

star DISNEY’S in CAPTAIN The Goldfinch

MARVEL

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS


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DANIEL LORIA

>> The second half of 2019 roared to life thanks

to the box office success of titles like Sony’s Spider-Man:

Far from Home and Disney’s The Lion

King in July. Their respective opening weekends

($92 million for Spidey and $191 million for

Simba & Co.) helped reinvigorate a domestic

market that was sorely in need of more blockbusters.

The slow start to the year became a concern

from Hollywood to Wall Street, even if the sluggish

start was expected based on a back-loaded 2019

slate. Although a trio of Disney hits (Aladdin,

Avengers: Endgame, and Toy Story 4) helped keep

the first half of the year afloat, it will be refreshing

to see a number of other studios roll out highly

anticipated titles in the coming months. Our own

box office analysts have confidence in a domestic

market rebound in Q3 and Q4, a sentiment

echoed in one of this month’s NATO columns by

Patrick Corcoran and Phil Contrino. Slow periods

might be annoying, but they’ve always been a part

of the industry. As Patrick and Phil remind us,

it’s important to keep that in mind when media

analysts unfamiliar with the industry’s usual swings

prophesize impending doom.

Disney’s The Lion King opened during the hottest

weekend of the year (as of this writing) in New

York City, the home base for our editorial office.

Like many of our colleagues, I sought refuge from

the heat at the movies. All this sun brings to mind

one of the feature stories included in this month’s

issue: a deep-dive into how cinemas have used solar

technology, by Rebecca Pahle and Vassiliki Malouchou.

Admittedly, it’s not a story likely to drive

much traffic to our web portal, boxofficepro.com,

but it’s the sort of B2B reporting that we’re proud

to feature in our magazine. I highly recommend

this longer read, preferably enjoyed at the beach for

those of you bringing us with you on your holiday.

As Boxoffice looks forward to its own 100-

year anniversary in 2020, Kevin Lally turns his

attention to the United Artists centennial being

celebrated this year. Our executive editor tackles

the studio’s storied history, from its beginnings as

an incubator for filmmakers to its current incarnation,

the result of the merger of Annapurna and

MGM. The story of United Artists provides a fascinating

look at an icon of American cinema with

ties to production, distribution, and exhibition.

It’s only right that a look at our industry’s celebrated

past should be followed by a glimpse into its

future. In this issue of Boxoffice you’ll also find

a couple of feature stories on innovative cinemas:

Rebecca Pahle’s profile of Event Cinemas’ boutique

cinema concept, and my own visit to Star Cinema

Grill’s Houston location—featuring the largest

direct-view LED cinema screen in the hemisphere.

Those stories complement our exclusive interview

with Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi, who shares

his view on what cinemas must do to continue

providing a top-quality experience for audiences

worldwide.

Daniel Loria

Editorial Director

Boxoffice Media

Daniel@Boxoffice.com

2 AUGUST 2019


2019 VOL. 155 NO. 8

HELLO 2

TRADE TALK 6

NATO NEWS 14

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT 18

INDIE FOCUS 22

TIMECODE 26

SHOWSOUTH PREVIEW

SOUTHERN COMFORT: NATO of Georgia

provides a warm welcome for exhibitors 30

BIG HEART: Former Allure CEO Craig Chapin

earns a Variety tribute 31

REFRESHING CHOICE: ShowSouth

honors Coca-Cola's Bruce McDonald

as 'Statesman of the Year' 33

ADVERTISING PIONEER: ShowSouth

honors Parrot Film's John Adams as

'Vendor of the Year' 35

CINESHOW 2019

VISIONARY AWARD: Brian Schultz,

Movie Studio Grill 36

FRANK LIBERTO AWARD: Kathleen Gillman,

Cinergy Entertainment Group 36

EXHIBITOR INTERVIEW

TEXAS MAVERICK: Mark Zoradi, Cinemark 38

TECH TALK

THE STATE OF SOLAR: From independents

to major chains, solar energy is finding its

place in the sun 54

INSIDE CINEMA

THE NEW BOUTIQUE: Australia's Event

Cinemas introduces 'Library'- and

'Paparazzi'-themed cinemas 60

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS:

Star Cinema Grill debuts the largest

Samsung Onyx screen in the western

hemisphere 62

Top Women in

Global Exhibition 80

Valerie Shortall

VICE PRESIDENT OF

INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

CINEMARK

Ozioma Sammie-

Okposo

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

FILMHOUSE CINEMAS

Wanda Gierhart

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GLOBAL

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

CINEMARK

Renana Teperberg

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER &

DIRECTOR

CINEWORLD

CINEEUROPE RECAP 66

ART HOUSE CONVERGENCE RECAP 68

WHITE PAPER 90

SOCIAL MEDIA 94

EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR 96

ON SCREEN 98

BOOKING GUIDE 106

MARKETPLACE 112

Michelle Walsh

CHIEF OPERATING

OFFICER

VOX CINEMAS

Tatiana Tolstaya

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

OFFICER

CINAMON

Boxoffice has served as the official publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) since 2007. As part of this partnership, Boxoffice is proud to feature exclusive columns

from NATO while retaining full editorial freedom throughout its pages. As such, the views expressed in Boxoffice, except for columns signed by NATO executives, reflect neither a stance nor an

endorsement from the National Association of Theatre Owners.

4 AUGUST 2019


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EDITED BY LAURA SILVER

BOXOFFICE MEDIA

CEO

Julien Marcel

SVP CONTENT STRATEGY

Daniel Loria

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kenneth James Bacon

B&B ANNOUNCES EXPANSION

PLAN FOR REMAINDER OF 2019

>> B&B Theatres will undergo an ambitious

expansion plan beginning in the second

half of 2019, which includes a number

of acquisitions, new builds, and remodels.

Among the sites scheduled to see

upgrades and renovations in 2019, per a

company statement, are: Platte Purchase,

Kansas City, Missouri, featuring a luxury

entertainment complex with bowling,

arcade, a full-service bar and grille, and

eight theater screens; Overland Park,

Kansas, with electric leather recliners,

screenPLAY!, MX4D, Lyric, and ScreenX

concepts and a new bar and lounge;

Venice, Florida, an 11-screen location

that gives B&B five locations in the Sunshine

State; Topeka, Kansas, a 9-screen

new build; Hannibal, Missouri, where

stadium modifications will make way

for electric recliners and a bar and lobby

lounge will round out the remodeling;

Chillicothe, Missouri, which will receive

a complete makeover from carpets to

paint, counters to signage, exterior façade

to restrooms and offices; Wylie, Texas, to

be upgraded to electric leather recliners;

Jackson, Mississippi, a massive remodel of

an acquisition of an existing theater that

will offer B&B’s signature amenities; and

Liberty, Missouri, where B&B plans to

build a new corporate office adjacent to

the theater location.

CJ 4DPLEX AND CHRISTIE

PARTNERING TO EXPAND 4DX

AND SCREENX IN THE U.S.

>> CJ 4DPLEX announced a new

partnership with Christie, in which the

two companies will work to identify new

opportunities for ScreenX and 4DX solutions,

expanding the network in the U.S.

This extends the previous partnership

between ScreenX and Christie that

included installations of Christie cinema

and ProAV projectors in ScreenX auditoriums

worldwide.

“As a company we strongly value collaboration

and partnership, and we are thrilled

for this venture with Christie to grow both

our technologies across the U.S,” said Jong-

Ryul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX.

“For more than 60 years, Christie has

dedicated itself to elevating the cinemagoing

experience for exhibitors and their

patrons. Through advanced RealLaser

RGB laser projectors and Vive cinema

loudspeakers, audiences can experience

more color, more contrast, and a more

authentic and immersive cinema experience,”

said Kazuhisa Kamiyama, chairman

and CEO at Christie.

SPIKE JONZE NAMED IMAX’S

FIRST-EVER ARTIST-IN-

RESIDENCE

>> Writer-director Spike Jonze has been

named the first-ever artist-in-residence

for Imax Entertainment. In the newly

created role, Jonze will collaborate with

Imax leadership to identify new creative

opportunities and partnerships as the company

continues searching for new ways to

exploit its large-screen format globally.

“I love seeing movies in Imax,” said

Jonze in a statement. “I love the room.

I love the sound. I love the picture. The

possibilities and their openness to experiment

with things that can be done in that

room—whether in film, music, live, or

beyond—are very exciting to me.”

In a press release, Imax stated that the

artist-in-residence role was created “to

explore bold, innovative ways to expand

utilization of the Imax network—partic-

VP ADVERTISING

Susan Uhrlass

SENIOR ADVISOR

Andrew Sunshine

BOXOFFICE ® MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Daniel Loria

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Kevin Lally

MANAGING EDITOR

Laura Silver

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Rebecca Pahle

CONTRIBUTORS

Ayşegül Algan

David Binet

Phil Contrino

Patrick Corcoran

Alex Edghill

Christopher Escobar

Andreas Fuchs

Vassiliki Malouchou

Jesse Rifkin

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Ally Bacon

BOXOFFICEPRO.COM

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DATABASE MANAGEMENT

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BOXOFFICE ® (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 155, Number 8, August

2019. BOXOFFICE ® is published monthly by Box Office Media

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6 AUGUST 2019


TRADE TALK

ularly during non-blockbuster seasons—

and drive new, incremental revenue for

the company and its partners.”

Jonze made his name directing visually

striking music videos before branching out

into feature-length films, including such

acclaimed titles as Being John Malkovich,

Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are,

and Her, for which he won the Academy

Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Imax has been experimenting with its

format as of late. In June, the company

held a one-night-only Imax screening of

the Paul Thomas Anderson short film

ANIMA starring and scored by Radiohead

front man Thom Yorke. And on July

1, it screened the concert film Soundgarden:

Live from the Artists Den – The

Imax Experience in a one-night-only event

in over 30 markets worldwide.

BOW TIE CINEMAS PLANS

‘ULTIMATE’ CINEMA COMPLEX

IN GREENWICH, CONN.

>> Bow Tie Cinemas and The Ashforth

Company announced that they are

working together on the development of

a new Bow Tie Cinemas Ultimate cinema

complex, to be located on Railroad

Avenue, steps from Bow Tie Cinemas’ existing

Criterion at Greenwich Plaza. Bow

Tie Cinemas Ultimate includes reserved

luxury recliner seating in all auditoriums,

a full restaurant menu, and a full bar with

food and drinks served to your seat.

“The busy lifestyle led by today’s

entertainment consumers often forces

a choice between seeing a movie and

having a great meal and a cocktail,” said

Ben Moss, CEO of Bow Tie Cinemas.

“Now at Bow Tie Ultimate locations, our

valued guests can reserve a luxury recliner

seat in advance, arrive at the theater at

a convenient time without rushing, and

enjoy a great meal and a cocktail during

the movie. Bow Tie Ultimate takes the

moviegoing experience to a whole new

level, and we’re delighted to expand the

Ultimate footprint in Fairfield County.”

AMC’S STUBS A-LIST

CELEBRATES FIRST

ANNIVERSARY

>> AMC Theatres’ subscription service

Stubs A-List has registered 860,129

members since launching one year ago,

the company announced in a press

release on June 27. According to AMC,

those members have seen films in AMC

theaters more than 20 million times since

the beginning of the program.

“This one-year anniversary gives us

an opportunity to reflect on the enormous

success of the AMC Stubs A-List

program,” said AMC Theaters CEO and

president Adam Aron.

AMC launched Stubs A-List within

two years of acquiring U.K. distributor

Odeon, which had previously started its

own subscription service called Limitless.

In a 2018 interview with Boxoffice,

AMC chief marketing officer Stephen

Colanero admitted that A-List was heavily

informed by Odeon’s experience in the

subscription space. “It certainly helped

us frame what we were embarking on—

some of our economic modeling, in terms

of how quickly it stabilized, what the

activity was for the established members,”

he said. “We felt a little more confident in

our research and analytics, based on the

experiences that they had.”

CINEASIA TO HONOR CHINA’S

LUMIÈRE PAVILIONS CIRCUIT

>> Lumière Pavilions will receive the

“Exhibitor of the Year” Award at CineAsia

on Thursday, December 12, at the Grand

Hyatt, Hong Kong. The award will be

accepted by Jimmy Wu, founder, chair-

CINEMANEXT AND MEGARAMA ANNOUNCE

AGREEMENT FOR BARCO PROJECTORS

>> CinemaNext, a European specialist in cinema exhibitor

services, and French cinema circuit Megarama announced a

large-scale agreement for the sale and installation of a minimum

of 110 Barco Laser projectors at 15 of the circuit’s current

sites and upcoming new cinema builds through 2021.

Per the agreement, CinemaNext will oversee the replacement

of Series 1 digital projectors in all Megarama-branded

cinemas located in France, Spain, and Morocco.

“We’ve enjoyed a lengthy partnership with CinemaNext

and are very excited to be undertaking this important

renewal project with their skilled teams,” said Jean-Pierre

Lemoine, president and CEO of Megarama Group. “As

we continue to invest in the modernization of our cinema

equipment, we will roll out over 110 Barco Laser projectors

over the next two years. At a time when moviegoers are

increasingly discerning, it is part of our strategy to further

elevate the image quality in our cinemas to provide our

audiences with the best moviegoing experience.”

CELEBRATING THE SIGNING Olivier Douet (CinemaNext), Mrs. Lemoine, Jean-

Pierre Lemoine (Megarama), Jean Mizrahi (Ymagis), Joseph Vacrin (Megarama),

and Serge Plasch (Cinionic/Barco)

8 AUGUST 2019


man, and

CEO, and

Jane Shao,

founder and

president

of Lumière

JIMMY WU

Pavilions.

“It gives us

great pleasure to present the Exhibitor of

the Year award to Lumière Pavilions,” said

Andrew Sunshine, president of The Film

Expo Group,

which manages

Cine-

Asia. “Since

its inception,

Lumière has

pushed the

JANE SHAO

envelope in

becoming a

trendsetter in the industry, making them

an ideal candidate for this year’s award.”

Lumière Pavilions is a cinema investment

company focusing on the development

and operation of high-end cinemas

in China. Currently, Lumière operates

more than 40 premium multiplex cinemas

in economically vibrant regions across

China. In 2016 Lumière Pavilions became

one of only three strategic exhibitors in

China to partner with Imax Corporation;

it now operates 11 Imax cinemas.

Lumière also offers a range of alternative

content including opera, ballet,

concerts, and live sporting events.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE OPENS

NEW DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

12-SCREEN THEATER

>> After years of planning, Alamo

Drafthouse Cinema announced a “soft

launch” for its new downtown Los

Angeles location. The theater chain also

disclosed that its Alamo Season Pass

subscription beta test will be expanded to

the new location.

Alamo Drafthouse Los Angeles, the

chain’s first location in the megalopolis,

is located at The Bloc, an open-air urban

retail and entertainment hub in the

heart of downtown Los Angeles. It is a

state-of-the-art facility with 12 screens

each equipped with 4K laser projectors

and one auditorium with 35-millimeter

film projection where moviegoers can

enjoy a slate of indies, blockbusters,

and cult films. Moreover, patrons can

find a full bar and kitchen and can rent

Blu-rays and DVDs for free at the video

store Video Vortex.

During the soft launch, a small group

of moviegoers selected from a wait list

were also able to watch a movie and

reserve seating for a monthly fee with

the Alamo’s subscription plan. This will

mark the third location for the plan’s

beta test rollout after a pilot program

was launched in mid-2018 at its Yonkers,

New York, location and expanded to

its location in Raleigh, North Carolina,

earlier this year.

Alamo’s plan to launch its own sub-

AUGUST 2019

9


TRADE TALK

PHOTO: STUDIO ONE ELEVEN

scription program dates back to 2017 after

MoviePass dropped its prices to $9.99

per month. According to Alamo Drafthouse

founder and CEO, Tim League,

the circuit’s higher concessions per capita

allow it to turn the subscription plan into

a viable business model. However, League

opted for a cautious approach with limited

location tests rather than a circuit-wide expansion.

“We’re trying to avoid launching

something and then, three months down

the road, increasing the price or changing

the program,” he said in an interview with

Boxoffice. “We want to find something

that works for our customers—and that

doesn’t drive us into bankruptcy.”

Leading the new Los Angeles location

is Rachel Walker, head of creative and

programming with years of experience

in the film festival circuit and as a genre

content consultant for studios, networks,

and indie filmmakers.

“Getting to put together a programming

experience that blends the sensibilities

of Los Angeles and the Alamo Drafthouse

is a dream come true,” said Walker.

“My colleagues and I look forward to

working with the community to create a

home for all different types of film fans.”

Walker is joined by head of marketing

Anam Syed; general manager and Alamo

Drafthouse veteran Leslie Newell; Claire

Brooks, who will oversee private and

corporate events; and former Geek and

Sundry producer Ash Minnick, who will

shape Alamo’s tabletop gaming community

initiative.

SAMSUNG EXPANDS ONYX

CINEMA LED SCREEN WITH

FOUR NEW EUROPEAN

LOCATIONS

>> Samsung Electronics Co. announced

at CineEurope 2019 its latest global installations

of the Samsung Onyx Cinema

LED display, the world’s first DCI-compliant

LED theater display.

“We are excited to be announcing the

latest installations of Samsung’s Onyx

technology across the globe,” said Seog-gi

Kim, executive vice president of visual

display business at Samsung Electronics.

“With the Onyx Cinema LED screen,

customers will enjoy a heightened viewing

experience with world-class picture

quality, enhanced contrast ratio, and

deep blacks. We are committed to providing

viewers with richer content that

will immerse them in every scene.”

The four new locations to be opened

in Europe include two in Spain, one in

Ireland, and one in Romania.

In Spain, two screens will be installed

at Odeon Multicines. The company’s

Plaza de Armas (Seville) location will

be the first to open in September with

a 10-meter screen, followed by the CC

San Vicente (Alicante) location with an

Onyx 14-meter, opening by October, the

first 14-meter screen installed in Europe.

Both installations will be completed by

Ingevideo and Equipo de Cine.

The first 10-meter screen in the U.K.

and Ireland will also be installed during

the third quarter of the year following

an agreement reached with the historic

cinema chain, Movies@. The location is

the iconic Movies@Dundrum, and the

installation will be completed by Omnex.

The first Onyx screen in Romania will

also open before the end of the year, at

Cinema One, which will be installing the

five-meter Onyx at its location in Brasov,

Coresi Shopping Center. CinemaNext

will be the integrator for this project.

CINIONIC EXPANDS

IN SAUDI ARABIA

WITH FAWAZ ALHOKAIR

GROUP’S MUVI CINEMAS

>> Cinionic, the Barco, CGS, and

ALPD cinema joint venture, continues

its expansion into Saudi Arabia with a

strategic relationship with the Next Generation

Company Ltd., sister company

to Fawaz Alhokair Group, for its first

cinema brand, Muvi Cinemas.

Muvi Cinemas plans to open more

than 20 multiplexes across Saudi Arabia in

the next 18 months, including in Riyadh,

Jeddah, and Dammam. The exhibitor is

among the very few granted a license to

operate movie theaters in the kingdom for

the first time in over 30 years.

“Muvi Cinemas is focused on providing

an unparalleled cinematic experience

for our guests. We invest in the most

advanced projection technology, which

will see the brand having 100 percent

laser projection across all developments,”

said Adon Quinn, general manager at

Muvi Cinemas. “As the first homegrown

Saudi cinema brand, we understand the

importance of providing the best quality

for our guests. Cinionic is the perfect

laser projection technology partner to

ensure our vision is fulfilled.”

CINEPLEX ANNOUNCES NEW

THEATER AND ENTERTAINMENT

COMPLEX COMING SOON

TO WINNIPEG

>> Cineplex, the Canadian entertainment

and media companies, in partnership

with Primaris Management Inc.,

will open a reimagined entertainment

10 AUGUST 2019


TRADE TALK

destination at Kildonan Place in Winnipeg,

Manitoba.

Scheduled to open in 2021, the new

complex will replace the existing Famous

Players Kildonan Place Cinemas and

offer guests an all-in-one entertainment

experience that includes movies, dining,

amusement games, and attractions. The

35,000-square-foot space will include a

new, six-screen theater that offers a range

of enhanced movie-watching experiences

for guests of all ages, including Ultra-

AVX and luxury recliner seats in each of

its auditoriums.

The new complex will also feature a

large amusement games and attractions

area for kids and grown-ups, which will

include new and classic video and redemption

games, unique interactive experiences,

and virtual reality from VRstudios. Guests

can also look forward to a range of dining

experiences, including new and exciting

food and beverage options.

Construction of the new complex is

scheduled to begin late next year, but

Famous Players Kildonan Place Cinemas

will remain open until construction of

the new building is complete. Cineplex

also recently announced a new location of

The Rec Room, Canada’s premiere “Eats

& Entertainment” destination, which is

scheduled to open at Seasons of Tuxedo

in late 2019.

UNIC ELECTS NEW BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

>> The General Assembly of the International

Union of Cinemas (UNIC), the

European cinema trade association, has

elected a new board to serve the organization

for the next two years.

The decision—made during CineEurope,

UNIC’s official convention in

Barcelona—saw Phil Clapp, CEO of the

U.K. Cinema Association, reappointed

as president and other key board positions

confirmed.

Commenting on his reelection, Phil

Clapp said, “I would like to warmly

thank UNIC’s members for their renewed

confidence in both myself and my fellow

board members. It will be both an honor

and a privilege to support the organization

in its efforts to continue to provide

a strong and influential voice for the

European cinema sector, which is now

more important than ever.”

In addition to the president, the

UNIC board of directors, elected for a

two-year term, is:

Senior Vice President & Treasurer:

Jaime Tarrazón, Delegate, Federación de

Cines de España (Spain)

Vice President: Kim Pedersen, CEO,

Danske Biografer (Denmark)

Vice President: Edna Epelbaum, President,

Association Cinématographique

Suisse (Switzerland)

Vice President: Mario Mazzetti,

CEO, Associazione Nazionale Esercenti

Cinema (Italy)

Vice President: Tomasz Jagiełło, CEO,

Helios (Poland)

Vice President: Richard Patry, President,

Fédération Nationale des Cinémas

Français (France)

POWSTER LAUNCHES

TRAILERED SEARCH PLATFORM

FOR CINEMAS

>> Powster, the interactive creative

studio and production company, announced

the launch of Trailered, a new

web-app search tool for all films showing

in theaters nationwide. With Trailered,

moviegoers can instantly search trailers

and show times and purchase tickets for

films currently playing at nearby cinemas

through one simple online access point.

Trailered is in the United States, Canada,

and the United Kingdom.

Trailered geo-locates users, showing

them the closest movie theaters and

which films are playing at each location.

Moviegoers can easily create personalized

playlists of their preferred films by

genre and format, such as action, horror,

comedy, animation, 3-D, documentary,

and more, while still being able to select

an exact day and time to see any of the

films nearby.

“Until now, finding out where, when,

and what films are showing has tended

to be a somewhat tedious and tricky

discovery process. Trailered makes the

entire journey a much more engaging,

streamlined, and simple experience for

moviegoers,” said Ste Thompson, CEO

and creative director of Powster. “With all

the different entertainment options available,

it’s tempting to bypass the theatrical

experience these days. Trailered intends

to help bring more fans into cinemas,

giving audiences the viewing experience

intended by filmmakers.”

CINEWORLD CHOOSES CHRISTIE’S

REALLASER PROJECTORS

>> Cineworld Group, the world’s second-largest

cinema exhibitor, has signed

an agreement to acquire more than 1,000

of Christie’s next-generation, RGB pure

laser cinema projectors featuring Christie

RealLaser illumination technology.

“At Cineworld, we have always focused on leading technologies

to benefit the cinema experience. Christie has been

a great partner of ours for many years. Its

talent for innovation is well known, as well

as its high level of service and support,”

said Renana Teperberg, chief commercial

officer, Cineworld. “We strongly believe

that the RGB experience will further

improve the quality of the picture across

our estate. Our core strategy is being the best place to watch

a movie, and high-quality projection is clearly one of the

tentpoles of this strategy.”

12 AUGUST 2019


NATO NEWS

THE SKY-IS-FALLING

NARRATIVE POPS UP

AGAIN, DISAPPEARS

JUST AS QUICKLY

by Patrick Corcoran,

Vice President & Chief Communications

Officer, NATO

and Phil Contrino,

Director of Media & Research, NATO

>> We’ve been down this road before: a

few high-profile films underperform and

suddenly our industry is in dire trouble

once again. That’s what happened in May

and June when a handful of tentpoles disappointed,

causing reporters to panic

about the sad state of our industry

and how awful the summer box

office is. Neither is true.

Despite the pervasive belief

that moviegoing is under constant

threat from a shift in how entertainment

is distributed and consumed,

moviegoing is remarkably

consistent, with weekly ups and

downs almost entirely a function

of the movies then in the marketplace.

A flurry of headlines in June

bemoaned the underperformance of

high-profile sequels and lower-budget

counterprogramming and worried about

audiences abandoning multiplexes due to

“sequel fatigue” and a premonition that

comedies no longer work in movie theaters.

Strange, though, that in this most

excessively covered and data-drenched

little industry of ours, reporters missed

the most salient facts.

Q2 2018 was the highest grossing

quarter in domestic box office history,

grossing $3.3 billion—up an incredible

22 percent year over year. And this spring

and summer, when box office was supposed

to be languishing and tumbleweeds

rolled through lobbies nationwide? $3.3

billion—the second highest quarterly

box office ever and only 3.7 percent off

the record. Pending results of NATO’s

quarterly ticket price survey, it is likely

that admissions were off by less than that

and may have equaled Q2 2018.

Year to date, box office remains 9.3

percent behind 2018, causing more fainting

spells and more ink spilled on behalf

of the industry’s already filed obituary.

This ignores the fact that box office at the

end of Q1 was down 16.2 percent, due

almost entirely to a far smaller carryover

of titles from Q4. The real story of Q2

and the summer is a marked improvement

relative to 2018. Indeed, this “disastrous”

summer is a mere $180 million

behind summer 2018. Even better, if we

extend summer 2018 and 2019 a week

earlier (to capture the opening week of

Avengers titles from

Our industry will remain healthy as long

as there are talented people who value the

theatrical experience, and there’s no doubt

that the most exciting and talented content

creators working today create with

the big screen in mind. Plenty of directors

and actors continue to be vocal

about their desire to have their work

shown in theaters first.

both years), the difference shrinks to

$40 million. The expected comps for the

remainder of the year favor 2019.

In short, the narrow focus on yearover-year

comps misses the long-term

health and stability of the industry, but

also somehow misses what those shortterm

comps really say.

Our industry will remain healthy as

long as there are talented people who

value the theatrical experience, and there’s

no doubt that the most exciting and

talented content creators working today

create with the big screen in mind. Plenty

of directors and actors continue to be

vocal about their desire to have their work

shown in theaters first.

In a recent interview with Vulture,

The Farewell writer/director Lulu Wang

talked about how she asked her mom for

advice when deciding whether to go the

traditional theatrical route or sell her film

to Netflix: “I can buy you a house now.

And you can tell all your friends,” Wang

told her mother. Mom’s response: “Why

would you buy me a freaking house? I already

have a house. The film is your baby

and you have to give it to the place that

is not necessarily the wealthiest, but will

give it the most love and joy and bring it

into the world in the right way.”

While promoting Yesterday, Danny

Boyle talked to CinemaBlend about

how the dynamic between theatrical and

streaming doesn’t need to be adversarial,

and also why theatrical is so important

to him: “We—and by we I

mean those who love cinema

above all forms—are vulnerable

at the moment. Long-form television,

or streaming, is obviously

in the ascendancy. There’s a lot

of money in it and a lot of people

are moving into it. For me—and

I’m not speaking against long-form

television because it’s very important

it doesn’t become adversarial—cinema

is unique because of the contract of time

you have with the audience and what you

are allowed to do in that very precious,

exclusive time. Somebody buys a ticket

and they give you two hours of their time,

and what’s extraordinary about it is they

give it to you exclusively. It’s very rare that

they’ll leave—you have to be doing a really

bad job or there has to be an emergency—and

you don’t do that with long-form

television when you watch it at home.

Even when you love long-form television,

you’re not giving your exclusive time to it.

Your peripheral vision is different, and in

long-form television the contract is endless.

That’s the point: that it just goes on

and on into the distance. There’s the joke

that it’s a bit like getting married: you

don’t quite know what’s going to happen

down the line, but you sort of sign up for

14 AUGUST 2019


it. Then people joke that everybody knows

Season 6 is going to be pretty poor, but

you go along with it anyway because the

finale might be good. I think in film it’s

different. The uniqueness of film is that

because of that undivided, exclusive time

you get, you can experiment with time.

That’s what cinema does more than any

other art form.”

Boyle added, “As long-form television

explodes and becomes more prevalent in

people’s lives, it makes me realize more

and more how precious those moments of

time are for us in cinema, and we should

protect them for as long as we can.”

While promoting Stuber, stars Kumail

Nanjiani and Natalie Morales weighed in

on the importance of cinema:

“I feel like now it’s becoming this

thing that only big special-effects movies

are for theaters, and I think all movies

are better in a theater with a communal

experience,” said Nanjiani. “Especially

comedies, because you get the energy of

people laughing. How often are you in

a room with strangers all laughing at the

same time?”

“I love going to the movies. It’s a big

reason why I do what I do,” said Morales.

“It’s just that experience of being in a

room together when it really works and

everyone is laughing and everyone is into

it. It’s just this release and break from your

everyday world.”

We expect more endorsements in

the months and years to come, as the

conversation about the theatrical/streaming

dynamic shows no sign of letting

up. The hope is that eventually it will

be seen as less of a “war” between the

two and more of peaceful coexistence

between two distinct platforms that

provide different experiences.

As of this writing, the common media

narrative for the 2019 box office is already

shifting. Right before the release of The

Lion King, CNN published an article

about how strong the rest of 2019’s slate

is, and similar articles started popping up

elsewhere. And around we go …

AUTOMATION IN EXHIBITION

HOW ONE NATO MEMBER MANAGED

THE TRANSITION

by David E. Binet, Director of Membership, NATO

>> Automation has emerged as a significant

issue for global business operations.

Most corporations have adopted

some form of automation to improve

customer service, streamline operational

efficiency, and/or reduce long-term costs.

The exhibition industry is no stranger to

this trend.

NATO member Cinamon Holding

(cinamonkino.com) operates 34 screens at

seven locations in the Baltics and Finland.

During the recent CineEurope convention

in Barcelona, Cinamon executives shared

with us their efforts to join the automation

movement and the motivation

behind those changes. Andac Bagioglu,

Cinamon CIO & CTO, agreed to share

some insight into the process.

How long has Cinamon operated in the

Baltics, and what prompted the company

to investigate automation?

Cinamon comprises individual cinemas

that have operated in three Baltic

countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania)

for more than 10 years. The operation as

a cinema chain, however, goes back three

years, when our CEO, Tatiana Tolstaya,

decided to centralize all operations into

our head office in Tallinn. After centralization,

we discovered some potential areas

of improvement at our cinemas, as well

as the need to increase customer-service

quality by placing our cinema employees

at better locations where human interaction

is required or preferred. Therefore,

our first motivation, led by the innovative

and passionate attitude of our CEO, has

been to increase the service quality by

[reallocating] more human work hours in

favor of direct communication with our

customers. The customer-service representatives

focus more on suggesting movies,

talking about our campaigns and new

and special concessions products, helping

people with their needs, and even interacting

with their children. Another motive

to move toward automation has been

the economic advantages that come with

it, especially decreasing the operational

long- and short-term costs of employee

implementation and training. Movie

theaters face difficulties in competing with

improved home-cinema systems, and the

streaming content available on demand

exists in most people’s living rooms. By

automating non-human-required services

and tasks, we brought our operations

AUGUST 2019

15


NATO NEWS

to the level where we could continue

competing with all available alternative

platforms while maintaining a high level

of customer-service quality. In the back

office, automated equipment helps us

collect better and more varied analytics

data to help improve our services and our

automation products.

What were the biggest challenges you

faced when you began to increase

automation?

When we started looking for possible

solutions in the European markets and

elsewhere, the first challenge was the

quality of the products and their ability

to serve our automation needs fully. We

had observed that despite the natural need

of cinemas to automate, increase service

quality by relocating their employees, and

cut costs, there was not a properly established

and ready-to-use solution in the

market. Some providers were specialized

in software, while other providers were

more into hardware. However, the “readyto-use”

solution that does not require

valuable time and resources allocated from

cinema operations was unavailable. Therefore,

we started innovating and developing

our own products with our exclusive

production partners and internal departments

supporting them. We developed

Cinamon self-service ticketing and concession

kiosks, gates, network automation,

and remote management systems, which

removed hundreds of unnecessary labor

hours from our internal resources. At the

same time, the user experience for our

customers improved dramatically because

the people visiting cinemas these days are

more tech savvy and even prefer using

innovative technologies.

Have you done formal surveys of customers

to find out how they feel about

increased automation in your theaters?

If so, what were the results?

When the idea and necessity became

obvious after Cinamon centralized, we

decided to support those needs with user

surveys, as well as information gathered

in our movie theaters from customers in

person-to-person communication. Additionally,

our head office visited cinemas

in Western and Central Europe, observed

their customer flows, and discussed ideas

with their cinema and duty managers. The

one main result of this research was that

competition between the different players

in the industry forced these cinemas to

improve themselves, not only technologically

on the screen and in the auditoriums,

but also from the front door to the

concessions area. Moviegoers, nowadays,

are clearly able to see the difference created

by innovative solutions in the movie

theaters and enjoy being at the user end

of it. Another result of the surveys showed

us that our customers expect more of a

personal touch during their cinema experience,

not necessarily while they make

their ticket or concessions purchases, but

rather more in terms of social conversations,

personal suggestions, and individual

help and support. Therefore, at Cinamon,

we have implemented our kiosk, gate,

and other innovative automated solutions

in our large multiplexes and even in the

small cinemas with two auditoriums.

This is because the request for personal

service does not depend on the size of the

multiplex where we offer these services. In

small cinemas, the Cinamon automated

solutions have made the personal service

experience possible, while in larger multiplexes,

our visitors are even more surprised

to find that personal service touch that

they might not expect in those complexes.

How do you handle customers who

have negative reactions to more automation?

Technology and automation are present

in every aspect of our lives. People are

getting more and more used to the fact

that some tasks, which do not require a

human presence, have been handed over

to technology. The people that visit the

cinemas today are not just technology

friendly and capable but demand more

innovative solutions and higher quality on

regular services. It is important to present

the most effective way of service for every

customer’s expectation. While we provide

the easy-to-use and innovative solutions

with self-service ticketing kiosks, concessions

kiosks, and gates in our multiplexes

in the Baltics and Finland, we have not

completely abandoned the old-fashioned

way of sales in our multiplexes. If a

moviegoer would like to get their ticket

and concessions at a point-of-sales desk,

then there will always be a Cinamon

employee with a smile to welcome them.

In addition, if a customer wants a person

to show them to their auditorium, or even

their seat, we will always have a Cinamon

employee happy to help our customer to

their seats (thanks to the additional labor

hours provided by automation). We want

other companies in the industry to have

the same advantages that we have created,

developed and produced. Therefore, Cinamon

decided to provide our automated

products to individual and chain cinemas,

as “ready-to-use” solutions; and not as

a vendor, but in a business-to-business

(B2B) relationship.

Has the process of automating allowed

you to hire elsewhere within your company?

If so, how?

At Cinamon, from the moment we

started with the whiteboard process of

automation until now, we have gone

through a visible transformation in our

multiplexes in terms of positions and job

descriptions for our employees. Before this

progress, we had cashiers who operated

no differently than in grocery stores, and

floor staff who simply scanned tickets for

the long customer queues. Nowadays,

those people work as customer support,

welcoming the customer, helping them

with their choices and questions, offering

them movie products, and giving

customers the full possibilities available

in our multiplexes. In the back office,

automation created centralized technical

employees who not only work at their

specific location, but also coordinate with

all of our cinemas, thus sharing their

experience and building a standard level

of quality in our back office operations,

minimizing the possibility of failures and

human mistakes.

16 AUGUST 2019


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

TO ADD EVENTS IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE, PLEASE SEND ANNOUNCEMENTS TO NUMBERS@BOXOFFICE.COM

HELLO, ANGELS

Elizabeth Banks on the

set of the upcoming reboot

of Charlie’s Angels.

ELIZABETH BANKS

RECEIVES THE WILL

ROGERS MOTION

PICTURE PIONEERS

FOUNDATION’S

2019 PIONEER OF

THE YEAR AWARD

>> The Will Rogers

Motion Picture

Pioneers Foundation

(WRMPPF)

has announced that

actress, director, and

producer Elizabeth

Banks will receive

the 2019 Pioneer

of the Year Award

on September 25,

2019, at the Beverly

Hilton in Beverly

Hills. Banks is the first female director to

receive the honor.

The Pioneer of the Year Award is given to a

respected member of the motion picture community

whose professional leadership, service,

and commitment to philanthropy is exemplary.

It is one of the most prestigious honors in the

entertainment industry. Banks will receive the

award at the Pioneer of the Year Dinner—the

annual fundraiser benefiting the WRMPPF’s

Pioneers Assistance Fund, which provides

financial support and services to individuals

in the theatrical entertainment community

who are experiencing an illness, injury, or a

life-changing event.

Having achieved extraordinary success as

an actress, director, and producer, Banks is the

ninth-highest-grossing actress of all time. She

made her directorial debut with Universal Pictures’

Pitch Perfect 2, which grossed $69 million

on opening weekend and went on to achieve

worldwide box office success. Banks is currently

directing, producing, co-writing, and starring

as Bosley in Charlie’s Angels (out November 1,

2019) for Sony Pictures.

As an actress, Banks has portrayed memorable

characters in blockbuster franchises such

as The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect, Sam

Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Seabiscuit, The

40-Year-Old Virgin, Man on a Ledge, What to

Expect When You’re Expecting, Oliver Stone’s

W, The Lego Movie, Love & Mercy, Magic Mike

XXL, Power Rangers, and Wet Hot American

Summer, among many others.

An accomplished filmmaker and visionary

in all areas of the entertainment industry,

Banks launched her own production company,

Brownstone Productions, in 2002. In addition

to directing and producing Charlie’s Angels

and Pitch Perfect 2, Banks also produced Walt

Disney Pictures’ Surrogates, starring Bruce

Willis; Dreamworks’ Forever 21; and Universal

Pictures’ Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 3, and Too

Far from Home.

An advocate for women everywhere, Banks

supports a number of charitable organizations

including American Foundation for AIDS

Research, American Heart Association, American

Stroke Association, LA’s Best, Malaria No

More, March of Dimes, Milk + Bookies, Stand

Up To Cancer, Time’s Up, and Women’s March

Los Angeles.

“We are delighted to recognize Elizabeth’s

achievements in the motion picture industry

with this well-deserved honor,” said Kyle

Davies, president of WRMPPF and president

of domestic distribution at Paramount Pictures.

“Her contributions to the film business as an

actress, director, and producer, along with her

tremendous advocacy and support of women

in our community and beyond, demonstrate

leadership and vision and inspire audiences

everywhere. We look forward to celebrating

Elizabeth’s career achievements and philanthropic

contributions at the Pioneer of the Year

Dinner, as well as raising much-needed funds

for the Pioneers Assistance Fund.”

Past Pioneer of the Year honorees include

Dick Cook, Cecil B. DeMille, Michael D.

Eisner, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Jeffrey

Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Donna

Langley, Sherry Lansing, Frank G. Mancuso,

Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Tom Sherak,

Jack Valenti, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck,

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and last year’s honoree,

Tom Cruise.

18 AUGUST 2019


PARAMOUNT’S PAT GONZALEZ

RECEIVES STUDIO MOVIE GRILL’S

OPENING HEARTS AND MINDS AWARD

FOR HER WORK WITH VARIETY

>> Studio Movie Grill (SMG) has presented

its fourth annual Opening Hearts

and Minds Award to Pat Gonzalez (pictured),

SVP, in-theater marketing, at Paramount

Pictures. Gonzalez has been honored

with the award due to her tireless

work in the community, most especially

with Variety – the Children’s Charity of

Southern California and Variety Boys and

Girls Club of Boyle Heights.

The Opening Hearts and Minds

Award is given to innovative leaders

who have impacted their communities

in a meaningful way by going above

and beyond to create a positive effect in

their neighborhoods. Gonzalez, the first

entertainment industry recipient of this

award, was honored at a special ceremony

on July 30, 2019, at SMG Monrovia. The

program celebrated her years of service to

further the efforts of children’s charities

and support nonprofit organizations.

Paramount Pictures presented a special

screening of its film Dora and the Lost

City of Gold, opening nationwide on

August 9, 2019.

“One of the most important decisions

we make each year is selecting

our Opening Hearts and Minds Award

recipient,” said Brian Schultz,

founder & CEO of Studio

Movie Grill. “Candidates

are thoughtfully

chosen based on their

dedication to helping

others and the positive

impact they have made

in the world. This year

we unanimously agreed

the recipient should be Pat

Gonzalez. Her work at

Paramount is admirable,

as is her tireless commitment,

for over 20 years,

to empowering young people in Southern

California.”

Gonzalez grew up in Los Angeles.

Her experiences as a hard-working youth

who made her own way are why, as an

adult, her philanthropic work has always

focused on building up children and nurturing

their potential. She’s committed to

and passionate about shaping the futures

of young individuals, which is reflected in

every aspect of the work she does

for her community.

Gonzalez has been involved

with Variety – the Children’s

Charity for over 20 years and

was integral to launching the

first-ever chapter of its youth

group, Jr. Variety. She joined

the executive board of Variety

– the Children’s Charity

of Southern California

in 2002 and currently

serves as co-chairperson

for Variety’s Kids, the

AUGUST 2019

19


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

charity’s online and silent auction arm,

which has raised more than $2 million to

support Variety’s causes since its launch

in 2005.

Gonzalez also chairs the charity’s

annual Poker Night Tournament, which

has raised over $1 million in support for

Variety of Southern California since its

inception eight years ago. Most recently,

Gonzalez joined the board of directors of

the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Boyle

Heights. Since 1949, the organization

has responded to the needs of children

in the Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles

community, offering academic and leadership

development programs, tutoring

and mentoring, sports and aquatics programs,

arts and crafts, a computer learning

center and library, social recreation,

college scholarships, and special events

to award members’ achievements.

>> Variety of Detroit’s 30th Annual

Variety Kovan Golf Classic

was held on Monday, June 17, at

the Birmingham Country Club.

Over $172,000 was raised to support

children in need.

(L to R) Jeffrey King (past president of Variety

Detroit), Charley King, David King (president

elect), Kelly Shuert (past president), Dante

Rosa (board member), Alyson King, Lyle

Shuert, Felicia Palazzolo-Shaw (past president),

Ed Shaw

>> Variety thanks Southern Theatres, Vista, and RCM Media for their support, which

raised $26,000 to help Variety kids! The funds will stay within their local communities

to help children with disabilities get equipment they need to be mobile, independent,

active, and included.

UPCOMING EVENTS

VARIETY OF ILLINOIS’ 68TH ANNUAL

GOLF CLASSIC

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 / BUFFALO GROVE, IL

>> Enjoy 18 picturesque holes on the Arboretum course at

the Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. The course

features 6,500 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72.

Attendees’ participation improves the quality of life for children

with disabilities in Illinois by providing the equipment and

experiences needed to reach their highest potential. Details at

https://secure.givelively.org/event/variety-the-children-s-charityof-illinois/variety-of-il-68th-annual-golf-classic.

VARIETY OF GEORGIA’S 50TH ANNUAL

VARIETY GOLF FEST

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21 AND THURSDAY AUGUST 22 /

BRASELTON, GA

>> For 50 years, film executives, exhibitors, vendors, and

Variety supporters have come together for fun, fellowship, and

philanthropy that enriches the lives of children living with

disabilities and disadvantages in Georgia. At their signature

event each year, taking place after ShowSouth at the Château

Élan, Variety of Georgia presents a deserving individual with the

Mac McAfee “Big Heart” Award. The award honors individuals

who are active in their commitment to the community and the

mission of Variety. This year, the recipient of the Mac McAfee

“Big Heart” Award is Craig Chapin (see page 32). Details at

https://varietyofgeorgia.org/golf-fest/.

VARIETY OF TEXAS’ TEXAN OF THE YEAR GALA

AND 72ND ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

GALA WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 / EMBASSY SUITES FRISCO

IN FRISCO, TX GOLF TOURNAMENT THURSDAY, AUGUST 29

/ COWBOY’S GOLF CLUB IN GRAPEVINE, TX

>> Variety of Texas’ gala evening honoring Krista L. Schulte,

senior vice president, global strategic partnership, marketing,

national foodservice & on-premise of Coca-Cola North America,

includes a cocktail hour, a gourmet dinner, bourbon tasting,

cigar pairings, casino games, and musical entertainment. Variety

of Texas is proud of the work they have done throughout the year

improving the lives of children with special needs in Texas and

their families. Details at https://www.varietytexas.org/gala.

20 AUGUST 2019


SV SUPERIOR VALUE

SELECTING IRWIN SEATING REPRESENTS SUPERIOR VALUE


o u g h t t o y o u b y

INDIE FOCUS

THE

PLAZA

THEATRE

ATLANTA, GA

CONTRIBUTOR

CHRISTOPHER ESCOBAR

OWNER

RED CARPET TREATMENT

Plaza owner Christopher

Escobar with The Farewell’s

writer-director Lulu Wang (left)

and star Awkwafina (right).

PHOTO: ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL

HISTORY

The Plaza opened in 1939 as a vaudeville

cinema and a neighborhood theater

with an 800-seat capacity. It was part of

Briarcliff Plaza, designed by renowned

architect George Harwell Bond and held

the distinction of being the first center in

Atlanta with its own off-street parking.

The first picture that screened was The

Women, and the cinema played MGM

pictures in its first decades. It changed

hands a number of times and faced

challenges with close scares in different

periods, but managed to continuously

operate these last 80 years. It’s held a

number of distinctions as being the only

independent theater in Atlanta, one of

the only art houses in the metro area, and

the only locally owned in addition to the

oldest operating cinema.

In 2012, when the theater was on

the brink of closing, I got involved with

the Plaza on behalf of the Atlanta Film

Society (ATLFS) as the new executive

director of the organization, recognizing

that the fates of both the only indie

theater and the indie film nonprofit were

intertwined one way or another. The

two had not had a history of working

together, and we sought to change that

and help each other in the ways we could.

We brought something to the table that

the other needed, and managed to help

keep the theater from closing as thankfully

others had done over the years before

us. What we managed to achieve started

22

AUGUST 2019


INDIE FOCUS

relationship, so I managed to put a few investors

together and bought it in 2017.

It stands today, stronger than ever, with several

additionally earned distinctions as being the only

minority-owned theater in the city, and named

both the “Best Theater in Georgia” by Cosmopolitan

in addition to a “Top 20 Theatres in the

World” by Men’s Journal.

PHOTO: THE PLAZA THEATRE

PHOTO: THE PLAZA THEATRE

TOP

The cast of the CW’s

“Black Lightning”

onstage for the season

premiere

BOTTOM

Zach Galligan, star of

1984’s Gremlins, interviewed

at an exclusive

screening

turning things around, but major investment was

still needed to convert to digital projection in

addition to seating and other upgrades. We caught

the attention of the previous owner who bought

it in 2013 and had the capital and know-how to

make the much-needed improvements, and the

theater continued to improve. Both the festival and

the theater grew and supported each other in that

growth. The mutual strategic relationship became

the single most vital one each had. Once the owner

at the time was ready to retire, I pursued trying to

find a way for the Atlanta Film Society to buy it,

but it did not prove possible. Because there was so

much brand equity invested in the two, I could not

risk someone else buying it and compromising that

SCREENS & CAPACITY

Currently we have one screen that has a combined

capacity of 485 between downstairs (324)

and the balcony (161), but by the end of 2019 we

plan to enclose the balcony into two additional

smaller auditoriums seating 65 each.

COMMUNITY

We have an incredibly diverse audience in terms

of ethnicity, orientation, gender, age, and interest.

We have cinephiles, the mostly-documentary

lovers, the genre junkies, the corporate crowds,

and the ones we only see for our event films. Our

programming is spread among repertoire, first-run

indie, and second-run major release on top of our

recurring programming partnerships. We tend to

play something for everyone and are really one of

the only approachable cinemas for local filmmakers.

It serves as the community center for Atlanta’s

booming film industry, holding industry group

meetings, premieres, and even private screenings

for major-name talent.

Since 2012, it went from being an underutilized

and undervalued theater surviving only with

the support of a small, dedicated core but held no

major events, to one that is now the home of the

Academy Award–qualifying Atlanta Film Festival

while also holding at least some part of the city’s

other niche festivals.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

We’re a little space-limited, so we keep it to the

basics but try to do them as perfectly as possible.

We also try and make our whole experience

consistent; since everything we play and what you’d

watch is artful, nostalgic, local, or out there, we try

and make sure what you eat and drink aligns with

that too. So everything needs to be either nostalgic,

artisan, local, or out there. A wide array of candy

(both the more rare nostalgics and the popular favorites),

local beef jerky, local chips, and the absolutely

best popcorn in the city. It’s the best because

24 AUGUST 2019


we buy the best ingredients and only make it fresh

in small batches, and it comes in a classic tub. We

have a variety of soda; craft, imports, and classics,

and a full bar featuring a wide array of spirits (local

whenever possible), movie-related brands (Coppola

wine, Dan Aykroyd vodka, George Clooney

tequila,) along with 21 different local craft beers.

We’ve had our bar in place for five years and it’s

grown from 5 percent to now up to 10 percent of

our annual revenue and has been a big plus to the

customer experience, helping drive our other ticket

and rental revenues.

PROGRAMMING

We tend to have something each month that

covers everyone’s interest, but for people whose

religion is movies, the Plaza is their temple. In addition

to different series of repertoire programming,

first-run indie, and second-run larger releases, we

have a growing number of programming partnerships

that happen everywhere between weekly to

quarterly. We have a rotation of cult films (Plazadrome),

black-and-white monster films (Silver

Scream Spookshow), B movies with live riffing

(Cineprov), nostalgic event films (Wussy Mag), and

many others. The nearby chain theater is starting to

copy us in doing rep programming, but it doesn’t

compare to seeing a film at the Plaza in Atlanta.

What matters the most is what’s on screen, but we

also consider what’s on stage (special guests, Q&As,

speakers, etc.) and what we can do throughout the

building like the special pop-up exhibit we did with

the Deadly Prey Gallery featuring original movie

poster paintings by artists from Ghana of primarily

American films. We feature a monthly silent film

with live orchestration on our new theater organ,

TV premieres featuring talent (like “The Walking

Dead,” “Black Lightning”) as well the occasional

live-event screening (like the Oscars).

GRASSROOTS MARKETING

We live or die by grassroots marketing. We’re

not in a position to be doing major media buys, so

we rely heavily on our extensive social media reach,

our website and email, in-theater advertising, and

generating press, but also partnerships with different

groups and brands that have reaches to distinct

audiences. We have a strong brand loyalty with our

core audience and have one of the largest followings

of any cinema in the state. We try and make

sure that the programming we have drives people

in; every little part of the theater is photo worthy/

Instagram bait as much as possible, so people are

taking photos while they’re here, or coming just to

do photos for special occasions.

CINEMA ADVERTISING

On-screen advertising, specifically working

with Spotlight Cinema Networks, has been a

terrific option for us. It’s very easy for us to work

with them as they make the whole process simple

and streamlined. We receive high-quality ads that

don’t junk up our screen, and they provide quality

brands. I would absolutely recommend that other

art houses and film festivals start working with

Spotlight Cinema Networks.

TOP

Deadly Prey Gallery’s

hand-painted poster art

from Ghana

BOTTOM

Bo Burnham (right) and

Elsie Fisher (center) talk

Eighth Grade onstage at

the Plaza

PHOTO: THE PLAZA THEATRE

PHOTO: BORDER UNION PHOTOGRAPHY

AUGUST 2019

25


TIMECODE

BY KENNETH JAMES BACON

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

BEFORE WILLIAM CASTLE PROMOTED HIS HORROR FILMS WITH

GIMMICKS LIKE EMERGO, PERCEPTO, AND ILLUSION-O, ANOTHER

PROMOTER WAS FILLING SEATS WITH THAT OLD STANDBY … SEX

PART 8 OF OUR 12-PART DEEP DIVE

INTO THE BOXOFFICE ARCHIVES

MAN ABOUT TOWN

“Krog” Babb outside the

TWA office. Babb was a

world traveler always on

the lookout for his next

exploitation hit. The ad on

this page for his biggest

success, Mom and Dad, ran

in the pages of Boxoffice

almost every week for

over 10 years, along with

his weekly column on

promotion.

>> A few years ago, I was enjoying a bite of pad

thai at my friend Suwit’s restaurant, Thai Rhapsody

(Happy Hour 3–6 p.m. daily, try the crispy spring

rolls). A few of the regulars were watching “Monday

Night Football,” including big and burly Bobby,

a former college

football player who has

more stats in his skull

than any mortal head

should be able to hold.

I’m a rabid fantasy

football fan, as most

Seahawks fans are

these days, but Bobby

and his buddy, Skip,

were impressive

in their ability to

rattle off the names

of Heisman Trophy

winners going back to

ancient Rome.

Bobby’s father-inlaw

was a famed quarterback

at the University

of Washington in

the early ’60s and was

in the mix in 1961

when the Heisman

voters selected The

Express—Ernie Davis

—as the nation’s top player. Bobby’s father-in-law,

a two-time Rose Bowl MVP, later became a coach

at UDub, and for reasons that remain a mystery

allowed his daughter to marry my friend Bobby.

I mention all of this not just to fill space, but

to circumambulate around to the topic at hand—

Kroger Babb and the bee in his exhibition bonnet

in 1961—the year the Huskies and their half-blind

quarterback beat the Chipmunks, or whatever it is

Minnesota calls itself.

On January 2, 1961, after NBC’s Chick

Hearn had called the action from Pasadena,

another Chick was losing his hat in a San Diego

movie theater.

“Hennesey,” the CBS sitcom starring Jackie

Cooper as Navy doctor Lt. Chick Hennesey, aired

the night of the 1961 Rose Bowl at 10:00 p.m.,

and master promoter

Kroger Babb was

watching. And what

he saw, he didn’t

much like. But we’ll

get to that.

Kroger Babb was

unlike any “showman”

of his era. He started

working at the age

of 7, sweeping up at

a newspaper, then

moved up to scrubbing

sinks. Then came:

newsboy, printer’s

devil, compositor’s assistant,

ad compositor,

Linotypist, make-up

man, sportswriter,

news reporter, sports

editor, broadcaster,

classified-ad man, display-advertising

man,

advertising manager,

business manager, and

then publicity manager for the Chakeres-Warner

theater circuit. Babb even served a stint at Filmack,

a Boxoffice advertiser for over 50 years. Eager and

energetic, Babb excelled. But rather than stay in

exhibition, he found his true calling in exploitation

films and joined Cox and Underwood—the two

Howards: the kings of exploitation in the 1940s.

Cox and Underwood specialized in nabbing

the rights to terrible, un-releasable films, inserting

sensational material, like “educational” childbirth

scenes, and ramping up the ballyhoo. Their 1938

release Dust to Dust (or High School Girl, Child

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TIMECODE

CLASSIC AD

A two-page spread from

a 1950 issue of Boxoffice.

The film was also

known as Killer With a

Label, Mixed-Up Women,

and The Important

Story of Alcoholism. The

biggest mystery about

this film is how Babb

convinced Citizen Kane’s

Ruth Warrick to appear.

Bride, Child Bride of the Ozarks—pick one) was so

profitable the two Howards retired, leaving Babb

to start his own company with the greatest film

production and distribution name evah! Hygienic

Productions. Really. He even had a home office

called the Hygiene Building and wrote an “aditorial”

in Boxoffice called Hygienic Corner.

That year, Babb concocted a story for a film to

be called Mom and Dad. As he told it, “For four

years I tried to interest guys with dough, including

two partners … In 1943, I hired Mildred

Horn, an Indianapolis writer [whom he later married],

to put Mom and Dad into screen form. But

this didn’t help. In ’44 I was in Cleveland. There

I was at a gin rummy party … Naturally, they

all laughed [at my idea]. Why shouldn’t they?

Silly wasn’t it? Next morning before I was up, the

phone rang. It was [partner] Jack Jessey. … Before

lunchtime he had convinced me I wasn’t nuts and

that he would gamble. It was a dream come true.

Hygienic was born!”

Mom and Dad was released in 1945 to segregated

audiences—woman and girls in the afternoon,

men and boys in the evening—and was promoted

as an educational film to get around the obscenity

statutes and the Catholic Legion of Decency. The

film tells the story of a teenage girl, Joan, who

becomes intimately involved with a handsome

pilot. Weeks later she learns that he has augered

in, as rocket aces like to say, drilling a hole in the

ground with his plane. An intermission followed,

one that included a 20-minute lecture by the “eminent

sexual hygiene commentator” Elliott Forbes.

During Forbes’s talk, women in nurses’ uniforms

would troll the aisles selling a little one-dollar

pamphlet called The Secrets of Sensible Sex and two

salacious volumes Man and Boy and Woman and

Girl. One wonders how Mr. Forbes had the time

to give lectures several times a day all across the

country during the film’s initial road show run.

Simple: Babb hired 26 commentators. In African

American communities, Babb hired Olympic

champion Jesse Owens to give the lecture—when

the latter wasn’t racing thoroughbreds.

After the talk, the film resumed. The conclusion

is little remembered—there are several versions.

What is remembered are the short films that were

spliced into the narrative—some racy charts of the

reproductive organs shown to Joan as part of her

too-late sex education, a complete cesarean birth,

and grisly images and clips of the ravages of venereal

disease. Sexy stuff.

Babb later claimed that Mom and Dad returned

63 bucks to the dollar to his investors. The Los

Angeles Times claims the film has grossed as much

as $100 million.

Babb followed up his opus with other exploitation

features—The Prince of Peace (Christian), Walk

the Walk (heroin), One Too Many (alcoholism), and

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (in color!)—but never found the

same success.

In later years, Babb began a relationship with this

magazine and penned a weekly column about the

state of “showmanship” called As It Looks to Me.

In the January 30, 1961, issue of Boxoffice,

Babb, in a full-page thousand-word rant,

complained bitterly about how a theater manager

was portrayed in the January 2, 1961, episode

of “Hennesey” called “The Hat.” (I told you

we’d get back to that.) In it, Chick Hennesey

and Nurse Hale (Abby Dalton) go to the movies

and get in an argument with two “punks.” The

manager tells the “hoodlums” to leave and they

do—with Chick’s hat. Ever the defender of the

exhibitor, Babb is so incensed by the portrayal

of this minor character in this half-hour comedy,

he calls CBS and Jackie Cooper’s production

company to complain. He’s stunned to learn that

his is the only complaint either the studio or the

network has received.

Let’s end this with Babb: “So goes exhibition

into 1961. Since this show did such a perfect job

of making idiots out of theatregoers and jerks out

of theatre managers about all there is left to say is:

Wake up!”

28 AUGUST 2019


SHOWSOUTH 2019

BY KEVIN LALLY

SOUTHERN COMFORT

NATO OF GEORGIA’S SHOWSOUTH PROVIDES A

WARM WELCOME FOR EXHIBITORS

À VOTRE SANTÉ

Château Élan Winery

& Resort, Braselton,

Georgia

>> One of the most popular of NATO’s regional

trade shows is ShowSouth—and no wonder, since

this annual summer event is held at Château Élan,

a luxury winery and resort in Braselton, Georgia,

a short drive from Atlanta. The resort offers a spa,

wine tastings, and biking trails for those who aren’t

too caught up in the convention’s two days of

activities, August 20–21.

Executive director Robin Miller reports that “we

have two seminars planned for this year. First is

Ask the Audience, presented by NCM, where they

use their research panel of 5,000 avid moviegoers

to provide exhibitors with data-based answers to

questions that impact their business. That will

be followed by a session on ADA captioning and

audio description presented by Esther Baruh of

NATO. She will be describing the proper use of

ADA devices and their upkeep, so that everyone

has them in good working order at all times.”

Another ShowSouth session will focus on the work

of the Independent Cinema Alliance, presented by

its chairman, Bill Campbell.

Miller also emphasizes that “the trade show is a

wonderful part of our

show, an opportunity

for theater owners and

managers to see the

latest and greatest that

is available for their

theaters. We have projector,

seat, and candy

vendors—anything

that has to do with

theaters. So the attendees

can speak directly

with the vendors and

find out what best fits

their needs.”

Following Tuesday

afternoon’s NATO

of Georgia meeting,

the socializing kicks

into high gear with a

cocktail party at the

winery, the Statesman

of the Year dinner honoring Coca-Cola’s Bruce

McDonald, and the annual Casino Night. Wednesday

night culminates with the Variety “Big Heart”

Awards dinner and after-party; this year’s honoree

is Craig Chapin, former president and CEO of

Allure Global Solutions.

Miller notes that ShowSouth is one of the

largest regional shows for exhibitors in the United

States. “We have independent theater owners

as well as large-chain theaters represented at

ShowSouth.”

As for studio support, “We have representation

from all of the major studios, as well as independent

distributors participating in our exhibitor-relations

forum and dessert party on Wednesday

afternoon. We encourage all our attendees to

attend this event, so they can have that one-onone

time to discuss their theaters’ needs with their

exhibitor-relations representatives.”

Miller concludes, “Our goal at ShowSouth is to

give people that comfortable, relaxed atmosphere

that the larger shows just can’t offer. You get to

spend quality time with the vendors and the exhibitor-relations

people. We also encourage theater

chains to hold their managers’ meeting at our show

because of the seminars, the trade show, and exhibitor

relations, so they can have all the information

they need in one spot.”

30 AUGUST 2019


BIG HEART

FORMER ALLURE CEO CRAIG CHAPIN EARNS A VARIETY TRIBUTE

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> This year, NATO of Georgia’s ShowSouth

event is blending seamlessly with Variety – The

Children’s Charity of Georgia’s 50th annual Golf

Tournament. Before the tournament, Variety will

hold its “Big Heart” Award Dinner & Live Auction

on August 21. The deserving recipient of this year’s

Variety’s Mac McAfee “Big Heart” Award is Craig

Chapin, former president and CEO of Allure

Global Solutions and onetime chief barker of

Variety Tent 21.

Interviewed by phone, Chapin is humble

about the honor. “To be honest, this is one of

those awards I did not want to accept. I always

feel unworthy, and this isn’t why I do it. But I

also recognize that these awards help people get

exposure to people inside and outside the industry

and raise money for the kids. One of the things we

are always about at Variety Tent 21 as we put in

the long hours is that we do it for the kids. That’s

why we’re here, and that’s what I love about the

theater industry: Everybody recognizes that when

we support Variety, we’re doing it for the kids.

It’s amazing how people who may fight in the

marketplace regularly can come together and stand

united and help these kids that just need a little bit

of support, a little bit of lift-up, a little bit of love.

And before you know it, you can really move the

needle. That’s exciting.”

Chapin says he values the personal satisfaction

he gets from his charity work. “It’s hard not to get

excited and passionate about the impact that you

have on these children and families. When you

think about [Variety’s] core mission of helping

those with mobility and other developmental

CRAIG CHAPIN

AUGUST 2019

31


SHOWSOUTH 2019

issues, to be able to [offer] the gift of a

special bike, you literally can change the

family’s experience and its ability to have

more normalization of their children

and what they participate in. These kids

may have disabilities or disadvantages,

yet they’re great kids that want to go ride

bikes. I’ve seen more than a few siblings

cry because the new bike allows them to

go ride bikes together. Part of the pleasure

of being involved with Variety is that

there’s really no one in the theater space

who doesn’t share a passion for its mission

and been supportive of its initiatives.”

In addition to his work for Variety,

Chapin also teaches Sunday school

at the high school level and supports

the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,

and Young Life, an organization

that sends needy kids to camp.

He is also the co-author (with

Jennifer Schuchmann) of Your

Unforgettable Life: Only You Can

Choose the Legacy You Leave, an

inspirational book about how

the choices we make impact the

legacies we leave behind.

Chapin began his career

working in sales and P.R. at White

Water Park in Atlanta, followed

by a stint at Chick-fil-A. Later on,

he became a consultant for Prysm-

Tech, a theater point-of-sale company

that was subsequently sold to Radiant

Systems in 1996. Chapin served as head

of Radiant’s entertainment business

activities until 2000. In 2002, Chapin

and a partner launched EntTek, a POS

technology company whose clients

included Regal Entertainment Group.

EntTek acquired Allure Digital Media

and renamed it Allure Global Solutions,

and Chapin served as president until his

departure in January of this year. Chapin

currently works as a strategic planning

and M&A consultant, and clients

include people in the virtual reality and

financial technology arenas.

As someone with a long career in POS,

Chapin has seen dramatic changes. “When

I entered the space in 1996, the company

that I joined at the time had the first touch

screen point-of-sale system. Everything before

that had been [simple] terminals and

roll tickets. And so we went from initially

just printing out the ticket electronically

and keeping track of it, more of a simple

database/cash register. It really evolved

into a whole data analytics metrics tool,

including massive conversion-of-payment

methodology starting in probably 1997 or

’98, the year we started to adapt the credit

card. Ultimately, the transaction processing

itself has become more of a commodity.

What has really evolved and taken off is

the ability to use the data in making more

congruent and better business decisions,

everything from pricing to reconciliation

to inventory purchasing.

Data analytics changed the way that

we all thought about POS, the transaction

business, and even signage,

how it’s all really integrated into

one ecosystem.

“In my early days in the amusement

park business,” Chapin notes, “we had

a struggle where the majority of our

attendance came in a two-hour window

in the morning. We would have staff for

that surge, but you didn’t really need that

number for the rest of the day. That was

kind of an aha moment for me, recognizing

how we could leverage technology to

deliver a quality quick-service experience

when you couldn’t afford to staff at the

appropriate levels for only two hours.

Data analytics changed the way that we

all thought about POS, the transaction

business, and even signage, how it’s all

really integrated into one ecosystem.”

Chaplin says he feels the business is

currently evolving toward what he calls

“digital signage 2.0.” As he explains,

“That’s the conversion over to what you

might think of as smart signage, signage

that changes based upon data in real

time, not based upon manual input.”

Though Allure catered to many

different kinds of businesses, “the theater

business was our bread and butter,”

Chapin says. “It made up a sizeable

chunk of our revenues throughout our

history. It’s a contagious, fun industry

that’s fun to be part of. It always draws

you back.”

Chapin says he’s an “avid” moviegoer

who will go to the cinema “once a week

if there’s enough content out there.”

One of his all-time favorite films is the

Denzel Washington high school football

drama Remember the Titans. “It’s

hard to walk past the TV and not

pause and quote a line or two.”

But he’d much rather watch

a movie on the big screen.

“Nothing beats the communal

experience of seeing a great film.

I can’t remember ever being in

someone’s home where people burst

out clapping at the end of a flick. Yet

that happens frequently when you see

a great movie inside a theater.”

He’s also a fan of today’s cutting-edge

cinemas. “I think the reclining seats

are fantastic, but I also think giving a

little bit of extra space between people

allows you to have a sense of more

privacy while at the same time having

a communal experience. And if you go

from the reclining auditorium back to a

traditional slope or floor auditorium or

even one of the initial stadium-seating

theaters, you feel a bit violated. It really

is the equivalent of flying coach versus

first class.”

Chapin also challenges those who

complain about today’s movie ticket

prices. “The entertainment dollar, two

hours’ bang for the buck—I think the

movie theater experience beats everything

else. Hands down.”

32 AUGUST 2019


REFRESHING CHOICE

SHOWSOUTH HONORS COCA-COLA’S BRUCE MCDONALD AS

‘STATESMAN OF THE YEAR’

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> ShowSouth is honoring one of Atlanta’s own,

Bruce McDonald of Coca-Cola, with its 2019

“Statesman of the Year” Award. A 20-year veteran

of The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald was

vice president of strategic partnership marketing

from April 2010 until April of this year, when he

was named vice president of the Subway global

account team. Earlier during his Coca-Cola

tenure, he led the company’s relationship with

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. He is a former board

member of the Georgia chapter of Variety – The

Children’s Charity, and is president of his Neighborhood

Lake Association—and a registered

wilderness guide in the state of Maine. In this

exclusive interview, McDonald looks back on his

rewarding career with Coca-Cola.

How much of your previous job was taken up

with movie theaters?

As vice president, strategic partnership marketing,

I led a portfolio of entertainment and travel

partners, with one of the partners in the theater

space being AMC Theatres. For nine years, I led

the team that maintains our relationship with

AMC—both domestically and anywhere that

AMC has global reach. They are owned by Wanda

in China, and AMC bought theaters from Nordic

Cinema Group and Odeon/UCI in Europe. Along

with that, I led other teams—airline partners, hotel

partners, cruise ship partners, etc. Since 2017, I

was the global cinema channel lead for Coca-Cola,

which meant that in addition to the AMC responsibility,

I led a team that had oversight for all we do

across the industry. My team led our relationships

with organizations like ShowSouth, NATO, Film

Expo Group, and multiple studios. We would be

responsible for developing and executing research

that provided insight to the cinema channel and

also developing programs with studios that could

run across all cinemas in the United States.

What kind of research would that be?

We would do a variety of different types of

research, but largely consumer behavior and/

or consumer needs within the theater space. For

example, every couple

of years we look at how

consumers are buying

tickets, interacting with

food and beverage, etc.

We might look at how

and why consumers

would smuggle or share

food and beverage

within their cinema

experience—with

the result of trying to

provide insights to theater

companies about

what they can do to

drive incremental foot

traffic and revenue for their own food and beverage

platforms. Why were they doing that? What would

stop that? What would make the offer better so theaters

could make more money? Things along those

lines—everything from how consumers interact

with theaters to how those insights could lead our

partner theater owners to drive their business.

Did your work also involve tying in Coke to

specific movies and movie promotions?

Yes, absolutely. That’s what I’m talking about

with regard to the relationship with studios. We

could do that specifically for AMC, but as the

leader of the cinema channel, we also work with

different movie studios to get the rights to use

their iconography on cups and bags. We can

create a program to run in all theaters across the

United States, maybe rewarding consumers with

special content or prizes. We regularly do three or

four big programs like that a year. These programs

benefit the studios, our brands, our theater

partners, and ultimately the consumer as well. It’s

a win-win.

Are there any you can recall that were

particularly fun for you?

Some of the stuff we’ve done in the last couple

of years with the Star Wars series has been great.

And the Avengers too. Working with different

BRUCE MCDONALD

AUGUST 2019

33


SHOWSOUTH 2019

studio partners has been really fun—seeing big

blockbuster programs come to life in theaters has

been so rewarding.

Will Subway be doing any movie tie-ins?

Subway has already done some great movie

tie-ins. They did one with Aladdin this spring. We

didn’t have a role, but now that I’m on the Subway

team, I look forward to taking the relationships

I’ve had across the cinema industry, both with

exhibitors and with studios, to find some ways

with Subway to really delight consumers. I’ve already

started to think about integrating things like

movie passes as prizes for consumer promotions

with Subway.

It seems that the very definition of Coca-Cola

has expanded because there are just so many

drink options now available in theaters. What’s

been the fastest-growing segment?

We have always been more than Coca-Cola soft

drinks, but, more recently, we have a renewed focus

with our new leadership on our total portfolio

of beverages. One of the best ways to demonstrate

the total portfolio of beverages is via the Freestyle

machine. Go into almost any AMC theater, and

you can experience a Freestyle machine, which

have now close to 200 different flavor options

and combinations across sparkling brands, still

brands, low-calorie, and no-calorie. In addition,

we have many great brands and products that have

connected with the consumer and cinemagoing

experience, from brewed teas to bottled water,

aguas frescas, and alcohol combinations like frozen

Jack and Coke. Those are some of the things that

have taken off and done really well.

What has the transition to the Subway group

been like for you?

It’s, like anything, a baptism by fire. I had to

jump into our relationship with Subway. They’re

in a hundred countries around the world. We’re in

at least 80 countries with them around the world.

And so it’s a global role, but there’s a whole lot

going on in the United States. They have 24,000

restaurants in the United States. It’s the biggest

restaurant company in the world by number of

locations in both the world and in the United

States. So there’s just a lot going on to try to

reinvigorate our business with them. They’ve had

some business challenges, and so we’re trying to

help them grow their business. I had a great team

on AMC; I had a great team in the people who

lead the cinema channel. Coke is so connected

in the cinema space that the team behind me has

been able to pick up where I left off and not skip

a beat.

You spent some time in China.

Yes, I did a short-term assignment for a couple

of months in China. I was really there for a couple

of reasons. One of the reasons was that Universal

Theme Parks was a partner within my portfolio.

And by definition, that means I’m also connected

to Universal Studios. Universal is building a theme

park in Beijing, a massive $5 billion investment. I

was over there to help our business unit negotiate

the rights to be the sponsor of that park and also

help the business unit there with their growing

food-service business. And part of that business

is cinema. Cinema is a hugely growing industry

in China. And so, of course, I had the chance to

interact with Wanda very closely while I was there,

but also work with some other theater partners in

that space in that big, growing market.

Can you talk a little bit about your relationship

with the people at AMC over those nine years?

I absolutely loved working with them. While

we were two separate companies, we could work

together to figure out what was important to both

of us and find a mutual win. And they are just

some phenomenal people who have had lifelong

dedication to the cinema industry. They’re

excellent operators, fantastic marketers, wonderful

collaborative partners to work with. I built some

relationships there that I hope and expect will

last the rest of my life beyond my direct role with

them. I’m very grateful to them for taking me

under their wing and teaching me about the industry,

letting me grow while I worked with them,

giving me experiences and letting me work across

their global system, not just the U.S.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I love what I would call action tragedies. So I

love movies like Braveheart, Gladiator, Last of the

Mohicans, Legends of the Fall—huge, epic action

stories that fortunately or unfortunately also

involve some real drama or tragedy. Historical

fiction is a strong interest of mine. I’d also say The

Godfather I and II.

34 AUGUST 2019


ADVERTISING PIONEER

SHOWSOUTH HONORS PARROT FILM’S JOHN ADAMS

AS ‘VENDOR OF THE YEAR’

>> Parrot Film Company was founded

in 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa, and

has been providing local advertising to

theaters nationwide since 1924. The

oldest theater-advertising company in

the U.S. began by creating hand-lettered

ads on glass slides but soon progressed

to producing still-frame black-and-white

ads on 35-millimeter film stock.

When former record-holding athlete,

coach, and educator John Adams (right)

bought Parrot Film in 1977, he moved

the company’s headquarters to Sioux

City, Iowa, and worked quickly to find a

way to provide color ads for his customers.

Continuing to innovate through the

years, he used emerging technologies to

lead the company into the current age of

digital animation.

In 1990, when the big movie studios

placed restrictions on advertising, Adams

was keenly aware that many theaters

in rural areas depended on advertising

income to help cover their overhead

expenses and that without ad revenue

many small-town movie theaters would

be forced to close.

Not content to watch from the

sidelines, Adams began writing and

calling state and local legislators to try to

rectify the situation. “Nothing happened

until one day I was walking through the

produce aisle of the local grocery store

and found myself face-to-face with Gopher

from ‘The Love Boat,’ also known

as Congressman Fred Grandy,” Adams

recalls. “I introduced myself and told

him that every theater owner in America

needed his help. We chatted a while

and that was that. I was surprised when

Congressman Grandy called me personally

and told me he had put things in

motion with the Justice Department!”

About the same time, Adams’s daughter

called him from Minneapolis. “She

said she’d discussed the problem theater

owners were having

with her friend, and

that he was willing to

see me. I had no idea

her friend was John

French, the head law

clerk for the chief

justice of the U.S.

Supreme Court.” Adams

flew out to meet

with French, who

said he would go to

Washington, D.C.,

at his own expense

to meet with some of

his friends to discuss

the issue. “He called

me later and told

me the issue would

go nowhere because

it was a problem

between Hollywood

and New York. He

said, ‘John, you need

to use the David and

Goliath approach.

You’re the underdog—this

would go

better through Congress

than through

the courts.’ I called

Congressman Grandy and he agreed.”

Through Adams’s persistence and

Congressman Grandy’s help, as well

as pressure put on Congress and the

Senate from theater owners and other

advertising agencies, a breakthrough was

made and advertising revenue started to

return to the theaters that so desperately

needed it.

A true salesman, John Adams firmly

believes in meeting face to face with

both theater owners and the local merchants

who advertise in their theaters.

“A phone call just isn’t enough,” he says.

“We talk personally to everyone we deal

with at least three or four times a year.

These are our friends. We truly want to

know how we can help them. I firmly

believe in taking care of your people.”

Parrot Film now serves over 400

theater screens throughout the United

States, offers both local ads and national

ads through a partnership with Screenvision,

and has twice been featured by

the Iowa Chamber of Commerce as a

successful small business. The company

relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, in 2011.

Adams currently lives in Mesa, Arizona,

and is still instrumental in the company’s

day-to-day operations.

AUGUST 2019

35


CINESHOW 2019 HONOREES

VISIONARY AWARD

Recognizing an industry leader whose innovative spirit inspires and strengthens

the cinema business

BRIAN SCHULTZ

FOUNDER & CEO, STUDIO MOVIE GRILL

>> Brian Schultz, founder and CEO of Studio Movie Grill (SMG), opened the

circuit’s first location in 1998, helping pioneer the dine-in circuit nationwide.

One of Schultz’s main priorities as an entrepreneur has been to embrace

conscious business initiatives at SMG locations. The circuit has promoted its

“Opening Hearts and Minds” mission through numerous legacy programs that

include special-needs screenings, local outreach and fundraising events, and a

Chefs for Children program that has donated more than $1 million to local

nonprofits serving special-needs families. SMG also recognizes the work of other

industry professionals for their charity work through their annual Opening

Hearts and Minds Award; this year’s recipient was Paramount Pictures SVP

of in-theater marketing, Pat Gonzalez (see p. 19). In 2019 the dine-in chain

launched a loyalty program, SMG Access, which gives back movies and meals

to underserved community members. The program has already hosted over

10,000 movie and meal outreach screenings through this program.

Schultz is the recipient of the 2013 Regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur

of the Year and was named as one of the Dallas 500, D Magazine’s celebration

of the most powerful leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2019. He is a member of

the Young Presidents’ Organization and is on the Conscious Capitalism Board

of Directors. Today, SMG welcomes over 12 million patrons annually and has

a presence in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North

Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

FRANK LIBERTO AWARD

As the “Father of Nachos,” Frank Liberto’s passion for concessions and innovation

is legendary. This award honors his legacy as a trailblazer by recognizing

concessions and purchasing professionals who lead with integrity and represent

the highest quality in service and commitment to both exhibition and CineShow.

KATHLEEN GILLMAN

VICE PRESIDENT CONSTRUCTION/CAPITAL ASSET PURCHASING,

CINERGY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

>> Kathleen Gillman, vice president of construction/capital asset purchasing

with Cinergy Entertainment Group in Dallas, Texas, serves on the

executive board of the National Association of Concessionaires and previously

on the board with Variety, the Children’s Charity of Texas. Gillman is

a three-decade veteran of the entertainment industry and is a third-generation

member of the exhibition community. Her grandfather sold popcorn

seed and later worked in the theater business; her father was an exhibitor

for over 50 years.

Following posts at four other theater chains—as director of concessions/

purchasing/marketing, VP operations and now construction—she expresses her

true joy of the business, which she has shared with her husband of 33 years.

36 AUGUST 2019


EXHIBITOR INTERVIEW

BY DANIEL LORIA

Texas Maverick

CINEMARK CEO MARK ZORADI ON LOYALTY, BOX OFFICE,

AND THE FUTURE OF THE MOVIEGOING EXPERIENCE

>> It’s an interesting period to be

at the helm of one of the world’s

leading exhibition circuits. Mark

Zoradi, who took the reins as CEO

of Cinemark in 2015, knows this full

well, overseeing the cinema chain’s

6,000-plus screens in the U.S. and

Latin America. Domestically, Cinemark

is the third-largest exhibitor

in the North American market, with

a presence of 4,596 screens at 342

theaters in 41 states. High stakes

come with such a high screen count,

as Cinemark navigates an increasingly

competitive landscape for consumers’

leisure time—keeping pace with

As we enter the second half

of 2019, what are your main

takeaways from the first

semester?

We knew going into the year that

the first six months were not going to

be as strong as the second six because

of the product lineup. That was not

unexpected whatsoever. Now that

July has hit and we see what’s coming

down the road, we’re pretty confident

that the 2019 box office is going to

be very, very successful. I’ve stopped

short of making any predictions

because I’ve been in the business way

too long to do that.

other exhibitors and home entertainment

options.

Cinemark has been able to retain

its competitive edge by investing in

its own circuit. Over the last several

years, the circuit has embarked on

ambitious renovation projects that

MARK ZORADI

Do you think it’s going to hit the

levels of 2018?

That’s hard to say. Maybe slightly

under or maybe slightly above,

but it is going to be right in that

category. The encouraging thing for

have outfitted more than half its auditoriums with recliner seating,

added expanded food and beverage options to nearly twothirds

of its circuit, and expanded the number of auditoriums

for Imax screens and its private-label XD premium large-format

brand. A new dine-in concept, CUT! by Cinemark, was rolled out

in Frisco, Texas, earlier this year.

On the digital ticketing front, Cinemark has been busy adding

partners and expanding its options to make it easier for its most

loyal guests to come back to the movies. A recent partnership

us is that internationally, the titles really have lined up much

better than they did in 2018 because there is a much stronger

family component to the lineup. Toy Story 4 is already the

biggest movie ever in Latin America—it has been a massive

hit. Latin America has had a really nice uptick, where the U.S.

year-to-date is still somewhat down off of 2018, but I’m pretty

confident that we’re going to make up a lot of that ground.

Maybe not every bit of it, but a lot of that ground in quarters

three and four.

with Atom Tickets boosted its third-party ticketing network

following the introduction of its subscription program, Movie

Club—the first in-house solution from a major U.S. circuit.

Zoradi talked with us about the circuit’s progress during his

tenure in a conversation ranging from the year’s box office to

the impact that loyalty programs will have on the industry in the

coming years.

One of the main projects during your tenure at Cinemark has

been refining the circuit’s loyalty program. This year, you

rolled out Cinemark Movie Rewards, which effectively hosts

your free and paid loyalty tiers under the same umbrella.

Why have loyalty programs been such an important part of

your time at Cinemark?

38 AUGUST 2019


CINEMARK’S CARSON, CALIFORNIA, LOCATION PROMOTING ITS PRIVATE-LABEL XD PLF AUDITORIUMS

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CINEMARK

We launched Movie Club, the first

exhibitor-sponsored subscription program

in the U.S., in December of 2017. We’ve

been growing very consistently since that

time with nearly 700,000 subscribers

[as of July], roughly equivalent to 2,000

subscribers per location. It’s been a phenomenal

success with an extremely high

retention rate and engagement by the consumer.

I’ve been measuring engagement

by over 75 percent of the credits that we

hand out every month. People are using

it each and every month; they’re coming

more often, they’re buying more concessions,

and they’re being extremely loyal.

Last quarter we relaunched the overall

umbrella rewards program called Cinemark

Rewards, and that has both the free

component, which we’re calling Movie

Fan, and also the paid component, which

is Movie Club. There’s no change to Movie

Club, but on Movie Fan we added a lot

more rewards. We changed the system to

one point for each dollar spent. The early

results have been spectacular.

Your subscription plan, Movie Club,

hasn’t had too many modifications

since you rolled it out. Do you expect

making any modifications on it in the

near future?

One of the reasons we haven’t had to

do that is because we did a tremendous

amount of consumer research on the

front end and asked the consumer what

they were interested in, what they wanted

the most. The concept of having rollover

movie credits from month to month

was tremendously important, because

the consumer knows if they don’t use it

for a month or two, they won’t lose the

benefits. There’s also the shareability: if

you don’t use it for a month or two and

you’ve got three credits on your phone,

you can bring family and friends and use

all credits at the same time.

The second thing that consumers love

is the idea of a really simple, easy way

to execute discount on concessions. All

you have to do is show your membership

through your phone and you get 20

percent off all concessions. You don’t have

to build up a credit, you don’t have to

turn in a coupon, you don’t have to have

a promo number. It’s just 20 percent off.

The third thing we’ve succeeded in is

the ability to reserve a ticket online with

no online fees. It works like a family plan

by design; if you’re a member and you

want to bring your partner along with you,

you have the ability to do so at the same

price. You can even buy credits if you want

to bring three or four people with you.

There’s no commitment. We modeled

that after the streaming platforms; you

sign up on an app and you can cancel

it on an app. It’s easy in, easy out. It’s

month to month at a very reasonable

price. We’re constantly looking for ways

AUGUST 2019

39


EXHIBITOR INTERVIEW

you have six months to use your existing

movie credits. We took all the fine print

away from it and made it very simple and

easy. We looked at the best of programs

like Amazon, gym memberships, TelCos,

spoke to the consumer, did a lot of market

research and that’s how Movie Club came

about. I think it’s been really important to

help build loyalty for Cinemark.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CINEMARK

to upgrade it, but thus far we haven’t

found a need yet. The only thing we

did is raise the price in the four western

states from $8.99 to $9.99. That’s really

been the only material change, and the

consumer response to it was nonexistent.

We didn’t have any pushback in raising

those prices.

What’s the role of loyalty and

subscription industry-wide? How

do you think those concepts have

benefited the industry in general—and

Cinemark specifically?

I think it was really important for us to

do this. We were working on Cinemark

Movie Club well before MoviePass lowered

their price. What we tried to do in all

our research ahead of time was ask ourselves,

“What is the best use of subscription

across multiple industries, not just

the exhibition industry?” In the exhibition

industry, the only models were what was

done in the U.K. and France, which were

unlimited plans. And while there is clearly

an audience that wants an unlimited plan,

CINEMARK PLAYA VISTA AND XD, LOS ANGELES

it’s a relatively small audience of people

who actually go to the movies three or

more times a month. But if you’re a normal

moviegoer and you’re going six to 10

times a year, then the rollover plan has a

much greater impact.

Has the emergence of digital ticketing

made it easier to apply these

innovations?

Making the ticketing process simpler

is important because you need to have

the process be really simple and easy.

Today it’s all online. You reserve your

seat, walk in, and you’re actually more

relaxed and have a chance to go to the

concession stand because you don’t have

to run in to claim a seat. What we tried

to do is take all the friction out of buying

a movie ticket and make it simple and

easy for the consumer.

We wanted to get rid of all the fine

print. There’s no fine print to Movie Club.

You can join when you want, you can quit

when you want. Even if you have movie

credits left over after dropping the plan,

You mentioned F&B earlier. Cinemark

has done fantastically well raising the

per cap in concessions over the last decade.

What’s been behind that success?

Food and beverage has always been

an important part of the movie business.

About 60 percent of our theaters now

have recliners in them. When we do that,

we typically also redo the lobby area with

the concession stand. As a result, about

50 percent of our theaters now offer some

form of alcohol service, whether that’s

beer and wine or a full bar. About 70 percent

of our circuit today offers expanded

food options.

On the exhibition side, our job is to

make the moviegoing experience memorable,

simple, and easy. That means

offering really comfortable seats, great

technology, the most innovative sight

and sound, and really good food and

drinks. I think that’s what made 2018 a

record year: great concepts from the studios

and upgraded experiences by theater

owners. I’m confident that when the

whole year is done in ’19, we’re going to

see very similar results.

How do you keep up with all the

innovations out there? It seems

like every year there are a couple

of products that will be the Next

Big Thing. How much risk is there in

allocating your capex correctly in

today’s exhibition business?

We’ve put a lot of capex in large-format

screens. We have over 260 XD

screens with the absolute best sound,

wall-to-wall screens, and 70- to 75-foot

screens. We also have a number of Imax

screens and more XD auditoriums on

40 AUGUST 2019


CINEMARK’S INNOVATIVE LOBBY DESIGN

PHOTO: COURTESY OF CINEMARK

the way. We have a whole bunch of motion

seats with D-Box. And we’ll continue

to test new alternatives as they come.

We put a significant amount of capex

in putting in recliner seats with heaters.

When we do consumer research, they

list recliners as the single most important

amenity in the auditorium. People

come in assuming they’re already going

to get good light on the screen and great

films. The new thing they really want

is the ability to have a bigger chair, a

bit more room, more personalization,

and the ability to put your feet up. It

just feels like all of a sudden you’ve

gone into a first class environment, as

opposed to being crammed in there. We

spent a lot of money on remodeling our

theaters, and even those that we haven’t

reclined, we’ve upgraded significantly.

At Cinemark we consistently spend

somewhere between $80 and $100

million just on maintenance capex, not

to mention the hundreds of millions of

dollars in reclining our theaters across

the circuit.

How does a multinational circuit like

Cinemark continue to be competitive

in today’s industry, as entertainment

alternatives abound for consumers?

It comes down to the guest experience.

We really try to focus on it, and

it’s a challenge because we have a lot of

hourly employees—some of them parttime.

A lot of students in the summer,

for example. We spend a lot of time

training our employees to be friendly

and welcoming, to look people in the

eye and tell them they’re glad they’re

there. To help out whenever Mom or

Dad walks up with their hands full with

three kids and offer to help them to

their seats or with their popcorn and

drinks. The guest experience is crucial.

The marketing side is becoming more

and more important because now that

we can identify who our consistent

customers are through Movie Rewards

and Movie Club, we are adapting our

marketing to be able to communicate to

people in a more personalized manner

instead of a mass-market approach.

Looking at the next three to five

years, what are some of the biggest

opportunities and challenges that are

facing the industry?

Our biggest opportunity is to continue

improving our theater environments.

We’re going to continue doing that at

Cinemark. We’re in a fortunate position

where we have a very strong balance sheet

and we’re going to continue investing in

our circuit with the latest projection and

sound technology. We’re going to continue

upgrading our lobbies, our chairs and

loungers, all of that.

Our challenge is partly within our

control and partly not, as we work with our

content providers to bring great movies that

will motivate people to get out of the house.

Every time there’s been a new technology—

VHS, cable TV, DVDs, and now streaming—people

have more and better options

at home. But that hasn’t stopped somewhere

between 1.2 and 1.3 billion people from

leaving their homes each year to go out to

the movies. That’s our challenge, to continue

creating a great experience.

AUGUST 2019

41


1919 CELEBRATING A CENTURY 2019

A STARRY

CENTENNIAL

FROM CHAPLIN TO 007,

UNITED ARTISTS HAS

HAD A STORIED HISTORY

BY KEVIN LALLY

>> United Artists Corporation is celebrating

its 100th anniversary this year—and

entering yet another chapter in a fascinating,

often triumphant, sometimes calamitous

saga.

The name has been with us so long, it’s

easy to forget that true artists launched

the company. In an unprecedented alliance,

the corporation was formed in January 1919

by three of the biggest stars of the silent

era—Douglas Fairbanks, his wife Mary

Pickford, Charlie Chaplin—and the pioneering

director D.W. Griffith (all pictured

above). The move was spurred by the need

to protect their pictures and maintain their

independence in a chaotic environment rife

with chicanery and corruption. They would

produce and release their own films, and

those of other creators.

Pickford, Fairbanks, and Griffith all

delivered hits for UA; Chaplin, however,

maintained his ties with First National

and didn’t produce his first hit for UA

until The Gold Rush in 1925. Griffith left

in 1924, but the studio attracted new

talent (including Buster Keaton and Gloria

Swanson) with the appointment of producer

Joseph Schenck as president. Another

important addition to the company was

producer Samuel Goldwyn, who had sold

his Goldwyn Pictures to Marcus Loew’s Metro Pictures Corp. in 1924. In the

1930s, Goldwyn generated many prestigious hits for United Artists, including

Dodsworth, Stella Dallas, Dead End, and Wuthering Heights.

One of United Artists’ biggest stars of the 1930s was none other than

Mickey Mouse—yes, the early Mickey shorts from Walt Disney were released

through UA, along with Academy Award–winning animated shorts from the

studio like “Flowers and Trees,” “Three Little Pigs,” and “The Tortoise and

the Hare.”

Another formidable producer releasing through United Artists was David

O. Selznick; his successes at the time included A Star Is Born, Nothing Sacred,

The Prisoner of Zenda, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. UA had its first Oscar

Best Picture winner with Selznick’s 1940 drama Rebecca (directed by Alfred

Hitchcock), competing against four other UA releases that year: Hitchcock’s

Foreign Correspondent, Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, John Ford’s The Long

Voyage Home, and the movie of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. But

the relationship soon deteriorated, with UA suing Selznick over his deals with

RKO Pictures. As the ’40s progressed, United Artists struggled at the box

office, with the occasional bright performer like Howard Hawks’s Red River and

William Wellman’s The Story of G.I. Joe.

A robust new era commenced with the hiring of Arthur Krim (then head of

Eagle-Lion Films, best known for The Red Shoes) and Robert Benjamin as UA’s

42 AUGUST 2019


new co-chairmen in 1951. Their business plan was

to fund independent producers; unlike other top

distributors, United Artists never actually owned a

studio facility. In their first year, United Artists released

two enduring (and profitable) classics: John

Huston’s The African Queen and Fred Zinnemann’s

High Noon.

Krim and Benjamin consolidated their power

when Chaplin sold his 25 percent stake in the

company to them for $1.1 million in 1955; the

next year, Mary Pickford sold her shares for $3

million. The company went public in 1957—and

it continued to attract top producers and directors:

Stanley Kramer, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger,

Burt Lancaster, Stanley Kubrick, and super-producers

Harold and Walter Mirisch, among others.

In 1959, the company also launched a television

division that produced such hits as “The Fugitive,”

“Gilligan’s Island,” and “The Patty Duke Show.”

United Artists earned consecutive Best Picture

Oscars in 1955 and 1956 with Marty and Around

the World in 80 Days, followed by Billy Wilder’s

The Apartment in 1960, Robert Wise and Jerome

Robbins’s West Side Story in 1961, Tony Richardson’s

Tom Jones in 1963, Norman Jewison’s In the

Heat of the Night in 1967, and John Schlesinger’s

X-rated Midnight Cowboy in 1969. In 1962, the

company launched one of the most successful and

enduring franchises in movie history, the James

Bond series, with Dr. No, followed by such spy hits

as From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball.

The early ’60s also introduced another popular

franchise, the Pink Panther comedies starring

Peter Sellers.

In 1967, Transamerica Corporation bought

98 percent of UA’s stock and installed David and

Arnold Picker as heads of the company. Their reign

was short-lived: Krim and Benjamin returned to

the top in 1970.

A landmark alliance was established in 1973

when United Artists began overseeing sales and

distribution of MGM’s films in North America.

The decade also marked a singular achievement for

UA, as it earned the Oscar for Best Picture in three

consecutive years: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

in 1975, Rocky in 1976, and Annie Hall in 1977.

Turbulence followed those triumphs. Battles

with Transamerica chief John R. Beckett prompted

Krim, Benjamin, and president Eric Pleskow

to leave United Artists and form Orion Pictures.

The new regime at United Artists enjoyed major

critical successes with Woody Allen’s Manhattan

and Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. But they also

backed the latest project from Oscar-winning Deer

Hunter director Michael Cimino, Heaven’s Gate,

which became one of the costliest flops in motion

picture history. Its

failure led Transamerica

to sell UA to Kirk

Kerkorian’s Tracinda

Corporation, which

also owned MGM.

The two brands were

merged as MGM/UA

Entertainment Company

in 1981.

From the 1980s

onward, United

Artists went through

a dizzying succession

of ownership changes.

In 1985, Ted Turner’s

Turner Broadcasting

System bought MGM/

UA primarily for its

film library; as part

of the deal, UA was

promptly sold back to

Kerkorian, who named

his new production

company (minus the MGM library) MGM/UA

Communications Company.

Despite hits like Moonstruck, Best Picture Oscar

winner Rain Man, and the Bond film The Living

Daylights, the new MGM/UA was hemorrhaging

money. In 1990, Italian financier Giancarlo

Parretti bought the company and combined it with

CLASSIC AD

Boxoffice, March 11, 1936

RUBY ANNIVERSAERY

In 1959, Boxoffice celebrated

UA’s 40th year with a

special 24-page section that

included a detailed history

and congratulatory messages

from Gregory Peck, John

Wayne, Stanley Kramer,

and many other Holywood

luminaries.

AUGUST 2019

43


another of his holdings,

rechristening the merged

entity as MGM-Pathé

Communications. But

in less than two years he

defaulted to his main

lender, Crédit Lyonnais.

The company was renamed

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Inc., and Crédit Lyonnais

hired executive John Calley

to try to revive United

Artists. The Calley years

brought us the hit comedy

The Birdcage, the Bond film

GoldenEye, Oscar-nominated

Leaving Las Vegas, and

the notorious Showgirls.

Calley left after Crédit

Lyonnais sold MGM back

to Kirk Kerkorian once

again in 1996. Then, in 1999, MGM acquired art house distributor The Samuel

Goldwyn Company and merged its operations with the United Artists arm.

UA was now a specialty studio run by October Films co-founder Bingham

Ray. During his tenure (2001–2004), United Artists released Michael Moore’s

Oscar-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine, foreign-language Oscar

winner No Man’s Land, and Oscar nominee Hotel Rwanda, among others.

Yet another shakeup came in 2005, when Sony, Comcast, and a group of

banks bought MGM (and its United Artists subsidiary) for $4.8 billion, Sony

took over MGM’s distribution activities, with Sony Pictures Classics acquiring

UA’s awards contender Capote. Within a year, however, MGM returned to

distribution, firming up deals with The Weinstein Company, Lakeshore Entertainment,

and other indie producers.

United Artists made headlines in 2006 with the announcement that Tom

Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner would be reviving the United

Artists brand. Cruise and Wagner were given 30 percent ownership of the studio

and were put in charge of production and development. The arrangement

resulted in two Cruise starring vehicles that failed to ignite the box office, Lions

for Lambs and Valkyrie. The Cruise-Wagner era lasted a mere two years.

In the ensuing decade, United Artists has had spare feature producing credits:

the James Bond film Skyfall, the 2009 remake of Fame, and Hot Tub Time

Machine and its sequel. Most of the company’s activity in the past five years

has been in television, through a deal with “Survivor” and “The Apprentice”

producer Mark Burnett, who was named CEO of the newly named United

Artists Media Group. But this year, yet another era for that famous name began

when MGM and Annapurna Pictures, already co-distributing their films, rebranded

as United Artists Releasing. To date, the new UAR has released Laika’s

animated Missing Link, the teen comedy Booksmart, Anne Hathaway farce The

Hustle, and the horror remake Child’s Play. Still to come are Richard Linklater’s

Where’d You Go, Bernadette; the animated The Addams Family; Legally Blonde

3; Bill & Ted Face the Music and … the 25th James Bond adventure. After 100

years, a legendary brand endures.

A HAVEN FOR DIRECTORS

>> “More stars than there are in heaven” was the

marketing catch phrase of MGM during its golden

heyday of Gable, Garbo, Tracy, Hepburn, Garland,

Crawford, and so many other legendary actors.

At United Artists, the stars were the directors, beginning

with two of its founders, Charlie Chaplin

and D.W. Griffith. UA’s inaugural year brought

Griffith’s Broken Blossoms, followed by such classics

as Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm.

And nearly all of Chaplin’s features were released

through United Artists, including The Gold Rush

(Boxoffice Classic Ad below), City Lights, Modern

Times, The Great Dictator, and Limelight.

In the 1930s and ’40s, long before the auteur

theory took hold, United Artists was a home for

many of the greatest auteurs in film history, among

them Alfred Hitchcock (the UA releases The Lady

Vanishes, Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, Spellbound

[see Boxoffice Classic Ad on next page],

and Rope), William Wyler (Dead End, Dodsworth,

Wuthering Heights, The Westerner), John Ford

(Stagecoach, The Long Voyage Home, The Hurricane),

Howard Hawks (Scarface, Come and Get It, Red

River), David Lean (In Which We Serve, Blithe Spirit,

Oliver Twist), Fritz Lang (Hangmen Also Die!,

The Woman in the Window), William Wellman

(Nothing Sacred, A Star Is Born, The Story of G.I.

Joe), Alexander and Zoltan Korda (The Private Life

44 AUGUST 2019


of Henry VIII, The Four

Feathers, The Jungle

Book, That Hamilton

Woman), and Michael

Powell and Emeric

Pressburger (The Thief

of Bagdad, One of Our

Aircraft Is Missing,

The Life and Death of

Colonel Blimp).

The tradition continued

even stronger

in the 1950s, when

producers Arthur B.

Krim and Robert Benjamin

took over the

company and signed a

number of high-profile

independent producerdirectors.

Their first

success was director

CLASSIC AD

Boxoffice, March 16, 1946

John Huston’s The African

Queen, produced

by Huston and Sam Spiegel’s company Horizon

Films. Subsequently, Huston’s Moulin Rouge, Beat

the Devil, Moby Dick, The Unforgiven, and The

Misfits were released by UA.

United Artists also firmed up relationships with

directors Otto Preminger (The Moon Is Blue, The

Man with the Golden Arm, Saint Joan, Exodus),

Robert Wise (Odds Against Tomorrow, Run Silent

Run Deep, UA Oscar winner West Side Story), and

John Frankenheimer (Birdman of Alcatraz, The

Manchurian Candidate, The Train), and released

the early films of Stanley Kubrick (Killer’s Kiss, The

Killing, Paths of Glory).

In 1957, United Artists launched one of its

most successful producer-director alliances with

the legendary Billy Wilder, who had severed his

long-running relationship with Paramount in

1954. Their first collaboration was the Agatha

Christie whodunit Witness for the Prosecution,

followed by comedy classic Some Like It Hot; Oscar

winner The Apartment; One, Two, Three; Irma la

Douce; Legion of Decency–condemned Kiss Me,

Stupid; The Fortune Cookie; The Private Life of

Sherlock Holmes; and Avanti!

Another durable producer-director at United

Artists was Stanley Kramer, known for his social

conscience in films like The Defiant Ones, Inherit

the Wind, On the Beach, and Judgment at Nuremberg,

plus the all-star comedy extravaganza It’s a

Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

United Artists introduced an

entirely new genre in 1964—the

“spaghetti western”—thanks to its

handling of the films of Sergio Leone:

A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few

Dollars More; The Good, The Bad

and the Ugly, and Duck, You Sucker.

Also in the mid-’60s, the company

began a long-running relationship

with director Norman Jewison,

which brought us The Russians Are

Coming! The Russians Are Coming!,

The Thomas Crown Affair, Fiddler

on the Roof, Rollerball, and Oscar

winner In the Heat of the Night.

Jewison’s editor on In the Heat

of the Night, Hal Ashby, became a

director in 1970, and four films from his 10-year

hot streak were released by United Artists: The

Landlord, Bound for Glory, Coming Home, and Being

There. And one year later, UA began a nine-year

relationship with Woody Allen, starting with Bananas

and including Sleeper, Manhattan, Love and

Death, Stardust Memories, and Oscar winner Annie

Hall. Allen remained loyal to UA chiefs Krim and

Benjamin when they left to form Orion Pictures

in 1978: Orion was Allen’s home throughout the

1980s. —K.L.

CLASSIC AD

Boxoffice, March 22, 1942

AUGUST 2019

45


UNITED ARTISTS: THE EXHIBITOR

>> For many veteran moviegoers, the name United Artists Theatres is just

as familiar as that of the studio that produced so many Oscar-winning films.

The separate exhibition company bearing the United Artists name was created

in 1924 when Joseph Schenck joined UA as president and partnered with

Mary Pickford and Charles Chaplin on the purchase and construction of a

chain of movie theaters. In December 1927, United Artists Theatres unveiled

its flagship in downtown Los Angeles, a Spanish Gothic movie palace featuring

a huge mural depicting an array of Hollywood stars in costume, including

Pickford and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and Gloria Swanson. The tallest

privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956, the United Artists Theatre

is today the Ace Hotel.

At the same time, United Artists Theatres also opened a palace in Detroit

and a remodeled cinema in Chicago—the beginnings of a chain that continued

to expand.

The UA chain was acquired in the late 1940s by San Francisco exhibitors

Robert and Marshall Naify. The UA offices remained in San Francisco until

1988, when the circuit was bought by Tele-Communications Inc., who moved

headquarters to Englewood, Colorado. That same year, UA Theatres acquired

the Sameric chain of cinemas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

In 1992, Tele-Communications sold the chain in a leveraged buyout deal

with UA management, abetted by Merilll Lynch. In 2001, during a period of

financial instability for the cinema business, United Artists Theatres declared

bankruptcy, along with several other circuits. Investor Philip Anschutz combined

UA’s assets with those of two other bankrupt chains, Regal Cinemas and

Edwards Theatres, to form Regal Entertainment Group. Today, the United

Artists name lives on at locations such as the Regal UA Berkeley 7 in California;

the Regal UA Galaxy 14 in Indianapolis; the Regal UA Snowden Square

Stadium 14 in Columbia, Maryland; and the Regal UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium

14 in Brooklyn, New York. —K.L.

THE LEGACY OF UA CLASSICS

>> Its heyday was brief, but its legacy remains

strong to this day. United Artists Classics, initially

a label for rereleases of UA library titles, became

a first-run specialty distributor in 1981, led by

Nathaniel T. Kwit. Over the next three years, the

banner released films by François Truffaut (The

Last Metro, The Woman Next Door), Rainer Werner

Fassbinder (Lola, Lili Marleen, Veronika Voss), Robert

Altman (Streamers), Jean-Luc Godard (Passion),

Andrzej Wajda (Man of Iron), Jean-Jacques Beineix

(Diva), Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (The Night of the

Shooting Stars), Eric Rohmer (Le Beau Mariage),

Lindsay Anderson (Britannia Hospital), Peter

Greenaway (The Draughtman’s Contract), and John

Sayles (Lianna), among others. A notable sleeper

success was Phillip Borsos’s The Grey Fox, starring

Golden Globe nominee Richard Farnsworth.

Tom Bernard was head of sales and Ira Deutchman

was head of marketing; they were later joined

by Michael Barker and Donna Gigliotti. In 1982,

Deutchman left United Artists Classics to co-found

Cinecom Pictures, whose six-year run brought audiences

Stop Making Sense, Swimming to Cambodia,

and Oscar Best Picture nominee A Room with a

View. Deutchman was later a co-founder of New

Line Cinema’s specialty division Fine Line Features,

distributor of The Player, Short Cuts, Hoop

Dreams, and My Own Private Idaho.

In 1983, following a dispute with their bosses

at UA, Bernard, Barker, and Gigliotti left to take

the reins of Orion Pictures’ newly formed specialty

label, Orion Classics, joined by Marcie Bloom.

(UA Classics was rebranded MGM/UA Classics

and released nine features after their departure.)

Among their many art house successes at Orion

were Pauline at the Beach, Another Country, Ran,

My Beautiful Laundrette, Manon of the Spring,

Babette’s Feast, Wings of Desire, Women on the Verge

of a Nervous Breakdown, Camille Claudel, Slacker,

and Raise the Red Lantern. Then, in late 1991, Bernard,

Barker, and Bloom left Orion to form Sony

Pictures Classics, one of the foremost specialty

film distributors of the past three decades. For her

part, Gigliotti became an Oscar-winning producer

(Shakespeare in Love, Silver Linings Playbook, Hidden

Figures) and was the co-producer of this year’s

Academy Awards ceremony.

United Artists Classics had a short run, but the

impact of its graduates on the world of specialty

film is incalculable. —K.L.

46 AUGUST 2019


1919 CELEBRATING A CENTURY 2019

A New Era

MGM’S JONATHAN GLICKMAN DISCUSSES

THE REBRANDED UNITED ARTISTS RELEASING

BY KEVIN LALLY

The venerable United Artists name was given new life this February when

MGM, Annapurna Pictures, and Orion Pictures rebranded their joint distribution

operation as United Artists Releasing. So far this year, UAR has released

Laika’s animated Missing Link, acclaimed teen comedy Booksmart, The Hustle,

and Child’s Play.

The executive team overseeing and advising United Artists Releasing includes

Annapurna CEO Megan Ellison, MGM Motion Picture Group president Jonathan

Glickman, MGM COO Chris Brearton, UA COO Pam Kunath, Annapurna distribution

chief Erik Lomis, and Orion Pictures distribution head Kevin Wilson.

Glickman, the onetime president of Spyglass Entertainment, has been leading

MGM’s film division since 2011, helping to bring the James Bond series to new

box office heights and reviving the Rocky franchise with Creed. In this exclusive

interview, Glickman reflects on the new era for United Artists.

JONATHAN GLICKMAN

What does the United Artists name mean

to you?

As a lifetime fan of films in general, I believe

United Artists means quality just across the board.

I grew up knowing that great logo in the ’70s on

some of my favorite films, whether it was Rocky or

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—so many of those

fantastic films that I grew up with. Then, as you

start talking about the history, there are the Billy

Wilder films, In the Heat of the Night, West Side

Story. United Artists stands for art that is created

by the artist without much interference from the

studio in general, and I still think it represents

that. That’s why people gravitate toward the

name—they know it means that the artists are in

charge of the creative process across the board, and

we still think it has that value.

Can you talk a little bit about the thinking behind

the rebranding as United Artists Releasing?

What we wanted to do was bring the name

back into the culture as an active concern rather

than a legacy title and a legacy brand. It coincides

with our joint venture in distribution to say, here is

a releasing arm that is going to release all different

types of movies, that’s going to give the filmmakers

much greater say in how their films are marketed

and distributed. It’s not a huge distribution and

marketing team with offices all over the world—

we don’t feel like you need to do that any longer,

because the scale has changed with the world of

technology. It offers the filmmakers an opportunity

to work hand-in-hand with the marketing and distribution

teams in terms of dating and promotional

materials and gives the people who are making

the films, whether it’s through MGM, Annapurna,

or third parties, the opportunity to have their films

released in a mainstream way and with the best

people working on them, with a bespoke campaign

for each film that they deliver. And what better

name than United Artists to symbolize that?

Can you give a little background on how the

MGM-Annapurna alliance came about?

This administration came into MGM about

nine years ago. It came out of bankruptcy, so we

had to sort of build it from scratch—we like to

call it a 95-year-old start-up on some level. At first

we needed to start getting films made; then as we

got on our feet, we realized in this environment

there are issues such as dating and controlling your

marketing campaigns and release patterns, especially

in the domestic market, which triggers the

worldwide market on many levels. So we needed

to have control of domestic distribution. Megan

had set up her own distribution service for her own

films at Annapurna, but to really be powerful you

have to have the scale of double digits of films,

into the mid-teens and higher, to be able to supply

exhibition. They certainly needed more scale, and

[for us] it was great to have an organization that

was already set up, especially given that many of

the people who were working with Megan at Annapurna

had worked with MGM or were people

we had relationships with in the past. So it was a

natural fit. [The combination] allowed us to have

48 AUGUST 2019


a diverse slate. So you could have a movie like Vice

or Sorry to Bother You, as well as movies like Creed

or James Bond.

You must be very proud of what has happened

during your tenure with the James Bond

series—it’s bigger than ever. What’s the secret

to its revival?

I think that it all goes back to [longtime

producers] Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli,

who are committed to not making the same

movie twice and to changing with the times and

to pushing the boundaries. They know there’s an

audience that loves James Bond and wants them to

deliver on what the promise of a James Bond film

is, but they’re also willing to push it, whether it’s in

terms of the directors—an Academy Award–winning

director like Sam Mendes or Cary Fukunaga,

the first American-born [Bond] filmmaker—or in

terms of cast, whether it’s Javier Bardem or Rami

Malek, both Academy Award winners, [the kind of

talent] who weren’t traditionally involved in Bond

movies of the past. There’s certainly a lot to talk

about regarding the realpolitik in the world right

now, so there are thematic issues that keep it modern.

But also Barbara and Michael are very intent

on making sure that the films stay modern in how

they look and in terms of how they’re cast—there’s

a very diverse cast in this [new] picture, because

clearly the audience wants to see themselves represented.

They just keep pushing it forward and don’t

rest on their laurels.

Do you have a long-range vision for the

franchise beyond its star, Daniel Craig?

Well, again, it’s Barbara and Michael’s [franchise]—almost

like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,

where I sort of serve at the pleasure of those two

as to when they want to make films. I think they

certainly do not see any imminent end to the

franchise—they want to keep it going and going

and going. And the good news is that they are

willing to push and take the chances that allowed

the franchise to continue to evolve and not become

stale. So any time they want to make a movie, we’re

here to make it—they don’t have to worry about

finding a partner with us on it. But ultimately they

have the creative say about when they’re ready to

do it. And that is the United Artists spirit—obviously,

this was a United Artists deal that Albert

Broccoli made with Arthur Krim back in the early

’60s, but we have had that spirit with quite a lot of

the filmmakers who made these movies, whether

it’s Irwin Winkler or Barbara and Michael or

Walter Mirisch. These are the producers that built

United Artists, and they did so by having a strong

voice regarding what made a movie great and what

made a movie relevant, and it isn’t lost on us. And

I’m fortunate enough to continue to work with

all three of those teams, as well as many more that

built this studio. It’s a privilege, and there’s a lot of

responsibility to making sure that the tradition that

those guys created is still [maintained] here.

I’m sure another point of pride for you is how

the whole Rocky franchise was reimagined in a

MICHAEL B. JORDAN AS

ADONIS CREED

AUGUST 2019

49


CLASSIC AD

From the Oct. 31, 1977

issue of Boxoffice

very dramatic way.

Will there be another

Creed film?

Yes, there will definitely

be another Creed

film—we’re working on

it now, and in fact there

may be another Rocky

film on its own as well.

That’s another franchise

that both Sylvester

Stallone and Irwin

Winkler are completely

open to reimagining in

a way that’s relevant for

today’s audiences. We’re

fortunate that they

are still both very committed

to continuing

those legacies.

When we came in,

there were a lot of pitches we were hearing for

Rocky films, none of which really made sense.

They all felt either formulaic or a real stretch on

some level that it didn’t feel necessarily like the

Rocky that I grew up with or that people around

the world love. And it was Ryan Coogler, on his

own, who came up with this notion. On some

levels, I know people feel like it was pretty radical

to go to Apollo Creed’s son and take the franchise

in that direction, but it was so authentic that it

seemed to be a no-brainer for all of us—and obviously,

it worked. Again, using the United Artists

spirit, it took a passionate filmmaker—Ryan

Coogler—to convince two other passionate filmmakers—Sylvester

Stallone and Irwin Winkler—

that this was the right direction for the franchise

and there would be an audience for it.

So there may also be another Rocky film

focused mainly on Sylvester Stallone?

We’ve kicked around some ideas. We’re not

there yet, but we certainly are hoping to do that

as well.

What other upcoming projects from United

Artists Releasing have big potential?

We’re very excited about The Addams Family,

which is the first self-produced animated movie

that MGM has made. That’s coming out this Halloween

season, October 11. It’s a lot of fun, and we

are excited about bringing that back to audiences

around the world in a different form with a great

filmmaker, Conrad Vernon.

United Artists Releasing has also taken on

Orion Pictures, another classic label that we are

fortunate enough to be involved with. Those films

are lower budgeted [for] genre specialty audiences.

We have a film coming out in early February called

Gretel and Hansel, an original film directed by Oz

Perkins that is a female-empowerment, insane

gonzo retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story that

we think is special. And, of course, we have James

Bond coming out worldwide in April.

So those are the focuses right now. We have

many other films that we’re working on. We have

Valley Girl, an Orion title that is being updated as

a jukebox musical with all of your favorite songs

from the ’80s. That comes out Valentine’s Day.

We have another Legally Blonde film, and we are

making Respect, which is the Aretha Franklin story

that stars Jennifer Hudson, who was personally

chosen by Ms. Franklin to play her. It’s directed by

a spectacular theater director named Liesl Tommy.

That starts production this fall and will come out

next August.

I also want you to know how seriously we take

the United Artists legacy. When we walk into

our offices, there’s a shelf of at least 40 Academy

Award–winning United Artists films ranging from

Marty to Rocky to Tom Jones to Annie Hall. And

they are there to remind you of the great heritage

and history, and the fact that we have several of

the filmmakers who were integral [to that success]:

Michael Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Irwin Winkler,

Walter Mirisch, who’s probably responsible for 20

percent of those Academy Awards. It’s something

that we don’t take lightly—we take it very, very seriously.

When I’m downtown and I see the United

Artists marquee on the theater at the Ace Hotel, it

gives me goose bumps to know that we’re involved

with this legacy still to this day.

People always start to panic when franchise

films don’t perform as expected. What’s

your view of the future of the theatrical

movie business?

It’s not that the business has completely

slumped this year—business is actually pretty

strong overall. I am optimistic about the future

of the business, but I do think things are going

to need to evolve in the coming period. I think

we have to start looking at how to broaden the

base of theatergoers. People are able to stay at

50 AUGUST 2019


home and get a lot of selection for a relatively

economical price. So we have to make it economically

possible for these people to go to

the movies, which I think is part of the reason

why it’s become tougher for some of the riskier

films, the original films. People don’t know really

what they’re going to get till they show up at the

theater, because it’s not based on a franchise that

they know. I’m confident that we’ll start seeing

an evolution. The subscription model is a great

start that we see exhibition taking on. I think

that we have to make it not just more appealing

in terms of the experience of the theater but

also more affordable. Just widen the base of the

filmgoer, and I think if that happens you’ll start

to see a greater array of films that people associate

with the theatrical experience, bringing back

newer audiences to the theater as well. I think

it’s essential that exhibition and content creators

start working together, realizing that the patterns

have changed and how do we adjust together to

make it work.

This might be the toughest question: What are

some of your favorite United Artists films from

these past hundred years?

Well, it’s very hard for me not to say Rocky, just

because it’s probably the movie that made me want

to be in the movie business more than any other

picture. I saw it with my father around January

1977 and walked out of that theater as energized

and excited as by any movie I’d ever seen in my

life. It’s such an incredible honor to be involved in

that franchise.

I love so many of these films that it’s hard for

me to really narrow them down. I love The Apartment,

my favorite romantic comedy. I love One

Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Annie Hall, Carrie. I

love War Games, which is one of the great movies

of the ’80s. What’s fantastic is the library is so

deep. Not a day goes by when somebody doesn’t

call me about, hey, can we do something with Wild

in the Streets or some title that we own. Actually,

I probably should have led with my favorite

movie ever made, Sweet Smell of Success. I have a

big black-and-white still behind my desk of Tony

Curtis on the streets of New York as they’re filming

on location. It’s probably the studio that I have

the most affinity for, because of all these unbelievable

filmmakers who have stood the test of time

and done their best work there because they were

allowed to run free.

CARA MIA!

Charlize Theron voices

Morticia Addams and

Oscar Isaac is the voice

of Gomez Addams in The

Addams Family, opening

October 11.

AUGUST 2019

51


1919 CELEBRATING A CENTURY 2019

Forging Her Own Path

UNITED ARTISTS CO-FOUNDER MARY PICKFORD

IS MUCH MORE THAN ‘THE GIRL WITH THE CURLS’

BY REBECCA PAHLE

>> America’s Sweetheart. The Girl with the

Curls. The Biograph Girl. None of the

nicknames commonly given to Mary

Pickford, one of the most popular

stars of the silent era, really conveys

the most fundamental fact about

her: Mary Pickford was one hell of

a savvy businesswoman.

Born in 1892 in Toronto,

Canada, Pickford became a film

star in an era when there was no

template for Hollywood superstardom—when

“Hollywood” didn’t

exist, film wasn’t taken seriously as

an industry, and actors often weren’t

even credited by name. In 1912 Pickford

was on the first-ever cover of the first-ever

fan magazine, Photoplay. Throughout the teens,

films like Hearts Adrift, Tess of the Storm Country, The

Poor Little Rich Girl, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm cemented

her fan following—and her value to studios. Unwilling to let

studio executives rack up big paychecks without paying her her

worth, Pickford would routinely switch between

studios, accruing better deals for herself along

the way.

“In the late teens, when Mary finally

had the ability to hire her own directors

and her own writers, she hired

Frances Marion as her exclusive

screenwriter,” says film historian

Cari Beauchamp, who works with

The Mary Pickford Foundation.

“Mary and Frances worked hand

in hand in creating the characters

the Girl with the Curls, Pollyanna,

Poor Little Rich Girl, and

oftentimes adapting popular books.”

Another key woman in Pickford’s life

was her mother/business manager, Charlotte.

Beauchamp recounts an anecdote

involving Pickford’s fellow silent-screen star

Mary inspires us to step out of our

comfort zone and rebel against the status

quo. She bucked gender norms, pushed artistic

limits, and redefined her image on her own terms.

If only she could see the parade of women flooding

through the door that she pried open in Hollywood.

What a legacy.

–Cassidy Lange

Co-President of Production, MGM

Gloria Swanson, who supposedly once said that

“Charlotte Pickford could count heads in

a theater audience quicker than anyone

else in the business.”

Pickford eventually landed at

Famous Players-Lasky, which later

became Paramount Pictures. Its

founder, Adolph Zukor, favored

the process of block booking. If

a theater wanted the latest from

Pickford or her future spouse

and fellow superstar, Douglas

Fairbanks, they would also have

to pony up for all the studio’s other

films, which were inevitably of (putting

it politely) variable quality. “When

Mary and Doug and Charlie [Chaplin]

traveled the country selling war bonds, that

was when it really hit them: They were bringing out

thousands and thousands of people to see them. ‘Wow: We really

have power here. Why are we carrying all these other people

along with us?’” Beauchamp says.

Independent theaters banded together and created

a cooperative—later a studio—called First

National, with Pickford the first major

name to sign. First National was shortlived,

but Pickford’s desire to have full

creative control over her projects was

not. In 1919, Pickford—along with

Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and

D.W. Griffith—formed United

Artists. It was, notes Beauchamp,

very definitely a risk. “They

were very careful, but there’s no

question they were risking their

stardom. There was another actress,

Clara Kimball Young, a huge star

in the late teens and early ’20s. She

formed her own company, and within a

year and a half she was bankrupt.”

The risk was especially real for Pickford,

52 AUGUST 2019


Mary Pickford is an inspiration to women today, especially to me, being a woman

at MGM. She helped me believe that hard work pays off, no matter what gender

you are. I keep that in my mind each day, and I hope it remains an example for

women of all generations. –Lori Silfen, EVP Head of Music, MGM

explains Beauchamp “There was no other actress who parlayed

her success into producing, creating United Artists. It was not

just to maximize the income, but it was also to

protect her ability to control her own product.

One of the things that happened to some

of these women actresses in the teens,

they were typecast so quickly. Once the

profits were maximized,” the studios

would move on to the next actress. As

a part of UA, Pickford would control

not just her image but other aspects

of the films she produced. Beauchamp

tells a story about an assistant director

at Pickford-Fairbanks Studios laying out the

difference between Pickford and her husband:

“Doug would just say, ‘Oh, get the best

lighting people you can get!’ And

Mary would come along and say,

‘Wait, you have three electricians

working today. Couldn’t we make

do with two?’”

Mary Pickford made her final

film in 1933: Secrets, a Frank

Borzage talkie with Leslie Howard.

Popular wisdom would have

it that Pickford, no longer the

“modern woman” that audiences

wanted to see on the silver screen,

slid gracefully into retirement.

That, Beauchamp emphasizes, is

decidedly not the case. She stayed

active with United Artists well

into the 1950s, “bringing in people

or advising people and choosing

films and how much to spend on

them.” She had a separate production

arm with Jesse Lasky, with whom she produced

several films. Those films “had nothing

to do with her. But she would read the script,

help choose the directors, etc. She was very

active in that,” explains Beauchamp.

Pickford was an integral part of the wider film industry as

well. She was one of the 36 original members of the Academy

of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, founded in 1927. She

was an early proponent of an Academy Museum. She was a

co-founder and very active member of what is today the

Motion Picture Television Fund, a charitable organization

built to help film professionals in dire financial

straits. Pickford, in fact, devoted much of her time and

resources to philanthropy, donating her famous Pickfair—the

mansion she shared with Fairbanks when they

were married—for “dozens of events each year,” says

Beauchamp. This was a place thought of as the “Western

White House,” the “Buckingham Palace of America”—but

instead of selling it after her divorce, she would

regularly donate it as a site for parties for blind

veterans. “Sometimes she’d be there, sometimes

she wouldn’t. But she’d open it up. She’d pay

for the catering. She would take care of different

things, because she knew the cachet

of having a charity event at Pickfair was

immeasurable,” says Beauchamp.

“The more I learn about Mary, the more

respect I have for her, because of the wide

array of hats she wore and what she was

able to pull off, very much at certain points

alone, and certainly oftentimes the only

female voice in the room,” says Beauchamp.

“One of the things I really admire about her

is that she never forgot the poverty of her early

years. The Motion Picture Television Fund

was started by her putting out buckets on the

set—‘Hey, give me spare pennies! We have

to take care of our own.’ In the minutes of

[a] United Artists [meeting], somebody

said, ‘Well, we can cut back here. We can

cut back there.’ And Mary says, ‘Wait a

minute. These are employees who have

been working with us for at least a decade,

if not more. They are counting

on us. These are our people. I love

them. We have to protect them.’”

AUGUST 2019

53


TECH TALK

BY REBECCA PAHLE AND VASSILIKI MALOUCHOU

PHOTO: CINEMARK

THE STATE OF SOLAR

FROM INDEPENDENTS TO MAJOR CHAINS,

SOLAR ENERGY IS FINDING ITS PLACE IN THE SUN

>> “Twenty years ago, when I started this job, we were

looking at solar and it was almost a joke. People would say,

‘Twenty years ago, solar was twenty years away. Now here

we are twenty years later, and solar is ten years away.” Art

Justice, Cinemark’s executive in charge of energy management

since 1999, has seen solar-powered movie theaters

go from a sunny dream to something the exhibition industry

has actively—if cautiously—begun to embrace.

TURNING ON THE LIGHTS

In 2008, California-based Cinema

West made history by converting its

six-screen Fairfax Theater to solar power.

With its array of solar panels generating

27kW of electricity, the Fairfax became

the first solar-powered cinema in the nation.

A year later, Cinema West installed

80 modules—special cylindrical solar

panels to better withstand wind—on

the roof of the 13-screen Livermore

Cinema. In 2010, the chain broke its

record when the 55,000-square-foot,

16-screen Palladio Cinema dethroned

the Livermore as the largest American

solar-powered theater.

For Dave Corkill, president of Cinema

West, investing in solar was a means

to offset California’s increasing electricity

costs in a sustainable way. “[What]

movie theaters need to understand is

that there are longer-term investments

that need to be made in the business

that are viable both economically and

environmentally. Solar energy is among

those things,” says Corkill. The transition

to solar, he admits, wasn’t cheap.

But, by generating 30 to 40 percent of

the required electricity for its trio of

theaters, the solar arrays saved Cinema

West enough money on its electric bills

that the chain recouped its investments

within a seven- to ten-year period.

Today, Cinema West still has the same

three locations using solar energy, all in

California, where skyrocketing utility

costs and the eternal sunshine make such

a transition to solar particularly attractive.

While Cinema West was breaking

new ground, Texas-based Cinemark was

getting ready to make its own jump. For

decades, the chain has flown under the

radar as a pioneer in the area of sustainability.

Justice, whose current title is vice

president of energy and sustainability,

started out in 1999 by “investigating how

the deregulation of the electricity market

in Texas would impact us. It evolved from

there. Since that time I’ve been responsible

for implementing energy-efficiency

projects such as lighting, HVAC, and

upgraded energy-management systems.”

For solar, Justice explained, Cinemark

always knew they wanted “five-year

payback” on investment, which “in the

early 2000s wasn’t really reality.” But the

price of solar panels started to drop, and

states began to introduce tax incentives

and grants. In 2011, the time was right

for Cinemark to open its first solar system

in Utah. At the time, “we wanted to do a

[solar] system, but the challenge was finding

one that met our payback criteria. We

got a $50,000 grant to do a small system

in Utah,” recalls Justice. A solar array at

their Napa, California, location followed

in 2012. From there, Cinemark followed

the money.

“We just started looking around for

54 AUGUST 2019


other incentives,” Justice says. “We actually found

a really good incentive in Texas, even though energy

prices were low. That incentive, along with the

federal tax incentives, made the project attractive

and provided the payback we were looking for.”

Texas locations in 2013 and 2014 were followed

by another solar-equipped theater in Utah, where

there was “an incentive that we had to bid into.

We were awarded a site there.” A New York State

Research and Development Authority (NYSER-

DA) initiative got them to New York State, while

a renewable energy credit market made New Jersey

an attractive fit.

“If you step back in time a few years, solar projects

didn’t necessarily work everywhere, so we had

to be selective about where we did it,” says Justice.

“Over time, as prices have continued to drop, it’s

become easier to implement projects.” For some

locations, in fact, a state incentive wasn’t even

necessary for Cinemark to meet its five-year payback

goal. For any given theater, Justice estimates

that energy generated by solar accounts for 35 to

40 percent of the theater’s total energy consumption;

in some cases, that’s represented enough of a

savings for Cinemark to make back its investment

within its five-year goal.

Currently Cinemark has assembled a roster of

20 solar-equipped theaters spread across California,

New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Utah. The

chain is considering expanding its solar operations

to Connecticut. Justice says his hope is to add 10

to 15 solar-equipped theaters over the next several

years: “We don’t have those approved at this point,

but we’re in the process of the financial evaluation

of those projects.”

TO BATTERY OR NOT TO BATTERY

For decades solar has been intriguing but

financially out of reach, but the last handful of

years have seen more and more exhibitors—ranging

from independents to regional operations to

national chains like Cinemark—take the plunge.

Partially, this is due to changes in solar panels,

which have dropped in cost and risen in efficiency.

Solar panels were twice as expensive when

Cinema West got into solar almost 10 years ago,

notes Corkill. A 2017 Lazard report found that

an average-sized solar panel of 6kW cost $12,810

after tax credits, with a 2 percent drop in the last

two years and more than 60 percent in the last

decade. In addition, notes Ronald Harris, CEO of

California-based Aeterna Energy, “The efficiencies

of solar modules over the last 10 years have gone

up on average a total of 5 percent.”

But the real game changer, according to Harris,

is storage: the ability to install battery arrays to

store energy for future usage. Aeterna installed a

battery system at D’Place Entertainment’s Mary

Pickford 14 location, in Cathedral City, California,

which added a solar-energy plant with a battery

backup in 2018. Five of Cinemark’s solar-equipped

theaters use a similar system.

Harris lays it out: In California, energy prices

spike between 4 and 9 p.m. As coincidence would

have it, those are also movie theaters’ peak hours.

Batteries and energy storage allow theater owners

to divert excess energy produced during the day to

this peak time slot.

“Just when the theaters want to ramp up and

utilize power, they would have to pay a premium

rate if they’re getting that power from the utility

DEEP IN THE HEART

OF TEXAS

Cinemark brings the

power of the sun to Texas

movie theaters. Here,

the Cinemark Legacy

and XD in Plano puts its

roof to good use.

AUGUST 2019

55


TECH TALK

PHOTO: MARY SCHULTE/PHOTOMOMENTSKC

LET THE SUNSHINE IN

A solar array overhanging

Fridley’s Palms

Theatres and Imax

cinema gives moviegoers

a glimpse at some

of the tech Fridley has

invested in.

company,” says Harris. “With energy storage, they

can pull power from their own batteries during

that time. What that allows you to do is take that

solar power that’s being generated, and instead of

pushing all that extra power onto the utility grid to

use or pull back later [a process known as “net metering”],

you’re storing the power at your own site,

at your own facility, which is a huge cost savings.”

Battery storage systems open up additional

possibilities. At Cinemark’s battery-equipped locations,

for example, batteries “are actually charged

overnight from the grid, when electricity prices

are low, and then used in conjunction with solar

during the day,” explains Justice.

“The system is smart enough to realize, hey, we

may not generate enough power from solar tomorrow,

because it’s going to be cloudy, so let’s charge

the batteries on the grid at midnight,” says Damon

Rubio, operations manager at the Mary Pickford

14. The batteries pull relatively cheap energy from

the grid during off-peak hours, “and then during

the day when [the solar panels] are producing solar

that we’re using for our building, whatever solar’s

left that isn’t charging the batteries might get sold

back to the grid. We’re still getting credits for it.

No energy is being wasted in the system.”

Storage technology has been slowly growing

in the last five years. According to Harris, 95

percent of all energy storage has been installed

in lithium ion-based batteries, which come with

a variety of warranties and number of charging

cycles. The longer the

cycle, the longer the

time without having

any more capital

expenses. He believes

that batteries are the

way toward complete

independence from the

grid: “We can cover 90

percent or more of the

electrical usage of the

theater, and that’s 365

days a year. It might

take a little more time,

a little more tweaks,

but I think that eventually

we’ll get there.”

Justice calls the

combination of battery

and solar, with the

flexibility it gives theater owners in managing their

energy consumption, “kind of the holy grail.”

The holy grail, however, is still a ways off for most

theaters. As was the case with solar panels years

ago, battery systems are still prohibitively expensive

for some, though the prices are dropping. Most

solar-equipped theaters still exclusively use net

metering, whereby they feed the excess solar energy

they generate onto the electric grid, getting a credit

that goes toward the energy they pull off the grid

when the sun goes down.

This was the route that made the most sense for

Athens, Alabama’s Cinemagic Theatre, which combines

five indoor screens with an outdoor drive-in

location; “During the day our excess usage is fed

into the grid, and so we’re subtracting from our

total electric usage,” says owner Ralph Freehauf.

“And so at night when we are using the drive-in,

we’re drawing back in power from the grid when

there’s less demand for power on the grid itself.

We’re helping feed the grid during the day when

we’re not open or when the drive-in is not being

used. And we’re helping supply other people that

are taking power from the grid.” In the summer

months, bills that used to be between $3,500 and

$4,000 a month have gone down to about $2,500.

It’s been 11 years since Cinema West installed

its first solar array. And 11 years, in the world of

tech, is a lifetime. With prices dropping and tech

improving, solar is an increasingly viable solution

to the problem of high energy costs. But, as every-

56 AUGUST 2019


one Boxoffice spoke to for this piece emphasized,

it’s not the best solution for everyone. So what

makes solar a good fit—or a bad one?

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Of the states that are home to solar-equipped

movie theaters, by far the one most dotted with

solar panels is California. That’s not just due to

all that Cali sun; energy in California is expensive.

“The higher the cost of electricity, the better

the economics are for the theater,” says Aeterna’s

Harris. That explains why Corkill went for solar

in three of Cinema West’s California locations and

not the chain’s pair of theaters in Idaho: “Unfortunately,

it just isn’t economically feasible to install

solar power there, because the cost of electricity

is about one-third of the cost in Idaho as compared

to California. We haven’t been able to make

that economic model work. Different states have

different power companies. Sources of electricity

certainly weigh in on whether a business can make

sense of putting in a solar array and recouping the

cost of doing so.”

Depending on where your theater is located,

snow might also be a factor—as it is with Fridley

Theatres’ Waukee, Iowa-based Palms Theaters and

Imax location, which opened in the early months

of 2019. “We had a hard winter this year. We had

a lot of snow on top of the building in February.

Especially if it starts drifting up there, your

panels won’t produce at 100 percent,” explains

Fridley vice president Russell A. Vannorsdel. Since

attempting to clear the panels of ice might damage

them, the only thing to do is wait for the ice to

melt—which can happen even in sub-freezing temperatures

as long as the sun is out, what with the

whole solar-panels-being-built-to-collect-sun thing.

The snow issue, Vannorsdel says, is one they were

prepared for: “Fortunately, most solar companies

have modeling systems that can give you a really

good idea what to expect for your locality.”

Weather, be it sun or snow, isn’t the only factor.

The level of local competition plays a part, too.

“If you are in a place where your energy costs are

skyrocketing and you need to better be able to

control expenses, [upgrading to solar] is a better

use of your money than an upgrade to laser or

something that doesn’t necessarily make you any

more business,” argues Rubio of the Mary Pickford

14. However, “in a situation where you’re in

a competitive market and [are deciding between]

going to recliners and going to solar, well, recliners

might make more sense, in that there’s quicker

return on investment.”

Various local incentives—whether from the

state or a local utility provider—can go a long way

toward making the installation of solar feasible. (A

federal incentive, called the Investment Tax Credit,

was enacted in 2006, extended in 2015, and begins

decreasing after 2019.) “Tax credits helped quite a

bit” in the case of Cinema West’s trio of theaters,

notes Corkill. “They helped offset a large portion

of the cost. Certainly not all, but in some cases as

much as half.”

Cinemark, too, benefited from a California

incentive called SGIP (Self-Generation Incentive

Program) approximately five years ago. Money

from the program allowed Cinemark to partner

with Tesla and equip two of its California theaters

with battery arrays that otherwise would have been

too expensive.

PROPERTY PROBLEMS

Installing a solar array isn’t cheap, but it can

lower energy costs and increase the value of the

building it’s on. Without owning the property outright,

however, or at least having a long-term lease,

a theater owner making the jump to solar runs the

risk of losing something they’ve put a substantial

amount of time and money into just as it’s begun

making back its investment. Great for the property-owner,

not so much for the exhibitor.

Not owning a theater’s real estate doesn’t

prohibit one from going solar; it just requires

some serious discussions with the landlord. Such

was the case with Mary Pickford 14. “We had a

landlord who was behind us 100 percent, and we

were able to work out a great deal with them,” says

Rubio. “Since it’s a leased building, it would be

very odd for me to invest a lot of money in solar,

and then my lease runs out and I have to leave all

my solar equipment behind. What we had here

was a landlord who understood the numbers. He

worked with us and said, ‘OK, great, I will make

the investment in solar and do solar for you.’ How

he gets repaid is, rather than me paying my electric

bill, I pay him basically what I would have paid the

electric company. At some point, when it’s paid off,

we both benefit.”

“It’s not every landlord who is willing to do

that,” Rubio adds. “If you don’t own the building

outright, you have to work that detail out first.”

AUGUST 2019

57


TECH TALK

experience doing these

installations.” For their

electrical contracting

work, Fridley went

with family-owned

Perry Novak Electric,

which “obviously had

a very, very firm grip

on what was available

and what we could do

and how we could do

it within the state of

Iowa, because they’ve

had a lot of solar

installations there.”

BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

The Mary Pickford

14 brings a high-tech

solar energy plant with

a battery backup to

sunny Cathedral City,

California.

Such is the case with Cinemark, which outright

owns approximately a quarter of its solar-equipped

locations. “We’ve been able to work with some of

our landlords in various ways,” says Justice. “For

new locations, we try to get [an agreement on

solar] into the lease when it’s being negotiated.

… We’re working with a couple of landlords who

have done what I would call a community solar

project, where they worked with a developer on

their shopping center, and they sell us some of that

solar power.”

CONSTRUCTION CONCERNS

When it comes to property, ownership isn’t the

only issue.

The solar array at Fridley Theatres’ Palms location

has a warranty of 30 years. On the other hand,

explains Vannorsdel, “Most of your rubber roofs

have 15-year warranties on them. A lot of them,

if you maintain them well, can last 20 years.”

Replacing a roof with solar panels on it wasn’t the

most attractive prospect for Fridley execs, so they

opted to give the new-build theater “what our

roofer called a ‘roof on steroids.’ We also put some

hard boarding underneath it so it’d be able to easily

support the additional load.”

In transitioning to solar, Vannorsdel at Fridley

Theatres, Freehauf at Cinemagic, Corkill at

Cinema West, and Rubio at the Mary Pickford 14

all recommend choosing partners that, in Rubio’s

words, “understand your market and have had

UTILIZING UTILITIES

Going solar doesn’t

mean you’re off the

grid, either in the

literal or the figurative sense. Yes—you still have

to deal with your local utility company, especially

when you’re in research, planning, and construction

phases. Depending on how knowledgeable your

energy provider is with solar energy, this might take

a while. “There are interconnection rules in each

state, and depending on how well-versed [your utilities

provider is with solar], it could take a while to

get a system interconnected,” says Justice. “In other

words, you cannot operate that system on the grid

until you have that interconnection agreement with

your local utility company.”

That process is not always smooth. “Especially

as you move forward with the actual installation,

the utility companies don’t necessarily just say, ‘Oh

yeah, do whatever you want to do,’” says Rubio.

“They have very strict thoughts as to how things

should be hooked up and what kind of meters

it takes and what kind of connections there are.

You’re at the mercy of that.” And there’s not always

agreement within the utility company, which in the

case of the Mary Pickford 14 led to a delay in their

solar transition. One engineer gave their approval,

Rubio recalls, only for someone else to come

out and say they needed to make certain changes

before they could be supplied with a necessary meter—which

arrived two months later. “It was mind

boggling and frustrating but, as I’m told, kind of

par for the course. Basically, you find yourself at

the whim of certain people at the utility companies

and you have to find ways to work with them. The

58 AUGUST 2019


eality is, there’s always going to be a curveball

thrown and you just have to figure out the best

way to work through that.”

Until that day when it’s possible for a theater to

be entirely off the grid, Corkill explains, solar won’t

keep a cinema from being at least somewhat at the

mercy of utility companies and their rising rates:

“Regardless of what we produce, we are still tied

into a grid, and we’re dependent upon that grid for

the economic value that we need. And unfortunately,

despite all of these energy savings that have been

promoted by utility companies and by other places,

the electricity companies are going to make the same

profit whether or not they sell more or less electricity.

If they sell less electricity, they’re simply going to

go to the local municipal Public Utilities Commission

and ask for a rate increase to give them the

amount of money needed for them to make their

profits. I think in the future we’re going to continue

to see higher and higher rate increases. The only real

way to offset that is to get to a place where we can

produce 100 percent of what we consume.”

MARKETING MATTERS …

Once solar is installed, it can provide a good

marketing hook, a way to differentiate one’s theater

from competitors. “When we initially did this, we

put large information posters and actual monitors

in our movie theater lobbies to show the amount

of power that we were producing at any given

time,” says Corkill. “We spent a lot of money on

P.R. and advertising initially.”

Cinemark, too, has a “Sustainability” section

of its website where visitors can monitor the solar

energy being generated at their theaters. Solar

gives Cinemark “brand differentiation and brand

loyalty,” Justice notes. “We do get a lot of positive

feedback when people become aware of what we’re

doing.” The Mary Pickford 14 and the Fridley’s

Palms location also promote the fact that they

use solar; if they didn’t, no one would ever know,

because it’s not like you can see the panels. (Both

theaters, in addition to putting solar panels on

the roof, do have an additional solar array in the

vicinity of the parking area, where moviegoers can

see them.) Rubio and Vannorsdel both remark

upon a certain level of appreciation they get from

their customer base for being environmentally

conscious. Appreciation, though, isn’t the same as

ticket sales. Argues Rubio, “I don’t think [solar]

drives any traffic. It’s good P.R., but it’s not a

motivating factor for people wanting to necessarily

come to our theater.”

Ultimately, says Corkill, “movie theaters are

product driven. People go to the theaters because

of the movies you play there. They don’t necessarily

go there because of the investments in solar power.

We would hope that that would be something

people would embrace. And to some extent they

do. But at the end of the day, the people that come

through our doors come to see movies. Regardless

of whether or not the public buys more movie

tickets because we have solar power, our obligation

is to make a good business decision, number one,

and a good environmental decision in the process.”

... BUT MONEY MATTERS MORE

Solar is good for the environment. “Each

person is only on this planet for a short period

of time,” says Freehauf of Cinemagic. “Our lives

aren’t very long, and we just can’t use and use. We

have to put back some to help future generations.

That was my biggest motivation: To save some

electricity, of course, but also to try to save the

planet for future generations.”

It’s also good for brand identity, a factor that

Justice says he believes will grow in import as

consumers turn their eyes more toward sustainability:

“There will be more and more interest

[in solar] from investors as well as customers and

employees. That will significantly impact trust

and brand equity.”

But for most of the people Boxoffice spoke

to, the number one make-or-break factor for going

solar was simply this: Does it make long-term

financial sense?

“Rates always go up,” Rubio says. “You never

see rates go down.” Going solar at the Mary Pickford

14 brought “a stability to our cash flow. Every

now and then, there would be a heat wave, and a

month later we would be hit with a very large, unexpected

bill. That will never happen to me again.”

At its current stage, solar is not the universal

cure for the whopper of an energy bill. It takes a lot

of research—a lot of different conversations with a

lot of different people—to make that call for each

individual theater. “Do your research,” Vannorsdel

recommends. “Take an opportunity to speak to

others who have done it. Depending on what your

research tells you and your ability to capitalize, it

can make a lot of sense to do it even for midsize to

smaller operators.”

AUGUST 2019

59


ALL PHOTOS: EVENT CINEMA

>> Premium cinema gets an

“Instagrammable” twist with

Event Cinemas’ new Event

Boutique concept. Introduced

in June at the chain’s flagship

George Street location in Sydney,

per Event Hospitality & Entertainment

CEO Jane Hastings the Event

Boutique will “bring a new level of premium

to the cinema experience and build on

our commitment to offer a world of diverse cinema

experiences all under one roof.”

Event Cinemas already offers moviegoers at just

fewer than two dozen of its locations its Gold

Class-branded luxury experience, which pairs

a film with recliner seats, chair-side waiter

service, and an exclusive lounge for hobnobbing

before and after screenings. With Event

Boutique, things are taken a step further.

Two Boutique screening rooms, named The

Library and Paparazzi, feature a “bespoke

design aesthetic,” says Hastings, which are part

of Event Cinemas’ overarching goal of “creating

more immersive cinematic experiences.” The Library

seats 32 guests and Paparazzi 46.

Hastings explains the two themes: “The Library pays homage

to the art of storytelling and is inspired by the millions of stories

The

New

Boutique

Australia’s Event Cinemas

Introduces ‘Library’- and

‘Paparazzi’-Themed Cinemas

by Rebecca Pahle

“CONTINUING TO INNOVATE IS ENTRENCHED IN THE EVENT DNA”

the world over that come to

life on the big screen. Books

and scripts are where the story

unfolds, and the cinema is where

the narrative comes to life, so

it was a natural place to start for

Event Boutique.” The Paparazzi room

is a nod to “the glamour of the red carpet.

… We want all our guests to feel like

stars.” Both theaters will play a mix of blockbusters,

art house films, cult classics, foreign films, and

music events and are also available for private bookings.

The carefully curated design of Event Boutique’s theaters

is only one element of the premium experience

that Event Cinemas aims to provide. Edge Content

& Technology, Event Cinemas’ technology

department, opted for Christie’s 4325 RGB

laser projector and Dolby 7.1 audio, the latter

paired with new speakers from Krix.

As with Event Cinemas’ Gold Class experience,

a custom designed food and beverage

menu is an integral part of Event Boutique.

When it comes to crafting a dine-in experience,

Hastings cites Event Cinemas’ position as part of

Event Hospitality & Entertainment—which operates

hotels, restaurants, and bars in addition to cinemas—as a

distinct advantage.

60 AUGUST 2019


“We have a strong team of Australia’s

best chefs, restaurateurs, and sommeliers

across the Event group who have been

instrumental in delivering our customers

best-in-class food and beverage,” Hastings

notes. “The Event Boutique menu has

been designed in collaboration with some

of the best artisan and local producers to

deliver menus that continue to push the

boundaries of premium in-cinema dining.”

Food is delivered to moviegoers’ seats

with “a sense of surprise and theater.”

If high-class projection and audio,

expanded food and beverage options,

and luxury seating are key elements of

the Event Boutique’s overall experience,

it would be hard to deny that its standout

component is the theaters’ looks.

“Continuing to innovate is entrenched

in the Event DNA,” explains Hastings.

Here, part of the chain’s forward-thinking

attitude is acknowledging the influence of

social media.

The word “Instagrammable” was

front-and-center in Event Cinemas’

press release announcing Event Boutique;

as explained by Hastings, that

nod to social savvy—both the chain’s

and its customers’—is by no means

a one-off. “Social media is a critical

channel to engage customers. People are

increasingly looking for unique social

experiences,” she says. “We believe [in]

ensuring all you do is Instagrammable

so that customers want to share the

experience, enabling you to reach a

broader audience in an authentic way.

… Social [media] is one of the first

channels audiences [use to] discover

new and upcoming cinema content.

Our job as exhibitors is to sell cinema

experiences.”

For now, those who want to get their

Instagram on (not during the movie,

naturally) can visit The Library and Paparazzi

at Event Cinemas’ George Street

location in Sydney, Australia. A third

Event Boutique cinema is in development

in Newmarket, New Zealand, with an

opening date to be announced. The chain

plans to add additional Event Boutique

locations in both countries.

INDULGE YOUR INNER CARNIVORE AT THE EVENT BOUTIQUE

GET READY FOR YOUR CLOSE-UP AT EVENT BOUTIQUE’S PAPARAZZI CINEMA

SAY “CHEESE!” WITH EVENT BOUTIQUE’S EYE-CATCHING FOOD PRESENTATION

AUGUST 2019

61


Houston’s Star Cinema Grill debuts the largest

Samsung Onyx screen in the western hemisphere

at its new location

BY DANIEL LORIA

Texas is known as one of the most competitive

destinations for dine-in cinemas. As the home state

of several specialized circuits, it boasts a number

of options for patrons looking to enjoy dinner at

the movies. Dine-in cinema pioneers like Alamo

Drafthouse, Flix Brewhouse, (Marcus-owned) Movie

Tavern, and Studio Movie Grill were all founded

in the Lone Star State. Moviegoers in Texas have

an ample variety of options to choose from, whether it’s a dine-in

experience from a major circuit like Cinemark (which launched its

first CUT! by Cinemark location in Frisco, Texas, earlier this year) or

a high-end evening at one of the state’s three Ipic locations. With so

much competition, how does a relatively new player in Texas’s dinein

cinema scene stand out?

For Houston-based Star Cinema Grill, the

answer is simple: double down on the technology.

Already counting nine locations—eight in

Texas, one in Illinois, and a pair scheduled to open

in the coming months—Star Cinema Grill has

slowly been building its own niche within Texas’s

ultracompetitive dine-in cinema market. That isn’t

to say the food & beverage and hospitality aspects

take a back seat: The company’s ownership also operates

popular Houston restaurant State Fare under

its corporate umbrella.

“We are constantly trying to elevate our brand.

From the decor of our facilities to our food and

beverage, hospitality, and of course our technology,”

says Jason Ostrow, VP of development at Star

Cinema Grill. “We feel a great way to differentiate

ourselves is on the technology side. Over the

past couple of years we’ve made the transition to

laser projection technology and immersive sound

systems like Dolby Atmos. We were trying to find

something else that could differentiate our brand

from everybody else.”

That “something else” is none other than the

largest direct view LED cinema screen in the western

hemisphere.

Looking to make a splash at its newest location

in the Houston suburb of Richmond, Star Cinema

Grill began speaking with Samsung about bringing

its revolutionary Onyx screen to Texas in November

2018. The Star Cinema Grill team flew out to

Southern California to see the first commercially

installed Onyx screen in person, at the Pacific Winnetka

location in Chatsworth, California. They

were impressed by the 34-foot screen but encountered

a roadblock from their chief executive officer,

Omar Khan, when they returned to Houston.

“Omar Khan, the owner of the company, is

a go-big-or-go-home type of guy,” says Ostrow.

“We’re at this meeting and he tells Samsung, ‘I

want a bigger model. What else do you have?’

We had seen that they had a bigger version on a

spreadsheet but weren’t talking about it. Omar insisted,

‘I don’t want to talk about the smaller one. I

only want to talk about the big one.’”

The result is the first 46-foot direct view LED

cinema screen in the United States—an imposing,

massive screen with flawless visual resolution. The

screen is the obvious focal point of Star Cinema

Grill’s main auditorium in Richmond, one of 12

halls in a brand-new complex that more closely

62 AUGUST 2019


esembles the lobby of a high-end restaurant or

hotel at first glance. According to the Star Cinema

Grill team, this location represented an opportunity

to go all-out and create a first-class complex that

would turn heads in the market.

Apart from the Samsung Onyx, the cinema

features a complete suite of Dolby audio products

(from amplifiers to Dolby Atmos and SLS Audio

speakers), recliner seating by Inorca, Sony 4K laser

projectors, and Harkness screens. Each auditorium

has its own designated VIP row outfitted with

privacy pods from Inorca, a pair of seats enclosed

in a cubicle—akin to a first-class seat on an overnight

flight. Those seats come at an up-charge and

are only sold in pairs. It’s Star Cinema Grill’s first

incursion into premium-priced rows in each auditorium;

if successful, the circuit plans to expand

the concept to other locations.

“We stepped things up in every aspect,” says Ostrow.

“We have an all-Dolby audio system; we’re one

of the first theaters to use Dolby’s CP950 processors

and the DMA amplifiers. We went from seven or

eight amplifiers to one or two per auditorium. It was

the first time we tackled a dual-stack laser projector.

When the Samsung Onyx came into the mix, we

figured we might as well since we were already doing

all these other things for the first time. We wanted

to put as much into this building as we could, or at

least as much as time and money would allow.”

Installing all this technology was the next

challenge, a task that was assigned to the team at

Moving Image Technologies (MIT). “I can’t give

enough thanks to the team from MIT; they really

stepped up to the plate. It was far smoother than

we had anticipated, considering the scale of the

project,” says Samsung’s Nick Conti, business

development senior manager for the company’s

cinema division.

One of the most striking aspects of the Star

Cinema Grill’s new location is the decision to feature

laser projectors, a dual stack laser auditorium,

and Samsung’s Onyx screen within the same complex.

That means each of the site’s 12 auditoriums

features premium image solutions, complemented

by Dolby’s audio suite, effectively embracing the

premium large format for the entire theater.

Ostrow admits it was one of his team’s biggest

fears: with the audiovisual bar set so high, would

audiences truly be able to tell the difference between

one premium format and another? Consumer

reaction suggests they can; a cursory glance

at the cinema’s reviews on Facebook, Google, and

Yelp turned up frequent positive mentions of the

Onyx auditorium. Granted, those impressions

might just as easily be the result of marketing

points earned for being a pioneering exhibitor

with the technology. In fact, being the first-tomarket

was part of the draw in taking a gamble on

Samsung’s premium-priced cinema screen. “We

GO BIG OR GO HOME

Samsung’s Onyx

screen is (literally) the

eye-catching main draw

at Star Cinema Grill’s

new Richmond location.

AUGUST 2019

63


LET’S ALL GO TO THE

LOBBY

A full bar with 18 beers

on tap awaits patrons in

the lobby.

BATHROOM BREAK

High-end design permeates

every corner of Star

Cinema Grill’s Richmond

location, including the

restrooms

FIRST CLASS CABIN

Inorca specially designed

designated VIP

cabins for couples who

want an upgraded experience

in the auditorium.

knew there would be a draw of attention we could get

from being on the forefront of what could be the next

thing in cinema,” admits Ostrow. “At the beginning,

our messaging was purely technical. Then we shifted

gears to marketing it from the innovation angle: this is

the biggest cinema LED screen in the western

hemisphere, and it’s here in your hometown—

come check it out.”

On a recent press visit to the site, I was surprised

to see how the guest experience relies on

a hospitality-conscious approach to the dine-in

cinema concept. From the ticket purchase to

pre–show time drinks at the lobby bar—featuring full

alcohol service and 18 beers on tap—to finding my way

to my seat, every part of my visit was met with careful

attention from the staff.

“It is one of the cores of our business—the hospitality,”

says Ostrow. “We model a lot of our business on

that experience of walking into a high-end hotel, where

the clerk or concierge can tell you about the amenities

of that facility and make you feel welcome and comfortable

from the first moment.”

Part of that training includes teaching the

cinema’s technical specifications as thoroughly as

the food and drink options on the menu. “We

quiz our staff about the technology in the facility,

make sure they know every detail, so when

guests come in, they can speak to that and help

sell that ticket to a premium auditorium,” continues

Ostrow. “We’ve really taken an aggressive

approach in-house to educating the thousands of people

coming through our doors who maybe didn’t even

know that we have this technology. It’s really exciting

to sit back and listen to the staff be excited about the

Onyx, Atmos, laser projectors, or the premium seating

pods—to listen to them talk about it passionately to

our guests. We believe that will ultimately influence a

guest choosing to experience those amenities.”

That trifecta of food, service, and technology is Star

Cinema Grill’s not-so-secret weapon in winning over

the public in its Richmond location. While the

attraction of Samsung’s Onyx screen has helped

put this dine-in circuit on the map, it’s certainly

not the only draw for local moviegoers. From

top to bottom, Star Cinema Grill’s Richmond

location is a reflection of how exhibition has

been raising the standard on the moviegoing

experience in recent years. Each seat is designed to be

the best seat in the house, regardless of any associated

upcharge. The real challenge will be in seeing which of

these premium concepts stand the test of time, both

within the circuit or the industry at large.

64 AUGUST 2019


CONVENTION RECAP

BY AYŞEGÜL ALGAN

PHOTO: © A. ALGAN

EUROPE’S EXHIBITION

LEADERS CONVENE IN

BARCELONA

HIGHLIGHTS FROM CINEEUROPE 2019

SHOWTIME

CineEurope’s 2019 trade

show floor, with its

more than 130 exhibitor-partners

>> The world’s leading exhibitors, studios, trade

bodies, and cinema vendors convened in Barcelona

June 17–20 for the latest edition of CineEurope.

Four intense days of panels, vendor presentations,

and studio lineups filled the week’s schedule and

set the stage for the next year of business in the

exhibition industry.

UNIC’s 28 territories combined for a cumulative

attendance of 1.29 billion admissions in 2018.

It was a successful year, according to UNIC CEO

Laura Houlgatte Abbott. “The significance of the

cinema experience in terms of ensuring access to

diverse and inclusive film content, via the highest-quality

means possible, cannot be overstated,”

she said during the event’s opening remarks. The

UNIC executive also shared her insights on the

impact of the recent European elections and the

impending institutional changes they’ll bring.

“Rest assured that UNIC will continue to play a

frontline role in engaging

with the European

institutions to ensure

that the interests of our

industry are not only

protected but celebrated,”

she said.

On a more global

scale, Houlgatte

Abbott also mentioned

the continued efforts

of the Global Cinema

Federation in giving

voice to the concerns

of cinema operators

the world over. She

confirmed that the federation—established

in 2017 by NATO,

UNIC, and some of

the world’s biggest exhibition

circuits—was

currently thriving, and

now includes members from 79 countries.

FROM MASS MARKETING TO CUSTOMIZATION

Digital marketing emerged as one of the hottest

topics discussed at this year’s CineEurope panels

and roundtables. A second digital revolution is in

our midst, as exhibitors step up their own efforts

to compete against offerings from home-entertainment

VOD services. According to Jane Hastings,

CEO of Australia’s Event Hospitality & Entertainment,

the industry is currently living through

a paradigm shift as exhibitors learn how to better

target their customers. Hastings cites her circuit’s

customer database as crucial in crafting ultra-targeted

digital marketing campaigns for upcoming

releases. “We are no longer addressing groups of

people, but people within different groups. It’s

the end of one-size-fits-all outreach,” she said in a

panel discussion.

Leveraging consumer data has led other

circuits, like U.K.’s Vue Cinemas, to experiment

with concepts like dynamic pricing. Tim Richards,

Vue’s founder and CEO, notes that his

circuit has been implementing different dynamicpricing

solutions since 2007, across different sites,

show times, days of the week, and even unpredictable

factors like weather forecasts. Vue has

66 AUGUST 2019


also begun seeing how they can apply this concept

with different audience segments.

PRICING & ATTENDANCE: DANGEROUS LIAISONS

By accepting the premise that people who

love movies will watch them anywhere they can

(whether it’s at the cinema or at home), we also

concede that cinemas are competing for consumers’

leisure time. Within that context, the

challenge posed by SVOD platforms has led

some of the world’s major multinational circuits

to explore launching their own subscription

programs—a concept that has been in place in

some European markets for over 20 years. Other

circuits, such as Mexican multinational chain

Cinépolis, aren’t as convinced by the subscription

trend. “Subscription is not a silver bullet. There’s

a risk of destroying a film’s value with the wrong

subscription pricing; it’s a complex mechanism

that needs close monitoring,” said Alejandro

Ramírez Magaña, CEO of Cinépolis. “They raise

the risk of destroying the value of a film in case

the subscription model is unsustainable. Ticket

prices need to be closely monitored.”

Fernando Evole, from Cinépolis’s Spanish

subsidiary, Yelmo Cines, agreed that pricing can

wield outsize influence on consumers. “The only

trigger to come to the cinema is the ticket price,

each customer having their own price point,” he

said. “The Fiesta del Cine we’ve been organizing

in Spain, twice a year for the last decade, attracts

millions of moviegoers, including new customers

from whom we try to collect the data to turn

into regulars.” The Fiesta del Cine, a nationwide

discount day organized twice a year that brings

millions of non-regular moviegoers back to Spanish

cinemas, has helped the country’s exhibitors

better connect with their audiences. The potential

of digital marketing was highly emphasized during

the week’s sessions, particularly when it comes to

increasing frequency among patrons.

TURNING DATA INTO ADMISSIONS

“Social networks are great tools to target

audiences, while digital has become a true pillar

that now represents around half of our marketing

budget,” said Xavier Albert, managing director

of Universal France, during a panel session at the

event. Seated beside him on the panel, Antoine

Gouiffes-Yan, chief marketing officer of France’s

CGR Cinémas, added that each of his circuit’s social

campaigns managed to successfully turn social

followers into ticket buyers. The real challenge, he

posits, now lies in convincing non-regular moviegoers

to return to theaters.

That challenge is compounded when it comes

to releasing films with inclusive representation.

Swedish American screenwriter Lisa Ohlin shared

in a panel session her own difficulties in marketing

a film with two older female leads, at a time when

studios tend to principally target male audiences.

“The more a cast is representative of a population,

the more this population goes to the movie; thus

the importance of getting everyone represented,”

she said.

At the core of this challenge is retaining frequency

among younger viewers. As Marine Suttle, chief

product officer of Webedia Movies Pro, stated in a

panel session, “When a 40-year-old doesn’t go to the

movies, it’s a missed opportunity; when a 15-yearold

doesn’t go, it’s a potential threat to the sector.”

Panelists at the event cited proposals such as

a greater diversity in programming, promoting

event cinema, and the broadcast of television series

season premieres and finales as potential solutions

to increase frequency among audiences.

DISTRIBUTION-EXHIBITION COLLABORATION

IN THE DIGITAL ERA

For Duncan Clark, president of distribution for

Universal Pictures International, sharing data will

become just as crucial as using it. “Data without

insight is just data,” he said. “Sharing it is not about

money; it’s about keeping the ball bouncing.”

“We are in the early phase of digital collaboration.

As distributors, we don’t have direct relation

to spectators, whereas exhibitors can really embody

the film for us, have a strong interaction with the

moviegoers. We should support that as distributors.

Platforms have this fantasy about having all the

data. Cinema chains have way more than that: an

outstanding source of data that translates into a faceto-face

interaction with their customers,” Clark continued.

“As the tools are more and more developed,

we’ll be able to support the exhibitor’s engagement

on social media with financial investment.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by CGR’s Antoine

Gouiffes-Yan: “At the end of the day, there’s nothing

better than the feedback from our on-site teams

on how moviegoers reacted to a campaign.”

ALEJANDRO RAMÍREZ

MAGAÑA

AUGUST 2019

67


ART HOUSE CONVERGENCE RECAP

BY ANDREAS FUCHS

ART HOUSES ASSEMBLE

REGIONAL PLAYERS CONVERGE

IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

WE’RE WALKING HERE

Russ Collins (far right),

executive director and

CEO, Michigan Theater

Foundation, gives

attendees a tour of his

theater.

>> The mission was clear. And they chose to

accept it: “The Future Is Theatrical.”

In mid-June, some 150 delegates convened in

Ann Arbor, in southeastern Michigan, with the

goal of “advancing excellence and sustainability in

community-based, mission-driven media exhibition.”

To augment the annual, full-scale Art House

Convergence (AHC) conference leading up to the

Sundance Film Festival each January, organizers

have hosted regional seminars since 2013.

“These vibrant gatherings facilitate in-depth case

studies and on-site learning and celebrate the community

impact of art houses around the world,” according

to an AHC statement. Turning these words

into actions quite effectively—and very graciously,

this reporter personally attests—AHC co-founder,

member, and parent organization Michigan Theater

Foundation delivered on the event’s promise “to

explore one of the most fundamental principles of

our work: community.”

In their welcome to delegates, Alison Kozberg

(AHC managing director), Makenzie Peecook

(AHC conference manager), and Russ Collins (host

and executive director/CEO, Michigan Theater

Foundation) said, “On-site, we see how our theaters

bring people together to share space and cinema, to

talk and learn.”

The Michigan Theater, which opened in 1928

and presents both cinema and live events, and its

nearby sister film venue with four screens, the State

Theatre, circa 1942, provided classic settings for

the conference. Together, these venues bring over

300,000 guests to downtown Ann Arbor annually,

Russ Collins noted during “Art House Tales on

Location,” one of the

most popular sessions

of any AHC. The saga

of the Michigan Theater

Foundation, which

celebrates its 40th

anniversary this year, is

replete with drama and

excitement, from the

threat of demolition

and/or conversion to a

food court to renovations

and restorations,

fundraising and

membership drives,

great live performances

and memorable movies, and myriad challenges for

its board and business culture. Collins also led an

informative behind-the-scenes tour of the Michigan

Theater’s two film auditoriums and support spaces.

The steps leading up to the December 2017

reopening of the State merited its own breakout

session. Collins, alongside project chair and board

member Hillary Murt and architectural/operational

consultant Paul Richardson, provided “Practical

Tips for Preservation and Renovation.” The panelists

offered insights into capital campaigns (106

donors contributed $7 million, with “the last million

being the hardest to get”), and laid out design

opportunities and construction challenges (including

a $300,000 escalator), all while recounting

“how to avoid the mishaps along the way.” Amazingly,

the former main-floor orchestra, converted to

retail back in 1987, remained open throughout the

entire reconfiguration. Two balcony theaters were

rebuilt (correcting some very crooked sight lines in

the process) and lobby space added, while carving

out two additional auditoria—and more room for

much needed infrastructure—in the unused air

space in front of the original proscenium.

Both venues are located within strolling distance

of each other at the downtown center of this thriving

cultural hub of 100,000-plus residents. Ann

Arbor is home to the University of Michigan and

known for the headquarters of Domino’s Pizza, as

well as the very first store in the now-defunct Borders

bookstore chain and the one-and-only location

of Zingerman’s Delicatessen. While the latter did

not provide food for noshing, they delivered plenty

of fuel for thought. Their “Zing Train” trainer and

68 AUGUST 2019


visioning specialist,

Elnian Gilbert, talked

about “Creating a Vision

of Greatness” in the art

house—or in any other

business, for that matter.

Vividly imagining how

one would like things to

be, she observed, “applies

on any scale, from

articulating the future

of your organization in

20 years to figuring out

a successful in-house

event.” This combination

of the practical (“Learn

HUMBLE BRAG

The State Theatre rightfully toots its own horn in a presentation slide.

how to integrate vision into your day-to-day”) and the inspirational

(“… and then get going”) was the running theme of the

entire event.

More practical tips were offered in staffing and human resources,

with a focus on “Leading a Values-Driven Team.” That

focus, according to presenter Karen Andrews, will assure that

any organization’s core values and principles become an integral

part of its “personality.” (Nice

not to hear about the typical

notion of “brand.”)

In their respective roles as

chief development officer and

membership and marketing/

programming directors at the

Michigan Theater Foundation,

Lee Berry, Amber Duncan, and

Ariel Wan told attendees that

their film centers and programming

“need and deserve the

public’s support, because they

contribute to the well-being

of their communities.” With

a database of over 25,000 and

some 7,000 members and

500-plus high-level donors

“to advocate for their local art

house,” the session’s goal of “Cultivating a Community of Loyal

Supporters (and Donors)” certainly seems to have been achieved.

“Donors tap into vision,” they said, and their “contributions are

more about passion for what we do than about tax deductibility.”

More handy advice on fundraising? Add a donation option with

every online ticketing transaction. And, “if you want/need money,

the first step is to ask.”

Among the AHC members who encouraged colleagues to

In addition to the welcome staff and management at the

State and Michigan theaters, several sponsors and friends

of exhibition offered libations and other support. Whether

they provide ticketing and credit card–processing solutions,

fair-trade and healthy snacks, seating options or cinema

advertising, the lineup of AHC partners in Ann Arbor represented

a perfect match of products for art houses and

other upscale cinema operations.

Here is our list in alphabetical order: Agile Ticketing Solutions

(the name says it all), Amazon Studios, Art House

Cinema (solutions for ticketing, marketing, fundraising,

membership, and point-of-sale), Casablanca Ventures

(named after the favorite film of owner Wynn Salisch), Irwin

Seating Company (purveyor of custom designs to make

historic surroundings shine), Neon Releasing, Spotlight

Cinema Networks (cool gifts and even cooler pre-show), and

Veezi (“Power to the Independents”).

“Think Outside of the

Box (and Your Building)”

were program curators

from Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania (Lightbox

Film Center at International

House), and Nashville,

Tennessee (Belcourt

Theatre). The roundtable

suggested that scheduling

off-site screenings and

events, such as Cinema

Circus and educational

outreach, creates valuable

relationships throughout

the region and helps art

houses to connect with new and different audiences. “Sometimes

the first step towards making your space more welcoming is leaving

it.” That presumes, of course, you have one already. For those

who do not, a parallel session asked if participants are “ready to

operate your first brick-and-mortar theater.”

The art house is a gathering space. But also very much about

its content—and the Ann Arbor Regional Convergence had

plenty to offer on that front,

too. Topics included “Curating

Cinema from the Arab World”

and “Programming Experimental

Films.” The kickoff

screening of Sundance 2019

World Cinema Grand Jury

Prize winner Honeyland was

hosted by Neon and well-chosen

to complement the very

first—and possibly most important—round

of discussion

points. Addressing “Environmental

Sustainability in the

Art House,” Alison Kozberg

stressed the importance of integrating

“the ideology of our

films into operations,” and not

just in view of the developing

ban on single-use straws and other plastics. Over the next year,

AHC will gather information about steps theaters are taking to

reduce waste, increase public awareness, and decrease their carbon

footprint, she confirmed.

Leaving Ann Arbor and looking toward Midway, Utah, next

January 20, the AHC’s 500-strong collection of art houses, film

festivals, and allied organizations certainly seems to be in good

hands. And with good spirits to match.

AUGUST 2019

69


Water World

VICTOR KOSSAKOVSKY’S AQUARELA SPANS OCEANS

AND LAKES AT 48 FRAMES PER SECOND

BY KEVIN LALLY

70 AUGUST 2019


One of the most unusual theatrical releases

this summer blockbuster season is Aquarela, a

90-minute documentary whose central subject

is not a human being or a living creature—or is

it? The focus of Victor Kossakovsky’s globe-spanning

project is water: a frozen lake in Siberia, the

icebergs of Greenland, the powerful waves of the

Atlantic Ocean, the floodwaters of Miami during

Hurricane Irma. Heightening the impact of Kossakovsky’s

often abstract imagery is his decision

to film in very high definition at 96 frames per

second. Sony Pictures Classics opens the doc in

New York and Los Angeles on August 16 and is

making an effort to screen it in select venues at

48 frames per second.

A native of Saint Petersburg, Kossakovsky has been

making experimental documentaries since 1989. His 1992

feature Belovy won numerous awards, including the VPRO

Joris Ivens Award and the Audience Award at the International

Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IFDA),

and his Vivan Las Antipodas! opened the 2011 Venice Film

Festival. His latest film was partly inspired by an episode

from Belovy in which he made a 1,000-kilometer journey in

a tiny boat from a small village in Russia to the North Sea.

Another inspiration: a visit to a house overlooking the Baltic

Sea. “I noticed that the sea was different every day, every

hour, even every minute,” he recalled. “I was never bored

because the water was never the same.”

PHOTO BY VICTOR KOSSAKOVSKY AND BEN BERNHARD; COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

RESCUING A SUNKEN SUV AT THE THAWING LAKE BAIKAL

VICTOR KOSSAKOVSKY

FILMING IN VENEZUELA

PHOTO BY STINE HEILMANN;

COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Interviewed by Skype, the convivial director recalls his

difficulty explaining his project to potential financiers until

social issue–oriented production company Participant

Media came along. “How do you convince people about

visual things? If you say it’s about water, they ask you: ‘OK,

but who is the character?’ And you say: ‘Water!’ ‘No, no, no,

who is the character?’ ‘Water is the character.’ ‘Water? But

what is the story? What happens?’ ‘Well, water goes from

ice to water to steam to the clouds to rain.’ ‘But what is the

story?’ People cannot get it. And of course if you say I want

to make it so every single shot contains water and every single

cut is motivated by that, they don’t understand. This was

the biggest challenge. But by luck, Participant understood

it—they saved the project.”

Kossakovsky adds, “They have a human agenda, but

they also have an agenda of quality. Most documentaries are

about issues, but let’s not forget we’re still cinema, still art,

still part of culture. It’s about the aesthetic imagination of

AUGUST 2019

71


PHOTO BY ALEKSANDR DUDAREV; COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

TORSUKATTAK FJORD,

DISKO BAY, GREENLAND

the filmmaker, not just as a citizen of the planet,

but as an artist. The fact that they responded for

me was just bliss.”

Kossakovsky’s first stop on his ambitious

world tour was the 395-mile-long Lake Baikal

in Siberia. Due to climate change, the ice on the

lake has been thawing earlier in the season and

faster, which has led to tragic consequences for a

shocking number of locals accustomed for years to

driving their cars across the vast lake. Kossakovsky

and his crew were there to witness one such

fatal accident, which they caught on film while

recording some area residents working to recover a

sunken SUV from beneath the ice.

“Accidentally we filmed this horror story,” the

director recalls. “So the whole idea of the film

changed completely. We understood that this

was just in front of us, the death of a real person,

and we could not continue the same way. Nine

people died there while we were shooting. It’s not

accidental, but it was just accidental for us because

we didn’t know. That lake is really big—it supplies

20 percent of the fresh water on the planet. It’s

frozen and transparent, and suddenly it develops

holes. And people are overconfident. People say, ‘I

was born here, I know the lake, you’re not going

to teach me.’

“Most filmmakers

would put this at the

end [of the picture],

but I said no, it happened

this way and

from this point I will

just follow intuition.”

In Greenland, Kossakovsky

and his crew

rode the Polski Hak,

a 100-foot expedition

schooner, and captured

remarkably close

and vivid images of

its imposing icebergs.

Next on the schedule

was a three-week

transatlantic crossing,

battling 30-foot ocean

waves that will awe

and unsettle viewers of

Aquarela. The production’s

high-def cameras

also recorded the overflowing

of the Oroville

Dam in California, a hazardous drive through

Miami during Hurricane Irma, and—in a more

tranquil mood—the wonders of Angel Falls, the

world’s tallest continuous waterfall, in Venezuela’s

Canaima National Park.

The film eschews narration but delivers an

unspoken environmental statement about the

monumental power of nature and the crisis

facing planet Earth. “I don’t believe in messages,”

Kossakovsky asserts. “First of all, we are creatures.

I believe our instincts are more important for us

than our intellect. That’s why I try to amaze you. I

have to fascinate, do something that will make you

go [takes deep breath]. And then you will see it. If

I tell you, you have to think about it, then I will

lose half the people immediately who don’t want

to think or have a different idea about it. I don’t

want to divide people who think this way or that

way. I want to make a film for everyone. I have to

appeal first to your heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re

Chinese, Japanese, American, or Russian. I just

want you to say wow. And when you say wow, you

might say we need to respect this planet. I’m not

a teacher. My job is to show. I don’t do messages.

I just open your eyes and show you something

you’ve never seen before. That is my goal.”

Regarding the dangerous situations he placed

72 AUGUST 2019


himself in to record those images, Kossakovsky

says it’s his duty. “I said to myself, listen, let’s be

honest. You are pretty rich, right? You’re very rich

in the [sense that] out of seven billion people in

the world you are privileged to do whatever you

want—even create a film about water. And people

finance it: German, English, American, Spanish,

Danish, Mexican people. They gave you money

to make this film. Then you have to say: OK, you

guys have been so generous to me, I will do something

you’d never be able to do yourself. I will go

to the limit of what I can do. In the documentary

world, I have this privilege to do exactly what I

want. And I have to pay it back. I have to go to

the limit.”

Kossakovsky’s philosophy of filmmaking

amounts to a kind of manifesto. He observes,

“In the last 70 years we have made an exceptional

situation for artists. The amount of film we

produce is so extraordinary, almost too much. So

this is why I will say I will not make many films.

I will only make exceptional films, unique films

no one else can do. That’s my goal. I say to all

my professional colleagues, we should not make

good films anymore—we have to make unbelievable

films, unique films. Otherwise, it’s intellectual

pollution.”

As for his decision to film at 96 frames per

second, “I made a previous film where I was

filming a young ballerina and she was turning,

and I realized that I could not see her face. I

just saw a blur. So I started to improvise with

speed. When it came time to do a film about

water, I wanted to see what water would look

like if I increased the amount of frames. I did

experiments in 48, 60, 72, 96, and 120 frames

per second. But there’s no computer that can

handle 96 frames, so we had to invent this

technology. We collected brains from the U.S.,

England, Germany, Spain. We came to the idea

that 96 is the most emotionally powerful image.

When big filmmakers and cameramen watch my

film now, I hope it will change the industry.”

To date, the director reports, Aquarela has had

three public screenings at 96 frames per second:

in Barcelona, Shanghai, and Finland. “Ninety-six

is a jump,” he says. “You see every drop of rain.”

He also notes that “shooting fast frame is not a

problem anymore,” explaining that many TV

commercials use high frame rates to capture their

products. The roadblock, he says, is the end destination,

exhibition.

… through the

natural lens of

water you can

see, experience

and feel the ebb

and flow of all

known human

emotions—

anger,

aggression,

peacefulness,

nobility,

loneliness,

jealousy …

everything! …

I want to film

every possible

emotion that can

be experienced

whilst interacting

with water:

beautiful

emotions along

with horrible

ones. Ecstasy

and inspiration,

destruction

and human

devastation.

–Victor Kossakosvky–

Asked about his inspirations, Kossakovsky

responds, “The best filmmaker for me would be

a combination of Chaplin and Tarkovsky. One

who is funny, full of life, full of human emotions,

tragedy and comedy all together, and one who

is a champion of cinema language. If I put them

together, that would be the perfect filmmaker. Of

the living people, I would say [Aleksandr] Sokurov

is one who is a scientist of the cinema, who thinks

in cinema language and can still surprise us.”

For Kossakovsky, filmmaking is very much

a learning process. “This is what I believe is the

purpose of making movies. If you know what

you want to say, don’t make film. If you want to

teach someone by making your film, don’t make

the film. If you want to say something, say it. Say

political speech, environmental speech, just do

political activities, human activities, whatever. But

if you don’t know something, this is the point to

make film. To make a film about what you understand

is not difficult. For me, it’s interesting when

I don’t understand and I don’t know, and when I

learn from a film it will change me. I don’t want

to change the planet or change people. I want to

change myself. I don’t want to make people better;

I want to make myself better in a way. And this

is the most perfect example. When I made this

film, I became a different person. I understood my

place. I understood that I’m just nothing compared

to nature. I understood that we are not the

most important creatures on the planet. We are

too self-confident, too proud. Arrogant. Everything

is for our comfort. And this is wrong. I was

amazed by the huge power this planet and its waterways

have. You could not finish this film and be

the same person. You see this film and you think: I

have to respect this planet and think about what I

can do not to spoil it or destroy it.”

With Sony Pictures Classics as distributor,

Aquarela is about to bring Victor Kossakovsky the

widest audience of his career—and he’s palpably

excited. “This is my biggest dream. The reality is

if your film is not shown in the U.S., your film

has never been shown. I have 100 prizes. So what?

Who needs them? Who knows me? No one. I

want only one thing: in the U.S., people standing

in line to buy tickets to my film and watch it with

Atmos sound and at 48 frames per second. And if

there’s a buzz in screens in the U.S., then everyone

will want to watch it. This is how it works in the

world. I’m so lucky that an artistic documentary

like this is being distributed.”

AUGUST 2019

73


Rain Man

SIMON CURTIS PRESENTS A DOG’S-EYE VIEW OF LIFE IN

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

BY JESSE RIFKIN

>> Films about dogs usually aim for

families, like Marley and Me or The Secret

Life of Pets. Films about car racing

usually aim for a young male audience,

like the Fast and the Furious franchise

or Need for Speed. But what about a

movie that combines both genres in

equal measure?

The Art of Racing in the Rain, in theaters

August 9, follows race car driver Denny

Swift (Milo Ventimiglia from the hit NBC

drama “This Is Us”) through his turbulent

racing career and his turbulent

love life with Eve (Amanda Seyfried).

But here’s the twist: every scene is

from the perspective of Denny’s dog,

Enzo, whose inner thoughts are voiced

by Kevin Costner. It’s based on the

best-selling book by Garth Stein, which

spent 156 weeks on The New York Times

best seller list.

What attracted you to this project?

I loved this book. I fought hard to direct

this film, six or seven years ago when

it was at a previous studio [Universal]. I

was rejected on that occasion. [Thomas

Bezucha, director of The Family Stone and

Monte Carlo, had already been hired.] I

was thrilled when I eventually got my

hands on it, because I think it’s a beautiful

film about so many things, but principally

a film about family. I have two daughters,

so obviously that was part of it.

What I loved about this story was how

we’ve seen so many films where there are

births and marriages and deaths—hundreds,

if not thousands of films. But

we’ve never seen those big personal family

events from the dog’s point of view. It was

really fun when we were shooting it to

place the camera in the dog’s position, to

see what a birth or a marriage would look

like three feet from the ground.

Do you have a favorite such dog shot

in the film?

That’s a good question. I love when

he looks up at Milo and Amanda kissing

for the first time as husband and wife.

When we were designing the set, we

were making sure windows were low

enough that we could get the angle from

the dog’s height. When you have a dog

in every scene, it’s definitely a challenge.

But we were very blessed with our dogs

and with our dog trainers.

Nonetheless, I like to rehearse each

scene before we film it, and you can’t really

rehearse with a dog. We would work

out how the dog would do A, B, C, and

D in the scene, breaking the scene down

into each of those actions. Once we’d

done that, we had to work out what we’d

do with the dog trainers, because they’d

be sitting right next to Milo on the film

set. It was like 3-D Sudoku, because you

74 AUGUST 2019


had to work out so many different levels

at the same time.

What are some of your best stories

from the set?

We would talk for ages about “How

are we going to get the dog to jump

through that window?” or “How are

we going to get the dog to pick up the

hat?” But time and time again, we were

gobsmacked that the dog would do what

was needed on the first take. So we got

through our schedules must faster than

we were expecting! [Laughs]

There’s a beautiful moment towards

the end of the film, where Milo says to

the dog, “You’re a good friend.” Quite

spontaneously, the dog responded by

just laying his head on Milo’s shoulder.

As a director watching that moment of

spontaneous acting? That shot is in the

final film.

How did you approach the source

material in this adaptation?

If I’m honest, the story first came

to my attention after having read the

screenplay that Patrick Dempsey had given

me. [Dempsey was originally attached

to star in the film several years ago.] I fell

in love with the story first through the

script by Mark Bomback, then began to

cherish Garth’s wonderful book.

The movie is pretty close [to the

book]. The voiceover is a huge part of

the success of the book, I believe. Enzo’s

voice is the secret sauce of both the book

and the film—his philosophical view of

the world, sometimes being so intuitive

and accurate, sometimes being so

wrong and so funny. Once we were lucky

enough to have Kevin Costner record the

voice of Enzo, we liked it even more, so

we added some lines.

What was the most challenging thing

about making this movie?

Making a film where a dog is in every

part, that’s challenging not only for me

but for the crew and for the actors. Milo

plays a character who’s very close to his

dog, but the dog also had to have a very

AT THE MOVIES

WITH SIMON CURTIS

MOVIEGOING MOMENT

The first thing that comes to

my mind is my dad taking

me to see Butch Cassidy and

the Sundance Kid. It was in

a small theater in South

London, and it was just a very

powerful experience. I hope

young people can feel the

same about cinema now as

I did then. That would have

been 1969, so I would have

been 9. I was really into it.

AT THE CONCESSIONS

STAND

I’m not a fan of popcorn.

I suppose my favorite

would be a hot dog. I don’t

like hearing people eating

popcorn when I’m watching.

close relationship with the trainer. So

balancing those two things was quite

tricky, because we didn’t want to undermine

the dog and his trainer, but it had

to seem like the dog’s primary attachment

was to Denny, played by Milo.

Also, doing a domestic family film

that also has a big racing element,

balancing those two things. Racing is

such a magnetic and, dare I say, machismo

world. I was very keen to make the

racing as exciting as possible, but not to

the detriment of the emotional heart of

the film.

Which films did you look to for

inspiration here—dog movies like

Marley and Me, racing movies, or

something else entirely?

It was a mixture of three things:

I watched every dog film I could. I

watched every racing film I could. But

the films that were of most influence to

me were the dramas I grew up loving

like Terms of Endearment, Kramer vs.

Kramer, and Ordinary People. They don’t

seem to make those films very much

anymore, about modern America and a

modern family. I was trying to fuse all of

those together.

Someone saw the film and said to

me, “That was the most exciting racing

scenes since Rush.” I was very proud of

that. Someone else said to me, “That was

the best dog performance I’ve ever seen.”

When we screened it, it’s the laughter

and the tears of the audience when seeing

the life of a family that most thrills me.

Why is it important for people to see

this on the big screen?

I watch a lot of things on streaming,

but everyone working on this film

thought of it as a big cinematic

experience, where the audience can

share the emotion and the ride. When

we had test screenings, hearing those

roars of laughter and hearing those

sniffles has been in support of that. I

do think of this as a cinema experience,

and I hope the audience comes, to keep

these films around.

AUGUST 2019

75


LITTLE ORPHAN THEO

Mrs. Barbour (Nicole

Kidman) does her best

to comfort the bereaved

Theo (Oakes Fegley)

in John Crowley’s The

Goldfinch

Cinema Gold

JOHN CROWLEY TAKES ON A LITERARY

BEHEMOTH WITH THE GOLDFINCH

BY REBECCA PAHLE

>> There’s always an element of risk in adapting

a beloved book. For every film that manages

to please its preexisting fan base (the Lord of the

Rings trilogy), there’s one that doesn’t (The Golden

Compass). There are no elves or talking polar bears

in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch—far from it—but

what it does have is a Pulitzer Prize, months on The

New York Times best seller list, and legions of avid

readers waiting to see whether Warner Bros.’ film

adaptation, out in North America on September

13, does its source material justice.

One of those avid readers is John Crowley, who

in 2016 was coming off quite the good year. His

fifth feature, Brooklyn, had been nominated for

three Oscars—including Best Picture—and was

named Best British Film at the BAFTAs. It was a

solid indie hit for Fox Searchlight, earning $38.3

million despite never cracking the 1,000-screen

barrier. “After I made Brooklyn, I had a meeting

at Warners, and they were asking me if there was

anything that they were developing that might

be of interest to me. And the only thing was The

Goldfinch,” he says. “I auditioned like hell for it.

Banging on the doors saying, ‘You have to let me

have a shot at convincing you why I am the best

person to direct it!’

“I had a very strong emotional reaction to the

core of the story and a very clear sense of what the

film should feel like,” the director continues. “It

was very clear what was original about Donna’s

message about culture and about story and her very

original way of examining grief and love and loss

and redemption.” By mid-2016, Warner Bros. was

sold on Crowley’s vision, and the word was out—

76 AUGUST 2019


the Brooklyn director would helm Peter Straughan’s

(Frank, “Wolf Hall”) script of The Goldfinch, about

a boy whose mother is killed in a terrorist attack

and who subsequently gets involved in the world of

antiques forgery. A talented cast subsequently took

shape, including Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright,

Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Denis O’Hare, Finn

Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”), Aneurin Barnard

(Dunkirk), and Ansel Elgort in the lead role of

Theo Decker, with Oakes Fegley (Pete’s Dragon) as

as his younger counterpart.

Coming in at slightly under 800 pages, Tartt’s

The Goldfinch is, in Crowley’s words, something

like “Dickensian novel. … You’re moving through

a young man’s whole life.” Naturally, things would

have to be cut. The question for Crowley and

Straughan was “what kind of piece of cinema is it

going to be, as opposed to just an adaptation.”

The solution was in intercutting between two

periods of Theo’s life—one, when he’s a 14-yearold

boy who’s lost his mother and subsequently

finds himself shunted between different caretakers;

and two, when he’s “a young man at a point when

the events that have trapped him are going to rattle

apart, and he’s either going to fall apart or have to

rescue himself. That cutting back creates a more

dreamlike reality.” Whereas Tartt’s novel is told in

a linear fashion, the film version of The Goldfinch

jumps back and forth between the two time lines,

in Crowley’s words allowing “the whole thing to

take on a cinematic personality.”

In part, Crowley explains, The Goldfinch is a

film about “doubleness and pairs—everything that

happens in the first half has its equal and opposite

in the second half. Sometimes somebody is

in the same position. Sometimes they’re the exact

opposite.” The two versions of the characters inform

each other, adding depth to the overall story.

The character of Mrs. Barbour, played by Nicole

Kidman, is “probably the clearest indication” of

this, says Crowley. As the matriarch of the family

that initially takes Theo in after the death of his

mother, she is “cold and emotionally withdrawn in

the first section. Then, in the second section, you

realize that her ‘perfect family’ was actually crumbling

all along. … In the second half, when adult

Theo comes back and meets her, she’s all emotion,

because life has snapped her in two.”

As someone who’s often been labeled “cold” by

the public—and whose resurgence over the last

several years has reminded people who may have

forgotten what an exceptional actress she is—Kidman

was a casting coup for this particular character.

“The quality of work that she’s been doing over

the last four or five years is just thrilling,” Crowley

says. “I loved working with her. She’s so exciting on

set, because she’s so hungry to keep digging further

into a scene from take to take. She’s happy to be

challenged by tricky material.”

Elgort, too, “dug inside” for a role that “pushed

him well out of his comfort zone in a way that

he was happy to do,” Crowley explains. In films

like Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars, and the

Divergent series, Elgort has heretofore mostly exuded

some variation of a “hip teen” image—but here, it

feels like he’s blossoming into an entirely different,

more mature actor. “It’s much more emotional,

tricky material,” says Crowley. “Right from his

earlier performances—he’s a film star! He can hold

a screen. A fascinating thing about him is that he

also can be at times held in to [the point of being]

almost illegible, and then [become] quite emotional.

And that’s what you

need for adult Theo.”

Not an actor on

the film—but all the

same a person who

had an enormous

impact on it—is

legendary director of

photography Roger

Deakins, whose

extensive filmography

includes No Country

for Old Men, Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption,

and Blade Runner 2049, the latter of which netted

him his first Best Achievement in Cinematography

Oscar after 13 nominations. About five months

after he’d been brought on board, Crowley recalls,

“obviously I asked about Roger. … I didn’t quite

believe it” when he was told Deakins was interested

in meeting.

“What can I say? He has given so much to

the film. I adored working with him from top to

bottom. He has an amazing eye and is a practical

craftsman. He works so hard. But he’s all about

character and story,” Crowley says. Crowley, Deakins,

and production designer and regular Spike

Jonze collaborator K.K. Barrett worked together to

craft the overall visual style of The Goldfinch, which

required several distinct looks, all tied to different

parts of Theo’s journey.

“You start out with a set of ideas, or an approach,

about the vividness and the distinction

The Goldfinch was made for the big

screen, which is maybe a perverse

thing to do nowadays, rather than

keeping one eye to ‘I wonder what

this would look like on an iPhone?’

AUGUST 2019

77


ALL GROWED UP

Baby Driver Ansel Elgort

steps up to more adult

roles in John Crowley’s

The Goldfinch.

between the worlds within the story,” Crowley

says. The Barbours’ Upper East Side apartment has

a “chilly quality,” whereas Theo’s next stop—the

antiques shop run by Hobie (Jeffrey Wright), who

teaches the boy the trade that eventually leads

to his life of crime—is characterized by “warm

clutter.” From there, Theo lands with his estranged

father (Luke Wilson) and his new girlfriend (Sarah

Paulson), who live on the outskirts of Las Vegas in

a desolate subdivision where most of the houses

have been foreclosed on and the desert sand is

slowly taking back the streets. Says Crowley, “I

wanted nothing in that house to look older than

those kids”—referring to Theo and his only friend,

Boris (first Finn Wolfhard of “Stranger Things,”

later Aneurin Barnard). “The whole section is, in

a way, almost like a parody of a family story. The

parents are never around. [The kids are] hanging

out in a playground, but there’s nothing to do other

than get stoned and drunk, basically. The swimming

pool never has water in it. … We nudged

ourselves towards a beige, dusty, washed-up quality

to everything.” Even the bright blue, cloudless

skies, Crowley explains, had to be shot so that they

were “in no way beautiful.” The action hops overseas

to Amsterdam—darkness offset by splashes of

color—where more

handheld shooting

echoes the “lack of

stability” in Theo’s life

at that point.

“I’ve never talked

more to a D.P.,” says

Crowley of his collaboration

with Deakins.

“We went through the

script day-in, day-out,

scene by scene together

in enormous detail.

The essence of it is

really trying to understand

the story from

the inside out. Really

big, fundamental

things come down to

very simple decisions.

That’s the emotional

toll and quality of

the film that you’re

making, and the point

of view. So you begin

to problem-solve in

that way, and that’s how we developed the [visual]

vocabulary [of the film].”

All that said—Crowley would really, really rather

you see The Goldfinch on the big screen. “The

independent [film landscape] is suffering a lot” in

the current moviemaking landscape, he opines,

and “it’s really rare and brave of Warner Bros. and

Amazon [Studios] to make this as a theatrical film,

because it’s just not the kind of stuff that studios

are running to nowadays. Let’s face it.”

“The Goldfinch was made for the big screen,

which is maybe a perverse thing to do nowadays,

rather than keeping one eye to ‘I wonder what

this would look like on an iPhone?’” he says with

a chuckle. “But I don’t want to think that way.

And certainly Roger doesn’t think that way, and

K.K. We’re all enamored of the experience of what

it feels like to watch a film on a big screen. It’s

a different emotional quality. … I think there’s

enormous integrity in making a big feature of this

story”—which, Crowley admits, with its many

characters and sprawling plotline, is exactly the sort

of thing that one could easily see as a peak TV, 10-

hour miniseries. “I think that’s missing the point,

missing the experience that you get when you see

something on the big screen.”

78 AUGUST 2019


TOP WOMEN

IN GLOBAL

EXHIBITION 2019

EDITED BY REBECCA PAHLE

Earlier this year, Boxoffice partnered with Celluloid Junkie to present the fourth annual

list of Top Women in Global Exhibition, published in our CinemaCon issue. Throughout

2019, Boxoffice will continue to honor the women who have an immeasurable impact on

the exhibition industry with a series of in-depth profiles. This issue, we span the globe,

ranging from Texas to Nigeria.

PART 3

IN THE

SERIES

CINEMARK

VALERIE SHORTALL

VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL

MARKETING

WANDA GIERHART

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GLOB-

AL CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

>> Cinemark recorded its fourth consecutive

year of record earnings in 2018, exceeding

$3 billion in revenue for the first time in its

history. The circuit enjoyed the success of its

subscription service, Cinemark Movie Club, the

first such service launched by a major chain in

the United States; since its debut, the program

has already accounted for over 13 million

tickets. Through their efforts in 41 U.S. states

and 15 Latin American countries, Shortall and

Gierhart have been crucial to Cinemark’s current

success.

What is the biggest challenge

facing exhibition in 2019?

Valerie Shortall: From my

perspective, the biggest challenge the exhibition

industry faces is convincing consumers to choose

to go to the movies rather than choose another

form of “out-of-home” entertainment. People’s

free time is precious, and there are endless disruptors

and options for consumers when it comes to

capturing their attention and time. For Cinemark,

the key is finding a way to break through those

disruptors. It’s not easy to engage consumers, but

when we do, Cinemark has curated an experience

that they’ll appreciate.

Wanda Gierhart: There are so many competing

forms of entertainment that theaters face daily.

From restaurant food culture and live entertainment

to sporting events, consumers are bombarded

with options. In order for theaters to survive, we

must evolve our experience to meet our customers’

entertainment needs and create memorable

moments, all the while maintaining engaging,

80 AUGUST 2019


memorable, and frictionless interactions. Our

industry is about making memories, whether it is

with family, a first date, or friends. At Cinemark

we have pushed the envelope with new entertainment

concepts such as our virtual reality experience,

the VOID, and our new dine-in concept,

CUT! by Cinemark. We constantly look for ways

to help our guests customize their experience, from

offering uniquely crafted, innovative food and beverage

options to Cinemark Movie Rewards, where

our digital subscription program allows members

to earn points in order to make their moviegoing

experience that much more memorable.

Valerie, before you were vice president of

international marketing, you served as the

director of domestic marketing. What lessons

from your earlier position have you been able

to take to the international side of things?

VS: Ten years ago, when I was in the U.S.

domestic sector, our marketing focus was mainly

on theater growth and strengthening studio partnerships.

Cinemark was opening anywhere from

about eight to 10 theaters (depending on the year),

forcing us to be very agile in our marketing strategy

in order to keep up with the fast pace. There

was also no one-size-fits-all market, which meant

our team had to evolve our efforts for each new

market based on their demographic. The core business

is very similar between domestic and international.

However, how to promote a new theater,

program, or amenity has nuances based on Latin

American regions and markets. Having worked in

so many U.S. cities while we were rapidly growing,

I was able to take those key learnings and effectively

apply them to the different cultures and markets

within Latin America.

What’s your proudest achievement from your

time so far at Cinemark?

VS: After 20 years in this industry, there are

many moments that I’m proud of, but the achievements

that meant the most are the programs and

initiatives I’ve been able to put in place when I was

in the domestic sector that are still in use today,

including the marketing activations around new

locations and partnering with the studios. I am also

very proud of the number of successful theaters my

team has opened over the years while in the domestic

sector. During my tenure, my team opened

at least 70 theaters domestically. My team was able

to adapt to not only a fast-growing company, but

a rapidly expanding industry and demand from

modern moviegoers. Regarding international, we

are moving quickly into an evolving e-commerce

and loyalty space, anticipating our customers’

needs. It has been great to implement new initiatives,

but also to see grow what was already put in

place by an amazing team around the region.

WG: One of my proudest achievements is

VALERIE SHORTALL

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TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

WANDA GIERHART

allowing myself to dig in to learn and understand

a new industry and bring my own knowledge and

experience to build upon its success. Throughout

this journey, I am proud that I’ve been able to

develop and grow an already good team to a great

multidiscipline department of marketing experts

by driving a digital transformation and bringing

new thinking to how our organization perceives

digital marketing. I’ve also been able to spearhead

the growth of an already robust e-commerce experience.

The month before I started, Cinemark team

developed Movie Club, an innovative first-to-market

exhibition-led subscription program. When I

began my role, I was able to lead the team to drive

the growth and be a part of relaunching the loyalty

program with Cinemark Movie Rewards in May of

this year, which includes a rebranded free tier Movie

Fan and the paid tier Movie Club. The initiatives

have truly made our loyalty program more cohesive,

understandable, and robust, which in return

creates a valuable experience for our customers.

How would you evaluate the progress women

have made in the exhibition business in the

past few years?

VS: We are seeing more female executives in the

exhibition industry, especially over the last several

years. However, I believe there is still progress to be

made overall. There are still inconsistencies in male

versus female roles across all levels. The industry

is beginning to move

in the right direction

by promoting women

into leadership roles.

Cinemark is focusing in

this area and identifying

top female talent

inside and outside

the organization. Our

industry’s consumers

are so diverse. Industry

leadership and

company makeup

should be as well,

including women of all

different backgrounds

in more high-level decision-making

conversations

from the start.

WG: I believe that

there has been great

progress the past couple of years, but there is still

progress that needs to be made—not only in our

industry, but across all industries. In the last few

years, I’ve witnessed more positive changes and shifts

happening that have helped lead the way for more

change. Here at Cinemark, we have made recent

significant women hires, including three women to

our board of directors and myself as a C-suite executive.

We’ve also developed a mentorship program,

launching this summer, to provide high-potential

women associates at Cinemark with a senior mentor,

with the goal of developing them for potential

leadership positions within the company. Outside of

Cinemark, there have also been recent changes with

our studio partners who have begun to promote

women to the C-suite positions as well. Ultimately,

the tides are turning within our industry, and I

look forward to witnessing the continued growth of

female leaders here at Cinemark and elsewhere.

Tell us about your mentors in this business.

VS: I have been in this business for 20 years

and have had some great mentors along the way,

inside and outside of Cinemark. When I was on

the U.S. side, one of the best pieces of advice I

received came from my colleagues at the studios.

I considered them (and still do) my work family,

and we would consistently bounce thoughts and

ideas off each other. We contributed to each other’s

growth, whether we realized it or not. As my career

82 AUGUST 2019


developed, one of my former bosses from the U.S.

side, Terrell Falk, taught me a lot about managing

a team. She also taught me that making mistakes is

OK, and what’s important is learning from them.

She taught me patience and not to expect people

to work at the same pace or with the same style.

More recently, (Cinemark International president)

Valmir Fernandes and Wanda Gierhart have,

from the day I met them, been great mentors to

me in my current role. I feel extremely lucky to

be working for two strong leaders who give sound

advice, not only in business, but personally as well.

I’m grateful to have learned immensely from people

with various backgrounds and areas of expertise. As

I am now helping spearhead the development of

the mentorship program at Cinemark, I am hoping

to pass my own knowledge and that of other senior

leaders along to others starting out in our industry.

WG: Since my time here at Cinemark, I have

been very fortunate to have had the opportunity

to learn from several veterans of this industry. In

particular, Cinemark’s CEO Mark Zoradi has been

extremely supportive and willing to take risks and

invest in my team and our work. Not only is he a

great listener, but he also encourages my team by

being our biggest cheerleader. He knows we will

fail at some things and grow wiser from them.

Additionally, all of our studio partners have

been extremely supportive of my transition to this

new role and have been great partners in helping

me learn this industry. Before coming to Cinemark,

I came from 25 years in omni-channel retail,

where I also had industry icons as mentors, such as

Karen Katz from NMG [Neiman Marcus Group],

who taught me universal truths I’ve carried with

me throughout my career. These universal truths

include always prioritizing the customer experience

by being able to spot trends, catering to customers’

needs, and being able to reach them how they want

to be reached. I’ve also developed relationships

with a great group of women C-suite leaders in different

industries; together, we challenge ourselves

in our professional and personal lives.

What advice would you give to women just

entering the movie exhibition business?

VS: I would tell women entering this business

that it’s an exciting time for them to be in this

industry and they should feel empowered to take

their seat at any table with confidence. I would also

advise that it takes diverse thoughtfulness to make

an impact on consumers. I want them to know

that their thoughts, viewpoints, and experience are

valuable, and they should not be afraid to try and

fail, because failing is how we learn and not a true

reflection of someone’s competence or ability. Lastly,

I want women in exhibition to believe that there

are many leaders, men and women, rooting for

them to succeed, so don’t be afraid to find someone

you admire and ask for advice.

WG: I would tell women entering this business

that this is a very exciting and fun industry

that’s transforming before our eyes. Women have a

needed and valued seat at the table, not just within

the C-suite but in all levels and roles across this

industry. Half of our customers are women, and it’s

important to include leaders who are can represent

their needs and ensure that their unique perspectives

are heard. I would also tell them not to be

afraid to challenge the status quo. The customer is

ever-evolving, and we need to stay ahead of their

wants. So do something that makes you uncomfortable

and you’ll learn something that you’ll be

able to bring back to your day-to-day role. I would

also remind women to be a lifelong learner, listen

and respect your teammates, and deliver on what

you say you will do. Most importantly, I would tell

anyone entering this business to remember to be

passionate and enjoy what you do.

What are the key accomplishments you would

still like to make during your time at Cinemark?

VS: Currently, I am part of a small team heading

up a new mentorship program at Cinemark for

women. My main goal for this program is for it to,

of course, be successful, but also to become very

robust by extending itself into not only Cinemark’s

domestic sector, but the international sectors as

well. Additionally, I would like to continue refining

and developing personalization for our consumers

by creating a very specific entertainment experience

for them each time they come to our theaters.

WG: I would love to continue building a personalized

journey for our customers. From the time

you think about what movie to see this weekend to

the time you get home, your Cinemark experience

should be tailored specifically to your needs and

frictionless at every interaction point.

Describe your ideal moviegoing experience.

VS: My ideal moviegoing experience would be

going to see a showing with my husband and kids

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TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

at Cinemark (naturally). We have four boys, and I

get a lot of personal joy witnessing their excitement

when we arrive at the theater. I love watching them

laugh, pick out their favorite snacks, and enjoy

themselves. Now, with Luxury Loungers in almost

all of our theaters, they bring their blankets with

them to add extra comfort. We also try to experience

the VOID before the show for some virtual

reality fun. For my family, the theater is dedicated

time together that lasts well into conversations

about the movie when it’s over.

WG: My ideal moviegoing would be with my

daughter for a girl’s night out. We would get our

popcorn, Twizzlers, and favorite drinks and watch

the latest blockbuster from the comfort of our

heated Cinemark Luxury Lounger seats. Afterwards,

we would talk about our favorite moments

all the way home. This is a tradition that brings

many fond memories to mind, from watching Disney

films with her as a little girl to now watching

romantic comedies with her as a teenager.

Can you describe a formative moviegoing

experience from your childhood?

VS: I remember seeing Rocky II with my dad

at a small theater in Dallas called Casa Linda

when I was around 6 years old. This theater was

a traditional-style theater built in 1945, with the

red velvet curtains. I remember he took me out

to the hallway during some of the boxing scenes,

so he must have been up and down a lot. Everyone

was standing, cheering, and applauding at

the final scene, and since we had been out in the

hallway at the time, I recall running back in with

my dad cheering and feeding off of the audience.

It was one of the most vivid memories I have as a

childhood movie experience, and it will live with

me forever as a special time with my dad. I also

believe that experience is one of the main reasons

why I love nothing more than seeing a movie with

an audience, where we all have a common reaction

to what’s on the screen.

WG: I grew up on a ranch in South Dakota,

and I remember one summer my mom took my

brothers, sisters, and me into town to watch the

Summer Kids Movie matinees with some friends.

Our local theater was a single-screen theater with a

balcony. I remember pushing those big red velvet

curtains aside and trying to find my friends in the

dark. We’d immerse ourselves into another world

as we watched the film together.

I remember

seeing Rocky II

with my dad at

a small theater

in Dallas called

Casa Linda when

I was around 6

years old. This

theater was a

traditional-style

theater built in

1945, with the red

velvet curtains.

I remember he

took me out

to the hallway

during some

of the boxing

scenes, so he

must have been

up and down

a lot.

Valerie Shortall

Another memory is that my grandfather ran

a one-screen theater, the only one for miles in

Crofton, Nebraska, in the late ’30s and ’40s. My

mother has so many stories of his theater—when

she and her sisters working the box office had to

wear bright red Chanel lipstick, and during Prohibition,

when he put a speakeasy in the basement!

He was clearly an early innovator in the food and

beverage category.

What can companies like Cinemark do to

encourage diversity within the exhibition

industry?

VS: It has to start from within each organization,

and especially from the top. I believe Cinemark

prioritizes diversity, which is very important

to our CEO, Mark Zoradi. We have a Diversity

and Inclusion Committee that represents different

lifestyles within that umbrella, such as work-life

balance and Pride (LBGTQ and allies). I was one

of the first members of the D&I program when it

first started, and it’s great to witness the continuous

actions put in place by the company to date. Our

industry curates such diverse products to an even

more diverse consumer base, that our business

demands diversity of thought in all sectors in order

to be successful long term.

WG: All the executive leadership, especially at

the top, must live and breathe Cinemark’s core

values and encourage all groups to act openly and

with equality. Our CEO, Mark Zoradi, is leading

this charge within Cinemark. Since his tenure, he

has appointed three women to our board of directors,

started a Diversity and Inclusion Committee

that celebrates many cultures and beliefs, and

instituted a women-focused mentorship program

to grow and encourage women leaders at different

levels within our organization.

With so many chains now investing in premium

amenities—luxury seating, PLF screens,

expanded dine-in options, and the like—what

can Cinemark do from a marketing perspective

to set themselves apart?

VS: I believe a combination of branding,

customer service, and experience sets Cinemark

apart from the rest. Our loyalty programs, both

domestically and internationally, provide rewards

for customers and build from a foundation of personalization.

By utilizing consumer data from our

programs, we can create a targeted experience for

84 AUGUST 2019


loyalty members, with offers based on their specific

preferences. By making personalization one of our

main priorities, we’re able to connect with our consumers

where they are, which truly sets us apart.

WG: Understanding what’s important to our

customers and creating programs based on their

needs is very important to Cinemark. In the past

few years we’ve created loyalty programs such as

Movie Club and Movie Fan—all of which live

under the Cinemark Movie Rewards umbrella—

and other surprising and delightful experiences

for our customers throughout their purchase

journey. We strive to make every touchpoint

frictionless and intuitive, from researching a

film and buying a ticket to how our lobbies and

theaters make them feel. I view marketing’s job

as the “chief customer advocate.” We need to be

there guiding the best experience possible across

disciplines and interactions.

VS: Cinemark fully supports local films, as

they are an important component to our international

business. We promote key local films the

same way we would any other, with a marketing

strategy that targets the right audience for the

film. In Latin America this year so far, local product

represents 6 percent of the total attendance,

with more great films still to come. For example,

last year Nada a Perder in Brazil was the second

largest film in the region behind Avengers: Infinity

War, so we are looking forward to Nada a Perder

2 later this year.

Ultimately, there is a huge focus to bring innovation

and spot-on customer experience to our

Latin American markets. By prioritizing personalization,

just as we do in the U.S., we’re able to

promote local films that our communities would

be invested in along with other blockbusters that

draw customers into the theaters.

What does Cinemark do to promote local films

in Latin American markets? How important is

the performance of local films to Cinemark’s

overall international strategy?

Cinemark has a reputation as a trend-setting

chain, particularly (but not exclusively) when

it comes to two things: early investment

in a subscription program and energy

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TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

sustainability. How does that affect the way

you and the team do your jobs?

WG: Cinemark prides itself on putting the

customer first. It was really invigorating during

my onboarding to hear that message so consistently

throughout all levels and roles. When you put

the customer first, you do the right thing. You put

yourself in their shoes and make changes to give

them what they actually want. For instance, our

subscription program Cinemark Movie Rewards

provides tremendous value to moviegoers. Additionally,

we listen to what issues matter most to

our customers, which is why we invest so much

in sustainability. My team is charged with leading

with heart, understanding human trends happening,

and creating ideas to deliver and exceed

customers’ expectations.

Wanda, before Cinemark you were at the

Neiman Marcus Group. At first glance they

seem like wildly different industries. What

skills transfer, and what about Cinemark have

you found unique?

WG: I have spent my entire career in omni-channel

retail, including the exhibition industry.

While traditional retail and movie theaters may sell

different products, at the end of the day, whether

through online or in-store, we are creating a great

experience for our customers. I often joke that

at Neiman Marcus we had all the designers like

Chanel, Gucci, and Prada, each with their own

business needs, personalities, and idiosyncrasies.

Now, at Cinemark, we have major studio partnerships

with companies like Disney, Warner Bros.,

and Universal, each with their own product, personalities,

and nuances. I won’t disclose how they

match up, but you can imagine.

The biggest difference in the exhibition industry

and retail is that movie theaters don’t have to buy

inventory. That is the greatest challenge for retail:

collecting inventory and managing the markdowns.

In the exhibition industry, the movies

go away and the candy and popcorn don’t need

markdowns. While the products are vastly different

between retail and the exhibition industry, the

most significant similarity is predicting how each

of those products, whether that’s the latest designer

line or the next big blockbuster, will appeal to

the modern consumer. Additionally, at the end of

the day, both retail shopping and moviegoing are

forms of entertainment.

FILMHOUSE CINEMAS

OZIOMA SAMMIE-OKPOSO

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

>> As the human resources manager at

Filmhouse Cinemas, one of Nigeria’s two

leading cinema chains, Ozioma Sammie-Okposo

(above) has a key role in an exciting emerging

market. For three consecutive years, the West

African territory has experienced doubledigit

admissions growth—a fact that didn’t go

unnoticed by NATO, which named Nigeria the

2019 Emerging Market Spotlight Award winner.

That growth is expected to continue; per Moses

Babatope, managing director of Filmhouse

affiliate FilmOne, the Nigerian market could

potentially grow from their current count of

approximately 200 screens to 5,000 over the

next decade.

How and when did you come to

work with Filmhouse? What line

of work were you in before?

I was with Odeon Cinemas in the United Kingdom

until the summer of 2010, when I moved

back to Nigeria to join the start-up management

team of Filmhouse Cinemas.

What drew you to the film business?

As a young adult just arriving in the U.K., I

needed a job. I also enjoyed seeing movies as a

hobby. So when I learnt of an opportunity at Ode-

86 AUGUST 2019


on, I grabbed it. Passion for the business grew over

time and I found myself more interested in the

H.R. aspect of the business and developed myself

in that area.

What is the biggest challenge facing the

Nigerian exhibition market in 2019? What is the

greatest opportunity?

As an emerging market, the challenges we face

are enormous, ranging from piracy to tax systems

to inadequate infrastructure. However, the Nigerian

market exudes untapped potential and opportunities

as a result of its massive appetite for film

entertainment. There are millions of film lovers

yet to have access to cinemas, and so business will

continue to thrive as we expand.

What is your proudest achievement of your

time so far at Filmhouse?

I feel fulfilled every time I see staff who have

developed under my tutelage to become outstanding

at their roles. Generally, I am excited about

how far we have come and how well we have

grown as a company into a major player in this

part of the world, especially given that I was key

throughout the process.

How would you evaluate the progress women

have made in the exhibition business in the

past few years?

I believe the film industry in Nigeria has been

one of the most fulfilling for the feminine gender.

In recent times, we have celebrated several successes

in production, distribution, and even exhibition.

Women have occupied strategic spots as front-liners

in the industry.

Can you tell us about some of your mentors in

this business?

I love to learn from people irrespective of their

positions. Generally, I’ll say that I am a product of

several influences.

What advice would you give to women just

entering the movie exhibition business?

I would say they should be confident in themselves,

because the opportunities are enormous for

those who are ready to take up challenges.

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TOP WOMEN IN GLOBAL EXHIBITION 2019

What are the key accomplishments you

would still like to make during your time at

Filmhouse?

I want to continue being a part of the building

process and help drive our goals to realization.

Describe your ideal moviegoing experience.

Seeing an intriguing film with a full pack of

crunchy popcorn, nachos, and a soft drink.

Can you describe a formative moviegoing

experience from your childhood?

Growing up, we had community cinemas which

were located at not-too-serene areas. So I did not do

so much moviegoing. However, I had fun watching

films from home, such as Conan the Barbarian, Red

Sonja, “Tom and Jerry,” Aladdin, Cinderella, as well

some Bollywood and early Nollywood films.

What can companies like Filmhouse do to

encourage diversity within the exhibition

industry?

Nontheatrical platforms are becoming an

important part of the exhibition industry. It is

important that stakeholders channel their resources

towards this sector to provide efficient options for

exhibiting film contents. The company, through

its distribution arm and sister companies FilmOne

and MyFilmhouse, have explored the ancillary

window for films as an approach towards maximizing

revenue. I think it’s time other players in the

industry do the same.

Filmhouse—and the Nigerian exhibition

industry as a whole—has been expanding

rapidly over the past several years. How

does that affect your role as Filmhouse’s H.R.

manager? How do you ensure that corporate

culture stays positive as the company grows?

As capacity increases, there will always be the

need for training, retraining, and effective communication,

which have been the responsibility

for me and my team recently. Currently, there is

a general focus on optimizing our service delivery

to reflect the strength of our brand. We try to

make every member of Filmhouse’s staff understand

that the company’s brand is reflected in the

way they take up their responsibilities. That has

been very beneficial in our efforts to maintain a

strong corporate culture.

CINEWORLD

RENANA TEPERBERG

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER &

DIRECTOR

>> Originally a cashier for Cinema

City International in 1997, Renana

Teperberg started at the bottom and

has worked her way up the company

during her 20-year career. Following

the merging of Cinema City with Cineworld,

Teperberg became senior vice

president of commercial before securing

her spot as chief commercial officer in

2016. Officially appointed an executive

director in 2018, she played a key role

in Cineworld’s acquisition of Regal. Teperberg

was also a driving force behind

the circuit’s 4DX and ScreenX rollouts.

With Cineworld’s most recent financial,

operational, and strategic results

showing an increase in revenue of 8.6

percent in the U.S. and with 13 further

sites having been opened in the U.S.,

U.K., and throughout the rest of the

world, Teperberg is clearly a key player

in the company’s future.

VOX CINEMAS

MICHELLE WALSH

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

>> Michelle Walsh looks back at more

than nine years’ experience with Majid

Al Futtaim Cinemas/ VOX Cinemas,

where as COO she oversees operations,

food and beverage, marketing, e-commerce,

technical operations, I.T., and

CSR functions. With VOX being the

most quickly expanding and leading

cinema chain in the region—having announced

a number of new developments

in Saudi Arabia earlier this year—Walsh

is tasked with cementing the company’s

position as a premium leisure and entertainment

destination.

CINAMON

TATIANA TOLSTAYA

CEO

>> Tatiana Tolstaya has made great

strides in her two years at CEO of the

Estonia- and Baltics-based Cinamon.

Tolstaya gathered separate cinemas into

one umbrella company; completely reformatted

the central management team;

established the Baltics’ largest screen with

an Imax addition in Tallinn, Estonia; automated

Cinamon with self-service ticket

and concessions kiosks and automated

gates; and recently expanded the cinema

chain to a fourth country: Finland. Tolstaya

has also now started the renovation

for the largest Cinamon locations in the

Baltics (Kaunas Mega and Riga Alfa).

88 AUGUST 2019


WHITE PAPER BROUGHT TO YOU BY

RETHINKING TARGETING

HOW UNTAPPED SEGMENTS DRIVE BOX OFFICE ADMISSIONS

>> “Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World, Mission: Impossible–

Fallout, Venom, Aquaman. These are just a few of the movies

that came out between March 2018 and February 2019. The

vast majority of these titles—not unlike the rest of that period’s

lineup—essentially target one core audience: young males under

the age of 25,” says Webedia Movies Pro CEO Julien Marcel.

It’s one of the unspoken rules of cinema, especially over the

last several decades as comic book movies have reached their

ascendency: Young men are where the money is.

But are they? That’s a question Webedia Movies Pro, in

collaboration with Vertigo Research, set out to answer in a new

white paper, available in full at: bit.ly/32BMMip.

The study paints a more comprehensive picture, one in

which women under 25 and moviegoers over the age of 50

often attend movies more frequently than their young male

counterparts—regardless, in many cases, of whether they are

represented in the typically younger, male main casts of the

movies in question.

“On average, only 30 percent of the cast of movies in the

top 30 films [seen by] moviegoers [aged] 3–14 and 15–25 were

women. In the top 30 [films seen by] audiences above 50, only

25 percent of the top cast were the same age as or older than

these moviegoers,” says Marcel. “However, in both cases, the

films that fared best among these untapped audiences—and

where they consisted of a majority of the audience—were films

that boasted a higher number of female or older actors.”

The conclusion is clear: There exist untapped audiences

who do more for the U.S. box office but are catered to less. It’s

useful info for studio and exhibitors alike who have room to

craft both movies and marketing strategies around underserved

populations. As put by Marcel, “Understanding who American

moviegoers really are is crucial not only to inform marketing

strategies for studios and exhibitors but also to better grasp

what content is appealing and will therefore drive untapped

audiences to the theater.”

THE STUDY

Webedia Movies Pro and Vertigo Research conducted their

study based on weekly online surveys with a global sample of

100,000 U.S. moviegoers, selected between March 2018 and

February 2019. Admissions are calculated based on the average

ticket price of $8.97.

WHO ARE AMERICAN MOVIEGOERS?

15.4 %

35.2 % AGE

35–49

GROUPS 50+

18.4 %

3–24

15.8 % 15.2 %

15–24 25–34

AUDIENCE COMPOSITION BY GENRE

MALE %

MISSED TARGETS: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN TARGET AND

ACTUAL AUDIENCES

The biggest successes between March 2018 and February 2019

target males under the age of 25. (For the purposes of this study,

saying a film “targets males” or “targets females” means that group

makes up more than 50 percent of the audience.) With multiple

action films, blockbusters, and superhero movies taking over the

box office, little room is left for independent films, romance, and

documentaries—all genres that typically target women and older

audiences.

Despite this, audiences above the age of 50 lead the way in

terms of admissions. Looking at the 15–24 age group, women represented

a higher percentage of overall box office than men.

< 25 YO %

LEGEND

MALE %

FEMALE %

Action Animation Family

Blockbusters

Blockbuster

Comedy

Documentary Independent Horror Superhero Young Adult Romance

> 25 YO %

90 AUGUST 2019


BOYS AGED 3–14 DOMINATE CHILDREN’S ADMISSIONS

For the 13–14 age group, on the other hand, boys were responsible

for on average double the number of weekly admissions compared to

girls. Of the 30 films examined in this study, four—The Nutcracker

and The Four Realms, Christopher Robin, Mary Poppins Returns, and A

Wrinkle in Time—had audiences that were majority girls.

• 86.7% of the top 30 movies among moviegoers 3–14 had a majority of

boys in their audience.

• 13.3% of the top 30 movies had a majority of girls in their audience.

• Films in this top 30 had on average 30% of women in their cast.

• Films with a majority of girls in the audience had on average 45% of

women in their top-billed casts.

Average Weekly Admissions

3–14 Segment

Girls 3–14 > 1.2mm

Boys 3–14 > 2.4mm

2X

Audience

Breakdown of

Top 30 Most

Popular Films

for 3–14 yo

Incredibles 2

Avengers: Infinity War

Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch

Hotel Transylvania 3

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Aquaman

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second One

Smallfoot

Ant Man and The Wasp

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Mary Poppins Returns

Girls

3–14

Venom

Bumblebee

Disney’s Christopher Robin

Solo: A Star Wars Story

A Wrinkle in Time

Boys

3–14

The Meg

Captain Marvel

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Ready Player One

Sherlock Gnomes

The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Mission: Impossible–Fallout

CHART

Rampage

BOXOFFICE PROFILE—WEBEDIA MOVIES PRO

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

SOURCE

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

VERTIGO RESEARCH

Creed 2

0

5MM

10MM

15MM

20MM

25MM

WOMEN 15–24: A NEGLECTED SEGMENT

FUELING YOUTH ADMISSIONS

Even though boys lead admissions for

children 3–14, it is young women who

drive admissions among teenagers and

young adults.

• Women in the 14–25 age group represented

an average of 2 million weekly

admissions, compared to 1.7 million for

men in the same age group.

• Women dominate the audience in animation

(Incredibles 2, How to Train Your

Dragon: The Hidden World, Ralph Breaks

the Internet), thrillers (A Quiet Place),

horror (Escape Room, The Nun, Halloween,

Truth or Dare), and romance (Crazy Rich

Asians). They are a minority in the superhero

genre, but not a small one, reaching

almost parity for Avengers: Infinity War

and Captain Marvel.

Audience

Breakdown of

Top 30 Most

Popular Films

for 15–24 yo

Avengers: Infinity War

Incredibles 2

Deadpool 2

Aquaman

Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom

Captain Marvel

Venom

A Quiet Place

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The Nun

Ant Man and The Wasp

Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch

Halloween

Females

15–24

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Crazy Rich Asians

Bohemian Rhapsody

A Star is Born

Mission: Impossible–Fallout

Males

15–24

The Meg

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Solo: A Star Wars Story

The First Purge

Ready Player One

Bumblebee

Glass

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

CHART

Creed 2

BOXOFFICE PROFILE—WEBEDIA MOVIES PRO

Escape Room

SOURCE

Night School

VERTIGO RESEARCH

Truth or Dare

0

5MM

10MM

15MM

29MM

AUGUST 2019

91


WHITE PAPER

WHY AUDIENCES ABOVE 50 SHOULD NO LONGER BE IGNORED

With disposable cash in their pockets and a stronger culture of moviegoing, it’s not

surprising that audiences above 50 go to the movies more than any other segment. What

is somewhat more surprising is the lack of films targeting such an important segment.

MM

18

14

10

6

1

Mar. 2

2018

Avengers:

Infinity War

• The 50+ age group represented a majority audience for musicals/musical dramas (A Star

Is Born, 56.2%; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, 60.3%; Bohemian Rhapsody, 52.4%), dramas

(The Mule, 70%; Green Book, 77.5%), and senior films (Book Club, 86.6%).

• Moviegoers above 50 were responsible for on average 8.8 million admissions every week,

with a peak of 15 million and a low of 6 million.

Audience

Breakdown of

Top 30 Most

Popular Films

for 50+

50 +

May 4

2018

Other

Solo

CHART

BOXOFFICE PROFILE—WEBEDIA MOVIES PRO

SOURCE

VERTIGO RESEARCH

US Weekly Admissions by Age

March 2018 to February 2019

Incredibles 2

Mamma Mia!

Ocean’s 8

Here We Go Again

Mission: Impossible

–Fallout

July 6

2018

• Only 10 out of the 30 most popular films had a majority of moviegoers above 50. With a

very small share of the cast in these films above the age of 50, the correlation between

higher representation and higher turnout is the strongest out of all the examined segments.

• On average, only 25% of the cast in the top 30 was age 50 or above.

• The proportion almost doubles, reaching 49%, for films in which the 50+ age group

represents the majority audience.

Sept. 7

2018

Nov. 9

2018

3–14 15–24 25–49 50+

Chart: Boxoffice Profile - Webedia Movies Pro / Source: Vertigo Research

Fantastic Aquaman

Beasts: The

Crimes of

Grindelwald

Bohemian

The Mule

Rhapsody

Jan. 11

2019

Feb. 22

2019

THE

DIVERSITY

DRIVE

Marine Suttle, SVP, chief product

officer at Webedia Movies Pro, went

in-depth about the importance of diversity

and representation in reaching

out to underserved audiences.

Much has been written about how

streaming services—particularly Netflix—are

ramping up their efforts with

regard to inclusivity and diversity,

specifically for mid-budget romantic

comedies like Always Be My Maybe and

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. With

so much of the theatrical industry now

concentrated on big-budget tentpoles,

are you optimistic about the cinema

industry’s ability to catch up with its

streaming counterparts when it comes

to these smaller, more diverse films?

The trend of tentpoles is definitely in

full swing, and that’s despite the “franchise

fatigue” that’s hitting audiences. But

I think that the current climate in the

industry, especially increased consolidation,

creates opportunities for studios that

do not necessarily have the IPs to produce

big tentpoles to differentiate themselves

with original, diverse films. Newer players

like A24, Neon, and Blumhouse Productions

seem to be doing that and reaping

critical and commercial benefits, but

bigger studios have begun to adopt that

strategy as well. For example, Warner

Bros.’ fall lineup contains only two films

based on preexisting IPs; all the rest are

going to be original stories. And although

it is true that streaming platforms have

spearheaded inclusivity and diversity, I

believe that much of the debate on the

competition between streaming platforms

and moviegoing is misplaced. I don’t

really think that the cinema industry has

“catching-up” to do, simply because more

and more studies show that consumption

of streaming platforms and consumption

of movies at the theater are complementary

rather than competitive.

92 AUGUST 2019


Though your white paper focused

specifically on age and gender, when it

comes to untapped audiences, surveys

have found that the Latinx and Asian

populations have a high rate of moviegoing

in the U.S. compared to a low

rate of representation in the general

population. Does Webedia have any

insight into underserved markets like

different ethnic groups?

Like the groups we focused on in

the white paper, ethnic minorities are

undoubtedly underserved audiences

with strong moviegoing potential. This

year’s MPAA report found that Latinx

and Asian populations had the largest

attendance per capita, with respectively

an average of 4.7 and 4.5 trips to the

theater per capita in 2018. Hispanic/

Latinx moviegoers were also overrepresented

in the population of frequent

moviegoers (24%) relative to their proportion

in the overall population (18%).

But again, more representation is crucial

to tap into their full potential. The huge

successes of Coco and Crazy Rich Asians

certainly have shown the power of these

audiences when movies are more inclusive

and representative.

The WMP study shows that young

women and moviegoers over 50

are avid movie consumers who are

nonetheless underrepresented on the

screen. Once a movie gets to a local

multiplex, however, it’s already cut

and ready to go—exhibitors have no

say over its content. Given that, what

can exhibitors do to promote and support

increased diversity and representation

in Hollywood releases?

The biggest responsibility for the creation

of inclusive and diverse content falls

on the shoulders of studios. Big circuits

can play a part in the direction of content

as they engage in ongoing conversations

with studios but only to a certain extent.

What exhibitors of all sizes can do is focus

on promotion through special events,

a stronger and more interactive social media

presence, hyper-targeted newsletters,

etc. The use of data for the segmentation

of users through their past behaviors, the

previous films they watched, and their

demographic characteristics are essential

for that. I’d say that the biggest advantage

that exhibitors have to influence content

and its promotion is their real, concrete

knowledge of the audience.

Looking at releases throughout

the rest of 2019, what are the titles

that you anticipate will have a large

viewership among young women and

audiences over 50?

I expect films that are directed by

women and/or star a large number of

women, such as The Kitchen; Where’d You

Go, Bernadette; Hustlers; Ready or Not; The

Woman in the Window; and Little Women

to fare well among young female audiences.

Tentpoles like The Lion King, Frozen 2,

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Star Wars:

The Rise of Skywalker will also have a large

viewership among young women. The

slate is more limited for audiences over

50. I anticipate Ford v Ferrari, The Good

Liar, and The Goldfinch to have larger segments

of older audiences. Like our white

paper shows, they will continue to be avid

moviegoers, but the rest of 2019 doesn’t

really promise a more inclusive lineup for

these audiences.

Many theatrical releases that star

or are directed by women are on the

smaller side in terms of budget: So far

this year, Booksmart, Little, and The

Sun is Also a Star. What can be done—

by consumers, studios, and exhibitors—to

help prevent these titles from

getting swallowed up and disappearing

after just a few weeks?

I think marketing is very important in

preventing this from happening. Again,

exhibitors can do a better job at targeting

moviegoers who have watched specialty

and indie movies, through newsletters

targeting moviegoers who have previously

watched indie movies, for example. Social

recommendations, through social media

and word of mouth, are also important,

as moviegoers increasingly watch movies

that have been recommended by someone

they know. A recent study by Facebook

found that 54 percent of U.S. moviegoers

find recommendations from family and

friends to be influential when deciding

whether to see a film in theaters. Through

a proper social media strategy that capitalizes

on social recommendations and

knows how to use social contexts, studios

and exhibitors can create and sustain buzz

that can make smaller movies live for longer.

They need to work closer with social

media companies. Facebook for example

has created a dedicated “movies” section

in their app, which not only offers a way

to see what movies are playing nearby

and available show times in local theaters,

it also helps “friends” who share a

similar interest in movies connect. But as

Booksmart’s poor performance at the box

office shows, this is not always enough.

These marketing strategies should be

coupled with different release strategies.

Limited releases can be particularly useful

for smaller films and can benefit a lot

from the positive word of mouth created

by these marketing strategies.

Disclaimer: Webedia Movies Pro is the parent

company of Boxoffice.

AUGUST 2019

93


SOCIAL MEDIA

BY ALEX EDGHILL

SPINNING GOLD

SPIDER-MAN CAPITALIZES ON AVENGERS CONNECTION TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS

Spider-Man: Far from Home dominated the marketplace on release

and is well on its way to becoming the highest-grossing Spider-Man

movie ever at the international box office. It’s yet another example

of the old adage that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

>> Sony’s partnership with Disney and its decision

to share its golden goose Spider-Man with

the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

has proven to be a masterstroke. Over the last five

years, the franchise has made a miraculous recovery

at both the domestic and international box office

to once again become a crown jewel in the studio’s

vault. Far from Home marks the first time in the

franchise’s history and three separate incarnations

that one of its sequels will outgross the first.

Sony’s first Spider-Man film in 2002, directed

by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as the

titular hero, helped to usher in the current era of

superhero domination at the box office and set a

new bar for opening weekend gross. Spider-Man 2

and 3 were also big successes in terms of revenue,

but critics were less kind and profits declined as

the series went on until Sony decided to scrap the

Raimi-directed franchise. The first Spider-Man

reboot came in 2012, starring Andrew Garfield

as the webslinger and directed by indie filmmaker

Mark Webb. While it was solid on debut, the

franchise abruptly ended after The Amazing Spider-Man

2 for myriad reasons, first and foremost

being Sony’s deal with Marvel to allow Spider-Man

to join the MCU.

After 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, the explosion

of Disney’s Marvel properties, and the first

Avengers movie, Sony had high hopes to create its

own cinematic universe for Spidey. A third installment,

spin-off films, and even a Sinister Six all-villains

movie were in the works. That all was deepsixed

after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointed

at the box office. Its budget had ballooned out of

control, reportedly ending at $250 million–plus,

and it barely managed $200 million at the domestic

box office, the lowest total of the franchise by

far. At this point, Sony wisely realized that Disney

had a magic formula for its Marvel adaptations,

and rather than try to emulate it, they joined forces

to ensure the long-term success of the character and

boost its hugely profitable merchandising.

Spider-Man first appeared in the MCU in

Captain America: Civil War and subsequently in

both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much

revenue Spider-Man brought to the table in these

films, but, regardless, Infinity War and Endgame

are the highest-grossing films in the MCU, while

Civil War became the second highest-grossing

non-Avengers film after Iron Man 3 (later passed

by Black Panther). The heightened buzz helped

Far from Home become the first sequel in

Spider-Man history to do better than

an original in the series. That is the

beauty of the MCU formula

and its larger story arcs—

that they have always done

an excellent job of building

audience excitement,

bringing in other MCU stars to bolster appeal

and never letting its interstitial parts stagnate.

94 AUGUST 2019


Social media returns for Far from Home were

simply huge across the board, as it led individual

weeks multiple times across all three major social

media platforms over the months before its release

in a busy summer schedule. Mentions spiked

after Endgame debuted, as fans of the MCU

were clamoring for more, and Far from Home’s

proximity in time and continuation of the story

meant that it was an ideal beneficiary of residual

buzz from the most successful worldwide film

ever. That right there is the equivalent of a film

having every commercial slot during the Super

Bowl. While our existing data collection does not

extend back to 2014, we do have historical data

for Twitter, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 only

led in Twitter mentions for its Friday, Saturday,

and Sunday of release and its major trailers. In

other words, it was nowhere near as dominant on

the service as Far from Home, and its box office

returns reflected that.

Perhaps more important is that the marketing

strategy for the franchise has tapped into a younger

and more diverse audience. It ranks up there with

the mighty Star Wars and Avengers in terms of both

domestic and international engagement, a huge

indicator of its future appeal as well. It also does a

great job of creating separate marketing strategies

for each of the major social media services, and star

Tom Holland’s presence as a social media heavyweight

has proven to be golden as well.

Far from Home is a platform from which

Spider-Man can launch even further. With a vast

coterie of villains and allies to choose from (like

most Marvel heroes), and arguably the greatest

merchandising potential of all the comic empire’s

heroes, the sky is really the limit, especially coming

off its biggest worldwide success. Tom Holland has

proven to be a bankable star after five outings in

the iconic red and blue spandex and is still under

contractual obligation for a Spider-Man 3, which

Sony will no doubt be looking to extend. Disney’s

plans for phase 4 of the MCU are spotty at best,

but if Sony can come up with a similar deal to

include Spidey in the post-Thanos story line, it

would clearly be a win for all sides, as the last few

years have demonstrated.

AUGUST 2019

95


EVENT CINEMA CALENDAR

CINELIFE

ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

310-309-5774

A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN

Sun. 8/18, Weds. 8/21, Sat. 8/24

Kids & Family

SNOOPY, COME HOME

Sun. 9/29, Thurs. 10/3, Sat. 10/5

Kids & Family

CINEMA LIVE

www.cinemalive.com

RIGOLETTO ON THE

LAKE

Tues. 9/17

Opera

PLÁCIDO

DOMINGO: 50TH

ANNIVERSARY

GALA EVENING

Tues. 10/1

Opera

BILLY CONNOLLY:

THE SEX LIFE OF

BANDAGES

Thurs. 10/10

Comedy

NORTHERN BALLET:

DRACULA LIVE

Thurs. 10/31

Ballet

FATHOM EVENTS

fathomevents.com

855-473-4612

I LOVE LUCY: A COLORIZED

CELEBRATION

Tues. 8/6

Television

DOCTOR WHO: END OF TIME 10TH

ANNIVERSARY

Weds. 8/7

Television

DCI BIG, LOUD & LIVE 16

Thurs. 8/8

Sports

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

HELLO DOLLY! 50TH

ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 8/11, Weds. 8/14

Classics

BILLY CONNOLLY: THE SEX LIFE OF BANDAGES

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS

Tues. 8/13, Mon. 8/19

Anime

WOODSTOCK (1970) DIRECTOR’S

CUT 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Thurs, 8/15

Classics

RIFFTRAX LIVE -

GIANT SPIDER INVASION

Thurs. 8/15, Tues. 8/20

Comedy

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO

Sun. 8/25 (dub), Mon. 8/26

(sub), Weds. 8/28 (dub)

Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN

CLASSICS:

LAWRENCE OF

ARABIA

Sun. 9/1, Weds. 9/4

Classics

MARGARET

ATWOOD: LIVE IN

CINEMAS

Tues., 9/10

Literary

YOU ARE HERE

Weds. 9/11

Documentary

BLINK OF AN EYE

Thurs. 9/12

Sports

EL NORTE 35TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 9/15

Classics

THE GAME CHANGERS

Mon. 9/16

Documentary

ROB ZOMBIE’S

3 FROM HELL

Mon. 9/16, Tues.

9/17, & Weds. 9/18

Premiere

PROMARE

Tues. 9/17 (dub), Thurs.

9/19 (sub)

Anime

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019: PRINCESS MONONOKE

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

25TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 9/22, Tues. 9/24, Weds. 9/25

Classics

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY

Sun. 9/29 (dub), Mon. 9/30 (sub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: TURANDOT

Sat. 10/12 (live), Weds. 10/16 (encore)

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

ALIEN 40TH ANNIVERSARY

Sun. 10/13, Tues. 10/15, Weds. 10/16

Classics

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: MANON

Sat. 10/26 (live), Weds. 10/30 (encore)

Opera

BOLSHOI BALLET: RAYMONDA

Sun. 10/27

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2019:

SPIRITED AWAY

Sun. 10/27 (dub), Mon. 10/28 (sub),

Weds. 10/30 (dub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Sat. 11/9 (live), Weds. 11/13 (encore),

Sat. 11/16 (encore)

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

THE GODFATHER PART II

Sun. 11/10, Tues. 11/12, Weds. 11/13

Classics

BOLSHOI BALLET:

LE CORSAIRE

Sun. 11/17

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI

FEST 2019:

PRINCESS

MONONOKE

Sun. 11/17 (dub), Mon.

11/18 (sub), Weds.

11/20 (dub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: AKHNATEN

Sat. 11/23 (live), Weds. 12/4 (encore)

Opera

96 AUGUST 2019


THE MET: LIVE IN HD: THE MAGIC

FLUTE HOLIDAY ENCORE

12/7/2019 only

Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY…

Sun. 12/1, Tues. 12/3

Classics

TCM BIG SCREEN

CLASSICS: MEET ME

IN ST. LOUIS

Sun. 12/8, Weds.

12/11

Classics

BOLSHOI BALLET:

THE NUTCRACKER

Sun. 12/15

Ballet

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST

2019: THE TALE OF THE

PRINCESS KAGUYA

Mon. 12/16 (dub), Weds. 12/18 (sub)

Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: WOZZECK

Sat. 1/11 (live), Weds. 1/15 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: THE

GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS

Sat. 2/1 (live), Weds. 2/5 (encore), Sat.

2/8 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: AGRIPPINA

Sat. 2/29 (live), Weds. 3/4 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER

Sat. 3/14 (live), Weds. 3/18 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD: TOSCA

Sat. 4/11 (live), Weds. 4/15 (encore),

Sat. 4/18 (encore)

Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD:

MARIA STUARDA

Sat. 5/9 (live), Weds. 5/13 (encore)

Opera

MORE2SCREEN

www.more2screen.com

WISE CHILDREN

Thurs. 10/31

Theater

GAUGUIN FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

GAUGUIN FROM THE NATIONAL

GALLERY, LONDON

Tues. 10/15 (U.K./Ireland),

Fri. 11/1 (Int’l)

Art

42ND STREET –

THE MUSICAL

Sun. 11/10, Tues.

11/12 (U.K./Europe)

Musical

KINKY BOOTS –

THE MUSICAL

Tues. 2/4, Sun 4/9 (except

North America)

Musical

JONAS KAUFMANN MY VIENNA

Tues., 2/11

Opera

MYCINEMA

www.mycinema.live

APOCALYPSE NOW: FINAL CUT

Thurs. 8/15 (PLF), Mon. 8/19 (non-PLF)

Classics

ZEROVILLE

Fri. 9/20

Premiere

MURDEROUS TRANCE

Fri. 11/1

Premiere

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

roh.org.uk/cinemas

cinema@roh.org.uk

DON GIOVANNI

Tues. 10/8

Opera

DON PASQUALE

Thurs. 10/24

Opera

CONCERTO / ENIGMA

VARIATIONS / RAYMONDA ACT III

Tues. 11/5

Ballet

COPPÉLIA

Tues. 12/10

Ballet

THE NUTCRACKER

Tues. 12/17

Ballet

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

Thurs. 1/16

Ballet

LA BOHÈME

Weds. 1/29

Opera

NEW MARSTON / NEW SCARLETT

Tues. 2/25

Ballet

FIDELIO

Tues/ 3/17

Opera

SWAN LAKE

Weds. 4/1

Ballet

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA /

PAGLIACCI

Tues. 4/21

Opera

THE DANTE PROJECT

Thurs. 5/28

Ballet

ELEKTRA

Thurs. 6/18

Opera

TRAFALGAR RELEASING

trafalgar-releasing.com

GRATEFUL DEAD MEET-UP AT

THE MOVIES

Thurs. 8/1

Music

BRING THE SOUL: THE MOVIE

Weds. 8/7

Music

RUSH: CINEMA STRANGIATO 2019

Weds. 8/21

Music

ROGER WATERS US + THEM

Autumn

Music

BRANAGH THEATRE LIVE:

THE WINTER’S TALE

Weds. 12/4

Theater

AUGUST 2019

97


ON SCREEN BY KEVIN LALLY

WIDE RELEASES

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

AUGUST 23 / LIONSGATE

>> Secret Service agent Mike Banning

(Gerard Butler) just can’t catch a break:

In this sequel to Olympus Has Fallen and

London Has Fallen, he’s framed for an

assassination attempt on the president of

the United States and must fight his own

agency and the FBI to uncover the real

culprit. Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch, Shot

Caller) directed.

CAST GERARD BUTLER, MORGAN FREEMAN,

JADA PINKETT SMITH, LANCE REDDICK,

NICK NOLTE, DANNY HUSTON, PIPER

PERABO, TIM BLAKE NELSON RATING R

RUNNING TIME TBA

OVERCOMER

AUGUST 23 / SONY-AFFIRM FILMS

>> A high school basketball coach must

put aside his dreams of winning a state

championship when his town’s manufacturing

plant closes and families are forced

to relocate. Now a reluctant cross-country

coach, he takes on an unlikely athlete—a

girl with asthma. Star/director Alex Kendrick

and his co-writing brother Stephen

previously delivered the faith-based dramas

Fireproof, Courageous, and War Room.

CAST ALEX KENDRICK, SHARI RIGBY, ARYN

WRIGHT-THOMPSON, PRISCILLA SHIRER

RATING PG RUNNING TIME TBA

IT: CHAPTER TWO

SEPT 6 / WARNER BROS

>> This sequel to 2017’s $327 million

horror smash joins the Losers Club 27

years after their first encounter with the

killer clown Pennywise. They’ve gone their

separate ways, but a phone call reunites

them for a terrifying mission. Andy Muschietti

returns to direct the continuation

of Stephen King’s classic tale.

CAST JESSICA CHASTAIN, JAMES MCAVOY,

BILL SKARSGÅRD, BILL HADER, JAY RYAN,

JAMES RANSONE, FINN WOLFHARD, SOPHIA

LILLIS, XAVIER DOLAN, JESS WEIXLER, ANDY

BEAN, ISAIAH MUSTAFA, JACK DYLAN

GRAZER, JAKE WEARY RATING R RUNNING

TIME TBA

98 AUGUST 2019


ON SCREEN

THE GOLDFINCH

SEPT 13 / WARNER BROS.

>> This movie adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer

Prize–winning novel centers on Theo Decker,

a 13-year-old who loses his mother when a bomb

explodes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Taken in by a wealthy family, Theo begins an odyssey

that immerses him in a criminal underworld,

all tied to the valuable painting The Goldfinch,

which he stole from the museum. John Crowley

(Brooklyn) directed.

CAST ANSEL ELGORT, NICOLE KIDMAN, JEFFREY

WRIGHT, OAKES FEGLEY, FINN WOLFHARD,

LUKE WILSON, SARAH PAULSON, DENIS O’HARE,

ANEURIN BARNARD, ASHLEIGH CUMMINGS, WILLA

FITZGERALD, ROBERT JOY RATING R RUNNING TIME

150 MIN.

HUSTLERS

SEPT 13 / STX ENTERTAINMENT

>> This movie, based on a New York magazine

article, centers on a group of strippers who

conspire to bilk their wealthy Wall Street clients.

Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the

World) directed.

CAST JENNIFER LOPEZ, CONSTANCE WU, JULIA

STILES, CARDI B, MADELINE BREWER, LILI REINHART,

LIZZO, KEKE PALMER, TRACE LYSETTE, MERCEDES

RUEHL RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

AD ASTRA

SEPT 20 / DISNEY-20TH

CENTURY FOX

>> An astronaut journeys to the far

reaches of the solar system in search of

his father and the solution to a mystery

impacting the future of planet Earth. A

sci-fi change of pace for The Lost City of

Z and Two Lovers director James Gray.

CAST BRAD PITT, TOMMY LEE JONES,

DONALD SUTHERLAND, RUTH NEGGA,

KIMBERLY ELISE, JAMIE KENNEDY

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME TBA

100 AUGUST 2019


ON SCREEN

DOWNTON ABBEY

SEPT 20 / FOCUS

>> Winner of 15 Emmy Awards,

“Downton Abbey” is one of the most

popular series in the history of public

television. Now, the turbulent saga of the

upper-crust Crawley family and their retinue

of servants comes to the big screen.

The big occasion: a visit from the king

and queen of England. Series creator (and

sole writer) Julian Fellowes penned the

screenplay and Michael Engler directed.

CAST HUGH BONNEVILLE, ELIZABETH

MCGOVERN, MAGGIE SMITH, MICHELLE

DOCKERY, MATTHEW GOODE, LAURA

CARMICHAEL, IMELDA STAUNTON, JIM

CARTER, PHYLLIS LOGAN, ALLEN LEECH

RATING PG RUNNING TIME TBA

RAMBO:

LAST BLOOD

SEPT 20 / LIONSGATE

>> Sylvester Stallone’s macho

mercenary soldier John Rambo

last appeared on movie screens in

2008. Now a rancher, he returns

to action when a friend’s daughter

is kidnapped; the enemy this

time is a violent Mexican cartel.

Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo)

directed from a screenplay

co-written by Stallone.

CAST SYLVESTER STALLONE, PAZ

VEGA, SERGIO PERIS-MENCHETA,

YVETTE MONREAL RATING TBA

RUNNING TIME TBA

102 AUGUST 2019


LIMITED RELEASES

THE CAST OF READY OR NOT

READY OR NOT

AUGUST 21 / FOX SEARCHLIGHT

>> A young bride has no idea what

insanity awaits when she agrees to

participate in her wealthy, eccentric new

family’s bizarre tradition: a savage game

of hide-and-seek. Tyler Gillett and Matt

Bettinelli-Olpin (Southbound) directed;

“American Horror Story” creator Ryan

Murphy co-wrote the screenplay.

CAST SAMARA WEAVING, MARK O’BRIEN,

ADAM BRODY, HENRY CZERNY, ANDIE

MACDOWELL RATING R RUNNING TIME

95 MIN.

BRITTANY RUNS A

MARATHON

AUGUST 23 / AMAZON STUDIOS

>> A hard-partying, struggling New

Yorker (Jillian Bell) aims to mend her

ways and improve her well-being by

training for the New York City Marathon.

Writer-director Paul Downs Colaizzo

based his debut feature on his real-life

best friend.

CAST JILLIAN BELL, MICHAELA WATKINS,

UTKARSH AMBUDKAR, LIL REL HOWERY,

MICAH STOCK, ALICE LEE RATING R

RUNNING TIME 104 MIN.

BURN

AUGUST 23 / MOMENTUM

PICTURES

>> A lonely, introverted gas station attendant

takes charge in unexpected ways

when a young man attempts a robbery

at gunpoint. Writer-director Mike Gan

makes his feature directing debut with

this psychological thriller.

CAST TILDA COBHAM-HERVEY, JOSH

HUTCHERSON, SUKI WATERHOUSE, HARRY

SHUM JR., SHILOH FERNANDEZ RATING

TBA RUNNING TIME 88 MIN.

FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF

MIRACLES

AUGUST 23 / ROADSIDE

ATTRACTIONS

>> Max Lewkowicz’s documentary

recounts the history of one of Broadway’s

most celebrated musicals, Fiddler on the

Roof. The film includes interviews with

lyricist Sheldon Harnick and producer

Hal Prince, and rare archival footage

of choreographer Jerome Robbins. A

production in Yiddish is currently in its

second year off Broadway.

FEATURING HAL PRINCE, SHELDON

HARNICK, AUSTIN PENDLETON, LIN-

MANUEL MIRANDA, CHAIM TOPOL, HARVEY

FIERSTEIN, FRAN LEBOWITZ, CALVIN

TRILLIN, NATHAN ENGLANDER RATING PG-

13 RUNNING TIME 92 MIN.

FREAKS

AUGUST 23 / WELL GO USA

ENTERTAINMENT

>> No, it’s not a revival of the classic

1932 circus horror pic, but a dystopian

thriller about an apocalyptic event that’s

created human mutations and a father

determined to protect his young daughter

from the terrors of the outside world.

Veteran actor Bruce Dern has a key role

as neighborhood ice cream vendor Mr.

Snowcone. Zach Lipovsky and Adam B.

Stein directed.

CAST EMILE HIRSCH, LEXY KOLKER, BRUCE

DERN, GRACE PARK, AMANDA CREW

RATING R RUNNING TIME 104 MIN.

JACOB’S LADDER

AUGUST 23 / VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

>> A war veteran tries to maintain his

sanity while dealing with flashbacks and

hallucinations in this remake of a 1990

drama that starred Tim Robbins under

the direction of Fatal Attraction’s Adrian

Lyne. David M. Rosenthal (A Single Shot)

takes the helm for this new version.

CAST MICHAEL EALY, JESSE WILLIAMS,

NICOLE BEHARIE, KARLA SOUZA, GUY

BURNET RATING R RUNNING TIME TBA

THIS IS NOT BERLIN

AUGUST 23 / SAMUEL GOLDWYN

FILMS

>> In 1986 Mexico City, 17-year-old

Carlos feels like an outcast until he discovers

the underground nightclub scene,

which leads to his sexual awakening and

a passion for art. Hari Sama’s highly

stylized film, featuring Oscar nominee

Marina de Tavira (Roma) as Carlos’s disapproving

mother, premiered at the 2019

Sundance Film Festival.

CAST XABIANI PONCE DE LEÓN, JOSÉ

ANTONIO TOLEDANO, MARINA DE TAVIRA

RATING TBA RUNNING TIME 115 MIN.

TONE-DEAF

AUGUST 23 / SABAN FILMS

>> A liberal young woman who’s just

lost her job and suffered a breakup

decides to get away from the city and

rents a country house from a conservative,

middle-aged widower—who turns

out to be a psychopath. The landlord

is onetime Terminator Robert Patrick.

Richard Bates Jr. (Trash Fire) is the

writer-director.

CAST AMANDA CREW, ROBERT PATRICK,

AUGUST 2019

103


ON SCREEN

ANNALYNNE MCCORD, KIM DELANEY,

KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES RATING R

RUNNING TIME 86 MIN.

VITA & VIRGINIA

AUGUST 23 / IFC FILMS

>> Chanya Button’s film depicts the

passionate relationship of acclaimed

author Virginia Woolf and diplomat’s

wife Vita Sackville-West in 1920s

England. The talented Gemma Arterton

and Elizabeth Debicki play Vita and

Virginia, respectively.

CAST GEMMA ARTERTON, ELIZABETH

DEBICKI, ISABELLA ROSSELLINI, RUPERT

PENRY-JONES, PETER FERDINANDO,

GETHIN ANTHONY RATING NOT RATED

RUNNING TIME 110 MIN.

BENNETT’S WAR

AUGUST 30 / FORREST FILMS

>> In this debut film from new label

Forrest Films, a soldier with the Army

Motorcycle Unit is medically discharged

after surviving an IED explosion. When

he discovers the family farm is nearly

bankrupt, he decides to try to make a

comeback as a professional motocross

racer. Country music star Trace Adkins

plays his dad.

CAST MICHAEL ROARK, TRACE ADKINS, ALI

AFSHAR, ALLISON PAIGE RATING PG-13

RUNNING TIME 94 MIN.

OFFICIAL SECRETS

AUGUST 30 / IFC FILMS

>> Keira Knightley stars in the true

story of Katharine Gun, a British intelligence

specialist in 2003 who receives

an NSA memo detailing a United States

plan to blackmail United Nations Security

Council members into voting for the

invasion of Iraq. Her decision to leak the

memo to the press has dire consequences.

Gavin Hood (Eye in the Sky, Ender’s

Game) directed.

CAST KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, RALPH FIENNES,

MATTHEW GOODE, INDIRA VARMA, MATT

SMITH, RHYS IFANS, TAMSIN GREIG, ADAM

BAKRI, CONLETH HILL RATING R RUNNING

TIME 112 MIN.

TOD@S CAEN

AUGUST 30 / LIONSGATE-

PANTELION FILMS

>> Adán is a lothario who believes

he knows everything about the art of

wooing women. Mia is a TV producer

who wants to launch a show about how

to hook a man and keep him devoted

to your every need. The two extroverts

meet at a bar one night, and before

long they’re testing out their seduction

theories on each other. Ariel Winograd

directed the latest Spanish-language

comedy from Pantelion Films.

CAST MARTHA HIGAREDA, OMAR

CHAPARRO, MAURICIO BARRIENTOS,

MIRIAM HIGAREDA RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME TBA

LINDA RONSTADT: THE

SOUND OF MY VOICE

SEPT 6 / GREENWICH

ENTERTAINMENT

>> Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

look back at the career of singer Linda

Ronstadt, the 1970s hit-maker whose

remarkable range included rock, country,

pop standards, opera, and Mexican

folk songs. She retired from performing

after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s

disease, but she remains a compelling,

politically outspoken subject in this

poignant documentary.

FEATURING LINDA RONSTADT, JACKSON

BROWNE, EMMYLOU HARRIS, DOLLY

PARTON, DON HENLEY, BONNIE RAITT,

AARON NEVILLE RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME 95 MIN.

MONOS

SEPT 13 / NEON

>> Alejandro Landes and Alexis Dos Santos

directed this tale of a group of young

soldiers and rebels in Latin America who

are holding an American woman hostage.

When an ambush drives them into the

jungle, the squad begins to turn on one

another in a desperate fight for survival.

CAST JULIANNE NICHOLSON, SOFIA

BUENAVENTURA, JULIÁN GIRALDO,

KAREN QUINTERO, MOISÉS ARIAS, LAURA

CASTRILLÓN, DEIBI RUEDA, PAUL CUBIDES,

ESNEIDER CASTRO RATING TBA RUNNING

TIME 102 MIN.

ZEROVILLE

SEPT 20 / MYCINEMA

>> James Franco directed and stars in

this surreal drama as an eccentric architecture

student who journeys to Hollywood

and carves out a career as a designer

and film editor. But tragedy awaits.

CAST JAMES FRANCO, WILL FERRELL, SETH

ROGEN, MEGAN FOX, JACKI WEAVER,

DANNY MCBRIDE, DAVE FRANCO RATING R

RUNNING TIME 96 MIN.

LORO

SEPT 20 / IFC FILMS

>> Before director Paolo Sorrentino

won an Oscar for The Great Beauty, he

skewered corrupt Italian prime minister

Giulio Andreotti in the satirical Il Divo.

Now he sets his sights on another controversial

Italian PM, Silvio Berlusconi,

the billionaire with a notorious penchant

for sex, drugs, and other vices. Set in the

mid-2000s, Sorrentino’s new film has the

former PM plotting a comeback while

targeted by the ambitious head of an

escort service.

CAST TONI SERVILLO, RICCARDO

SCAMARCIO, ELENA SOFIA RICCI, FABRIZIO

BENTIVOGLIO, KASIA SMUTNIAK, EURIDICE

AXEN RATING NOT RATED RUNNING TIME

151 MIN.

WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?

SEPT 20 / SONY PICTURES

CLASSICS

>> Filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino:

The Last Emperor, Studio 54) chronicles

the career of the late Roy Cohn, the

ruthless and highly influential New York

lawyer who was chief counsel to Senator

Joseph McCarthy during the Communist

witch hunt of the 1940s and ’50s—and

who later became a key adviser to the

young Donald Trump.

FEATURING ROY COHN, ROGER STONE,

KEN AULETTA RATING PG-13 RUNNING

TIME 97 MIN.

104 AUGUST 2019


BOOKING GUIDE

JUNGLE CRUISE

Fri, 7/24/20 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt

D Jaume Collet-Serra

NR · Act/Adv

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

NR

ENTERTAINMENT

STUDIOS MOTION

PICTURES

310-277-3500

Ask for Distribution

DISNEY

MULAN

MAR. 27, 2020

LIU YIFEI

A24

646-568-6015

UNCUT GEMS

Fri, 12/13/19 LTD.

C Adam Sandler,

LaKeith Stanfield

D Josh and Benny Safdie

Com

AMAZON STUDIOS

310-573-0652

brian.flanagan@amazonstudios.com

ONE CHILD NATION

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD.

D Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

R · Doc

BRITTANY RUNS A

MARATHON

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD.

C Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins

D Paul Downs Colaizzo

R · Com/Dra

THE REPORT

Fri, 9/27/19 LTD.

C Adam Driver, Annette Bening

D Scott Z

R · Thr

THE AERONAUTS

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD.

C Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

D Tom Harper

R · Act/Adv · IMAX

HONEY BOY

Fri, 11/8/19 LTD.

C Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe

D Alma Har’el

R · Dra

AVIRON PICTURES

THE INFORMER

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD.

C Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike

D Andrea Di Stefano

R · Cri/Dra

BLUE FOX

ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg

william@bluefoxentertainment.com

15 MINUTES OF WAR

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD.

C Alban Lenoir, Olga Kurylenko

D Fred Grivois

NR · Act

KILLERMAN

Fri, 8/30/19 LTD.

C Liam Hemsworth,

Emory Cohen

D Malik Bader

R · Act/Cri/Dra

BLEECKER STREET

BRIAN BANKS

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD.

C Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear

D Tom Shadyac

NR · Dra

DISNEY

818-560-1000

Ask for Distribution

MALEFICENT:

MISTRESS OF EVIL

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning

D Joachim Rønning

NR · Fan

FROZEN 2

Wed, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell

D Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

NR · Ani · 3D/ Dolby Vis/Atmos

STAR WARS:

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver

D J.J. Abrams

NR · Act/Adv/SF

3D/IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

ONWARD

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

C Chris Pratt, Tom Holland

D Dan Scanlon

NR · Ani · 3D

MULAN

Fri, 3/27/20 WIDE

C Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen

D Niki Caro

NR · Fan/Act/Adv · 3D/IMAX

BLACK WIDOW

Fri, 5/1/20 WIDE

NR · 3D

ARTEMIS FOWL

Fri, 5/29/20 WIDE

C Ferdia Shaw, Josh Gad

D Kenneth Branagh

NR · Fan · 3D

SOUL

Fri, 6/19/20 WIDE

D Pete Docter

NR · Ani · 3D

47 METERS DOWN:

UNCAGED

Fri, 8/16/19 WIDE

C John Corbett, Nia Long

D Johannes Roberts

PG-13 · Hor/Thr

ARCTIC DOGS

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Jeremy Renner, James Franco

D Aaron Woodley

PG · Ani

ALL RISE

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Jennifer Hudson,

Kelvin Harrison Jr.

D Anthony Mandler

R · Dra

FOCUS FEATURES

424-214-636

DOWNTON ABBEY

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Hugh Bonneville,

Laura Carmichael

D Michael Engler

PG · Dra

HARRIET

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr.

D Kasi Lemmons

NR · Dra/Bio/His

FOX

310-369-1000 · 212-556-2400

THE ART OF RACING

IN THE RAIN

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Milo Ventimiglia,

Amanda Seyfried

D Simon Curtis

NR · Act/Dra

106 AUGUST 2019


AD ASTRA

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones

D James Gray

NR · SF/Thr

THE WOMAN IN THE

WINDOW

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Amy Adams, Gary Oldman

D Joe Wright

NR · Cri/Dra/Mys

FORD v. FERRARI

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Matt Damon, Christian Bale

D James Mangold

NR · Dra

SPIES IN DISGUISE

Wed, 12/25/19 WIDE

C Will Smith, Tom Holland

D Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

NR · Ani

UNDERWATER

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

NR · Act

THE KING’S MAN

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Ralph Fiennes,

Gemma Arterton

D Matthew Vaughn

NR · Act/Adv

CALL OF THE WILD

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

NR · Dra

THE NEW MUTANTS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy,

Maisie Williams

D Josh Boone

NR · Act/Hor/SF

Dolby Vis/Atmos

FREE GUY

Fri, 7/3/20 WIDE

C Ryan Reynolds

D Shawn Levy

NR · Com/Act

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

212-556-2400

READY OR NOT

Wed, 8/21/19 WIDE

C Samara Weaving, Adam Brody

D Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-

Olpin

R · Hor

FOX SEARCHLIGHT

JOJO RABBIT

OCT. 18, 2019

ROMAN GRIFFIN DAVIS, TAIKA WAITITI, AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON

JOJO RABBIT

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Roman Griffin Davis,

Thomasin McKenzie

D Taika Waititi

NR · Com

A HIDDEN LIFE

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C August Diehl, Valerie Pachner

D Terrence Malick

NR · Dra/War

GREENWICH

ENTERTAINMENT

LINDA RONSTADT: THE

SOUND OF MY VOICE

Fri, 9/6/19 LTD.

C Linda Ronstadt

D Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

NR · Doc

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

THE NIGHTINGALE

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD.

C Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin

D Jennifer Kent

R ·Dra

ODE TO JOY

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD.

C Martin Freeman,

Morena Baccarin

D Jason Winer

R · Com

VITA & VIRGINIA

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD.

C Gemma Arterton,

Elizabeth Debicki

D Chanya Button

NR · Dra

OFFICIAL SECRETS

Fri, 8/30/19 LTD.

C Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes

D Gavin Hood

NR · Dra

DEPRAVED

Fri, 9/13/19 LTD.

C David Call, Joshua Leonard

D Larry Fessenden

NR · Hor

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Fri, 9/13/19 LTD.

C Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones

D Michael Tyburski

NR · Dra

LORO

Fri, 9/20/19 LTD.

C Toni Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci

D Paolo Sorrentino

NR · Dra/Bio

GREENER GRASS

Fri, 10/18/19 LTD.

C Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

D Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

NR · Com

KINO LORBER

ANTHROPOCENE:

THE HUMAN EPOCH

Wed, 9/25/19 WIDE

C Alicia Vikander

D Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de

Pencier, Edward Burtynsky

NR · Doc

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

SCARY STORIES TO TELL

IN THE DARK

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza

D André Øvredal

PG-13 · Hor/Sus

ANGEL HAS FALLEN

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler

D Ric Roman Waugh

R · Act/Thr

TOD@S CAEN

Fri, 8/30/19 WIDE

C Martha Higareda, Omar

Chaparro

D Ariel Winograd

NR · Rom/Com

RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

Fri, 9/20/19 WIDE

C Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega

D Adrian Grunberg

NR · Act

MIDWAY

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson

D Roland Emmerich

NR · Act/Dra/War

AUGUST 2019

107


BOOKING GUIDE

KNIVES OUT

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

C Daniel Craig, Chris Evans

D Rian Johnson

NR · Dra/Sus

UNTITLED CHARLES

RANDOLPH FILM

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Charlize Theron,

Margot Robbie

D Jay Roach

NR · Dra/Bio

RUN

Fri, 1/24/20 WIDE

C Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen

D Aneesh Chaganty

NR · Sus

LAS PILDORAS DE MI NOVIO

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

C Jaime Camil, Sandra Echeverría

D Diego Kaplan

NR · Com

I STILL BELIEVE

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

C K.J. Apa, Gary Sinise

D Jon Erwin, Andrew Erwin

NR · Dra

UNTITLED JANELLE MONÁE

FILM

Fri, 4/24/20 WIDE

C Janelle Monáe

D Gerard Bush,

Christopher Renz

NR

UNTITLED SAW FILM

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

C Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson

D Darren Lynn Bousman

NR · Hor

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

212-379-9704

Neal Block

nblock@magpictures.com

COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD.

D Mads Brügger

NR · Doc

MYCINEMA

480-430-7017

APOCALYPSE NOW: FINAL

CUT

Fri, 8/15/19 LTD.

C Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen

D Francis Ford Coppola

R · Dra/War

ZEROVILLE

Fri, 9/20/19 LTD.

C James Franco, Megan Fox

D James Franco

NR · Com/Dra

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

LUCE

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD.

C Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer

D Julius Onah

R · Dra/Thr

MONOS

Fri, 9/13/19 LTD.

C Julianne Nicholson, Moisés

Arias

D Alejandro Landes

NR · Thr/Dra

PARASITE

Fri, 10/11/19 LTD.

C Song Kang-ho, Chang Hyae-jin

D Bong Joon Ho

NR · Com/Dra/Thr

THE LODGE

Fri, 11/15/19 LTD.

C Riley Keough, Richard Armitage

D Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

NR · Hor

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON

FIRE

Fri, 12/6/19 LTD.

C Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel

D Céline Sciamma

NR · Dra/Rom

CLEMENCY

Fri, 12/27/19 LTD.

C Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge

D Chinoye Chukwu

NR · Dra

1091

Richard Matson

323-540-5476

rmatson@theorchard.com

THEM THAT FOLLOW

Fri, 8/2/19 LTD.

C Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever

D Britt Poulton,

Dan Madison Savage

R · Thr

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

Fri, 8/30/19 LTD.

C Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock

D Hannah Pearl Utt

NR · Com

OSCILLOSCOPE

LABORATORIES

212-219-4029

MIDNIGHT TRAVELER

Fri, 9/18/19 LTD.

D Hassan Fazili

NR · Doc

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

DORA AND THE LOST CITY

OF GOLD

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Isabela Moner,

Eugenio Derbez

D James Bobin

PG · Adv

GEMINI MAN

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Will Smith,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Ang Lee

NR · Act/Thr · Dolby Vis/Atmos

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Arnold Schwarzenegger,

Linda Hamilton

D Tim Miller

NR · Act/SF · Dolby Vis/Atmos

PLAYING WITH FIRE

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key

D Andy Fickman

NR · Com

RHYTHM SECTION

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Blake Lively

D Reed Morano

NR · Thr

LIMITED PARTNERS

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

C Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne

D Miguel Arteta

NR · Com

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey

D Jeff Fowler

NR · Ani/Adv/Com

MONSTER PROBLEMS

Fri, 3/6/20 WIDE

NR · Adv

A QUIET PLACE PART II

Fri, 3/20/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

THE LOVEBIRDS

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Rom/Com

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

C Tom Cruise, Miles Teller

D Joseph Kosinski

NR · Act/Adv

RUMBLE

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

INFINITE

Fri, 8/7/20 WIDE

NR · SF

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

323-882-8490

THE PEANUT BUTTER

FALCON

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson

D Michael Schwartz and

Tyler Nilson

NR · Com

FIDDLER: A MIRACLE OF

MIRACLES

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

D Max Lewkowicz

PG-13

JUDY

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Renee Zellweger

D Rupert Goold

PG-13 · Bio · Dolby Atmos

THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

Dolby Stereo

SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS

THIS IS NOT BERLIN

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD.

C Xabiani Ponce De León, José

Antonio Toledano

D Hari Sama

NR · Dra

SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY

CHICKEN!

Fri, 9/13/19 WIDE

D Morgan Spurlock

PG-13 · Doc

108 AUGUST 2019


PARADISE HILLS

Fri, 11/1/19 LTD.

C Emma Roberts,

Danielle Macdonald

D Alice Waddington

NR · Dan/SF/Thr

SONY

212-833-8500

THE BRAVEST

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD.

C Huang Xiaoming, Du Jiang

D Tony Chan

NR · Act/Dra

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2

Fri, 8/14/19 WIDE

C Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad

D Thurop Van Orman, John Rice

PG · Ani

OVERCOMER

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer

D Alex Kendrick

PG · Dra/Rel

ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

C Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson

D Ruben Fleischer

NR · Act/Hor/Com

Dolby Vis/Atmos

BLACK AND BLUE

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson

D Deon Taylor

NR · Act/Cri

CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott

D Elizabeth Banks

NR · Act/Com · Dolby Vis/

Atmos

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE

NEIGHBORHOOD

Fri, 11/22/19 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Marielle Heller

NR · Dra

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black

D Jake Kasdan

NR · Com/Act/Adv

Dolby Vis/Atmos

LITTLE WOMEN

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

D Greta Gerwig

NR · Dra

GRUDGE

Fri, 1/3/20 WIDE

D Nicolas Pesce

NR · Hor

MILLER/LORD PRODUCED

SPA MOVIE

Fri, 1/10/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

NR · Act

PETER RABBIT 2

Fri, 2/7/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

BLOODSHOT

Fri, 2/21/20 WIDE

NR · Act · Dolby Atmos

UNTITLED SPA ANIMATED

FRANCHISE

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

FATHERHOOD

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

C Kevin Hart, Melody Hurd

D Paul Weitz

NR · Dra

UNTITLED AFFIRM FILMS

COACH PROJECT

Fri, 4/10/20 WIDE

NR

GREYHOUND

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Tom Hanks

D Aaron Schneider

NR · Dra/War

GHOSTBUSTERS 2020

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

C Paul Rudd

NR · Hor/Com/SF

UNTITLED SONY ANIMATION

FILM

Fri, 7/24/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

SONY/MARVEL MORBIUS

Fri, 7/31/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Thr/SF

ESCAPE ROOM 2

Fri, 8/14/20 WIDE

NR · Hor/Thr

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

Tom Prassis

212-833-4981

AFTER THE WEDDING

Fri, 8/9/19 LTD.

C Michelle Williams,

Julianne Moore

D Bart Freundlich

PG-13 · Dra

AQUARELA

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD.

D Victor Kossakovsky

PG · Doc

WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?

Fri, 9/20/19 LTD.

D Matt Tyrnauer

NR · Doc

PAIN AND GLORY

Fri, 10/4/19 LTD.

C Antonio Banderas,

Penélope Cruz

D Pedro Almodóvar

R · Dra

FRANKIE

Fri, 10/25/19 LTD.

C Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson

D Ira Sachs

NR · Dra

STX ENTERTAINMENT

310-742-2300

MY SPY

Fri, 8/23/19 WIDE

C Dave Bautista, Kristen Schaal

D Peter Segal

NR · Act/Com

PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE

Fri, 8/30/19 WIDE

C Anya Taylor-Joy, Daniel Radcliffe

D Lino DiSalvo

NR · Ani/Fam

HUSTLERS

Fri, 9/13/19 WIDE

C Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez

D Lorene Scafaria

NR · Dra

21 BRIDGES

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Chadwick Boseman

D Brian Kirk

NR · Cri/Thr/Act

COUNTDOWN

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Elizabeth Lail, Anne Winters

D Justin Dec

NR · Hor

BRAHMS: THE BOY II

Fri, 12/6/19 WIDE

C Katie Holmes

NR · Hor/Thr

UNCORK’D

ENTERTAINMENT

SEEDS

Fri, 9/24/19 LTD.

C Trevor Long, Andrea Chen

D Owen Long

NR · Hor

UNITED ARTISTS

RELEASING

310-724-5678

Ask for Distribution

WHERE’D YOU GO

BERNADETTE?

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup

D Richard Linklater

PG-13 · Com/Dra

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Fri, 10/11/19 WIDE

C Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron

D Conrad Vernon

NR · Ani · Dolby Vis/Atmos

BAD TRIP

Fri, 10/25/19 WIDE

C Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery

D Kitao Sakurai

NR · Com

BOND 25

Fri, 4/8/20 WIDE

C Daniel Craig

D Cary Joji Fukunaga

NR · Act/Thr

LEGALLY BLONDE 3

Fri, 5/8/20 WIDE

C Reese Witherspoon

NR · Com

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC

Fri, 8/21/20 WIDE

C Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter

D Dean Parisot

NR · Com/Adv

UNIVERSAL

818-777-1000

FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS:

HOBBS & SHAW

Fri, 8/2/19 WIDE

C Dwayne Johnson, Jason

Statham

D David Leitch

PG-13 · Act/Adv

Dolby Vis/Atmos

AUGUST 2019

109


BOOKING GUIDE

GOOD BOYS

Fri, 8/16/19 WIDE

C Jacob Tremblay,

Keith L. Williams

D Gene Stupnitsky

R · Com

ABOMINABLE

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Chloe Bennet

D Jill Culton

NR · Ani · 3D/Dolby Atmos

THE HUNT

Fri, 9/27/19 WIDE

C Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin

D Craig Zobel

NR · Act/Thr

LAST CHRISTMAS

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding

D Paul Feig

PG-13 · Rom/Com

QUEEN & SLIM

Fri, 11/27/19 WIDE

C Daniel Kaluuya,

Jodie Turner-Smith

D Melina Matsoukas

R · Dra/Rom

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Fri, 12/13/19 WIDE

C Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon

D Sophia Takal

NR · Hor

CATS

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C James Corden, Judi Dench

D Tom Hooper

NR · Mus

1917

Fri, 12/25/19 WIDE

C George McKay,

Dean-Charles Chapman

D Sam Mendes

NR · Dra/War

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS

Fri, 1/3/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR

DOLITTLE

Fri, 1/17/20 WIDE

C Robert Downey Jr.,

Ralph Fiennes

D Stephen Gaghan

NR · Com · Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE TURNING

Fri, 1/24/20 WIDE

C Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard

D Floria Sigismondi

PG-13 · Thr

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Fri, 2/14/20 WIDE

C Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield

D Stella Meghie

NR · Rom

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

C Elisabeth Moss, Storm Reid

Leigh Whannell

NR · Hor

TROLLS WORLD TOUR

Fri, 4/17/20 WIDE

C Anna Kendrick

D Walt Dohrn

NR · Ani

FAST & FURIOUS 9

Fri, 5/22/20 WIDE

C Vin Diesel

D Justin Lin

NR · Act/Adv

CANDYMAN

Fri, 6/12/20 WIDE

D Nia DaCosta

NR · Hor

UNTITLED JUDD APATOW/

PETE DAVIDSON COMEDY

Fri, 6/19/20 WIDE

D Judd Apatow

NR · Com

MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU

Fri, 7/3/20 WIDE

NR · Ani

UNTITLED NEXT PURGE

CHAPTER

Fri, 7/10/20 WIDE

NR · Hor

VERTICAL

ENTERTAINMENT

JACOB’S LADDER

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD.

C Michael Ealy, Jesse Williams

D David M. Rosenthal

NR · Thr

WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

THE KITCHEN

Fri, 8/9/19 WIDE

C Melissa McCarthy

D Andrea Berloff

NR · Cri/Thr

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

Fri, 8/16/19 WIDE

C Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir

D Gurinder Chadha

PG-13 · Bio/Com/Mus

Dolby Vis/Atmos

IT CHAPTER TWO

Fri, 9/6/19 WIDE

C James McAvoy,

Jessica Chastain

D Andy Muschietti

R · Hor

IMAX/Dolby Vis/Atmos

CONJURING 3

Fri, 9/11/19 WIDE

NR · Hor

THE GOLDFINCH

Fri, 9/13/19 WIDE

C Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman

D John Crowley

R · Dra

JOKER

Fri, 10/4/19 WIDE

C Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro

D Todd Phillips

NR · Act · Dolby Vis/Atmos

UNTITLED BEN AFFLECK

MOVIE

Fri, 10/18/19 WIDE

NR

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN

Fri, 11/1/19 WIDE

C Edward Norton, Alec Baldwin

NR · Dra

DOCTOR SLEEP

Fri, 11/8/19 WIDE

C Ewan McGregor,

Rebecca Ferguson

D Mike Flanagan

NR · Hor

THE GOOD LIAR

Fri, 11/15/19 WIDE

C Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren

D Bill Condon

NR · Dra

SUPERINTELLIGENCE

Fri, 12/20/19 WIDE

C Melissa McCarthy,

Bobby Cannavale

D Ben Falcone

PG · Act/Com

JUST MERCY

Fri, 12/25/19 LTD.

C Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan

D Destin Daniel Cretton

PG-13 · Dra

BIRDS OF PREY

Fri, 2/7/20 WIDE

C Margot Robbie,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

D Cathy Yan

NR · Act/Adv

GODZILLA VS KONG

Fri, 3/13/20 WIDE

NR · SF/Act

UNTITLED DC FILM

Fri, 4/3/20 WIDE

NR · Act/Adv/SF

SCOOBY-DOO ANIMATED

FEATURE

Fri, 5/15/20 WIDE

NR · Com

WONDER WOMAN 1984

Fri, 6/5/20 WIDE

C Gal Gadot, Kristin Wiig

D Patty Jenkins

NR · Act/Adv/Fan · IMAX/3D

IN THE HEIGHTS

Fri, 6/26/20 WIDE

NR · Mus/Rom/Dra

TENET

Fri, 7/17/20 WIDE

D Christopher Nolan

NR

WELL GO USA

ENTERTAINMENT

THE DIVINE FURY

Fri, 8/16/19 LTD.

C Park Seo-jun, Ahn Sung-ki

D Jason Kim

NR · Act/Hor/Thr

FREAKS

Fri, 8/23/19 LTD.

C Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern

D Zach Lipovsky, Adam B. Stein

R · SF/Thr/Mys

FIRST LOVE

Fri, 9/27/19 LTD.

C Masataka Kubota, Nao Omori

D Takashi Miike

NR · Act/Dra/Cri

110 AUGUST 2019


OUR SPONSORS

Arts Alliance Media 7

National CineMedia 13

Barco / Cinionic

inside front cover

Odell’s 85

Cardinal Sound 112

C. Cretors & Company 65

CJ-4DX 89

Dolphin Seating 101

Omniterm 31

QSC 11

Ready Theatre Systems 85

Retriever Software 87

Encore Performance Seating

back cover

Screenvision Media 3

Enpar 111

Fandango 37

FilmExpo 79

Geneva Convention 47

Gold Medal Products 19

Sensible Cinema 112

Sonic Equipment 17

Spotlight Cinema Networks 23

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 105

Ushio 27

Harkness Screens 9

Telescopic Seating Systems

inside back cover

Irwin Seating 21

LightSpeedDepth Q 112

MOC Insurance50

Tivoli 29

VIP Cinema Seating 1

Webedia Movies Pro 41, 113

AUGUST 2019

111


MARKETPLACE

Passive Polarization

for 3D Digital Cinema

Fast, Bright, Reliable...

Quality you can Trust.

Over 2,500

locations worldwide.

Patented in the US, EU, CAN & CHINA

HELP WANTED

SENIOR LEVEL CHANNEL ACCOUNT MAN-

AGER wanted by NEC Display Solutions for

expanding Digital Cinema group. Seeking

minimum 8 years’ experience within hi-tech,

cinema or Pro A/V industry to drive strategic

growth. Field-based, travel throughout US

& Canada required. Apply: www.necdisplay.

com/careers

FOR SALE

VINTAGE TWO-SCREEN MOVIE THEATER,

484 seats with the iconic marquee characteristic

of old movie theaters with updated

digital technology, 2k and 7.1 sound system.

Excellent opportunity for exhibitors to invest

in Puerto Rico in an iconic classic movie theater.

Serious inquiries only. For a Powerpoint

presentation and equipment list, email to

cecilesola46@gmail.com or call 787-398-0912.

HISTORIC CENTRAL ILLINOIS, 5-SCREEN

MOVIE THEATER. Many upgrades including

digital projection and new seats. Free municipal

and theater-owned parking. Serious

inquires contact Peter (217) 652-9700.

USED DIGITAL PROJECTORS AND SOUND

EQUIPMENT. 3 Solaria One Plus projectors

with NAS and projector base. 14 JBL stage

speakers, 12 JBL surround speakers. Processors

and monitors. Contact: boothmw@

chakerestheatres.com or call Mark at (937)

323-6447.

USED DIGITAL PROJECTORS, Five complete

booths including sound equipment. Three

years old. Contact seller at moviescope1000@

gmail.com.

BISTRO CHAIRS FOR SALE: (392) Red vinyl

and (328) gray vinyl seven year old Seating

Concepts Palermo style in-theatre bistro

chairs to be available in early Spring 2018. All

chairs equipped with tray tables. Some of

the seats will require covers/repairs. Please

contact mhooker@aztcorporation.com or

972-428-2943 for more information.

TWO BRAND NEW 3000 watts Christie Xenon

lamps for 35mm projectors. Contact: Atul

Desai 949-291-5700.

PREFERRED SEATING COMPANY, your

source for new, used and refurbished theater

and stadium seating. Buying and selling

used seating is our specialty. Call toll-free

866-922-0226 or visit our website www.‐preferred-seating.com.

18 SETS OF USED 35MM AUTOMATED

PROJECTION SYSTEM (comes with Projector,

Console, Automation Unit and Platter)

comprising of 10 sets of Christie and 8 sets

of Strong 35mm system available on ‘as is

where is’ basis in Singapore. Contact seller at

engthye_lim@cathay.com.sg

APPROXIMATELY 2,000 SEATS FOR SALE.

MOBILIARIO high-back rockers with cup

holders. Located in Connecticut. Contact

(203)758-2148.

6 PLEX EQUIPMENT PACKAGE. Six complete

booths digital projectors/sound, 72 speakers,

seats, screens/frames, concession equipment,

computers, led signs/marquees, safe/

misc equipment. Serious inquiries only. For

equipment list email contact@digitalequipmenttechnologies.com

or call 801-548-0108

or fax 801-281-0482.

www.depthq3d.com

CLASSIC GEM FOR SALE. Tiny, hand-made

storefront arts cinema, 99 seats, in historic

seaside community north of Boston. Ongoing

37 years. Profitable. Remarkable community

support. Original owners getting old. Contact

portmovies@aol.com

BE READY FOR YOUR NEXT DRIVE-IN OR

OPEN AIR CINEMA EVENT! Used inflatable

screens from 5m (16ft) to 27m (88ft) width for

sale. Contact Mr. Alexander Thye, info@moviescreens-technologies.com.

HELP WANTED

TRI STATE THEATRE SUPPLY in Memphis, TN

has openings for experienced Digital Cinema

Techs nationwide. Please send your resume to

include qualifications, certifications and salary

requirements to fred@tristatetheatre.com

THEATRE MANAGEMENT POSITIONS

AVAILABLE Pacific Northwest Theatre Company.

Previous management experience

required. Work weekends, evenings and

holidays. Send resume and salary history to

movietheatrejobs@gmail.com

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

The three-screen Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Parkway Film Center in Baltimore is seeking

an OPERATIONS DIRECTOR to oversee

all aspects of running the theater and concessions.

The Film Center, a partnership among

the Maryland Film Festival, Johns Hopkins

University and MICA will open in spring of

2017 and offer a broad range of the world’s

best art-house, independent, documentary,

and classic cinema. The full job description

and application instructions are found at mdfilmfest.com/about-the-festival/jobs.php.

112 AUGUST 2019


CLASSIC AD FROM OCTOBER 21, 1950


BRING THEM BACK

FOR THE

ENCORE!

Visit us on Social Media!

@EncorePerformanceSeating

encore.palliser.com

Contact us today to discover the benefits

of partnering with Encore!

infoencore@palliser.ca

International: +1-204-396-1136

Canada & USA Toll Free: +1-866-314-2820

Europe: +33 (0) 603 362 173

70 Lexington Park • Winnipeg, MB • R2G 4H2 • Canada

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