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Boxoffice Pro - September 2022

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$6.95 / September 2022

25 YEARS

OF ALAMO

DRAFTHOUSE

How a local movie theater in Austin, Texas,

grew to become one of the world’s most

influential cinema circuits

CINÉSHOW

2022

Full coverage of this

year's event in Dallas

The Official Magazine of the National Association of Theatre Owners


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September 2022

CONTENTS

34

25 Years of Alamo

Drafthouse

How a Local Movie Theater in

Austin, Texas, Grew to Become

One of the World’s Most

Influential Cinema Circuits

24

Dine-In Overview

Highlights from Omdia’s Latest

Report on the Dine-In Cinema

Sector

46

The Moviegoer’s Guide

to Austin

A Cinephile’s Complete Guide

to One of the World’s Most

Vibrant Exhibition Scenes

60

A Vision for the Future

CineShow 2022 Visionary

Award: Interview with Jamie

and Jeff Benson, Founders,

Cinergy Entertainment

66

From Popcorn to the

Pizza Pub

Frank Liberto Award: Interview

with Joel Davis, Chief Operating

Officer, Premiere Cinemas

September 2022

03


CONTENTS

INDUSTRY THEATER ON SCREEN

10

12

14

18

22

24

NATO

Now Is the Time to Come Together

to Ensure the Growth of Theatrical

Exhibition

NATO

Making Sense of Theatrical’s Time

Frame for Recovery

Charity Spotlight

A Recap of Industry-Wide Charity

Initiatives

Industry Insiders

Christina Blumer is Will Rogers’s

New Executive Director

CineEurope Recap

Our Dispatch from Europe’s Most

Important Exibition Convention

Dine-In Overview

Highlights from Omdia’s Report on

the Dine-In Cinema Sector

28

34

46

Indie Focus

Interview with Nicolas Nicolaou,

Owner of Alpine Cinema (Brooklyn),

Cinema Village (Manhattan) and

Cinemart Cinemas (Queens)

25 Years of Alamo Drafthouse

How a Local Movie Theater in Austin,

Texas Grew to Become One of the

World’s Most Influential Cinema

Circuits

The Moviegoer’s Guide to Austin

From the Alamo Drafthouse to the

Violet Crown, a Cinephile’s Complete

Guide to One of the World’s Most

Vibrant Exhibition Scenes

78

80

Event Cinema Calendar

A Sampling of Event Cinema

Programming Hitting the Big

Screen in 2022

Booking Guide

“Unfortunately, in these

past 50 years, I’ve seen

neighborhood theater after

neighborhood theater

turn into a McDonald’s or

a drugstore. That makes

us a poorer, less healthy

community.”

Indie Focus, p. 28

CINÉSHOW

60

66

70

72

Visionary Award

CinéShow 2022 Visionary Award:

Interview with Jamie and Jeff

Benson, Founders, Cinergy

Entertainment

Frank Liberto Award

CinéShow 2022 Frank Liberto Award:

Interview with Joel Davis, Chief

Operating Officer, Premiere Cinemas

Lifetime Acheivement

CinéShow Honors NATO’s

Belinda Judson with Lifetime

Achievement Award

Texan of the Year

Cinemark’s Don Harton is Variety of

Texas’s 2022 Texan of the Year

04 September 2022


BOXOFFICE MEDIA

CEO

Julien Marcel

SVP Content Strategy

Daniel Loría

Creative Direction

Extract Studio

EVP Chief Administrative Officer

Susan Rich

VP Advertising

Patricia Martin

BOXOFFICE PRO

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Daniel Loría

DEPUTY EDITOR

Rebecca Pahle

MANAGING EDITOR

Laura Silver

CHIEF ANALYST

Shawn Robbins

ANALYSTS

Chad Kennerk

Jesse Rifkin

DATABASE

Diogo Hausen

CONTRIBUTORS

Phil Contrino

John Fithian

David Hancock

ADVERTISING

Patricia Martin

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Boxoffice Pro has served as the

official publication of the National

Association of Theatre Owners

(NATO) since 2007. As part of this

partnership, Boxoffice Pro is proud to

feature exclusive columns from NATO

while retaining full editorial freedom

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Boxoffice Pro (ISSN 0006-8527), Volume 158, Number 6, September 2022. Boxoffice Pro is published by

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06 September 2022


EXECUTIVE LETTER

RAISING A GLASS

TO THE FUTURE

After two years of struggles, it’s a

great feeling to be able to finish the

summer with a stable box office and an

exciting slate of upcoming titles. The domestic

market surpassed the $4.4 billion

earned in 2021 during the month of July.

While we are unlikely to hit $10 billion

this year, the 2023 schedule looks promising

enough to suggest that we could

return to a pre-pandemic annual attendance

by next year. As we look forward

together, this edition of our magazine

explores some of the most innovative

companies and executives working in our

industry today.

This issue’s cover story commemorates

the 25th anniversary of Alamo Drafthouse.

Our in-depth look at the circuit’s

history shows that what started out as

a mom-and-pop local cinema in Austin,

Texas, has grown into one of the most

recognizable brands in exhibition. Our

Alamo Drafthouse piece is complemented

by the inaugural entry of our Moviegoer’s

Guide series, where we look at Alamo’s

influence on its hometown and profile

other leading exhibitors of Austin’s

vibrant cinema scene.

August is the month of CinéShow, and

our event coverage includes interviews

with this year’s honorees: Belinda Judson

is retiring from a long tenure defending

the interests of exhibition on behalf of the

National Association of Theatre Owners.

Joel Davis, honored as this year’s recipient

of the Frank Liberto Award, looks back

on his career at Premiere Cinemas and

the innovations he’s introduced to his

circuit’s moviegoing experience. Jeff

and Jamie Benson, pioneers of both the

dine-in and cinema entertainment center

concepts as founders of Movie Tavern

and their current circuit, Cinergy, recount

their years as industry trailblazers. We

also speak with Cinemark veteran Don

Harton, who is receiving Variety of

Texas’s Texan of the Year Award.

We’re overjoyed that regional

exhibition conventions in the United

States are back up and running. If you

plan on attending CinéShow, Geneva, or

ShowEast, be on the lookout for me and

our Boxoffice Pro team. We’re looking

forward to reconnecting in person and

raising a glass to the future of exhibition.

Daniel Loria

SVP Content Strategy and Editorial Director

Boxoffice Pro

While we are unlikely to

hit $10 billion this year,

the 2023 schedule looks

promising enough to suggest

that we could return to

a pre-pandemic annual

attendance by next year.

September 2022

07


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NATO 10 | Charity Spotlight 14 | Industry Insiders 18 | Dine-In Cinemas 24

INDUSTRY

If [CineEurope] 2021 recognized the industry’s resilience, this

year’s event celebrated its revitalization.

CineEurope Recap, p. 22

September 2022

09


Industry NATO

SEIZE THE DAY

Now Is the Time to Come Together to Ensure the

Growth of Theatrical Exhibition

BY JOHN FITHIAN

Movie fans of all

demographics have shown

their willingness to come

back to the cinema in strong

numbers, as long as there are

movies they want to see.

As I write this column in early July,

we have seen great expansion in

the box office. The positive trends are

growing with older audiences (Top Gun

and Elvis) and family audiences (Minions),

the two groups some industry critics said

would never come back to the cinema.

Numbers on many individual movies are

setting records.

Yet as some of you read this in early

September you may be asking, “Why did

the box office slow down again?” It’s all

about the movies—or the lack of them.

We had a relatively consistent flow of

commercial movie releases in April

through July, but then that supply slowed

down. Movie fans of all demographics

have shown their willingness to come

back to the cinema in strong numbers, as

long as there are movies they want to see.

I have confidence that the late fall and

winter slate, and then the schedule in

2023, will accelerate the expansion, even

if August and September are, well, August

and September.

Over the longer term, the exhibition

business is indeed growing again after

two very difficult years. During those two

years, most of the cinema industry was

consumed with triage, crisis management,

and survival—just trying to keep the boat

afloat. Now we can all grab oars again and

start rowing forward.

It is time for NATO, our theater operator

members, and our partners across the

industry (creatives, distributors, suppliers

of technology, F&B, and others) to seize this

opportunity to come together to ensure the

continued long-term growth of theatrical

exhibition through advocacy, collaboration,

research and data, industry promotion,

volunteerism, and financial support of the

institutions involved in all of this.

Here are some ideas for your

consideration.

Work Together to Support and Expand

the Consistent Theatrical Release of

Movies of Diverse Content, Appealing

to Diverse Audiences, with Robust

Periods of Exclusivity

The lifeblood of cinema is movies,

diverse in nature and released consistently

throughout the calendar with

sufficient windows. The business model

works if we all work at it. Creatives should

raise the issue of theatrical release with

windows in their initial deals to make

movies, not after the movie is made or

never at all. Specifically, guarantees of

a theatrical release with a stipulated

window should be incorporated into

contracts to make movies.

Distributors should work within their

studios to push for renewed and winning

slates of theatrically released movies and

demonstrate through data that a straightto-streaming

model just isn’t as profitable.

Exhibitors should continue to innovate

and improve the moviegoing experience

and ensure the sight and sound that can’t

be found at home, so that creatives and

distributors continue to prioritize the

exclusive initial release of their movies

in theaters. And finally, distributors

and exhibitors should discuss windows

every time a movie is booked—not as

antagonists, but as partners searching for

the best business models.

NATO will continue to advocate for

this No. 1 priority for the industry. The

Cinema Foundation will undertake

research to provide the data to support

these business models and will guide

innovation in the industry to preserve

and enhance the superiority of the

moviegoing experience. And CinemaCon

will continue to highlight and celebrate

the amazing range of movies to be offered

theatrically.

Advocate for Government Policies

Advantageous to Cinema, and

against Misguided Policies That

Would Damage the Industry

There can be no moviegoing experience

without profitable movie theater operators.

During the pandemic, lobbying of governments

at the federal, state, and local levels

was essential to surviving the crisis. Using

the NATO safety protocols, we all lobbied

together to reopen cinemas and to seek tax

and grant relief for exhibitors of all sizes.

We were so inspired by our creative partners

when more than 110 leading movie

directors and producers signed a letter of

support for cinemas to the U.S. Congress.

And of course, the grassroots efforts of

NATO members were crucial.

As we move forward, the industry must

be vigilant against government proposals

that might hold back our growth—from

misguided tax and regulatory proposals

to censorship. We need NATO members

to activate when grassroots alerts go

out, and to join us in Washington when

Capitol Hill days are scheduled. And as

exhibitors, we must continue to join with

our creative and studio partners, as well

as the Motion Picture Association, in

lobbying efforts to prevent movie theft

and protect intellectual property.

Support the Voluntary Movie Rating

System

The Classification and Ratings

Administration (CARA) oversees a voluntary

movie rating system that gives

parents the information they need to

make informed choices about their

children’s moviegoing selections. This

voluntary rating system also serves as an

alternative to government censorship and

criminal sanctions, which are common

in some other countries. The MPA and

NATO developed the rules for CARA and

10 September 2022


We must continue to join

with our creative and studio

partners, as well as the

Motion Picture Association,

in lobbying efforts to prevent

movie theft and protect

intellectual property.

operate the appeals board for the organization.

But it is the members of the MPA

and the members of NATO who carry out

the mission of CARA every day. Please do

your part to support this important system.

Exhibitors must enforce the rating

system in your theaters. Help to educate

guests about the valuable information

that ratings and ratings explanations

provide. Distributors and creatives must

support the application of appropriate ratings

to their movies. Now that moviegoing

is coming back full steam, the importance

of these efforts has returned too.

Volunteer to Help Industry Growth

through Organizations That Support

the Industry

There are many ways to donate a little of

your time to organizations that support

the growth of the industry.

Exhibitors should join and support

the work of NATO and the Cinema

Foundation. There are many committees

and task forces that carry out the work of

the association. Working through these

committees, NATO now has the most

active and numerous voluntary members

in its history. Here are some numbers:

• 3,215 recipients of general NATO updates

(all NATO member personnel)

• 619 members of various committees and

task forces

• 19% individual committee participation

• 309 member companies represented on

committees and task forces out of 1,104

member companies

• 28% member companies represented on

committees and task forces

If you are a NATO member and want to

find out how you can get more involved in

NATO, send an email to NATO’s director

of membership, Erin Von Hoetzendorff,

at evh@natoca.com. At the same time,

get involved in the Cinema Foundation

too, by contacting its executive

director, Bryan Braunlich, at bryan@

thecinemafoundation.org.

Others in the industry can volunteer

to work with their own representative

bodies, such as the Motion Picture

Association (MPA), the Directors Guild

of America (DGA), the Academy of

Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the

Society of Motion Picture and Television

Engineers (SMPTE), and many others.

NATO frequently partners with these

organizations on common goals. And very

importantly, others in the industry can

also now participate in the work of the

Cinema Foundation—the first all-industry

body for collaboration—by contacting

Bryan at the email address above.

Support the Work of the New Cinema

Foundation

I have alluded to the Cinema Foundation

throughout this column, but the foundation

deserves its own shout-out. Just

launched publicly at CinemaCon in April,

the Cinema Foundation provides a new

and historic way for all industry members

to support the growth of cinema. As has

been described in more detail in previous

editions of this magazine, foundation

areas of focus will include staffing issues

and diversity, creative community

involvement, industry promotion, innovation

and technology, research and data,

and charity support.

I truly believe that the Cinema

Foundation will do more to advance and

grow the moviegoing experience than

any other new initiative in the history of

NATO. And one exciting element of the

foundation is that representatives from all

sectors of the industry can work together

as equal partners at the foundation.

The Cinema Foundation needs your

support—both your time and, if possible,

your money. The work of the foundation

will not be on a “pay-to-play” system, as

financial support is not a requirement for

substantive participation. Nonetheless,

this 501(c)(3) organization can only

succeed if it has the budget to do so.

For more information, go to

www.thecinemafoundation.org.

At NATO, CinemaCon, and the

Cinema Foundation, we are all so excited

about the return to growth in theatrical

exhibition. It is a privilege to work in this

great industry.

John Fithian is President & CEO of the

National Association of Theatre Owners.

CONGRATULATIONS

In addition to diving into the issues

of the day, I want to give a congratulatory

shout-out to my longtime

colleague and friend, Belinda

Judson. The leaders of CineShow

have rightfully decided to honor

Belinda at their convention, and

she deserves that honor. With a

background in exhibition, Belinda

has served nearly 30 years in leadership

roles at NATO and various

NATO regional organizations and

has been a strong and strategic

defender of exhibitors’ interests.

She is loved across this industry for

her positive spirit and dedication.

Well done, Belinda!

September 2022

11


industry NATO

WHERE DO

WE START?

Making Sense of Theatrical’s

Time Frame for Recovery

BY PATRICK CORCORAN

We are simultaneously

post-pandemic, struggling

with audiences’ pandemic

fears, recovered, recovering,

setting box office records,

and lagging behind 2019.

Sometimes it seems as if we live in

the past, the present, and the future

all at the same time, and sometimes it

seems as if the past is the only thing that

changes. The internet and social media

have made it possible to mine alternative

pasts and fit them to your current sense of

the present or point to a current phenomenon

and declare it the future.

The pandemic has exacerbated this

sense of being out of time—as I write this,

on March 862nd, 2020 (you may call it

July 11, 2022; I don’t judge), our industry

is, as ever, subject to a choose-your-ownadventure

sense of time. We are simultaneously

post-pandemic, struggling with

audiences’ pandemic fears, recovered,

recovering, setting box office records, and

lagging behind 2019.

It all depends on when you choose

to start counting. Was it December 17,

2021? Maybe it should have been. That

was the opening day for Spider-Man: No

Way Home, an absolute theatrical sensation,

with the second-highest opening

weekend box office in North America,

the third-highest domestic gross ever

($804M), and the sixth-highest worldwide

gross ever ($1.9B). This as the Omicron

variant of Covid was exploding.

But somehow, moviegoing was not

back. Despite the fact that families turned

out in droves, and audiences over age 45

attended in the exact same proportion

as the opening of Avengers: Endgame

(accounting for roughly 2 million admissions

opening weekend), conventional

wisdom held that older audiences were

unwilling to return to the movies. Many

pointed at disappointing results for

adult-skewing prestige titles over the

holidays, but generally ignored that those

movies’ box office was probably more

challenged by simultaneous release to the

home than by fears of the virus.

Consider: Biweekly surveys by NRG

consistently showed that older moviegoers

believed movie theaters to be safer than

every other polled indoor activity, yet bars

were bustling, restaurants were packed,

and music venues were humming. So why

not movie theaters? Bars had alcohol, restaurants

had food, nightclubs had music.

Imagine if those bars only sold light beer,

restaurants only had salads, and music

venues only had bassoons (I like bassoons

as much as the next guy, but …).

We received frequent advice that

movie theaters needed to mount a campaign

to convince older moviegoers that

cinemas were safe. But Spider-Man’s

success and the relatively empty quarter

that followed told us something important.

We simply did not have the breadth

and number of movies that would tell

audiences things were back to normal.

January would see a total of five wide

releases (more than 1,000 screens). 2019

had four on January 11 alone. For the

entire first quarter, there would be 24

Monthly domestic box office

Number of wide releases

1.5B

40

1B

30

0.5B

2019

20

2022

10

2019

2022

2019

2022

Jan

Feb

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

0

Q1

Q2

12

September 2022


wide releases, compared with 30 in Q1

2019. More alarming, there were 46 titles

released by major and mini-major distributors

in the first quarter of 2019, and 34 in

the first quarter of 2022.

This is important to bear in mind as

you read stories about the health of the

box office. Most mention the remarkable

strength of this summer so far but note

that the 2022 box office is trailing 2019.

Here, again, we are in a twilight world of

past and present. Simultaneously recovering

and lagging. This is why it is critical to

mark different periods of recovery.

Year to date, 2022 trails our last full year

of normal, 2019, by 29.4 percent. That’s

$4,248,807,549 compared with $6,013,179,827,

as of July 10. But breaking it down by time

period is far more illuminating.

Q1 2022 was $1,353,958,822 compared

with $2,416,443,936 in 2019—a deficit of 44

percent. To be sure, Q1 had its bright spots,

most notably The Batman, with a $56 million

opening weekend and a $369 million

domestic gross, and the solid performances

of Dog and The Lost City—the latter of

which legged out a $100 million gross.

Everything Everywhere All at Once snuck in

at the end of the quarter on 20 screens and

became a long-running indie phenomenon,

having grossed $68 million as I write.

Q2 is a different story. With 22 wide

releases compared with 37 in 2019, the

comparison might seem dire, particularly

when one of those 2019 titles was Avengers:

Endgame, which grossed $858 million

domestically, but the hit rate in Q2 was

remarkable. Three movies—Dr. Strange,

Top Gun: Maverick, and Jurassic World:

Dominion all opened to more than $100

million in a six-week period. That has only

happened twice before—May 2007 and

May–June 2018. Since April 1, there have

been seven 100 million–plus grossers. Over

the same period in 2019, there were nine.

Q2 grossed $2,355,872,336, down 27.14

percent from 2019’s $3,233,224,830. The

starkest difference between the two periods

is the number of releases from majors

and mini-majors. There were 61 in Q2 of

2019, but only 40 in 2022. There is a vast

middle class of movies that have simply

not found their way back to movie theaters.

There are multiple reasons, from

production delays to a still-evolving

understanding that audiences have

not abandoned midrange movies for

streaming—the movies have abandoned

them—to an unfounded notion that

Here, again, we are in a

twilight world of past and

present. Simultaneously

recovering and lagging. This

is why it is critical to mark

different periods of recovery.

older audiences and family audiences

were still hesitant to return to theaters.

This led to a week of comic anxiety the

week after Lightyear and a week before

Minions, as the more sensitive stomachs

in Hollywood churned over the question

of whether families still wanted to see

animated movies.

That anxiety highlights another

time-bending perception in Hollywood,

particularly regarding bad news, and

more particularly regarding theatrical.

One flop is a calamity, two is a trend, and

three is a paradigm shift. Unmoored from

logic and time, each new insight gleaned

from the same old story is a signal of

unprecedented peril. The pandemic

changes everything. So did streaming,

until sometime after Q1 2019 earnings

statements. So did DVDs, until people

stopped buying them. So did TV, even if

suburbanization had more to do with the

postwar decline in moviegoing.

But things get better. As promising as

the second quarter was, despite a serious

movie supply issue, the summer season is

even better. Since May 1, box office is only

9.6 percent behind 2019: $2,313,238,282

to $2,559,426,365. The sudden realization

of this has caused analysts to leap ahead

toward what looks like a serious lack of

blockbusters from the end of August

through October.

And they are correct. Where they will

undoubtedly be incorrect is in their speculation

about what this means for the health

of the movie theater industry. For multiple

reasons—erratic production schedules,

mistaken perceptions of what the audience

is ready for, an incomplete pivot from

a streaming-is-everything strategy, or

simple timidity—we have not yet had the

breadth and numbers of movies we need

for a balanced and healthy schedule to

serve the broadest number of moviegoers.

For all the marketing talk of “meeting

the audience where they are” and

spending billions of dollars to build new

delivery systems and libraries of content,

Hollywood has failed to see that the audience

was here all along. The pandemic and

this summer’s remarkable recovery make

clear that the audience has never left—the

movies did. Bring back the movies—all of

them—and the audience will be right here

waiting. Like they always have.

Patrick Corcoran is Vice President & Chief

Communications Officer of NATO.

September 2022

13


INDUSTRY CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

CHARITY

SPOTLIGHT

Texas-based Studio Movie Grill continues

its commitment to serving

the communities in which its theaters are

located. On June 18, the chain’s Seminole,

Florida location worked with nonprofit

group Help Us Gather (HUG) to provide a

special-needs screening of Lightyear for

those with disabilities and their families.

Elsewhere in Florida, at SMG’s Sunset

Walk Kissimmee location, manager Jason

and his team partnered with Heroez

Everywhere—an organization that helps

children in Central Florida who are battling

cancer, living with autism, or powering

through poverty—to raise awareness

of Sunset Walk’s Special Needs Screenings.

Volunteers attending in costumes

made the screenings even more special

for guests. Sunset Walk also hosted a

screening of Jurassic World: Dominion for

Special Olympics Team Florida to help

celebrate their accomplishments during

the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games,

held in Orlando.

Elsewhere, two SMG locations in Georgia

(one in Atlanta, one in Duluth) hosted

special adaptive-bike presentations with

Variety, the Children’s Charity of Georgia,

while the chain’s Marietta, Georgia

location hosted guests from the nearby

Dobbins Air Reserve Base at a special

screening of Top Gun: Maverick. In SMG’s

home state of Texas, SMG Lincoln Square

in Arlington invited guests from the

Orange Out Foundation—which assists

children and families dealing with childhood

cancers—to screenings of Lightyear

and DC League of Super-Pets.

Cranford, New Jersey’s five-screen

Cranford Theater, pictured below

right, regularly engages with its local

community through a variety of charity

initiatives. In the summer of 2022 alone,

they have partnered with local pantry

Cranford Family Care to collect baby

formula, with the theater used as a collection

site; partnered with the Cranford

High School film class for a special movie

day, with students treated to a screening

as well as a visit from the associate director

of the N.J. Motion Picture and Television

Commission; and twice worked with

local leaders to host film screenings, with

guests getting free access in exchange for

a donation of canned items to Cranford

Family Care. Elvis tribute artist Jim Barone

also collected paper and canned goods for

Cranford Family Care from attendees at his

June 30 concert at the Cranford.

On July 10, the Motion Picture Club

hosted its annual Day at the Movies event

at a street fair in Midtown Manhattan.

Every year, the MPC puts together a booth

and sells various donated movie swag—

including T-shirts, posters, and DVDs—

enabling them to both connect with their

community and raise money for cinema-related

charitable organizations.

At the NAC Concession & Hospitality

Expo, held July 26–29 in Orlando,

Florida, attendees could take a break

from the world of concessions and do a

good deed. The NAC Outreach Committee

coordinated a kindness initiative to take

place during the show, partnering with

Variety of Florida and Go Baby Go—both

of which assist young children with

disabilities—to assemble mobility vehicles

and therapeutic toy bags for children

in need. Siblings of these children were

14

September 2022


invited to walk the trade show and trick

or treat through the booths.

Cinema Week—a week-long celebration

of the cinematic experience—is returning

for its second year, this time taking place

between October 7 and 13. Those who

wish to buy Cinema Week merchandise,

available on cinemaweek.com, will also

be supporting a beloved industry charity,

as proceeds from Cinema Week sales

will go to the Will Rogers Motion Picture

Pioneers Foundation.

MediCinema Brings the Power of Thor

to Hospital Patients Across the U.K.

Vue International, the third largest

exhibitor in the U.K., has partnered with

Marvel Studios to support MediCinema, a

U.K.-based organization that brings the

magic of the movies to hospital patients

and their families. Guests who bought

tickets to Thor: Love and Thunder through

August 31 were given the option to donate

50 pence to MediCinema; all donations

were then matched by Marvel Studios, a

division of the Walt Disney Company, up

to £50,000.

Vue’s partnership with MediCinema

has been in place since 2018, with customers

being given the option to donate when

they purchase a ticket online. To date,

this partnership has yielded more than

£600,000 for MediCinema.

Toby Braden, general manager of Vue

U.K., Ireland, and Denmark said, “We’re

proud to support MediCinema and the

great work the charity does. We’ve been in

partnership for four years and have seen

firsthand the true magic, escapism, and

experience MediCinema provides to those

who need it. At Vue, we too believe in the

power of the Big Screen.”

MediCinema also worked in partnership

with Disney to arrange an

exclusive premiere screening of Thor:

Love and Thunder for patients at the

CW+ MediCinema at the Chelsea and

Westminster Hospital. To date, Disney

has created numerous once-in-a-lifetime

activities at MediCinema sites, using the

power of their stories and characters to

help build emotional resilience.

Said Sara Hanson, director, enterprise

social responsibility EMEA & U.K., the

Walt Disney Company: “Our partnership

with MediCinema is a great example of

how, through the power of stories and

working together, we can create moments

“MediCinema helps patients

every day feel better with

film across the country;

that’s why we are proud to

be teaming up with Vue U.K.

to help raise awareness and

funds to enable more patients

to have this experience.”

that matter—bringing comfort and joy

to patients and their loved ones when

they need it the most. MediCinema helps

patients every day feel better with film

across the country; that’s why we are

proud to be teaming up with Vue U.K. to

help raise awareness and funds to enable

more patients to have this experience.”

Variety – the Children’s Charity

On July 6, Variety of Illinois held a

special event for kids with disabilities

at Classic Cinemas’ Cinema 12 location

in Carpentersville, Illinois. The theater

staff served concessions combos, played

games, and made sure to keep smiles on

everyone’s faces.

This summer, Variety of St. Louis

brought back their Adventure Camp,

open to children and teens ages 4 to 20.

Pictured above is Emmy, a first-time

attendee of the camp, who jumped

headlong into every activity with her

signature spunk and energy, making

friends with everyone she met and having

what her mom called “the best week of

her life.” Born with a form of dwarfism

called achondroplasia, Emmy faces daily

challenges that did not stop her from

having experiences at camp like any kid

her age, including diving into a swimming

pool, slurping shaved ice on a hot day, and

riding a Ferris wheel.

September 2022

15


INDUSTRY CHARITY SPOTLIGHT

On Monday, June 20, Variety of Detroit

hosted their 33rd Annual Variety Kovan

Golf Classic at the Knollwood Country

Club in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Funds raised at the sold-out event went

to local programs for children with physical

and cognitive challenges, including

the Dr. Bradley S. Kovan memorial fund

at the nonprofit group Friendship Circle,

the Jonathan Scott Kovan memorial

fund at the University of Michigan’s

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and other

Variety programs.

For more than 20 years, Variety of

Detroit’s Bikes for Kids program has

provided brand-new bicycles, helmets,

and locks to deserving children across

southeastern Michigan. This year’s event

was held at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica,

Michigan, where 150 children were invited

to watch a ballgame, enjoy some summer

treats like hot dogs and popcorn, and

receive new bikes and accessories.

July 11 saw the 45th incarnation of

Variety of Wisconsin’s Ben Marcus

Variety Golf Classic, hosted at the Grand

Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva,

Wisconsin. Pictured below are Variety

of Wisconsin board member Jon Kahle

and his son Francis, joined by Steve,

David, and Greg Marcus of the Marcus

Corporation. Greg is president and CEO of

the Marcus Corporation, which consists

of Marcus Theatres, hotels, and resorts,

including the Grand Geneva.

On Thursday, September 22, Variety of

Southern California will host its 50th

Annual Golf Classic. This year, Variety

SoCal honors entertainment industry veteran

(and Variety of SoCal board member)

Eric Tabak as he celebrates his final year

as Golf Chair Extraordinaire. Join Variety

and Tabak’s friends and colleagues as they

thank him for the decades-long dedication

that helped the Variety SoCal Golf

Classic reach its half-century mark.

Since its inception in 1971, the Golf

Classic has raised over $2.5 million in

support of Variety’s mission to help kids

in Southern California. Please visit www.

Varietysocal.org for more information.

Have an event to feature in next issue’s

Charity Spotlight? Email any details and

images to numbers@boxoffice.com.

Since its inception in 1971,

the Golf Classic has raised

over $2.5 million in support of

Variety’s mission to help kids

in Southern California.

16

September 2022


IN MEMORIAM: VARIETY – THE CHILDREN’S

CHARITY CELEBRATES THE LIVES OF TWO LEGENDS

Maureen Arthur Ruben

1934–2022

June 15 saw the passing of one of Variety’s

greatest icons: Maureen Arthur Ruben.

It is hard to imagine today, but in 1993

Variety of Southern California was close

to shutting down. Revenue streams had

dried up and operating costs exceeded

annual income. When no one wanted

the job of president of the board, Ruben

stepped up and accepted the position.

Ruben’s first act as president: She

dismissed the entire board. She then went

to every movie studio in town and asked

them to provide her with one person to

join her new board. She wasn’t shy in

her ask. She wanted each studio head to

provide her with their best people.

The first meeting of this new board

was hosted by Ruben at Chasen’s restaurant,

where the group began the work of

fixing Variety SoCal. What happened next

is Ruben’s most enduring legacy. Over

the next 29 years, Variety SoCal raised

more than $50 million to help children in

Southern California. Variety’s Gold Heart

Campaign, with Variety of SoCal leading

the charge, was embraced by the motion

picture studios and theater operators

and has become a key part of Variety’s

charitable efforts. Gold Heart sales have

exceeded $50 million to date. That wasn’t

all. Variety of SoCal put up $11 million

to give the Variety Boys and Girls Club

of Boyle Heights a new-and-improved

headquarters, where they still help children

and teens in the Boyle Heights-East

Los Angeles area.

Maureen Arthur Ruben was a sports

nut, a gourmet cook, a singer, and a

movie, TV, and stage actor. Her passion

for Variety – the Children’s Charity was

unprecedented, and her legacy lives on.

Stanley J. Reynolds

1941–2022

Stanley J. Reynolds, who founded an

insurance company that at one point

worked with over a third of the United

States cinema industry, passed away on

July 6. Reynolds and his late wife, Jody,

who passed away June 2, 2019, were the

heart and soul of Variety of Iowa.

Reynolds was one of the founders of the

Variety of Iowa Telethon and was instrumental

in the running of all 48 telethons

that took place over the following decades.

Reynolds’s inspiration came from a place

of grief: his and Jody’s third child, Brigid,

died at an early age from complications

developed at birth. Jody told Stanley on

the drive back from the funeral: “We are

going to make her life count.”

From that day forward, the two of them

devoted themselves to serving children

across Iowa and around the world. Since

the inception of the telethon in 1975,

Variety of Iowa has raised more than

$123 million to support the children of Iowa.

Reynolds’s dedication and passion for

improving the lives of children is undeniable;

he served as a tireless champion for

children in need across the globe until he

passed. He led Variety of Iowa as president

from 1975 to 1977 and extended his service

to Variety International as president from

1989 to 1991.

Reynolds lived life to the fullest. The

greatest joy of his life was his family, which

included Jody and five children: Stan W.,

Suzanne, Erin, Brooks, and Kathryn, plus

grandchildren Caroline, Brooks, Caitlyn,

Johnny, Cullen, William, Marilyn, and

Roxy. Variety of Iowa, though they will

miss Stan terribly, are reminded of his

benevolent spirit every day as they witness

the philanthropic footprint he left behind

in their community and around the world.

What happened next is

Ruben’s most enduring legacy.

Over the next 29 years, Variety

SoCal raised more than $50

million to help children in

Southern California.

Reynolds’s dedication and

passion for improving the lives

of children is undeniable; he

served as a tireless champion

for children in need across

the globe until he passed.

September 2022

17


INDUSTRY INDUSTRY INSIDERS

Boxoffice Pro spoke to Blumer

shortly after her appointment. She talked

about her beginnings at the organization

and her vision for its future.

A PIONEERING

LEADER

Christina Blumer Is Will

Rogers’s New Executive

Director

BY DANIEL LORIA

A cornerstone of the film industry

since its founding in 1936, the

Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers

Foundation has been an invaluable

resource, built to address the cinema

community’s greatest needs. The foundation

is starting a new chapter in its storied

history under the direction of Christina

Blumer as its new executive director, the

first woman to serve in the role since Lois

Lewis in 1975.

Blumer first joined the foundation in

2009, moving up the ranks and serving as

its director of development from 2017 until

earlier this year. Since March, Blumer

has served as the foundation’s director of

operations, where she expanded industry

relations and supervised the charity’s

ongoing programs and services.

As executive director, Blumer will

oversee day-to-day activities, provide

leadership to staff, ensure tax compliance,

advise the board of directors on organizational

programming and services, and

maintain relationships with the motion

picture industry at large. She is taking the

reins from Todd Vradenburg, who stepped

down to become NATO of California and

Nevada’s new president and CEO.

We all know the Will Rogers Motion

Picture Pioneers Foundation for its

charitable work, but I also must highlight

some of the under-the-radar

work you do at industry events. At conventions,

no matter how early I make

it to the gym or go outside for a run, I

always find you and Todd in the middle

of leading a group walk or workout.

I always joke that working for a health

charity is both a blessing and a curse: It

really helps you stay focused on healthier

habits in life. Todd, who first hired me as

an intern at Will Rogers, is a former college

athlete and football player, so he was very

much into health and fitness—and it’s

difficult to say no to the big guy. We were

often up in the hotel gym, or walking up

and down the beach, depending on what

part of the country we were in, during

conventions. It is part of an initiative to

show people, look, you don’t have to do a

lot. You don’t have to kill yourself in the

gym, you don’t have to go nuts, and you

don’t have to feel like you’re going to fall

over at the end of the workout. Just get up

and take a walk. That is how the Walk with

Will concept was born: Just get up and take

a walk, move your body for half an hour.

We get to go to some really cool places on

this travel circuit, and oftentimes, with the

convention schedule, you find you never

leave the hotel. That’s why we encourage

people to get up early and enjoy some of

the beautiful places we get to see.

It really helps balance the day when

you’re at a convention, and it also

helps burn off some of those calories

from the complimentary nachos that

are often in the goodie bags.

You’re not alone. We all dig into those

nachos late at night when we get back to

our hotel room! Over the years, even if we

were at a show where we didn’t actually

have an official Walk with Will on the

schedule, we still had people come up to

us and asking, “Hey, you guys walking

tomorrow?” We’ve found it’s an organic

way to get people networking and a nice

way to be active every morning. So even if

we don’t have one on the schedule at any

given convention, I encourage you to find

me or a group and walk at any event.

18

September 2022


“I always joke that working

for a health charity is both a

blessing and a curse: It really

helps you stay focused on

healthier habits in life.”

What are the other areas where the

Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers

Foundation has been active lately?

The Will Rogers Institute is our pulmonary

health program, the health charity side of

our organization. It is an ode to the Will

Rogers Hospital in Saranac Lake, New

York, which is where we started and where

our roots are as a tuberculosis sanitarium

back in the late 1920s. To this day, we fund

pulmonary research at various educational

institutions across the country and promote

general health and wellness.

In addition to that, we have our

Pioneers Assistance Fund program—

which is probably what we’re most wellknown

for within our industry, particularly

over the last couple of years—which

is our social services program. We provide

financial assistance and supportive

counseling to members of the motion

picture industry, primarily those who

work in exhibition, distribution, trade

services, and vendors exclusive to the

sector. We have two social workers on

staff to provide one-on-one, individualized

services to members of our industry

who have fallen on hard times. We help

with issues like health care expenses and

medical concerns. Accidents, illnesses,

and injury are the main reasons why

someone would come to us. We’re there

for the industry if someone needs our

help after something traumatic happens,

whether it be a natural disaster, hurricane,

flood, fire, or (most recently) a

pandemic.

Another program you recently

launched is Film Row, which feels like

an extension of Will Rogers in that

it helps bring the industry together—

particularly younger members of the

motion picture community.

With Film Row, I have to give credit to

my predecessor, Todd, for coming up

with the concept and the vision of this. I

helped with the execution and am proud

to carry it on, but the idea came from

him. It was modeled after YPO, the Young

Professional Organization, and it is a

training ground for the next generation

of leaders to develop their skills and to

provide a place where they can learn and

grow and network.

Over the last several years, even

pre-pandemic, the business has shifted a

little bit in welcoming a new generation

of young executives. The origins of the

Film Row name comes from these film

row depots around the country, where

both exhibition and distribution would

come together. It’s where the film reels

would be delivered and where exhibitors

would come and pick up marketing

materials for their theaters. As those

film rows and regional offices around the

country closed, those natural opportunities

for training, mentorship, and networking

fell by the wayside. This came

out of an idea to create a place where the

next generation of leadership can network,

learn, and grow with one another.

Melanie Valera was Film Row’s first president.

She was involved heavily with the

Motion Picture Club in New York, which

provides a similar social space there.

She was able to expand those experiences

and provide a place for young

leaders to develop.

It’s an invaluable resource for young

professionals, especially because the

motion picture industry still operates

on a first-name basis. You have folks

that have worked in the business for

years, many of them from multigeneration

families involved in either distribution

or exhibition—oftentimes both—

and it can be intimidating to start your

career in that context. Did you have

a similar experience when you first

joined the industry?

I started as a college intern, so I was very

green and didn’t know much about the

way the film industry worked from the

business side of things. One of the very

first things that I noticed is how much

people know each other so well and have

known each other for so long. It is very

much an industry that operates on a

first-name basis. It was very overwhelming

at first, to be honest, because you feel

like you’re jumping into this big family.

Everyone knows each other. They know

each other’s history, both professionally

and personally, and how they’ve evolved

in the industry. It takes a while to pick up

on that, and you really need to have someone

mentor you through the process.

I was very fortunate to have landed at

Will Rogers and have Todd there to guide

me. I was able to come up through the

ranks, slowly getting handed more and

more things to do, up to being in the hot

seat today. It’s one of the reasons why I’m

so proud of Film Row, and particularly

their mentorship program.

September 2022

19


INDUSTRY INDUSTRY INSIDERS

You’re also in the hot seat for your

first Pioneer of the Year dinner as

executive director of the foundation.

That’s coming up on September 21 in

Los Angeles, coinciding with NATO’s

Fall Summit, where you’re going to

be honoring James Bond producers

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara

Broccoli.

The Pioneer of the Year dinner is something

that we as an organization look

forward to all year. We know that the

industry and people who come to the

event also look forward to it. These are

very high-profile honorees, and we are

very honored to have both Barbara and

Michael lend their names to this event.

The Pioneer of the Year dinner is the

major fundraising event for the Pioneers

Assistance Fund, so it’s really important

to us, not only in making sure everyone

attending has a great time, but also to

raise money for the Pioneers Assistance

Fund. There is always an expectation and

a little bit of pressure involved, since we

always want to put on a great show and

knock the fundraising out of the park.

I think people can expect a great show

this year, and we’re expecting it to sell

out—so get your tickets early if you’re

planning on attending. This is also going

to be the first black-tie Pioneer of the

Year dinner in many years—if anyone can

pull it off, it’s Barbara and Michael, when

we’re honoring the James Bond franchise.

I’m really looking forward to it.

Now that you’re the executive director

at Will Rogers, what are some of the

priorities you’re looking at for 2023?

One of our top priorities is to continue

serving the people in our industry to the

best of our ability. Now that the rush of

the pandemic has slowed down, we’re

taking the time to reassess and look back

at what took place over the last couple of

years. The topic of mental health is top

of mind, not only in this business but

across the board. We’re putting together

resources and educational materials for

people in this business to focus on their

mental health—how to take care of it and

how to recognize if you need a little help

in that area. We’re spending the time listening

to people in exhibition, people in

distribution, and asking how we can serve

them better.

“One of our top priorities

is to continue serving the

people in our industry to

the best of our ability.”

RTS

20

September 2022


THE

COMPANY WEBEDIA GROUP


Industry CINEEUROPE RECAP

CINEEUROPE 2022:

TOM CRUISE, TICKET

PRICING, AND PREMIUMS

The Film Industry Gathered in Barcelona

for Europe’s Biggest Exhibition Convention

BY DANIEL LORIA

One of the biggest moments of last

year’s CineEurope convention came

during Paramount’s slate presentation.

After a year and a half of operating

restrictions and release delays, exhibitors

in attendance were genuinely surprised to

see Tom Cruise walk onstage to introduce

footage of his upcoming Paramount

releases. Stars often make personal

appearances at CineEurope and other

major cinema conventions—but Cruise’s

in-person cameo at Barcelona in October

2021 felt different. Notably, he was the

only star to make an appearance at any

cinema convention in 2021. And while he

received a warm welcome when he walked

onstage, it was difficult not to notice that

the auditorium was far below capacity.

That CineEurope 2021 took place at

all is a minor miracle, a testament to the

resiliency of the event’s organizers—

UNIC and Film Expo Group—to bring the

industry together amid its biggest crisis.

Cruise’s personal appearance resonated

with those in attendance for that very

reason. He showed up when no one else

did. He took the stage and expressed his

gratitude and support for an industry that

many had left for dead. Before leaving,

he promised to continue delivering great

films made to be seen at their cinemas.

Within a year of making that

promise, Cruise returned to Barcelona

for Paramount’s slate presentation at

CineEurope 2022. This time he received

a lengthy standing ovation before an

auditorium that was nearly at capacity.

Earlier that week, Top Gun: Maverick

crossed $900 million in global box office

in its first four weeks of release—the

biggest box office hit of his career.

That moment encapsulated the mood

of CineEurope 2022. If the 2021 edition

recognized the industry’s resilience, this

year’s event celebrated its revitalization.

According to UNIC’s annual report,

cinemas across the European Union were

shut down for an average of 120 days in

2021. In Belgium and the Netherlands,

cinemas were shut down for nearly six

months. The impact of the closures

resulted in a protracted recovery at the

box office, with admissions across Europe

up 36 percent against 2020 but still 56

percent behind 2019 figures.

Once restrictions began to ease across

the continent, 2021 became a tale of the

haves and the have-nots. France, one of

the region’s top markets, was down 53

percent in box office against 2019 during

the first half of 2021. By the second half

of the year, the French box office had

regained enough ground to finish the

second semester 22 percent behind

the same period in 2019, according

to data presented by Comscore at the

event. Access to locally produced films

proved to be a determining factor in that

turnaround. Domestic films claimed 40

percent of the market share at the French

box office, a higher figure than any other

country in the region.

Comparatively, countries that

experienced a disruption in the release

of new domestic titles suffered most at

the box office in 2021. That was the case

in Italy and Turkey, countries where

domestic cinema plays an important

role. The Italian box office finished the

year 74 percent behind 2019 box office

receipts and 76 percent below admission

levels. Turkey was dealt similar results:

71 percent behind 2019 box office and 79

percent below admissions.

Despite these obstacles, Gower Street

Analytics is currently forecasting $31.5

billion in global box office by year’s

end—25 percent below 2019’s recordsetting

$42.3 billion. As we get deeper into

2022, the cinema industry is entering a

period where it won’t be able to blame

the pandemic for its shortcomings. This

year’s CineEurope panel sessions provided

a glimpse into some of the strategies

That moment encapsulated

the mood of CineEurope

2022. If the 2021 edition

recognized the industry’s

resilience, this year’s event

celebrated its revitalization.

22 September 2022


exhibition circuits around the world are

taking to reclaim their audiences.

“People want to come back when

there’s a great film to see. All our data

and research points to that,” said Jane

Hastings, CEO of Event Hospitality and

Entertainment Limited, which operates

cinemas in Australia, New Zealand, and

Germany. “But what’s key moving forward

is premiumization: having as many

cinema experiences as you can offer that

suit a local cinema area.” Eddy Duquenne,

CEO of Belgium-based multinational

circuit Kinepolis, echoed Hastings’s

comments, saying, “There is more

demand for more experience” among

audiences emerging from the pandemic.

The numbers back up those

assertions. Imax is coming off the

best year in its history in global box

office market share, while CJ4DPLEX’s

panoramic screen and 4DX immersive

seating reported record-setting figures

with the release of Top Gun: Maverick.

Peter Forstam, CEO of Scandinavian

circuit Svenska Bio, shared that in one

of his circuit’s new Swedish locations,

premium-priced seats, which represent

around 20 to 25 percent of the site’s total

capacity, were responsible for nearly half

of the cinema’s box office revenue.

For a cinema’s premium strategy

to be viable, however, circuits must

ensure that the price-value relationship

remains competitive for consumers

getting hit by inflation. Kinepolis’s

Duquenne believes there is an advantage

in consumer perception, finding that

today’s consumers are less likely to make

purchasing decisions based on the value

of watching content than they are on the

unique out-of-home experience cinemas

can provide.

“Back when I joined Kinepolis in

2008, friends were telling me: Why are

you buying tickets for the cinema when

you can bring home the DVD to your

family for half the price?” Duquenne

said. “Today, no one talks about the

value of watching content because of

all the [streaming] subscriptions we

have—content is considered free—but

the willingness to pay for an experience is

much higher.”

Marcus Theatres CEO Rolando

Rodriguez, who also serves as chairman

of the National Association of Theatre

Owners, believes exhibitors need to

confront the price-value relationship of

moviegoing more seriously during this

phase of the global cinema reopening.

“You look at what’s happening with labor

cost and in the supply chain—we’re all

feeling pain, and some level of pricing

adjustments are having to take place to

keep your operating levels at a certain

place,” he said. “We need to provide a

great experience and cater to consumers,

and there’s a cost associated with that.”

Rodriguez cautioned against passing on

increased operations costs to the consumer

or pricing out entire audience segments

with premiums. “When we look at the

U.S., we have to keep in mind that median

incomes fluctuate greatly,” he said. “In

California and New York, a $20 ticket isn’t

that much more than a cup of coffee. But

in parts of the country with a lower median

income, $20 is food on the table.”

Instead, he believes the key to success

in instituting a premium strategy is

optimizing the price-value relationship

across a circuit’s range of experiences

by offering a competitively priced movie

ticket for every audience. Marcus, which

operates over 1,000 cinemas in the United

States alongside its dine-in theater brand,

Movie Tavern, offers a range of enhanced

F&B menus and premium formats while

also maintaining a popular Discount

Tuesday program.

Rodriguez is betting on frequency,

not average spend, to get exhibition

back to pre-pandemic admissions levels.

“Our industry is predicated on traffic

and attendance,” he said. “I know of no

consumer-facing business that can survive

without traffic. The restaurant industry

stopped talking about the average spend.

They talk about traffic. Within that traffic,

they’ve got to have a certain amount

of average spend to make it work, but

restaurants today are more concerned

about how to get people through the door,

build loyalty, and build frequency. That’s

one of the things we have to figure out as

an industry right now.”

September 2022

23


Industry TRENDS

THE DINE-

IN CINEMA

MARKET

Highlights from Omdia’s

Report on the Booming

Dine-In Cinema Trend

BY DAVID HANCOCK

A niche and largely unfamiliar

cinema experience just 10 years

ago, dine-in cinemas can now be found

in every major U.S. chain. In the past five

years, the U.S. screen count for dine-in

cinema has grown by 41 percent, with the

number of screens dedicated to eat-andwatch

moviegoing now standing at 3,127

screens, or 7.7 percent of the U.S. screen

base. Cinemas in the United States are

promoting dine-in as an important way

to differentiate moviegoing from home

viewing, saving guests time by combining

two out-of-home experiences into one.

Dine-in cinema is now very much

in the mainstream of moviegoing

experiences among the top three circuits

in the United States. AMC began its

Dine-In program back in 2008. Today,

the largest cinema chain in the U.S. has

grown the concept to 52 sites, half of

them with full service at patrons’ seats.

Likewise, since acquiring dine-in circuit

Cinebarre in 2015, Regal, the secondlargest

cinema chain in the country, also

offers upscale dine-in within its circuit.

For its part, Cinemark, the country’s

third-largest circuit, has just begun

the rollout of its own dine-in concept,

Cinemark CUT!

The U.S. also counts several circuits

specializing in the dine-in cinema

experience. Chains such as iPic, LOOK

24

September 2022


OMDIA’S KEY

FINDINGS

1.

Cinemas

specializing in

dine-in account for

nearly 8 percent of

U.S. screens—and

growing.

2.

The dine-in market

is a mix of dine-in

circuits and more

opportunistic dinein

sites from major

circuits.

3.

In-seat dining

requires a major

investment, one

that needs buy-in

from the landlord

in a lease-heavy

business.

4.

The dine-in offer

is nearly always

accompanied by

an upscale drinks

offer, especially

craft beer and

cocktails.

Dine-In Cinemas, Alamo Drafthouse, Flix

Brewhouse, Star Cinema Grill, and Studio

Movie Grill are all national players in

this sector. Marcus Theatres, the fourthlargest

circuit in the country and fifth

largest in North America, has had its own

brand of cinemas specializing in dine-in

since acquiring and incorporating Movie

Tavern into its circuit in 2019.

Dine-in cinema straddles the cinema

and restaurant/hospitality sectors in a

way movie theaters never have. Food and

beverage (F&B) in cinemas dates to the

1930s, as a high-margin strategy based

on selling snack items. Over the years,

few in the industry seemed committed

to deviating from that model. However,

with the public now able to enjoy films

at home or on the go, and with indirect

competition from other out-of-home

leisure options, cinemas have had to up

their game in recent years. The dine-in

cinema trend is just another example of

how movie theaters have begun leaning

into the experience factor that is unique

to the theatrical model, complementing

other innovations like recliner seating

and premium large-format (PLF)

auditoriums. Dine-in cinema sits within

these upscale options as another way to

offer a unique, premium experience at

the movies.

Domestic Dine-In Cinema Screens

Among the biggest challenges in

implementing the concept is adding

a fully operational restaurant kitchen,

something that requires considerable

planning. As a leasehold business, the

cinema needs buy-in from the landlord;

finding the extra space for a kitchen in

the site is a vital question for both parties.

Once established, the restaurant operation

will require the utmost focus—it is a laborheavy

component, and a substandard

food offering will keep audiences away

regardless of the cinema.

David Hancock is Chief Analyst, Media &

Entertainment, at Omdia.

Cinemas in the United States

are promoting dine-in as an

important way to differentiate

moviegoing from home

viewing, saving guests time by

combining two out-of-home

experiences into one.

Screens

Percentage of market

3,500

3,000

2,500

2,000

1,500

1000

500

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

5.0

4.0

3.0

2.0

1.0

0

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

September 2022

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26 Sept 2022


Indie Focus 28 | Alamo Drafthouse 34 | The Moviegoer’s Guide to Austin 46

THEATER

[Austin] is one of the biggest dine-in cinema markets in the

world, with 46 percent of its screens offering a meal-and-amovie

experience.

The Moviegoer’s Guide to Austin, p. 46

September 2022

27


Theater INDIE FOCUS

INDIE FOCUS

Brought to you by

As the cinema industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic,

Boxoffice Pro and Spotlight Cinema Networks are partnering

to profile movie theaters and influential industry figures from

across the country and ask them to share their first-person

accounts of bringing the movies back to the big screen.

NICOLAS NICOLAOU

Interview with Nicolas Nicolaou, Owner

Alpine Cinema (Brooklyn)

Cinema Village (Manhattan)

Cinemart Cinemas (Queens)

The owner of three independent

cinemas in New York City—

including the oldest still-operating

theater in the five boroughs—Nicolas

Nicolaou came to New York City from

his native Greece at the age of 15. A job

at an RKO cinema led to a love of the

industry that flourished over the next

50 years. Nicolaou’s passion for theaters,

particularly neighborhood theaters,

takes center stage in Abel Ferrara’s

2019 documentary The Projectionist; in

September 2020, distributor Kino Lorber

allowed theaters to screen the film

and keep 100 percent of sales, as they

reopened.

New York City has a rich cinematic

history with such a diverse range

of theaters, from multiplexes to

movie palaces to more independent,

community-oriented cinemas. How

did you get involved in this scene?

I started when I was 15. We lived in

Astoria. The first train stop to Manhattan

was 59th Street. In the ’70s, that’s where

all the main theaters were: The Baronet

and Coronet [Theatre], Cinema I and

II, all the art theaters, the 68th Street

Playhouse, RKO 59th Street, the D.W.

Griffith Theater, the Sutton Theater. I

took the train one day, looking for a

job. A friend of mine, we played a little

game. He called up at the last minute: “I

can’t come to work, but I can send my

friend! He’s 16.” I wasn’t. They hired

me. I worked for RKO, [and] I learned a

lot of things there. And then I moved

on, because across the street, there were

other theaters. I was very quickly offered

an assistant manager’s job at the [nearby]

art theater. And then [I became the]

manager. When you’re in a small chain—

it was 10, 12 theaters they had—you get

promoted if you’re willing to work hard. I

was going to high school, still.

How old were you when you became

the manager?

I was 17. And then when I was 19, the

district manager for those theaters

decided to take off with one of the female

managers. So I covered for him. He didn’t

come back for months! He must have been

having a good time. So I kept doing it.

28

September 2022


Theater INDIE FOCUS

up and get out of the apartment. To put

on lipstick. For seven dollars, to come

and watch two hours of a movie. And

she will see another 20 friends sitting

around. Maybe she doesn’t know some

of them, but she’s still socializing. That is

creating a healthy community. The brain

needs that. Unfortunately, in these past

50 years, I’ve seen neighborhood theater

after neighborhood theater turn into a

McDonald’s or a drugstore. That makes us

a poorer, less healthy community.

[Neighborhood theaters] should

mean something if you want a better

community. If you want a better future.

If you want healthier people. I’ve seen

so many neighborhood theaters closed

down and turned into other things. Do the

math, first of all. For each theater that is

closed down, the business of the pizza guy

across the street, the coffee shop, the guy

next door that sells the comic cards, [they

all suffer]. All these mom-and-pop stores

that make up Main Street get destroyed.

Mathematically, the economics are much

better with a theater that brings in three,

four hundred people. You know why? This

is not a mall. The poor [customer] has to

park two, three blocks away. And when he

parks two, three blocks away: “Let’s get a

nice, small dinner here. Let’s get a nice

dessert here.”

My hair got white within a year with

Covid, because I saw no light at the end

of the tunnel, and the bills kept piling up.

Our income stopped. Of course, we got a

check from Spotlight [Cinema Networks]!

“Let’s spend it to fix the theater!” we said.

Because we wanted people to feel proud.

With all three of your theaters, you’re

a steward of so much history. You

obviously really care about these

cinemas and what they mean to their

communities.

We have people [here at the Alpine] that

say, “Hey, my father used to bring me here

when I was a little boy.” “Ah, the Alpine! I

used to go there and hang out after school,

and I can still go there and bring my kids.”

These are memories that you cannot buy.

Of course, I like the multiplexes the big

chains have. There is room for everybody.

It’s an American tradition more

than anything, the movies. It’s a social

gathering. People come here and interact.

In the morning, an eleven o’clock

showing, senior citizens. You know what

that means for a senior citizen? To get

“Unfortunately, in these

past 50 years, I’ve seen

neighborhood theater after

neighborhood theater turn into

a McDonald’s or a drugstore.

That makes us a poorer, less

healthy community.”

The Alpine Cinema looks absolutely

beautiful. You’ve restored some of

that old-school glamour that you’d

expect from the oldest cinema in New

York, while upgrading your technology

in the auditoriums. Balancing the old

and the new.

That’s what we did. At the time we were

doing it, there was no help. We were

getting some PPP money and things

like that, but what do you pay when

you don’t have a payroll? That’s why it

was extremely beneficial what Senator

Schumer did with championing a

bipartisan bill, with fellow senators from

both parties, that was signed into law,

and there was relief money given to us.

I am more committed now. Because I

feel that movie theaters are essential to

30

September 2022


our community. I’ve made the decision

to keep these theaters going, regardless

of what happens. Every week we get

an increase in cost for the concessions.

Every week! I haven’t increased [the

price of] anything in this theater,

because I am dealing with working-class

people here. I don’t like to see a family

come into the theater and shy away from

concessions. That’s why I keep the lowest

possible prices.

“Neighborhood movie

theaters are a magnet for

the Main Street of an area. It

serves as more than just an

economic anchor. It serves as

a social [anchor].”

The world of cinema has changed

a lot in 50 years. You saw the

multiplexes come in, and then you

saw the rise of streaming. What do

you think of the cinema industry as it

exists today?

All the chains, they have beautiful

theaters. The theaters are much, much

nicer today than they were then. What I

feel bad about is that, for whatever reason,

we lost a lot of neighborhood theaters.

Neighborhood movie theaters are a

magnet for the Main Street of an area. It

serves as more than just an economic

anchor. It serves as a social [anchor].

We’re all better off for them. But that

obviously doesn’t [cut] it when it comes

to people that may be only thinking

temporarily: “We need this money, and

that’s it.” You have to think long term.

[The Alpine], when [it was up for

sale], no one was willing to take it! No

chain, not the millionaire independents.

It was on the market for a year, and this

right after three theaters closed around

here. It was on the market for $10 million,

and nobody would buy it. It would have

become, by my understanding, a mosque.

I said, I don’t care if it’s a mosque or

another church. We have enough of

those. A movie theater is a church in my

eyes. People can pray at home. I pray at

home! People still go to church. Yeah,

you can watch a movie on your phone,

your iPad, whatever. Even though that’s

not the director’s intent—to me, you’re

minimizing the value of what his work is.

But at least you’re watching it, so that’s

good. But don’t eliminate your option to

watch streaming [services] and go to the

movie theater.

I’m a businessman. But I love movies,

and I love my community. Because

I know what difference it makes. We

saw it recently with Covid. People are

isolated, they lose their mental health.

You live in your own fantasy, not the real

September 2022

31


Theater INDIE FOCUS

world. It is not healthy. Even if you shake

hands with somebody, it makes you feel

better. Or say hello. It makes a difference.

We have to decide. These people that

make the movies and the people in our

business—I strongly believe that we have

really decent people [in our industry]

that care about humanity and care about

the next generation. They will do the

right thing. They’re not going to destroy

theaters. They can coexist with streaming

platforms. I believe people in our industry

are not the type to say, “If we kill every

other way you can watch a movie, then

you have no choice but to subscribe [to

our streaming platform].” In our industry,

I’ve met a lot of people through over

five decades, and they’re decent human

beings. They’ll manage to make good

profits for their companies and to include

the movie theaters.

In mid-2020, Kino Lorber let cinemas

screen The Projectionist and keep

100 percent of the profits. It was an

early, and very powerful, example of

the distribution side of the industry

supporting exhibitors in a very tough

time. Were you involved in that in

any way?

Kino Lorber is a champion. I had nothing

to do with it, believe me! Kino Lorber

and their team—they get it. They don’t

need to destroy theaters to be successful

in selling the beautiful films they have.

That’s who they are, Richard Lorber and

the team there. When I learned they were

giving [cinemas] The Projectionist for no

admission, no film rental—I had never

seen any film studio do that, ever, in my

life. I was so happy that when I played

the movie, I said, “No charge for my

customers, either.” [Kino Lorber] wants to

help theaters, which they do in so many

different ways. They did it because this is

who they are.

And you mentioned before that

revenue from Spotlight Cinema

Networks helped you keep your head

above water during the shutdown.

Tremendously! That was the first check

we got when we stopped having any

money. We’ve been with Spotlight since

the early days, with Cinema Village

[in Manhattan], because it’s an artistic

theater. It’s old school. We’ve played

many important movies, in the old days

especially. Spotlight, it’s good because

their advertisements are just so classy.

Our customers get it. They listen to them.

It’s a nice touch our customers can enjoy.

Spotlight is such smart advertising; they

[approach programming] it in a very

elegant way. And the income comes in

very, very handy.

“I’ve met a lot of people

through over five decades,

and they’re decent human

beings. They’ll manage to

make good profits for their

companies and to include

the movie theaters.”

32

September 2022


THE

COMPANY


Theater ANNIVERSARY

“Our idea has always been

to let people know who we

are by putting on events so

outrageous and fun, that

they will organically talk

and write about us. That’s

always been our learning,

and it’s part of who we are

up to this day.”

25 YEARS

OF ALAMO

DRAFTHOUSE

How a Local Movie Theater in Austin, Texas, Grew to Become

One of the World’s Most Influential Cinema Circuits

BY DANIEL LORIA

34 September 2022


September 2022

35


Theater ANNIVERSARY

In 1994, a 24-year-old Tim League,

then an engineer at Shell Oil in

Bakersfield, California, was driving

to work when he noticed the

words “For Lease” on the marquee

of the Tejon Theatre, a cinema

dating back to the 1940s that had

fallen on hard times. Unhappy with his

original career choice, League was fixated

on the idea of opening his own movie

theater. He spent the rest of that week

researching the exhibition business—

driving to Los Angeles to pick up a copy

of Boxoffice Pro as a reference—and

putting together a rough business plan.

Within a week, Tim League had signed

the lease on his first cinema.

League ran that movie theater in

California as an art house, side by side

with his girlfriend, Karrie, who quit

her job to manage its operations. The

cinema only lasted two years. By that

time, Tim and Karrie had gotten married

and were determined to find a way to

realize their dream as exhibitors in a new

market where they could build on their

experience in Bakersfield. The couple

moved into Karrie’s parents’ house for six

months to analyze opportunities, eventually

settling on Austin, Texas, as their next

destination.

“We didn’t know anything about the

exhibition industry when we started,”

says Tim League. “The location in

Bakersfield wasn’t the right spot. It was a

depressed part of town with a high crime

rate. I didn’t go to business school and

had leaped forward without knowing

that all-important mantra: The three

most important things about business are

location, location, location, and we failed

on all three. When we arrived in Austin,

securing the right location became the

most important thing.”

A big university town with a vibrant

film scene, the Texas capital was a center

of 1990s counterculture. Filmmaker

Richard Linklater, the founder of the

Austin Film Society, had helped establish

a grassroots cinephile community in

Austin. It was an ideal site to launch a new

theater—if they could secure a lease and

the capital to open it.

The Leagues’ entrepreneurial enthusiasm

was met with a wave of rejections

as they attempted to find a spot in one

of the city’s burgeoning entertainment

districts. Austin was undergoing a

transformative real estate boom in the

BY THE

NUMBERS

Alamo Drafthouse

at a glance

1997

Founded in Austin,

Texas

37

Locations across

the United States

301

Screens across the

United States

late 1990s; landlords weren’t looking to

lease space to a mom-and-pop movie

theater without a proven track record.

Eventually, they found space in what

Tim calls “the second floor of a parking

garage, basically an unrentable space,”

but in a part of town they believed

could work in the long run. The Leagues

scraped together as much money as they

could, taking on loans from their parents,

and remodeling the space themselves

over the next six months.

In 1997, Alamo Drafthouse’s first

location opened on 409 Colorado Street in

Austin, Texas—a one-screen, second-run

site selling discounted tickets. “This one

had to work because, in terms of burn rate,

we could operate for about a month and a

half, two months tops, before we’d be out

of business,” remembers Tim. “Luckily,

three weeks in, we got a nice article in the

Austin American-Statesman, and the very

next weekend the theater was packed. It

was off to the races from there.”

The early years at Alamo Drafthouse

were marked by a strong feeling of

community with the Austin film scene.

“Having Alamo Drafthouse [in Austin]

was revitalizing,” says Lars Nilsen, who

currently serves as the lead programmer

of the Austin Film Society and was a part

of the Alamo team in Austin between 2001

and 2013. “In hindsight, what Alamo did

was to use the resources of the art house

film scene and apply them to a more

popular cinema model. We sought to use

the grassroots messaging and language of

art house cinema and apply it to films we

saw in our youth. Tim League was one of

the first people I met who said, ‘We’re not

going to spend money on newspaper ads

anymore because it doesn’t matter.’ The

whole idea was to put everything into guerilla

marketing and eventize everything

we did to build word of mouth.”

It may not seem revolutionary to

today’s audiences, but in the late ’90s

newspaper advertising was a principal

marketing tool for cinemas. Ads in local

papers were the most common ways

for the moviegoing public to get their

showtimes. According to Tim League,

Alamo Drafthouse stopped running ads in

local papers around a year after opening.

“We’ve always been big on gathering data

from our guests. We polled everybody that

was on our email list at the time—we were

leaning heavily into internet marketing,

which was pretty new at the time,” he

36 September 2022


says. “I think maybe 6 or 7 percent of our

guests were getting their showtimes from

the newspaper—so we just shut it down.

Newspaper advertising was expensive;

you had to run ads every single day. It

made more sense for us to sacrifice that

6 or 7 percent of traffic and spend the

money elsewhere. Our idea has always

been to let people know who we are by

putting on events so outrageous and fun,

that they will organically talk and write

about us. That’s always been our learning,

and it’s part of who we are up to this day.”

Alamo Drafthouse continues to be an

early adopter of digital marketing efforts.

League says that culture has played

an important role in establishing both

brand loyalty and recognition. Alamo has

“Having Alamo Drafthouse

[in Austin] was revitalizing.

In hindsight, what Alamo did

was to use the resources of

the art house film scene and

apply them to a more popular

cinema model.”

invested heavily in its website and mobile

apps and was one of the first movie

theaters to offer digital ticketing in the

United States. “We’ve always been technology-forward,

and it has allowed us to

build a tech team that can compete with

bigger circuits,” he says. “We beat everybody

with online ticketing. Years later,

when MoviePass came out, instead of

yelling ‘The sky is falling!’ we spent six to

eight months building our own subscription

service. The technology in itself isn’t

the main factor, but how we use our voice

through that technology to build a direct

relationship and line of communication

with our guests.”

Alamo Drafthouse began gaining

national attention outside Austin because

September 2022

37


Theater ANNIVERSARY

of the way it eventized the moviegoing

experience. In 1999, the theater launched

a nine-day film festival hosted by

Quentin Tarantino—an early evangelist

of the Alamo Drafthouse model. Other

events, like that year’s Cannibal Film

Festival, which marketed “human flesh

on the screen and on your plate,” drew

the type of attention that prompted

a visit from the health department to

inspect the kitchen, due to concerns of

actual cannibalism.

Cannibalism gags aside, Alamo’s attention

to the dine-in element of its identity

began around that time. In fact, the

Leagues’ first theater in Bakersfield had

experimented with dinner-and-a-movie

nights—The Bicycle Thief paired with dinner

catered by an Italian restaurant, for

“When the opportunity

came to expand further by

franchising, we saw it as a way

to structure the growth of the

company—where you can’t

fly by the seat of your pants,

where you have to invest in

training. The company gained

a different level of maturity by

taking that step.”

example—and they had come to Austin

ready to expand on the concept. During

their honeymoon, which Tim describes

as “a working honeymoon,” the couple

stopped by the cinema-pub McMenamins,

in Portland, Oregon, and drew inspiration

from the model ahead of opening the first

Alamo in Austin. The Leagues tweaked

the dine-in concept in a unique way to fit

their new cinema, even if their combined

experience in the food service sector consisted

of stints waiting tables and working

at a pizza restaurant.

Like any business, the Alamo

Drafthouse encountered new challenges

once it decided to expand beyond a

single location. The second site, Alamo

Drafthouse Village, opened in Austin in

2001, adding a second set of screens—

and a second kitchen—to the burgeoning

cinema chain. Tim League lists the

opening of that second location as one of

the company’s biggest milestones. “We

had to buy a second car,” he remembers.

“We had to learn how to develop our team,

develop managers. We were hands-on,

but our training in the first five years

was awful. We kind of threw people to

the wolves; those that couldn’t grab it

left, and then those that could grab it

scratched their way to a level of understanding—and

that’s not right. When the

opportunity came to expand further by

franchising, we saw it as a way to structure

the growth of the company—where

you can’t fly by the seat of your pants,

where you have to invest in training.

The company gained a different level of

maturity by taking that step.”

The Leagues accepted an offer to

implement a franchise model in 2004,

whereby ownership would be split

between the Leagues, who retained

control of the Austin locations, and

franchisees. This created two different

Alamo Drafthouse experiences—with

different websites, menus, and management

groups running their respective

sides of the company. “By 2004, Karrie

and I were having a hard time coming to

grips with growth and moving beyond

the Austin market,” he says. “That’s really

why we split [the company], leaving

Karrie and me to run the Austin locations.

During that time, we focused our efforts

on developing and defining the identity

of the brand.” During that period, the

Leagues launched projects like the Mondo

movie-themed merchandise brand, in

38 September 2022


2004, and Fantastic Fest, a genre film

festival, in 2005.

As Alamo Drafthouse embraced

expansion, it was also forced to streamline

its kitchen operations to provide

a consistent dining experience. Trish

Eichelberger, who currently serves as the

circuit’s director of food and beverage,

first joined Alamo Drafthouse in 2005—

amid that expansion—as an assistant

kitchen manager in Austin. “I was

brought on from a fine-dining restaurant

in Austin that Tim and Karrie frequented.

They liked eating there, and they hired

some of us to elevate the menu at the

four locations they were overseeing at the

time,” she says. “The menu looked very

different back then. There were a lot more

convenience foods, things you could just

throw into an oxy fryer, and our job was

to transition to items we could cook and

serve.” That transition began with the

opening of the Leagues’ South Lamar

location in Austin, their biggest site to

date. Alamo Drafthouse began operating

more formally as a restaurant kitchen:

marinating chicken and mixing salad

dressings in-house instead of serving

them from store-bought bottles.

Alamo Drafthouse continued to

expand, operating as two different circuits

under the same brand from 2004 until,

over the course of what Tim League calls

“a fateful pancake breakfast” in 2010, he

was named CEO of the combined circuit.

“Once we merged everything, that’s when

we got into growth mode, seized some

opportunities, and started growing more

quickly,” he says. By that point, many of

the Alamo’s trademarks had already been

introduced—its unique pre-show comprised

of archival footage oddities, eclectic

programming series with deep-cut

genre treasures, and a strict no-talking,

no-interruptions policy. League credits

the no-interruptions policy to a raucous

screening of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet,

where cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon were

sold at a deep discount. The atmosphere

was so unruly that League decided to

institute the policy the very next day. It

didn’t take long before he had to enforce

the policy personally—after a screening,

in Austin, at which he reprimanded a

patron, the disgruntled moviegoer began

shouting at him. He was sure the guy was

about to throw a punch, until another

audience member tapped the yelling man

on the shoulder. That second patron was

none other than Quentin Tarantino, who

came to League’s defense and prevented

any escalation—or so the legend goes.

“Tim didn’t like the way people were

clowning around and talking over a

movie; that was the origin of it,” says

Laird Jimenez, who currently leads the

team producing Alamo’s public service

announcement (PSA) snipes. “The PSAs

started as funny found-footage clips that

we could use to explain the policy. Now

we have celebrities and studios wanting to

provide us with custom-made videos. It’s

a balancing act, because we don’t want to

be unwelcoming. Some people are turned

off by how strict we make it seem, but

we just want everybody to have a good

time. If you can’t watch a movie without

ruining the experience for 20 other people,

then you’re doing it wrong. We feel like

the best way to get that message across is

with humor, because none of us takes this

stuff that seriously.”

The PSAs are part of Alamo’s preshow—the

circuit eschews cinema advertising—and

early versions were produced

on VHS tapes, with programmers like

Lars Nilsen and Tommy Swenson editing

September 2022

39


Theater ANNIVERSARY

together archival clips that had been

unearthed by a community of found-footage

aficionados. The pre-shows remain

a staple of the Alamo Drafthouse experience,

and many still include vintage

exhibition snipes and found-footage

oddities. Some are more serious-minded.

Earlier this year, for example, Alamo

Drafthouse included a video essay by

Ray Loyd, creative director of the Austin

Asian American Film Festival, telling the

history of Asian American representation

on-screen during its pre-show

for Everything Everywhere All At Once.

“That’s an example of edutainment at a

level we hadn’t done before; it took our

pre-show to a new place,” says Jimenez.

“There are certain movies where it would

be inappropriate to have a pre-show that

comes off as too silly.”

Alamo Drafthouse’s programming is

as eclectic as its pre-shows. Sitting somewhere

between an art house and a commercial

multiplex, the circuit programs

everything from specialty titles to repertory

selections to the latest offerings from

Hollywood’s major studios. One of the circuit’s

biggest strengths against its competitors

is its robust repertory programming

series on off-peak nights. That’s when its

programmers host esoteric gems from a

variety of diverse genres to drive traffic

during otherwise quiet days of the week.

“The origin of everything is fandom,” says

Jimenez. “Tim League loves genre movies

and wanted an excuse to get together on

Wednesday nights to show these prints he

had. That is how our Weird Wednesday

and Terror Tuesday series started. You

can go see a Marvel movie at any theater

on a Wednesday night, which is usually

slow for business anyway, so what can

Alamo offer that’s different? Since we

have a programming staff, we can play

a range of things—from a sure hit that

even an algorithm could pick, like The

Goonies, to deep cuts. Earlier this summer,

I programmed a 1987 Hong Kong movie

on 35 mm, and we had a three-quartersfull

theater. It outperformed Top Gun:

Maverick in the same slot. The audience

is there, you just have to build it. It’s not

something that happens overnight.”

As the years, passed Alamo’s curatorial

approach to programming expanded to

reach more diverse audience segments.

Sarah Pitre first joined Alamo Drafthouse

as a programmer in 2008. “My boyfriend

at the time—who is now my husband—

had been working there since the early

years. One day he came over to my apartment

and was looking through all my

DVDs—mostly romantic comedies and

other female-focused films—and asked

me how often I watched those movies.

I was like, ‘All the time!’ Alamo wasn’t

showing those films back then; there was

a big blind spot in terms of programming.

So he talked to Tim and they invited

me to come in and program a series on

female-driven titles.”

Pitre launched that series, initially

called Girlie Night and retitled

Champagne Cinema in 2008. The series

claimed a spot on Tuesday nights at

Alamo’s Ritz location in downtown

Austin, with shows letting out just as the

Terror Tuesday horror screenings would

begin seating. “I remember standing in

the lobby and seeing the most opposite

audiences cross paths,” she says. “We had

a lot of women and gay men attending.

They’d flood out of the auditorium giddy

on the movie and champagne just as all

these dudes in black T-shirts made their

way into Terror Tuesday. Those ships

passing in the night, that mix of people

in the lobby, that’s Alamo Drafthouse.

That is what we do. We’re a home for

those women who love romantic comedies

and those dudes who love their cult

horror movies. Those Tuesday nights are

the greatest illustration of what Alamo

Drafthouse excels in: celebrating all kinds

of different films and different audiences.”

Today, Pitre acts as the circuit’s head

film buyer, one of the most important

executive roles at any cinema chain. She

says her early days as an Austin-based

programmer was the ideal training

ground for the role. “We weren’t yet at

the phase where we had to do national

programming,” she remembers. “We were

a small team that had a lot of freedom

to focus on Austin and connect with our

local audience. It taught me how to listen

to audiences and serve particular demographics

in an area. Those are lessons I

took with me over the years, as we went

from programming three theaters in

Austin to 36 across the country. We want

A BRIEF HISTORY

OF ALAMO

DRAFTHOUSE

“A wildly incomplete list

of things that we can

remember.” Courtesy of

Alamo Drafthouse

1998

First celebrity

appearance

at Alamo, with

exploitation-cinema

pioneer Doris

Wishman.

1999

First Cannibal Film Festival

featuring “human flesh on the

screen and on your plate.”

The health department

inspects the kitchen due to

community complaints of

cannibalism at the theater.

2000

First Master Pancake

show (then called

Mister Sinus Theater

3000) with Nude on

the Moon.

1997

Alamo Drafthouse

opens in Austin with

a double feature of

Raising Arizona and

This Is Spinal Tap.

1998

First movie feast

for Like Water for

Chocolate. The

five-course meal is

timed to the delivery

of dishes in the film.

1999

First nine-day

QT Fest, hosted

by Quentin

Tarantino.

40 September 2022


to be the home for movie fans of all kinds.

It’s less about genres and more focused

on celebrating cinema in general. No

matter what kind of movie you’re a fan of,

we want you to have the best experience

at the Alamo. That’s what has informed

our expansion in programming as we’ve

expanded as a circuit.”

Alamo ramped up its expansion efforts

once the company was united under Tim

League in 2010. That growth coincided

with a national dine-in cinema boom, as

competing circuits specializing in the

concept—players like Studio Movie Grill,

Movie Tavern, and Ipic—began pursuing

a similar strategy. John Smith, who joined

Alamo Drafthouse in 2013 and currently

serves as senior film programmer, says

that the difficulty of executing the dine-in

model was one of the main challenges of

going from a local cinema to a national

chain. “The things you have to think

about and plan for are so much more complicated

when you add food and alcohol,”

he says. “At a normal theater, you can

put up a gymnasium-sized building, buy

some projectors, add a concession stand

in the middle—and you’re good to go.

With [dine-in], you also have to account

for a full working kitchen that can support

the same number of people as an Olive

Garden. Then you’ve got to be able to

structure your showtimes so that you’re

not showing three or four sold-out shows

simultaneously, otherwise, you get 400

to 500 people trying to order a burger at

the same time. Over time, we developed a

“We want to be the home for

movie fans of all kinds. It’s

less about genres and more

focused on celebrating cinema

in general. No matter what

kind of movie you’re a fan of.”

better sense of how to execute this concept

in the right markets.”

As Alamo went national, so did its

menu. Trish Eichelberger recalls learning

about the public’s regional tastes as the

circuit added sites in different parts of

the country. The pizza sauce, for example,

proved too spicy for diners in Yonkers,

New York. In Brooklyn, the F&B team

was initially too intimidated to include

pizza on the menu. They only introduced

it after realizing pizza was prevalent

everywhere else in Brooklyn and their

own recipe could hold its own. Before

the supply chain disruption caused by

the pandemic in 2020, Alamo Drafthouse

built its menus around a philosophy of 70

2001

A second

location, Alamo

Drafthouse Village,

opens in Austin.

2001

John Favreau and

Vince Vaughn drive

cross-country and

make a surprise

appearance at

a screening of

Swingers.

2003

Alamo Drafthouse

serves its first fried

pickle.

2005

The first Rolling Roadshow

tour hits the road. A

scrappy eight-person

team stages epic screenings

of famous movies at

landmarks across the U.S.

2001

Weird Wednesday

launches with a

screening of the

underwater Nazi

zombie classic,

Shock Waves.

2001

First Rolling Roadshow,

Alamo’s experiential

outdoor screening

series, takes place

with a Deliverance

canoe trip.

2002

Rolling Roadshow

No. 2: Jaws on

the water.

2004

Mondo is born. Tim League converts

a four-by-four former ticket

booth into Mondotees.com, a

vintage iron-on T-shirt shop that

eventually develops into the

Mondo merchandise brand.

September 2022

41


Theater ANNIVERSARY

percent core items and 30 percent local

fare from area vendors. This allowed the

flexibility to craft food and alcohol menus

to suit local tastes.

Nationally, some of the chain’s

best-selling national menu items over-index

in certain markets. In San Francisco,

which League has called the circuit’s most

difficult location to open, sales of Alamo’s

chips and queso—a stalwart appetizer in

Austin—is known to outperform popcorn

on occasion. Other iconic dishes, like its

buffalo cauliflower, emerged as a result

of special limited-time menus. “We

originally put our buffalo cauliflower in a

separate section of the menu; it was kind

of relegated. We had it there so our vegan

“A lot of our growth has been

opportunistic, but moving

into L.A. and New York was

by design, to have more of an

influence in exhibition.”

customers could feel a little indulgent, too.

Now it’s one of our top sellers,” she says.

League cites the opening of Alamo’s

Los Angeles (2019) and New York locations

(Brooklyn in 2016, lower Manhattan

in 2021) as another important milestone

in the company’s history. “It increased

the visibility of what we can do. There

are a lot of independent films that rely

on New York/L.A. openings. A lot of

our growth has been opportunistic, but

moving into L.A. and New York was by

design, to have more of an influence in

exhibition,” he says.

Those theaters offer insight into the

future of Alamo Drafthouse’s new builds:

more screens and smaller auditoriums

to better accommodate more diversity

in programming. “Lower Manhattan

was specifically designed to have a lot of

small auditoriums. That way we could

accommodate the Pixars of the world,

but we could also play the latest from

IFC, Variance, or other smaller distributors,”

says Sarah Pitre. “To me, our lower

Manhattan and downtown L.A. locations

are my dream theaters because you have

a lot more freedom to program, even

though the auditoriums are smaller.

That’s how, in our L.A. theater, for example,

we can sell out Top Gun: Maverick

and a movie like Gaspar Noé’s Vortex in

the same evening.”

Alamo Drafthouse’s evolution from

a community movie theater to one of

the country’s 20 largest cinema circuits

has come with its share of operational

2007

Alamo’s first

location, on Austin’s

Colorado Street,

closes.

2008

First Terror

Thursday (now

known as Terror

Tuesday) opens

with Demons.

2011

An angry moviegoer, kicked

out of an Alamo Drafthouse

for texting, leaves a voicemail

calling the cinema a

“crappy-ass theater.” It

becomes one of the chain’s

most popular PSAs.

2016

Alamo’s first NYC

theater opens in

Brooklyn.

2005

Screenwriter Tim

McCanlies challenges Tim

League to start a festival

inspired by Sitges. League

accepts the challenge,

and Fantastic Fest is born.

2009

First San Antonio,

Texas, and

northern Virginia

theaters open.

2015

Alamo Drafthouse’s

San Francisco

location opens.

42 September 2022


crises. In the years preceding the pandemic,

the company faced criticism from

former employees claiming it minimized

reports of sexual harassment and that

several locations fostered a hostile work

environment. Allegations of workplace

misconduct continued into 2020, and the

organization was soon struggling to cope

with another crisis—the disruption of the

Covid-19 pandemic. Tim League stepped

down as CEO in April of that year. A large

portion of its staff was let go in the ensuing

months as the chain downsized on the

heels of the pandemic’s cinema closures.

“It was one of the hardest moments I’ve

had, looking in the mirror and deciding

that maybe I’m not the perfect CEO for the

company,” says League, who now acts as

Alamo Drafthouse’s executive chairman.

“I think I have a lot to offer and will always

have a lot to offer. I find myself drawn to

the marketing and events, the branding,

the design, and the look and feel of the

theater. But I was never terribly good at

operations. In the early days, I would be in

the booth running projection, and while I

was up there, I would do all the marketing,

design, and anything on the technology

side. Karrie would run the business and

handle the team; she did H.R., payroll, and

finance. She steadily replaced herself with

exceptional people, with stronger abilities

than her own. Moving forward, as we grow,

I like being on the brand-positioning side

of things. Building a world-class operations

engine and training organization has

not been one of my strengths.”

In its darkest hour, Alamo Drafthouse

turned to veteran executive Shelli

Copelan Taylor to take the reins as CEO.

Having prior experience at companies

like Starbucks and Planet Fitness, she

entered the role with the knowledge

and experience Alamo Drafthouse

needed to excel and expand on the

national stage. “Growth and change are

always grounded in our purpose to be

the best damn cinema that has or ever

will exist. And change only happens

through incredible individuals who

come together as a team,” she says. “We

do not think about change as much as we

think about the voices and input of our

stakeholders—from teammates, guests,

franchisees, studios, industry partners,

and investors—in how we are striving to

achieve our purpose. Over the past two

years, we have doubled down on efforts

to support and build our internal team,

to simplify what we do in pursuit of creating

the chemistry that can only happen

in a movie theater when an incredible

film and audience come together for the

ultimate community experience.”

Alamo Drafthouse filed for Chapter

11 bankruptcy protection in March 2021,

emerging three months later with a new

ownership group and plans to expand

to additional U.S. markets. Taylor has

spent time making sure that the circuit’s

corporate culture can recuperate from its

recent turmoil. She has instituted workplace

resolution resources in individual

locations and established a one-stop

helpline for staff. “We have made or are

making progress in communication,

health care, and wages,” she says. “We

have increased communication and

transparency throughout the organization

in both formal and informal methods. We

have increased hourly pay from 25 to 40

percent, depending on the market, and

we are expanding our health care program

to be more accessible to more teammates,

particularly our theater teammates.”

New executive hires, like the appointment

of exhibition veteran Heather

Morgan—with executive experience at

top-10 circuits like AMC and Harkins

Theatres—as Alamo’s chief of staff and

strategy, bolster the chain’s credentials

as one of the country’s leading circuits

and its ambitions to grow in the coming

years. Alamo Drafthouse is scheduled to

expand its presence in existing markets

with new sites on Staten Island (its fourth

in New York), a second Washington, D.C.,

location, Grand Prairie (the fifth in the

Dallas–Fort Worth area), and Glendale,

Colorado (the fourth site in the Denver

area). The circuit will also be entering new

markets in the coming years, including

St. Louis, Chicago, Birmingham, and

Boston—with an additional city expected

to be announced this fall.

Alamo Drafthouse has refocused its

efforts on exhibition in recent years.

Ancillary properties, like the movie-focused

website Birth.Movies.Death, specialty

distributor Drafthouse Films, and

the movie merchandise brand Mondo,

2017

Alamo Victory

rewards program

reaches 1 million

members.

2018

Video Vortex launches,

with VHS and DVD

rentals available

inside select Alamo

Drafthouse locations.

2019

Alamo Drafthouse

opens its South

Lamar theater in

Austin, dedicated to

Bong Joon-Ho.

2017

Charlottesville

(Virginia) and

Springfield

(Missouri)

theaters open.

2018

First Raleigh

(North Carolina)

theater opens.

2019

First Los Angeles

theater opens.

2021

Alamo Drafthouse

opens its second NYC

location, in lower

Manhattan, dedicated

to Ivan Reitman.

September 2022

43


Theater ANNIVERSARY

have been sold since the onset of the pandemic.

Drafthouse Films launched in 2010

with its first title, the British dark comedy

Four Lions, and continued contributing

festival acquisitions to U.S. theaters until

League stepped away to co-found Neon

in 2017. Alamo sold Drafthouse Films

to Giant Pictures in March of this year.

Mondo, which began as an iron-on T-shirt

side gig run out of a former Alamo ticket

booth, was sold to the pop culture collectibles

brand Funko in June.

One part of the business that Alamo

Drafthouse has no plans of parting with

is Fantastic Fest, the annual genre film

festival held in Austin, which Tim League

calls “integral” to the company’s wider

efforts in promoting film culture. All in all,

the strategy seems to be paying off. Taylor

says that Alamo Drafthouse is quickly

closing in on 2019 revenues, and several

locations are outperforming 2019 results

“and all expectations.”

“Every day we are pushing to increase

the diversity and breadth of titles that

we celebrate with our audiences,” she

says. “We are innovating against the

“Most importantly, we will

continue to build a culture

and team of movie lovers,

for movie lovers—so that

the passion that runs deep

today, runs even deeper in

the future.”

physical experience in the areas of projection,

sound, line of sight, and seating

for every guest. We are working to remove

all distractions during the movie while

continuing to serve the best scratch food

and beer available. We will continue to

expand unique Alamo events such as

Fantastic Fest, Rolling Roadshow, movie

parties, talent Q&A, and so much more.

And most importantly, we will continue

to build a culture and team of movie lovers,

for movie lovers—so that the passion

that runs deep today, runs even deeper in

the future.

44 September 2022


Q-SYS congratulates Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

for 25 years of moviegoing excellence.

It’s no wonder that moviegoers regularly choose Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas

as their favorite theatre. Q-SYS shares the same drive for creating exceptional

experiences, and it’s why we’re proud to be the cinema sound system supplier

for so many of their multiplexes.

qsys.com/cinema

©2022 QSC, LLC all rights reserved. Q-SYS is part of QSC, LLC. QSC, LLC’s trademarks include but are not limited to Q-SYS, Q-SYS logo,

and all trademarks are listed under www.qsys.com/trademarks, some of which are registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Sept 2022

45


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

THE

MOVIEGOER’S

GUIDE TO:

AUSTIN

From the Alamo Drafthouse to the Violet Crown, a

Cinephile’s Complete Guide to One of the World’s

Most Vibrant Exhibition Scenes

BY DANIEL LORIA

At once a college town and state

capital, Austin, Texas, is known for

a diverse and eclectic community that

inspired the city’s “Keep Austin Weird”

slogan. Despite the rising rents and largescale

redevelopment projects that have

changed the city’s character in recent

years, Austin remains a vibrant arts and

culture destination. From hosting film

festivals like Fantastic Fest and South

by Southwest to being the birthplace of

celebrated dine-in cinema chain Alamo

Drafthouse, Austin offers cinephiles a

range of great moviegoing experiences.

Lars Nilsen, the lead film programmer

for the Austin Film Society, credits

campus film societies that emerged at the

University of Texas in the 1960s and ’70s

as the creators of the city’s contemporary

film scene. “Groups like CinemaTexas and

Cinema 40 were pioneering organizations.

You had people like Jean-Luc Godard and

Andy Warhol coming to Austin to show

their films. That’s part of what attracted

Richard Linklater to come here and start

the Austin Film Society.”

The influence of Richard Linklater

on Austin’s film community cannot be

overstated. The Austin Film Society (AFS)

was founded by the filmmaker in 1985, well

before he became an established figure in

American independent cinema. It served

as a second home to countless cinephiles

over the years, including University of

Texas alum Wes Anderson. AFS was

founded the same year Vulcan Video, an

independently owned video rental store,

first opened its doors and began acting as a

hub for the city’s movie lovers.

By the mid-’90s, Austin seemed

like the ideal place for Tim and Karrie

League to move to and open their dream

movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse.

Their first site in the city opened in

1997, in a less-than-ideal space in a

bourgeoning entertainment district

on Colorado Street. The Leagues were

undeterred, having faith that the city

would nurture their theater. “Austin is

a place where lot of people go out for

entertainment: eating, dining, movies,

music, comedy—it’s a lively, vivacious

town,” says Tim League. “Having the

University of Texas as an anchor is

huge. They have a really strong radio,

television, and film program at the

university. Richard Linklater being here,

co-founding the Austin Film Society,

was also hugely influential. You had

other filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez,

Terrence Malick, and Mike Judge. You

would see those guys at screenings—

they’re all movie lovers—and it’s

exciting to be part of a movie-loving

“Austin is a place where

lot of people go out for

entertainment: eating,

dining, movies, music,

comedy—it’s a lively,

vivacious town.”

46 September 2022


AUSTIN’S

GIANTS OF

EXHIBITION

Circuits with the

highest screen

count in the city

1.

Regal

Screens: 49

Sites: 4

2.

Alamo Drafthouse

Screens: 37

Sites: 5

3.

AMC Theatres

Screens: 24

Sites: 2

4.

Cinépolis Luxury

Cinemas

(Moviehouse

& Eatery)

Screens: 20

Sites: 2

5.

Cinemark (Tie)

Screens: 14

Sites: 1

community like that. They fostered this

community of cinephiles. Everything

just blossomed from there. I think Alamo

has certainly done its part over the years

to grow and build these local audiences.

One of the things we’ve always measured

at Alamo is finding those customers who

only go to one movie a year, who clearly

aren’t habitual moviegoers, and turn

that one visit to three or four per year.

That’s how you build an audience in a

movie-loving town.”

Today, Austin counts on 200 screens

to serve a quickly growing population

of more than a million people. In our

inaugural Moviegoer’s Guide series,

Boxoffice Pro takes a look at the city’s

exhibition scene—from art houses to

multiplexes, dine-ins, drive-ins, and

everything in between. This guide aims to

be current as of its publication date, and

due to space constraints, we’ve omitted

pop-up and seasonal screening venues,

cultural or performance spaces that don’t

primarily function as cinemas, and movie

theaters in nearby cities and towns—with

apologies to nearby Round Rock, Texas,

which has excellent moviegoing choices

of its own.

EVO Cinemas (Tie)

Screens: 14

Sites: 1

Screen Share %

2

1

3

4

Other

5

5

24+18+12+10+7+7+22

September 2022

47


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

A DINE-IN

DESTINATION

Austin is the birthplace of Alamo

Drafthouse and is only a three-hour

drive from Dallas, where fellow cinema

eateries Studio Movie Grill and Movie Tavern

were founded. It is also one of the biggest

dine-in cinema markets in the world, with

46 percent of its screens offering a meal-anda-movie

experience. To put that number in

context, research from Omdia reveals that

the dine-in sector only represents around 8

percent of screens in the United States.

Alamo Drafthouse claims the largest

concentration of dine-in screens in the city,

with a total of 37 across its five locations. The

Village site is the Austin circuit’s longestrunning

location, originally opening in 2001

as the chain’s second-ever theater. It still

counts on its 35 mm projectors and has since

incorporated 4K projection with digital 3D

technology, allowing it to screen repertory film

prints alongside Hollywood’s latest releases.

The rest of the circuit’s Austin theaters are

designed with movie-themed lobbies and

lounge bars that provide an ideal setting

for after-movie drinks and discussion. The

Highball, in Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar,

features a full bar with karaoke rooms, a seated

dining area, and a performance space. Alamo

Drafthouse Mueller’s lounge bar, Barrel O’Fun,

features circus-themed bar games for both

kids and adults—a draw for families visiting

the nearby children’s museum and public park.

Alamo’s lobby installations are always part of

the experience. A giant replica of Audrey II, the

man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors,

snakes around the Slaughter Lane location’s box

office to greet moviegoers. Known for its fandriven

moviegoing experience, wide selection of

craft beers, and unpretentious menu featuring

indulgent classics like chips and queso and

buffalo cauliflower, Alamo Drafthouse provides

a unique and quintessential moviegoing

experience in Austin.

Mexican multinational chain Cinépolis

entered the U.S. market in 2014 by identifying

two underrepresented segments in American

theaters: luxury and dine-in theaters. Its

acquisition of Texas-based dine-in chain

Moviehouse & Eatery in 2019 thrust the circuit

into one of the world’s most competitive dinein

markets. Austin hosts two Moviehouse &

Eatery locations, both of which are currently

Above.

The Alamo

Drafthouse

Cinema Lakeline

Right. The Alamo

Drafthouse

Cinema Mueller

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

VILLAGE

2700 W. Anderson Lane

Opened: 2001

Screens: 4

Tech & Amenities:

- 35 mm film

- 4K digital projection

- Digital 3D

- Recliners available in every

front row

- Open-air patio with seating

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Lobby bar

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

CINEMA SLAUGHTER

LANE

5701 W. Slaughter Lane

Opened: 2012

Screens: 8

Tech & Amenities:

- 4K digital projection

- Digital 3D

- Luxury recliners in every

auditorium

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- 400 Rabbits, an attached

bar and lounge specializing

in tequila and mezcal

cocktails. The bar also

features outdoor patio

seating, a seated dining

area, and a full bar with

craft beers and curated

cocktails.

48 September 2022


ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

CINEMA LAKELINE

14028 N. U.S. Highway 183

Opened: 2013

Screens: 10

Tech & Amenities:

- 35 mm projection

- 4K digital projection with

High Frame Rate (HFR)

- RealD 3D

- Open-air patio with

seating, TVs, and games

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Glass Half Full Taproom, an

attached bar and lounge

for beer lovers, featuring a

wide array of craft beers

and curated cocktails

[Austin] is one of

the biggest dine-in

cinema markets in the

world, with 46 percent

of its screens offering

a meal-and-a-movie

experience.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

CINEMA MUELLER

1911 Aldrich Street

Opened: 2017

Screens: 6

Tech & Amenities:

- 4K digital projection

- RealD 3D

- Luxury recliners in every

auditorium

- Gender-neutral restrooms

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Barrel O’Fun, an attached

bar and lounge with a

family-friendly event and

performance space. The

boardwalk-themed lounge

includes themed games

available to patrons of

all ages until 8 p.m.—and

accessible to adults in the

evenings. Barrel O’Fun

features a full bar with craft

beer and curated cocktails,

as well as a food menu

featuring old-fashioned

soda fountain snacks.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE

CINEMA SOUTH

LAMAR

1120 S. Lamar Blvd.

Opened: 2005

Screens: 9

Tech & Amenities:

- 35 mm projection

- 4K digital projection

- RealD 3D

- Open-air patio with seating

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- The Highball, an attached

bar and lounge featuring

themed karaoke rooms,

a seated dining area, a

performance and event

space, and an array of craft

beer and curated cocktails

September 2022

49


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

undergoing a full reseating conversion to

install plush recliners in every auditorium.

Their menus have stalwarts like burgers, pizza,

and sandwiches—but it’s the tacos that stand

out. If you’ve ever had a craving for lobster

tacos at the movies, you’ll find them at both of

Austin’s Moviehouse & Eatery locations.

Moviegoers looking to enjoy their dine-in

experience in a premium large-format (PLF)

auditorium have their pick from the Dolby

Cinema at AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10 and

EVO Cinemas Belterra’s private-label EVX

auditorium. AMC’s dedicated dine-in cinema

in Austin also incorporates regular and heated

recliners across its 10 auditoriums. It doesn’t

have a full waitstaff, but customers can order

their meal at the concession stand or through

AMC’s mobile app for in-seat delivery. EVO’s

PLF concept, EVX, includes a giant wall-towall,

floor-to-ceiling screen paired with Dolby

Atmos immersive sound.

On the upscale end of the dine-in spectrum,

iPic Austin offers a luxury moviegoing

experience in North Austin. The circuit’s

trademark Premium Plus recliners, customdesigned

private seating pods for two guests

with a shared table, provide the perfect level

of privacy in a communal setting for a more

intimate moviegoing experience. A dedicated

waitstaff executes an elevated menu with an

extensive wine list. Hand-held and casual

dining options are available, but no other

theater in Austin will give you the opportunity

to order a plate of spicy tuna on crispy rice

with a bottle of champagne to go with it.

Situated in the heart of Austin’s lively

Second Street district, the Violet Crown is

the city’s only first-run downtown cinema

currently in operation.. The independently

owned theater opened in 2011 and quickly

became one of the city’s premier moviegoing

destinations. The Violet Crown has additional

sites in Dallas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and

Charlottesville, Virginia. David Gil, marketing

director of the Violet Crown, says these

cities are similar in “sharing a vibrant

arts community with an appetite beyond

commercial films, but along the cinematic

spectrum including art house, independent,

documentary, and foreign films.” The Violet

Crown engages with its audience through its

email newsletter and social media channels,

operating as a community-run theater that

has hosted its share of charity fundraisers

and pet adoption events. Laser projection and

7.1 surround sounds keep presentations at

the Violet Crown to the highest standards. A

hidden perk of attending a screening? Fourhour

validated parking in downtown Austin.

Above and Right.

Violet Crown,

Austin

MOVIEHOUSE AND

EATERY NW AUSTIN

8300 North FM 620, Building B

Opened: 2012

Screens: 11

Tech & Amenities:

- Newly installed plush

recliner seating

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Full-service lobby bar

MOVIEHOUSE AND

EATERY SW AUSTIN

7415 S.W. Parkway

Opened: 2018

Screens: 9

Tech & Amenities:

- Newly installed plush

recliner seating

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Full-service lobby bar

50 September 2022


AMC DINE-IN TECH

RIDGE 10

12625 N. Interstate Highway

Opened: 2019

Screens: 10

Tech & Amenities:

- Heated AMC Signature

Recliners

- AMC Signature Recliners

- Reserved seating

- Dolby Cinema

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with orders

placed at the concession

stand or mobile app and

delivery to your seat

- MacGuffins bar

- Coca-Cola Freestyle

fountain drinks

EVO CINEMAS

BELTERRA VILLAGE

166 Hargraves Drive

Opened: 2020

Screens: 14

Tech & Amenities:

- Recliner seating

- EVX, EVO’s private-label

PLF, with a wall-to-wall,

floor-to-ceiling giant screen

and Dolby Atmos immersive

sound

Food & Beverage:

- Kiosk ordering for in-theater

dining

- Full bar with beer, wine, and

cocktails, specializing in

craft margaritas

IPIC AUSTIN

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza

Opened: 2010

Screens: 8

Tech & Amenities:

- Premium Plus recliner seats,

custom-designed private

seating pods for two guests

with a shared table for a

more private moviegoing

experience

- Complimentary blankets at

each seat

Food & Beverage:

- Full menu with dedicated

waitstaff delivering food

and drink to your seat

- Full bar with handcrafted

cocktails and beer options

- Extensive wine list, featuring

a selection of red, white,

and sparkling wine by the

glass or bottle

Situated in the heart

of Austin’s lively

Second Street district,

the Violet Crown is

the city’s only first-run

downtown cinema

currently in operation.

VIOLET CROWN

AUSTIN

434 W. Second Street

Opened: 2011

Screens: 4

Tech & Amenities:

- Laser projection

- 7.1 surround sound

- Seating with tray-tables for

in-theater dining

- Each auditorium’s front row

is equipped with ottomans

for a more relaxed

experience.

Food & Beverage:

- Full made-to-order-menu

at the concession stand,

available to be taken in and

enjoyed in any auditorium

- Full bar with 17 rotating taps

of beer, movie-themed

cocktails, and select wines

by the glass

September 2022

51


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

THE MULTIPLEX

EXPERIENCE

Regal is Austin’s largest exhibitor

by screen count, operating 49

auditoriums across four multiplexes and

representing nearly a quarter of the city’s

total screens. All their locations have

the hallmarks of a modern multiplex—

from staples at the concession stand to

stadium seating in its large auditoriums.

For PLF enthusiasts, the Regal Gateway

location boasts an Imax screen and

a 4DX immersive-seating auditorium.

Galaxy Theatres Highland is the only

other Austin cinema to offer motion

seating, featuring D-Box seats for select

titles. Additional PLF auditoriums can be

found at the AMC Barton Creek Square

14, which offers both an Imax and Dolby

Cinema auditorium.

Above. Moviehouse

and Eatery, Austin

Right. Galaxy

Highland Cinema

AMC BARTON CREEK

SQUARE 14

2901 Capital of Texas Hwy.

Opened: 1994

Screens: 14

Tech & Amenities:

- AMC Signature Recliner

seating

- Imax

- Dolby Cinema

Food & Beverage:

- MacGuffins Bar

CINEMARK AUSTIN

SOUTHPARK

MEADOWS

9900 S. IH-35 Service Road

Screens: 14

Tech & Amenities:

- RealD 3D

- Luxury Lounger Recliner

seating

REGAL ARBOR AT

GREAT HILLS

9828 Great Hills Trail

Opened: 2003

Screens: 8

52 September 2022


AUSTIN’S PLF

EXPERIENCES

REGAL WESTGATE

4577 S. Lamar Boulevard

Opened: 1986

Screens: 11

Tech & Amenities:

- Recliner seating

- Stadium seating

REGAL

METROPOLITAN

901 Little Texas Lane

Opened: 1999

Screens: 14

Tech & Amenities:

- Stadium seating

GALAXY HIGHLAND

6700 Middle Fiskville Road

Opened: 2001

Screens: 10

Tech & Amenities:

- D-Box

SOUTHWEST THEATERS

LAKE CREEK 7

13729 Research Blvd. #1500

Screens: 7

Tech & Amenities:

- Luxury recliners

- Food & Beverage:

- Beer & Wine

4DX

Regal Gateway

D-BOX

Galaxy Highland

DOLBY CINEMA

AMC Barton

Square 14

AMC Dine-In Tech

Ridge 14

EVX

(EVO Cinema’s

Private Label PLF)

EVO Belterra

Village

IMAX

AMC Barton

Square 14

Bullock Museum

Theatre

Regal Gateway

REGAL GATEWAY

9700 Stonelake Blvd.

Opened: 1997

Screens: 16

Tech & Amenities:

- Digital 3D

- 4DX

- Imax

- Stadium seating

Regal is Austin’s

largest exhibitor

by screen count,

operating 49

auditoriums across

four multiplexes and

representing nearly a

quarter of the city’s

total screens.

September 2022

53


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

ART HOUSES, HISTORIC THEATERS,

AND MUSEUM CINEMAS

Since its founding in 1985, the

Austin Film Society (AFS) has

hosted screenings multiple times per

month at a variety of Austin venues, from

the now defunct Dobie Theatre to local

classrooms. AFS found a permanent home

for its screenings in 2017, taking over the

lease of a former theater and rebranding

the space as its own. “We knew we

didn’t want to be an art house only

showing first-run films from specialty

distributors—Austin already has that—

but we didn’t want to be a cinematheque

that just did repertory screenings either,”

says AFS’s Lars Nilsen, who joined the

organization after a 14-year tenure at

Alamo Drafthouse. Nilsen mentions New

York’s Film Forum as an inspiration for

AFS Cinema, “an eclectic mix of first-run

art house and repertory series.” Inside the

spacious lobby, the AFS Cinema has an

extensive gallery of film posters and art on

display, some of it coming from Richard

Linklater’s personal collection. “It’s not

exactly a museum, but it’s one of the best

exhibition spaces for film posters that

you’ll find anywhere in the world,” says

Nilsen.

A pair of historic single-screen

downtown theaters add classical

Hollywood glamour to Austin’s cinema

scene. The Paramount Theatre (dating

back to 1915) and the State Theatre (1935)

are both managed by the Austin Theatre

Alliance and regularly host repertory

programming and film series throughout

the year. Moviegoers looking for the

best Imax experience in Austin can head

over to the Bullock Texas State History

Museum, which hosts a first-run, state-

Left. Blue Startlite

Mini Urban Drive-In:

Mueller

Above. AFS Cinema

Right. Paramount

Theatre

54 September 2022


AFS CINEMA

6406 North Interstate 35,

Suite 3100

Opened: 2017

Screens: 2

Tech & Amenities:

- Vintage film poster and

soundtrack gallery

Food & Beverage:

- Full bar with a rotating

selection of draft beer, local

and international wines,

and craft cocktails

BLUE STARLITE MINI

URBAN DRIVE-IN:

MUELLER

2015 E M. Franklin Avenue

Opened: 2013

Screens: 5

Tech & Amenities

- 3 mini drive-in screens

available for private rental

- 2 experiential outdoor

screens, a tiki beach screen,

and a forest-themed screen

BLUE STARLITE MINI

URBAN DRIVE-

IN: ROOFTOP

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

300 San Antonio Street

Opened: 2020

Screens: 2

Food & Beverage:

- Food delivery available

from participating local

restaurants

BULLOCK MUSEUM

IMAX

1800 Congress Avenue

Opened: 2001

Screens: 1

Tech & Amenities:

- Imax

- Imax 3D

- 35 mm

PARAMOUNT

THEATRE

713 Congress Avenue

Opened: 1915

Screens: 1

Tech & Amenities:

- 35 mm and digital projection

STATESIDE THEATRE

719 Congress Avenue

Opened: 1935

Screens: 1

Tech & Amenities:

- 35 mm and digital projection

September 2022

55


Theater THE MOVIEGOER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN

“Austin is the sort of place

where everyone is trying

to come up with their own

original idea; I love that

about this town.”

of-the-art Imax auditorium playing the

latest studio releases.

Austin’s Blue Starlite Mini Urban

Drive-In offers the most unusual outdoor

moviegoing experiences in Austin. Its

original location in Austin’s residential

Mueller neighborhood plays both first-run

and repertory titles on five screens, with

an additional three mini-screens that

can accommodate a single car available

for private rental. Owner Josh Frank,

who launched the concept in 2013, calls

it the next evolution of the micro-theater

concept: adding an experiential element

to the drive-in experience. Frank credits

Austin’s cinema scene as an inspiration

for his approach to experiential

screenings. “It was very inspiring to see

the Alamo Drafthouse gain prominence,”

he says. “Here’s a married couple that

said, ‘We’re going to open a movie theater,’

and they did it better than anyone else.”

The idea first came to Frank by

accident. In 2009, he rigged a shortthrow

projector to show movies on the

side of a trailer to draw attention to a

food truck selling desserts next to a

popular taco shop. “People would get

their tacos and come watch the movie,

without necessarily buying any desserts,”

he says, laughing. “It made me realize I

had stumbled into a different business

altogether.”

“Austin is the sort of place where

everyone is trying to come up with their

own original idea; I love that about this

town,” he says. “We already have the

best cinema experience with the Alamo

Drafthouse, so what could I do that could

be considered different? The last thing

I wanted to do was to compete with

their model. At the same time, you have

multiplexes, the Austin Film Society, and an

upscale downtown art house like the Violet

Crown. I wanted to build out my own niche,

and the world of outdoor experiential is still

very much in its infancy.”

Frank identified some of the issues

affecting drive-ins in urban areas: they

were far from the city center and, more

importantly, required the tenant to go

all-in on a large, empty lot of land. To

work in a city setting, an outdoor cinema

would have to adopt the model of a microcinema:

large enough to draw an audience

but small enough to be able to pick up and

change sites in case a real estate developer

came knocking. “I originally thought it

was going to be a pop-up experience, but

people took it seriously and kept coming

back,” he says. “Here we are 13 years later,

and we’re continuing to build outdoor

movie experiences in Austin.”

The Blue Starlite has two outdoor

experiential screens in Mueller. A tiki

beach–themed space with lawn chairs

and blankets is a consistent draw

whenever they put Jaws on the screen.

Their forest screen has a larger screen

and can accommodate more people in a

setting surrounded by trees. In summer,

Frank uses a fog machine to create the

perfect backdrop for repertory horror

screenings of films like Friday the 13th.

Earlier this year, independent distributor

Neon reached out to the Blue Starlite to

host special experiential screenings of

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria

on its forest screen.

“The key is to create an outdoor space

that’s goes beyond an inflatable screen in a

field,” says Frank. “We start by looking for a

space that would be great for a movie, and

work to create a venue that gives it a sense

of permanence. That’s what makes indoor

theaters work—they’re in a fixed space

that people can come back to. The idea is

to re-create that outside, find an enclosed

outdoor space where the rest of the world

can disappear behind the big screen.”

The Blue Starlite opened its second

Austin location in 2020 on a rooftop in

Austin’s downtown. It programs its two

screens with first-run studio titles and

partners with area restaurants to offer onsite

food delivery. This summer, the Blue

Starlite is partnering with Capital Cruises

to bring a screening series to the Austin

waterfront. Moviegoers can buy a ticket to

see a film on a floating platform in front

of the city’s skyline. Those with their

own kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes can

simply boat-in to catch the show.

Data Compiled by Daniel Loria,

Matt Parillo, and Emmy Ribero

56 September 2022


THE

COMPANY


Visionary Award 60 | Lifetime Acheivement 70 | Texan of the Year 72

CINESHOW

“We always look at how to improve things at the concession stand.

We redesigned our candy cases so we could display our products to

the customer and fulfill their orders as quickly as possible.”

Frank Liberto Award, p. 66

September 2022

59


CINÉSHOW VISIONARY AWARD

A VISION FOR

THE FUTURE

CineShow 2022 Visionary

Award: Interview with Jamie

and Jeff Benson, Founders,

Cinergy Entertainment

BY DANIEL LORIA

Jamie and Jeff Benson weren’t

planning on becoming exhibitors—

much less entrepreneurs—when they

began their careers as certified public

accountants. The job security of working at

Deloitte, one of the “big four” accounting

firms, was hard to pass up—at least until

Jeff was assigned to take on a movie theater

client, Silver Cinemas, in 1995. Three years

later, Jamie and Jeff had gotten married,

and they decided to take the plunge and

open their first cinema together. The

Bensons’ first movie theater opened in

1999 in the town of Granbury, Texas—a

short drive from Fort Worth. It would

become the first of many new sites the

couple would open, including pioneering

concepts like dine-in, as founders of

Movie Tavern, and, most recently, family

entertainment centers, after starting

Cinergy Entertainment in 2009.

Jamie and Jeff Benson joined

Boxoffice Pro to talk about their careers

as exhibitors ahead of receiving the

Visionary Award at CineShow 2022.

Let’s start back in 1998. You guys were

coming home from you honeymoon,

and that’s when Jeff quit his job at

Deloitte to become an exhibitor.

Jamie: He doesn’t believe me when

I say this, but I didn’t think it would

really happen.

Jeff: You didn’t think I was serious! Even

though I had written piles of business

plans, floor to ceiling.

Jamie: I don’t come from an

entrepreneurial background, Jeff doesn’t

either. I didn’t have anyone that I could

look to and say, “Oh yeah, you really can

start your own business.” We were just

two CPAs working for big firms. I wasn’t

sure that opening our own theater would

really happen.

What led to the opening of your first

theater together?

Jamie: Before we caught our flight home

from our honeymoon, back in the days

when you had to call in and check your

voicemail, we found out that we had

gotten the loan. They said that the final

decision on the board approval to give us

the loan came because we both passed the

CPA exam on the first try.

Jeff: That was in 1998, when we built

the precursor to Movie Tavern, a small

six-screen theater outside Fort Worth in

the town of Granbury, Texas. It was just

a traditional theater, didn’t have food or

alcohol. We designed and built it from the

ground up, started construction in 1998,

and opened it in 1999.

Then, all the major theater chains—

including my former audit client, Silver

Cinemas—filed bankruptcy. UA went

under. So did General Cinemas and

Loew’s. A lot of theaters were being closed

and left empty with landlords. That’s

what created the opportunity for Movie

Tavern. I think we signed the first Movie

Tavern lease in June of 2001 and opened it

in November of that year. It was a former

General Cinemas location in Fort Worth.

That’s when we realized that we might be

on to something big with the dinner-anda-movie

concept.

That must have been a massive

shift for you guys, going from a nineto-five

office job to working seven

days a week tearing tickets and

selling popcorn.

Jeff: I have a picture of Jamie serving

popcorn and soda—this would be in

2003, when our first son was born. He’s

strapped into the BabyBjörn in front of

her. It was the opening weekend of The

Passion of the Christ, and it was crazy.

60 September 2022


When did you first begin to expand

into a circuit?

Jeff: The first Movie Tavern opened in

Fort Worth in 2001. We didn’t open our

second one, in Arlington, until 2002. The

first one wasn’t particularly successful,

so we held off signing that lease for a

bit. As you may recall, in 2001 the movie

business was in the crapper after 9/11.

Nobody was going out; we were all shellshocked.

We didn’t sign the lease on the

second one until May 2002, when the

first Spider-Man came out. That’s when

we said, “OK, the movie business is back.

Let’s go ahead and sign that lease on the

second Movie Tavern location.” We got it

open quick, in July of 2002.

After that we did another traditional

theater outside Austin, down in the hill

country, in Marble Falls, Texas. Then

we opened a third Movie Tavern, in

Bedford, in 2003.

Jamie: That Bedford location was

actually the movie theater where I had

my first job, back when it used to be a

General Cinema site.

Jeff: We had five theaters total at that

point. That’s when we partnered with

Lee Roy Mitchell, of Cinemark fame, and

formed Movie Tavern Partners. We moved

our offices back from Granbury, where

we’d started, to Dallas, with Lee Roy as

our 50 percent partner. He injected fresh

capital into the business, and we were off

and running, expanding the Movie Tavern

concept. We added 10 more theaters; I

believe we had 13 when we sold our share

to Lee Roy in 2008.

My parents were there helping; everybody

was serving popcorn because we had

crowds like crazy.

We learned from the ground up. We

knew the financial aspect of everything

but didn’t really know the operations of

how to run a theater. With Movie Tavern,

we certainly didn’t have a background

in food service. So we hired people and

cultivated the knowledge on the fly,

because dine-in wasn’t really established

in exhibition back then. To a small degree

there were the “brew-and-views,” mostly

second-run locations, but there weren’t

many of us doing first-run. Dine-in was in

its infancy back then.

Jamie: We were young, energetic, and

naive enough to always respond to

challenges with, “Hey, why not?”

“We learned from the ground

up. We knew the financial

aspect of everything but didn’t

really know the operations of

how to run a theater.”

It wasn’t much long after selling

your stake in Movie Tavern that you

decided to jump back into exhibition

by pioneering another new concept,

the family entertainment center (FEC)

through Cinergy. What made you

come back into the business?

Jamie: We were retired for about a

week before Jeff started getting restless.

Our first Cinergy location was never

intended to be an FEC. It was going to be

a traditional theater; we were going to go

back to our roots. We just found ourselves

with extra square footage in the building

we picked.

Jeff: The first Cinergy was actually a shell

building that had been built six years earlier

and never finished. When we laid in the

movie theater component, it left a couple of

big rooms off to the side of the lobby.

September 2022

61


CINÉSHOW VISIONARY AWARD

Jamie: Originally, we thought we would

just lease the space out, but this was 2008—

we were in the middle of a recession.

Jeff: We decided we needed to do

something with that extra space ourselves,

so I went to IAAPA’s (International

Association of Amusement Parks and

Attractions) annual convention in the fall

of 2008 to see what we could do. I came

back and said, “We’re going to do a game

room and laser tag.” That’s when I started

getting in touch with Neil Hupfauer, one

of the most accomplished executives in

the FEC sector, to help us launch this

concept. To some degree, it was dumb

luck that got us into the FEC business.

But as time went on, we figured out there

was some magic to putting all these

amusements under one roof.

When did that first Cinergy location

open?

Jeff: We opened the first Cinergy in June

of 2009 in Copperas Cove, Texas, near

Waco. It had a decent-sized game room

and a laser tag arena to go along with eight

cinema screens. We built a second location

in 2010 and sold it in 2014. The third one

we developed was in Midland, Texas, in

2013. It was similar to the first, with a

medium-size game room and laser tag.

The Midland location was when we

started putting more focus into the games.

Neil was having a bigger influence on us

and preaching the benefits of the FEC

business. Although we didn’t really know

at the time how it was going to mesh with

the movie theater business, they turned

“When you’re programming

a giant game room, with

food and beverage, a movie

theater, 16 to 18 lanes of

bowling, escape rooms, axe

throwing, and virtual reality—

the layout of the facility is

very important.”

out to be very complementary. We opened

Midland in 2013, and it was a smashing

success from the very first day.

Did your success with Cinergy’s

Midland location encourage you to

expand further?

Jeff: We opened Midland on a Friday, and

by Monday I had already started looking

for a location in Odessa, which is 15

minutes away. It took us about three years

to get that location open, but we went from

a 50,000-square-foot store in Midland to a

90,000-square-foot store in Odessa. In that

one we added bowling, doubled the size of

the game room to well up over 100 pieces,

and installed a big laser tag arena and a

ropes course with a zip line.

Jamie: That Odessa location was our first

true Texas-size site.

Jeff: We opened it in November 2016. It felt

like it was part of a progression. We started

in 2009, built one in 2010 that was similar

to the first, then went bigger in Midland

in 2013, and went even bigger in Odessa

in 2016. We were experimenting with the

concept and finding out what was working

best. But honestly, we didn’t perfect the

concept until we opened in Amarillo,

Texas. We opened a 90,000-square-foot

site there in 2018. That one received the

award for the best FEC from IAAPA.

Amarillo was where we discovered

that it’s all in the layout. When you’re

programming a giant game room, with

food and beverage, a movie theater, 16

to 18 lanes of bowling, escape rooms, axe

throwing, and virtual reality—the layout

of the facility is very important. It took us

nine years, from 2009 to 2018, to find the

right layout. As a result, there is a huge

difference in the performance of the game

room between our first FEC and the later

ones. When I say huge, I’m talking like 20

times difference in sales.

To a large degree, you’re building a

casino for families—with games and all

sorts of different attractions. You want to

put the big anchor attractions in the back,

and you have the impulse buys toward the

front. People-flow within these buildings

is very important, because you can have

six, seven thousand people a day come

through your doors on a busy Saturday.

It must have been so frustrating to

have perfected the concept and

received the award from IAAPA in

2018, only to close all your sites with

62 September 2022


the emergence of the pandemic

in 2020. Once you were allowed

to reopen, however, how much of

an advantage did you have, not

needing to rely on the movie theater

component to bring back patrons?

Jeff: There’s no other way to put it: It flatout

sucked. I will tell you, however, that

by March 2021, it was like a coming out

party across Texas. We did record sales in

the FEC in March and April of 2021. The

movies still weren’t clicking; the exhibition

side of our business was still hobbled in

2021, but the FEC was absolutely going

gangbusters. We did game room numbers

that we will never see again because all

those people that would have been going

to the movies were spending their entire

time bowling, playing games, and eating

and drinking. The FEC brought us back

much quicker than traditional or dinein

exhibitors, who were so reliant on

Hollywood releases.

When did the exhibition component

of your FECs start to rebound?

Jeff: Godzilla vs. Kong was the first big

release that really surprised us.

We hadn’t seen crowds like that for

a movie in a year. We were forced to do

“When there’s not a big

movie, people will do a lot of

the other things we offer. But

on the big movie weekends,

our locations are all about Top

Gun: Maverick or Lightyear.”

all these layoffs during the closures and

were slowly rebuilding our staff when

Godzilla vs. Kong came out and brough

back a huge audience. We had Tom and

Jerry come out shortly after. Those two

movies were the one-two punch that

convinced us we were going to have a

summer movie season in 2021.

I don’t want to short sell the theater

side of the equation within the Cinergy

concept. Our movie business is very

complementary to the FEC. When there’s

not a big movie, people will do a lot of

the other things we offer. But on the big

movie weekends, our locations are all

about Top Gun: Maverick or Lightyear.

We see that in our attendance. The

movies drive a lot of the people into

our buildings, and that’s how they get

exposed to everything else we offer.

Movies are the secret sauce of the

FEC business. Without them, you’re

offering the same thing week in and

week out. There’s no urgency to go,

no call to action. But when Top Gun:

Maverick or The Black Phone is available

on your screens, and people know it’s

only going to be there for a short number

of weeks, there’s a call to action to get to

the theater to see it.

September 2022

63


CINÉSHOW VISIONARY AWARD

What is the biggest difference

between operating an FEC and a

traditional movie theater?

Jeff: I would say the biggest thing I’ve

learned is that you better have a damn

good team and a lot of operational

knowledge.

Jamie: And a diverse range of knowledge,

too. We’ve got bowling people, games

people, food and beverage people, and

movie people. There are a lot of different

skill sets you need to balance.

Jeff: For us, it started with Neil Hupfauer.

He taught me a lot about running FECs

and wrote the playbook on the bowlinganchored

family entertainment center.

We took his knowledge and combined

it with our experience running Movie

Tavern—that’s how it took off. We have

a fantastic team, and that would be my

biggest takeaway from this experience:

You can’t do this by yourself. You need to

surround yourself with experts.

Jamie: As a result, we have a much higher

corporate count and overhead than a

theater chain of our size.

Jeff: Simply because there is a lot of

complexity to FECs that a plain movie

theater chain doesn’t have. We get a lot

of revenue from games, which are 100

percent margin, as opposed to splitting it

with the studios. It is a different business

model, one that requires you to have

experts in different areas to succeed.

The movie business is such a great

complement because you have a

consistent pipeline of fresh, new,

and appealing movies to draw

from. Managing an arcade space or

implementing a big attraction, like

laser tag or an escape room, it

must be very expensive to keep

them from growing stale.

Jeff: It’s a whole other challenge and it’s

expensive, because you have to switch up

the games frequently. There’s always one

game that earns really well, and a dozen

that hardly earn anything at all. Every

year, we swap out the bottom 10 or 15

percent of the games. We go to IAAPA’s

convention and drop $12,000 to $15,000,

on average, per game, to change out

those bottom 10 or 15 games.

What are some of the top games and

attractions at your FECs?

Jeff: We added axe throwing a week

before we got shut down for the pandemic,

back in 2020. It wasn’t as big as we had

hoped when we reopened, because people

didn’t want to touch the axes, but it’s

finally beginning to catch on now.

Recently we pulled out some of our

bowling lanes to make room for big

virtual reality (V.R.) pieces. I think V.R. is

going to be the next big thing. These freeroam

V.R. games are so much fun.

Now, I do wonder, somewhere down

the road, if movie theaters are going to

struggle when movies come out on V.R.

headsets. If that happens, we are going

to have to compete with that along with

streaming. I don’t know if or when that

“We have a fantastic

team, and that would be

my biggest takeaway from

this experience: You can’t

do this by yourself. You

need to surround yourself

with experts.”

64 September 2022


occurs—whether that’s five, 10, or 20

years down the road—but at some point,

people are going to be comfortable

with wearing a computer on their face.

If studios seize upon that and release

movies in V.R. headsets, then we’re

talking about a whole other level of

immersion, and I’m not sure how that

battle is going to go.

On our end, we’re putting in what

we call a V.R. universe in our latest

prototype at Cinergy. It is about a 4,000-

to 5,000-square-foot area in the back of

the game room with different V.R. pieces.

We’re going to be selling time slots by

the hour back there and turn V.R. into an

attraction like bowling, where you book

time by the hour.

To us, that’s the “premiumization” of

Cinergy. Our next step is to figure out what

our V.R. universe is, what the pieces are

going to be, and how to market and sell it.

The first one will open in our Greenville,

South Carolina project, which is probably

about 16 months away from opening.

“Everything we do, we look

at it through the lens of an

exhibitor. We try to be wellrounded

in promoting all

the different aspects of our

business. That’s part of the

reason why we brought in so

many other people into the

organization.”

As Cinergy’s FEC concept continues

to grow, how much of a role will

exhibition play in the expansion?

Jeff: To be honest, we’ve scaled back

the number of screens and the size of

our new complex in Greenville. It’s gone

from 90,000 square feet and 10 screens

to 70,000 square feet and seven screens.

That decision came down to our concern

about the number of releases from

Hollywood in the coming years, and as

a result we are slightly deemphasizing

the theater component in our latest

prototypes.

Despite that, everything we do, we

look at it through the lens of an exhibitor.

We try to be well-rounded in promoting

all the different aspects of our business.

That’s part of the reason why we brought

in so many other people into the

organization. To help cover up for the fact

that we’re always thinking of Cinergy as a

movie theater first.

Jamie: Exhibition is still at the heart of

everything we do.

September 2022

65


CINÉSHOW FRANK LIBERTO AWARD

PREMIERE CINEMAS:

FROM POPCORN TO

THE PIZZA PUB

CinéShow 2022 Frank Liberto Award: Interview with

Joel Davis, Chief Operating Officer, Premiere Cinemas

BY DANIEL LORIA

What started out as a part-time job

in high school turned into a fullfledged

career for Joel Davis. Premiere

Cinemas’ COO first joined the exhibition

industry as a teenager, leaving after

graduating college and coming back

again in 1998 as a general manager

of the chain’s Webster, Texas dollar

theater. It only took a year for Davis to

make his mark at the circuit, becoming

regional manager by 1999 and overseeing

operations at nine of Premiere’s locations.

By 2000, Davis took on an executive role

to oversee all of its 28 locations.

Since then, he has spent over two

decades helping Premiere establish itself

as a top U.S. moviegoing destination.

Davis, the recipient of CinéShow’s 2022

Frank Liberto Award, which recognizes

excellence among concessions and

purchasing professionals in exhibition,

spoke to Boxoffice Pro about his career

at the movies and how he’s helped lead

Premiere for nearly 25 years.

How did you end up having a career

in exhibition?

It was a part-time job, back in 1989. I

was in my senior year of high school, 17

years old, and I had always wanted to

work at the movies. That’s the dream

job when you’re in high school, when

your other choices are the grocery store

or mowing lawns. I had so many great

experiences working that first summer. I

was working at my family’s farm during

the day—hauling, cutting, and raking

hay. We had about 900 acres where we

grew potatoes and soybeans. It was hard

work! I would shower after a day working

at the farm and get ready for my second

job, my paying job, at the movies. I really

loved that job … it gave me a chance to

sit in the air-conditioning after spending

the day working outside in the Texas

heat. I worked at that theater all the way

through college.

After graduating college, I went to work

in juvenile probation—my degree is in

criminal justice—until some health issues

for one of my relatives brought me back

to work for one of my family’s companies.

I found myself working for my relative’s

dredging company. We built beaches in the

Caribbean. My wife and I actually relocated

to Ambergris Key [Belize], to the little town

of San Pedro, and lived on that island for

about a year and a half. We lived on an

island 36 miles offshore. The only way to

66

September 2022


get there was by boat or by Cessna. It didn’t

take long for my wife to get island fever.

Around that time, I reconnected with

some folks at that theater I worked at

through college, let them know I was

looking to change careers, and they

set me up with Gary Moore, owner of

Premiere Cinemas, who was looking for

a G.M. at the time.

I love how that first job experience

working part-time in a movie theater

in high school ended up resonating

so much in your career. What was

your first impression of Gary Moore

at Premiere?

We hit it off right away. I started as a

G.M. for Premiere in 1998 at a sub-run

location—the fourth-largest dollar cinema

in the state of Texas. Everything was done

by hand back then, from the box office to

the concession stand and everything in

between. I remember putting together the

programs. About three days in, Gary takes

me out to lunch and tells me, “In a year’s

time, you’ll be running this place—you’re

going to be our regional director.” By that

time next year, I was managing multiple

properties. I was taking everything I had

done at that sub-run and implementing

it at Premiere’s first-runs across Texas.

The company continued to grow until

one day, during a meeting with a banker,

Gary looked over at me and introduced

me as his vice president.

What were some of the lessons

you took from those early days at

Premiere in the late ‘90s?

I was in charge of the fourth-largest

dollar theater in Texas back then. It was

a sub-run, so we’d get prints well after

they had opened. I remember getting two

35 mm prints of Titanic and selling out

those auditoriums on a daily basis. At a

dollar theater, our biggest priority was

to provide the same level of experience

as a first-run. I had one big rule at that

location: It didn’t matter if it was the

first or last show, the theater had to be

perfectly clean throughout the entire day.

Our theater, for a dollar or a dollar and a

half, was classier than the two first-run

theaters we were competing against. We

had a really good management staff that

I assembled; we really dug down in the

trenches and did everything we could to

satisfy the customer. That’s what made

the difference.

The concessions business has been

one of the most significant evolutions

in exhibition since you began working

in the industry.

I love concessions; it’s probably my

favorite part of the business. At Premiere,

there have been times when we’ve gone

out on a limb and tried some things to see

if they work. Sometimes they don’t. You

don’t know until you try it. The standard

to measure success in the concessions

business would be your per capita sales.

Looking at that, a lot of it comes down to

design. Gary Moore is a trailblazer in our

industry when it comes to design. He has

the ability to sit down with an architect

and draw out a whole set of plans. He also

knows when to turn things over to the

people in operations that understand how

things work on a day-to-day basis. It has

been great for me to be able to sit down

next to him and go over design ideas to

make sure we have a layout that works.

At some of our locations, we’ve

installed fast-food-style concession

stands, where you order by number, kind

of like at a McDonald’s. We designed

our concessions menu around that idea,

making it easy on the eyes. It’s easy for the

consumer to order and super-easy for the

staff, who have those combos memorized.

We always look at how to improve

things at the concession stand. We

redesigned our candy cases so we could

display our products to the customer and

fulfill their orders as quickly as possible.

We had a big success when we changed

up our warmers. I called Gold Medal

Products to get new popcorn warmers

“We always look at how

to improve things at the

concession stand. We

redesigned our candy cases so

we could display our products

to the customer and fulfill their

orders as quickly as possible.”

September 2022

67


CINÉSHOW FRANK LIBERTO AWARD

we could stick in front of our concession

stands, so customers could see the fresh

popcorn right in front of them when they

line up to order. We did the same with our

nachos, making sure our customers could

see them. Our per caps went up so high

after we did that.

How have you been able to keep pace

with changes in consumer behavior at

the concession stand over the years?

At Premiere, there have been times when

we’ve gone out on a limb and tried some

things just to see if they work. Sometimes

they don’t; you don’t know until you try it.

Self-serve candy stations are one of those

things that I never thought would work.

Just having candy sit there so customers

can grab it and walk away with it? No way

“Today, if you go to a Premiere

location, we have self-serve

candy and soda, and we’ve

just begun implementing selfserve

popcorn. Customers love

that concept; it makes them

feel like they’re at a buffet

with our concessions.”

that’s going to work. We like to innovate,

so we tried it at one location, and we

doubled our candy sales in one weekend.

So all those candy cases we designed?

They go by the wayside, and we pivot to

self-serve candy. When you look at the

data, self-serve concessions make a lot

of sense. Today, if you go to a Premiere

location, we have self-serve candy and

soda, and we’ve just begun implementing

self-serve popcorn. Customers love that

concept; it makes them feel like they’re at

a buffet with our concessions. When done

right, self-serve gives your guests the

perception that they’re getting more value

for their money.

We let our per caps guide the direction

we take when it comes to concessions.

That’s how we’ve moved toward the selfserve

concept. I was surprised to find

how labor intensive self-serve stations

are. You would think you need fewer

personnel if the customers are serving

themselves, but it actually requires you

to have enough personnel to make sure

the self-serve areas are clean and well

maintained. If you take your eyes off

it, it’s going to be a mess and it won’t be

appealing to the customer.

The next big evolution for Premiere

on the F&B side was incorporating

enhanced menus. Today, you’re known

for your Pizza Pub concept. How did

you develop and launch that idea?

You look at the state of Texas, and we

have so many industry colleagues that

have done such a great job in the dinein

space. You have specialized circuits

like Alamo Drafthouse and Studio Movie

Grill and family entertainment centers

like Cinergy—from the same team

that founded Movie Tavern—that have

perfected the concept over the years. We

came to it as a traditional movie theater,

really admiring what our colleagues here

in Texas had done and looking to add that

F&B dimension.

We started with our location in Bryan,

Texas—right by College Station, a college

town, home to Texas A&M. We built

a stand-alone restaurant there, and I

brought in a chef to put together all the

recipes. I’m a concessions guy, so I needed

to be brought up to speed on how an

expanded F&B business would work at

our cinemas. That location was our first

with an alcohol license, so we brought in

beer and wine. We didn’t call it a Pizza

68

September 2022


“Our F&B director, Jimmy

Levinson, who specializes in

Italian food, designed the

menu. The whole concept just

clicked for us. It was a perfect

combination: beer and pizza.”

Pub at the time; we referred to it as our

Bistro, and we learned a lot about the F&B

business through that experience.

The next phase was in a new location

we opened in Lubbock, Texas. That

site turned out to be one of the biggest

learning experiences we’ve had. We

employed three F&B managers at

that location, two of them chefs with

credentials from Texas Tech. It turned out

to be a really good experiment. We kept

learning a little bit more and more about

how to refine the concept.

The next evolution came when we took

over a former United Artists location in

Grand Prairie, Texas, that had been sitting

vacant for about three years. It wasn’t a

big site; we had to figure out how to fit

10 screens in what should have been a

65,000-square-foot building into 40,000

square feet. We did a full remodel, adding

a Pizza Pub and a bar.

We built that bar from scratch and

designed it with a draft beer system

with 10 different beers on tap. Instead of

tucking the bar away in the back, as we

had done in other locations, we stuck it

right out in the front. That changed the

dynamic completely for us. It was a whole

different experience as soon as guests

came in through our doors. Right past the

bar, we added a pizza kitchen, so all of a

sudden we had this great energy of a bar

and restaurant as the focal point of our

lobby. Our F&B director, Jimmy Levinson,

who specializes in Italian food, designed

the menu. The whole concept just clicked

for us. It was a perfect combination: beer

and pizza.

Would you consider that to be the

biggest evolution on the F&B side for

Premiere?

That was definitely the biggest evolution,

finding an F&B concept that worked for

us. So we sat down with our operations

team and CEO and decided that the Pizza

Pub was the way to go for our circuit. Our

Pizza Pubs have connected so well with

audiences, and we’re not looking back.

Dine-in is so competitive in Texas, and

in order to add expanded menus in your

circuit, you really need to find a concept,

perfect it, and make it your own.

Innovating, pivoting, launching

new concepts—like anything else, it just

comes down to learning better ways of

doing things the more you do them.

That’s how we’ve been able to grow as a

circuit, by asking the right questions and

getting better at putting things together

over time.

September 2022

69


CINÉSHOW LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

THE CAREER

OF A LIFETIME

CinéShow Honors NATO’s

Belinda Judson with Lifetime

Achievement Award

BY REBECCA PAHLE

“I’m just really proud of all of

the regional leaders. They do

so much work. A lot of them

are volunteers; they’re not

paid staff. It’s a lot of work.”

Over the last few years, movie theater

operators have worked perhaps

more closely than ever with the team at

NATO, struggling through a morass of

Covid-related regulations while trying to

secure government assistance and keep

movie theaters (responsibly) open. One

of NATO’s number, Belinda Judson, is

getting some well-deserved recognition of

her support of the industry at CinéShow,

where she’s set to be honored with the

Lifetime Achievement Award.

As NATO’s regional leader, for decades

Judson has racked up airline points

and miles on the odometer working

with NATO’s regional chapters. It was

Judson, as an ex–movie theater owner

and one-time executive director of

NATO of Ohio, who helped form NATO’s

regional chapters as we know them today,

transforming a collection of individual

state chapters into larger groups able to

better deal with the challenges that came

their way.

Now living in Portugal, Judson spoke

with Boxoffice Pro about how she

became a part of the cinema industry “not

really intentionally”—only to find that

“it’s an industry that gets in your blood.”

How did you come to work with NATO?

Actually, my husband and I owned a

couple of twin theaters in Columbus.

That’s how we got into this crazy business.

It was at a time just before multiplexes

really took hold. At that point, it [became]

much harder to make a living with small

theaters. So we got out of the theater

business. But I stayed connected, because

I had been very active in NATO of Ohio

when we owned our theaters. When

we sold the theaters, I went to work for

NATO of Ohio as their executive director.

That kept me in a business that I was

very passionate about. It seemed a good

fit, and then it all just kind of rolled

from there.

I was lucky enough to have a lot of

people that helped along the way, but one

in particular, Mary Ann Grasso Anderson

[NATO’s former vice president and

executive director], was such a mentor to

me. I was very, very lucky to have her in

my life. [It was] definitely at a time when

there weren’t too many females in a lot of

positions in this industry. Her friendship

and her mentorship meant everything to

me, not just then but now. I look back on

it, and I realize that I [was given] a gift.

Mary Ann … pushed me to do things

that I never thought I could do and put

me in front of the right people. [She]

definitely shaped my career. I have so

many friends in the industry; I could

go on and on about the people that are

important to me. It’s an industry that is

that way.

What led you to be interested in

owning two theaters in the first place?

I didn’t get into the business intentionally.

My husband’s an accountant, and one of

his clients was trying to buy the theaters.

[My husband] was trying to help him put

the package together, and then instead we

ended up signing up for them. We ended

up with two theaters, not really knowing

much about the business. Again, [I was]

lucky to have people in the industry, in

Columbus, who helped us. It was an

atmosphere where everybody in the

business helped each other. I’m blessed to

have had that help when we first started

with the theaters.

When you and your husband decided

to buy the theaters, did you ever

imagine a career in exhibition?

We thought, well, maybe we can buy them

and [the client] can run them and buy

us out, because he wasn’t able to make

the deal work with the bank. [We had]

no intention of having them for a long

period or getting into the business. [But]

it’s an industry that gets in your blood. So

I was ready to stay with the industry. At

the time, I served as the [NATO of Ohio]

executive director, and then later on it

started snowballing. Along the way, I

did things like help put regions together

that would make it easier for our regional

people or independents to get educated

together and help each other. That’s how

I came to be the regional leader. It just

kind of snowballed from what I was doing

in Ohio.

Can you describe those early days

of helping to form those regional

groups?

It put me with our exhibitors, and

that’s what I loved the most: being with

them and trying to help them. It was a

good marriage, so to speak. Because I

had walked the walk. I had credibility

with them. At that time, there were

no regionals. They were just state

associations. At a certain point, a lot

70

September 2022


of those states weren’t particularly active

on the regional level. What happened was,

we started to see legislative issues become

more state and local, versus federal. It

became crucial to have some active

associations throughout the country.

[I’m proud of] getting the regionals up

and running. In certain instances, I feel

like I gave birth to them! [Laughs.] It

was lovely. They would all welcome me

at their conventions. They got used to

me being there at their meetings, and

then they wanted me to come even after

we had regionalized most of the states

throughout the country. I was very

pleased and happy. … So that became

what I did for NATO.

Your travel schedule must have

been insane.

I was out on the road a lot. [Laughs.]

You know how many conventions for

NATO there are, [plus] regular board

meetings for NATO? There was a lot of

work out on the road. I loved it, because

I was helping [people].

My husband loves to go to the movies.

He was very supportive of all the work

I’ve done. I’ve been living a blessed life,

because he’s been very supportive of all

I’ve wanted to do. He was the one that

stayed home and I [was] traveling all

over the place.

It’s great that the regional

conventions are back. CinemaCon is

just so hectic.

I’m just really proud of all of the regional

leaders. They do so much work. A lot of

them are volunteers; they’re not paid staff.

It’s a lot of work. I’m really, really proud

of them and what they do. I don’t think

people realize how much they do for them.

They do it because they love the industry.

They love what they do. They work hard

in their theaters and work hard for the

association to make it healthy. There’s so

much going on legislatively. It’s a tough

road sometimes, when you feel like you

have the [weight of the] world on your

back. And that if you don’t succeed,

it’s going to hurt the entire industry.

So that’s kind of a—yipes!

For example, with the pandemic,

after the theaters were shut down, it was

the regional guys that had to do the heavy

lifting as far as lobbying governors to

let us reopen the theaters. You would go

to bed every night thinking, “I have to

get this and this and this.” It’s very, very

stressful.

Everybody helped each other,

which was great. We’re calling each other:

“What happened today? How many do

we have open now?” They’re quite lovely.

If they have a certain issue that they’ve

dealt with, and talking points, everybody

shares that.

Do you remember the first movie you

saw in a theater?

The first movie I remember seeing was

Song of the South. I remember standing

up on a chair in the back of the theater,

watching it with my aunt and uncle.

Wow! Disney’s made it really hard to

watch that movie nowadays.

I think Bambi was the second. My

grandfather always gave us a dollar when

he came to see us, and my brother and I

always saved it so we could go see a movie.

From right away, that was an important

thing in our lives, the movie theater.

My mother’s cousin owned a drive-in

theater, too, and my mom worked there.

We would always go out in our pajamas

and see my mom at the drive-in. I was so

nosy. They figured, “We’ll take the kids,

and they’ll fall asleep so we can watch the

movie.” But I wasn’t going to sleep!

What do you like to get at the

concession stand?

When I was little, it was always Junior

Mints. Now if I get something, it’s usually

popcorn. I never ate candy. My mom had

sugar diabetes. We never had sweets at

home. So we didn’t tend to eat candy,

either. But I always had to have Junior

Mints. That’s the only time I ate them,

when I went to the movies. To me, those

are married together.

Can you talk a bit about the work

you’ve done with Variety – the

Children’s Charity?

I worked a lot with Will Rogers people,

too, me and NATO. [They] have a lot

of meaning to me. The kids and the

babies—being able to do some small

part in helping them has been just

wonderful, because these kids are

amazing. The little babies, they fight for

their lives. The kids with disabilities go

around with the biggest smiles on their

faces all the time. That’s amazing. It’s

brought a lot of joy to my life.

“From her earlier days as an

exhibitor in Ohio to managing

regional NATO groups and

lobbying to her election to a

seat on the NATO Executive

Board to her many friends

in the industry who love her

dearly, Belinda’s leadership

has provided great benefit

to theater operators across

the country. Belinda richly

deserves this award.”

John Fithian,

President & CEO, NATO

“This is truly a special

moment for CinéShow to

recognize Belinda’s dedication

to exhibitors across the

country. Belinda is a true icon

in this industry and has been

a great friend and mentor

to me throughout our time

working together.”

Todd Halstead,

Director of Government Relations

and Strategy, NATO

September 2022

71


CINÉSHOW TEXAN OF THE YEAR

A COMMITMENT

TO CHARITY

Cinemark’s Don Harton is Variety of Texas’s

2022 Texan of the Year

BY REBECCA PAHLE

everyone. And then, Don does the work

to make things happen!”

You’ve been with Cinemark for quite

some time. How did you come to work

with them?

I started working on Cinemark projects in

1986. I was actually an outside architect

working as a consultant to Cinemark from

1986 until 1996. At that time, Cinemark

asked me to come inside and work for

them directly. So from ’96 until now, I

have worked inside the company.

2022 marks 10 years of collaboration

between CinéShow and Variety

of Texas, which since 1935 (under the

name Variety Club of Dallas) has brought

together Texas’s vibrant cinema industry

in support of at-need children and their

families. It is fitting, then, that this year’s

Texan of the Year Award—presented

at a gala dinner on the Wednesday of

CinéShow—would go to someone who’s

put so much time and effort into Variety

of Texas’s flagship project, Peaceable

Kingdom.

Located in Killeen, Texas, one hour

north of Austin, Peaceable Kingdom

is a 122-acre summer camp and retreat

designed to accommodate children of

all mobility levels. And without Don

Harton, Cinemark EVP of design and

construction, it would look much

different than it does today. In 2021,

Harton led Variety of Texas in

repairing damage done to Peaceable

Kingdom’s Theatre in the Woods

cinema and arcade by the devastating

wave of winter weather that hit

Texas earlier that year. Since then,

he spearheaded the construction of

Peaceable Kingdom’s Fort Walter and

helped coordinate projects taken on

by a group of Cinemark volunteers.

“Don doesn’t treat us like a charity,”

says Stacy Bruce, executive director and

president of Variety of Texas. “Instead,

he recognizes the impact we make on

real kids’ lives. He genuinely wants to

serve the community and help make

Peaceable Kingdom a better place for

If a company is keeping employees

that long, it’s doing something right.

What is it that makes Cinemark

special?

It has always been a culture of family.

It’s a nurturing culture. [Cinemark

founder] Lee Roy Mitchell built a

company that is focused on helping

people grow and learn to do a job well.

He always encouraged you to find the

things that you’re particularly good at

and really drive in on those areas. He’s

built a flexible company, and he’s built a

company that focuses on growth—both

of the company, certainly, and also

growth of the people. And the company

has grown enormously.

Are you from Texas originally?

I was born in Texas. Spent a part of my

youth in Florida. My father was part of

the NASA mission to put people on

the moon. He worked for a couple

of contractors, one in Florida—Cape

Kennedy—and then one in the Houston

area, at the NASA center near Clear Lake.

Then I went to school at Texas A&M for

undergraduate, and graduate school

at University of Oregon. After leaving

Oregon, we came back to Dallas. I’ve lived

in this area since then.

A lot of people in the cinema industry

have been in it, in some capacity,

since they were children—but it

wasn’t a field you were initially

interested in. Did you like going to

the movies growing up?

I have always loved movies. My

introduction to theaters was mostly

that I really enjoyed the design of

spaces where people assemble. I always

thought I would grow up and design

churches, but I grew up and designed

movie theaters!

72

September 2022


There are fewer and fewer spaces for

communal assembly. What draws you

to them?

I like the idea of people coming together

and focusing on something that’s

happening together, enjoying that

community. People living in communities

—that’s what we’re made to do!

Do you remember the first movie

you saw in a theater?

I think it was Old Yeller.

Oh, man. That’s a heavy one.

Yes. The Sound of Music was another

movie that resonated with me from my

childhood.

And what are you getting when you

go to the concession stand?

We typically get kettle corn and water.

I like the bottled water because I can screw

the cap back on and just drink what I want.

Sometimes I’ll get an Icee—the Coke and

the blue mixed together. I like Junior

Mints. Sometimes, if I’m getting popcorn,

I like to get M&Ms to mix in with it.

Premium formats are a hot topic

of discussion now, with things like

PLF screens and motion seating

being so instrumental in getting

moviegoers back to the cinema.

Of course, that relates to the design

of the theater. What is it like being

on the construction side of the

cinema industry in 2022?

It’s always been really fascinating to

think about what people will experience

and then to follow that process all the

way through, and to then actually go

into a space that you’ve been a part of

developing. That’s a really fulfilling

thing. Right now, as we’re thinking about

theaters, we’re thinking about how to

maintain the wow. Our company was

[an early] leader in PLF, with our XD

[proprietary large-format] design and our

next-gen, wall-to-wall screen design.

We’ve always tried to bring wow. We

keep thinking: What are those things

that are going to make a real premium

experience for our guests? And now we’re

really thinking, what other things can we

do on the way into the auditorium that

can deliver that premium experience?

What can we do at the concession stand?

Should it still be a concession stand, or

should there be some other ways that

our guests can interact and experience

the thrill of going to the movies from the

moment they arrive at the theater, and

then the buildup to the big screen as

they go into the [auditorium]? We’re also

in the era of family entertainment. What

other things can we offer our guests if

they’re waiting for their movie to start, or

after the movie? Is it bowling? Is it laser

tag? We’re making gaming a bigger part

of [our business]. What are those kinds of

things that might be appropriate to offer?

And all these things can have

different space requirements.

Right. There’s much more flexibility in

an [arcade] gaming complex. Obviously,

bowling is fixed, but the arcade area has

a great deal more flexibility, because the

games are different sizes, and they come

and go. Whereas [with] auditoriums, there

are certain things that you [have to] put in

there. They’re very fixed and rigid, because

they have to be. And then, obviously, food

service. What kind of additional food

can you offer? Pizzas, hamburgers, fries?

Right-sizing the kitchen so you’re not too

big, but you’re big enough to have the

flexibility you’ll need for different menu

offerings through the years.

Cinemark has also been at the

forefront as far as sustainability is

concerned. You introduced solar

panels to some of your theaters

decades ago.

[Cinemark Vice President of Energy and

Sustainability] Art Justice, our “energy

czar,” has been leading that effort. I love

the fact that we are active, and we are

certainly finding ways to introduce other

features. Many years ago, we did our first

LEED project, and we were even able to

introduce a deal [whereby] rainwater is

reused in the building. We had to think

through the filtration process of how we

do that. We always make the provision

for solar panels so that when it’s

appropriate in that particular location,

we can add solar panels to the building.

We have lots of buildings around the

country with solar panels. Charging

stations in our parking lot, so people that

come with electric cars can charge their

vehicles. That’s definitely a feature that

I am happy to be a part of, and I’m really

thrilled that Art has brought so many

good vendor partners to us so that we

can do those together.

“We’ve always tried to bring

wow. We keep thinking: What

are those things that are

going to make a real premium

experience for our guests?”

September 2022

73


CINÉSHOW TEXAN OF THE YEAR

“Don just gets us. He

understands our needs, and

he’s invested in assuring we

achieve success by maximizing

our biggest asset: Peaceable

Kingdom by Variety.”

Stacy Bruce, Executive Director

& President of Variety of Texas

What sort of work have you done

with Variety of Texas?

It has been really exciting to be involved

in the Peaceable Kingdom projects.

We’ve done a couple of things there,

really led by [former CEO] Mark Zoradi.

We had worked with Peaceable Kingdom

before that, but Mark elevated that at

the corporate level, to where a big group

could get involved. We worked on their

basketball court, and we worked on their

pool area. The next year we worked on the

playground, and then over the last year

and a half we’ve worked on Fort Walter,

celebrating [retired Cinemark EVP of

purchasing] Walter Hebert, and then

also making a special treehouse. It’s got

a great view out over Texas. Just a

beautiful place to sit and contemplate.

I am also involved in [various

community initiatives], largely through

my church. We partner with a community

in South Dallas that has a lot of homeless

people, and so we go down sometimes

on Sunday mornings and help make

breakfast for the homeless population

there. We do some projects around the

community at people’s houses, where

they’re not able to sort of take care of

their property, and we help out with that.

A variety of little things like that.

You mentioned that Cinemark’s work

with Peaceable Kingdom really revved

up under Mark Zoradi—when was that?

The first project that we ever did at

Peaceable Kingdom was a movie theater,

that one that Lee Roy pointed us to. It was

maybe in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

Mark was looking around for something

that the company could do together; I

think our first trip there was in 2018. We

went in 2018, and then in 2019, and then

through the pandemic we’ve done a

couple of other small things.

During your time at Cinemark, and

the work that you’ve done in the

Dallas community, what do you look

back on that you’re most proud of?

One of the things that Lee Roy introduced

us to was a Holocaust museum that was

being planned in Dallas [the Dallas Holocaust

and Human Rights Museum]. Lee

Roy, through a variety of different connections,

became aware of it and started

talking to the organization that was

planning to build the museum and said,

“Hey, we really think you need to have an

auditorium here.” We got involved in the

planning for that and were able to spearhead

and participate in the development

of that auditorium. It was a very fulfilling

opportunity to be a part of. I wasn’t the

architect of record by any means, but I

gave the architects input and insight into

how to develop that auditorium.

Not a bad legacy.

It’s being in the right place at the right

time and being given the opportunities.

And then, wow, the realization that

this was an opportunity that was well

worth it.

74

September 2022


Sept 2022

75


Event Cinema Calender 78 | Booking Guide 80

ON SCREEN

A look at upcoming releases heading to theaters

Booking Guide, p. 80

September 2022

77


On Screen EVENT CINEMA CALENDER

EVENT CINEMA

CALENDAR

Updated through July 29, 2022.

Contact distributors for latest listings.

BY EXPERIENCE

byexperience.net

GREAT ART ON SCREEN:

TUTANKHAMUN: THE LAST

EXHIBITION

Now through Sept. 10

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN: POMPEII:

SIN CITY

Now through Oct. 7

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN: BOTTICELLI:

FLORENCE AND THE MEDICI

Now through Nov. 12

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN: VENICE:

INFINITELY AVANT-GARDE

Now through Dec. 2

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN:

MAVERICK MODIGLIANI

Now through Dec. 31

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN:

NAPOLEON: IN THE NAME OF ART

Now through Dec. 31

Genre: Art

GREAT ART ON SCREEN: RAPHAEL:

THE YOUNG PRODIGY

Now through Dec. 31

Genre: Art

The Met: Live in HD – Falstaff

CINELIFE ENTERTAINMENT

cinelifeentertainment.com

THE RETALIATORS

From Sept. 14

Genre: Horror

HALLOWEEN

From Sept. 1

Genre: Classics

FATHOM EVENTS

fathomevents.com

855-473-4612

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD PRESENTS:

THE WAY

Sept. 1

Genre: Inspiration

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: STAR

TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

(40TH ANNIV.)

Sept. 4, Sept. 5, Sept. 8

Genre: Classics

AFTER EVER HAPPY

Sept. 7, Sept. 8

Genre: Premiere

LIFEMARK

Sept. 9-15

Genre: Inspiration

CLERKS III

Sept. 13, Sept. 15

Genre: Premiere

JEEPERS CREEPERS REBORN

Sept. 19-21

Genre: Horror

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2022:

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE

Sept. 25, Sept. 26, Sept. 28

Genre: Anime

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

POLTERGEIST (40TH ANNIV.)

Sept. 25, Sept. 26, Sept. 28

Genre: Classics

JOHNNY CASH: THE REDEMPTION

OF AN AMERICAN ICON

Oct. 11-13

Genre: Music

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: IN THE

HEAT OF THE NIGHT (55TH ANNIV.)

Oct. 16, Oct. 19

Genre: Classics

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - MEDEA

Oct. 22, Oct. 26

Genre: Opera

STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2022:

SPIRITED AWAY

Oct. 30, Nov. 1, Nov. 2

Genre: Anime

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - LA TRAVIATA

Nov. 5, Nov. 9

Genre: Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: TO KILL

A MOCKINGBIRD (60TH ANNIV.)

Nov. 13, Nov. 16

Genre: Classics

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - THE MAGIC

FLUTE

Dec. 3

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - THE HOURS

Dec. 10, Dec. 14

Genre: Opera

TCM BIG SCREEN CLASSICS:

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Dec. 18, Dec. 21

Genre: Classics

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - FEDORA

Jan. 14, Jan. 18

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - LOHENGRIN

Mar. 18, Mar. 22

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - FALSTAFF

Apr. 1, Apr. 5

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - DER

ROSENKAVALIER

Apr. 15, Apr. 19

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - CHAMPION

Apr. 29, May 3

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - DON

GIOVANNI

May 20, May 24

Genre: Opera

THE MET: LIVE IN HD - DIE

ZAUBERFLÖTE

Jun. 3, Jun. 7

Genre: Opera

TRAFALGAR RELEASING

trafalgar-releasing.com

GLYNDEBOURNE: LA BOHÈME

Sept. 11

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Sept. 27

Genre: Opera

RSC: RICHARD III

Sept. 28

Genre: Drama

78 September 2022


THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

MAYERLING

Oct. 5

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | THE HOURS

Dec. 10

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

AIDA

Oct. 12

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | LOHENGRIN

Jan. 14

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

LA BOHÈME

Oct. 20

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE

Jan. 19

Genre: Opera

The Met: Live in HD - La Traviata

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | MEDEA

Oct. 22

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Feb. 15

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

CINDERELLA

Apr. 12

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | DON GIOVANNI

May 20

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | LA TRAVIATA

Nov. 5

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | LOHENGRIN

Mar. 18

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | DER ROSENKAVALIER

Apr. 15

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

May 24

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

THE ROYAL BALLET: A DIAMOND

CELEBRATION

Nov. 16

Genre: Ballet

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

THE NUTCRACKER

Dec. 8

Genre: Ballet

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

TURANDOT

Mar. 22

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | FALSTAFF

Apr. 1

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

Apr. 27

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | CHAMPION

Apr. 29

Genre: Opera

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE

IN HD 22-23 | DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE

Jun. 3

Genre: Opera

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 22-23 |

IL TROVATORE

Jun. 13

Genre: Opera

THE

COMPANY

September 2022

79


On Screen BOOKING GUIDE

BOOKING

GUIDE

Release calendar for theatrical

distribution in North America

Release dates are updated through July 28, 2022.

Please consult distributors to confirm latest listings.

20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

310-369-1000

212-556-2400

BARBARIAN

Fri, 9/9/22 WIDE

Stars: Georgina Campbell,

Bill Skarsgård

Director: Zach Cregger

Rating: R

Genre: Hor/Thr

BRAHMASTRA PART 1: SHIVA

Fri, 9/9/22 LTD

Stars: Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan

Director: Ayan Mukerji

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv

AVATAR

Fri, 9/23/22 WIDE

Stars: Zoe Saldana,

Sam Worthington

Director: James Cameron

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Act/Fan/SF

AMSTERDAM

Fri, 11/4/22 WIDE

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Christian Bale

Director: David O. Russell

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

Fri, 12/16/22 WIDE

Stars: Zoe Saldana,

Sam Worthington

Director: James Cameron

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Fan/SF

Specs: 3D, Imax, Dolby

UNTITLED 20TH CENTURY 2022

Fri, 9/15/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

TRUE LOVE

Fri, 10/6/23 WIDE

Stars: Gemma Chan, Allison Janney

Director: Gareth Edwards

Rating: NR

Genre: Rom/SF/Dra

Barbarian

Fri, 9/9/22 Wide

UNTITLED 20TH CENTURY 2024 1

Fri, 5/24/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED 20TH CENTURY 2024 2

Fri, 7/5/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

AVATAR 3

Fri, 12/20/24 WIDE

Director: James Cameron

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Fan/SF

A24

646-568-6015

FUNNY PAGES

Fri, 8/26/22 WIDE

Stars: Daniel Zolghadri,

Matthew Maher

Director: Owen Kline

Rating: R

Genre: Com

PEARL

Fri, 9/16/22 LTD

Stars: Mia Goth, David Corenswet

Director: Ti West

Rating: R

Genre: Hor

AMAZON STUDIOS

CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY

Fri, 9/23/22 LTD

Stars: Bella Ramsey, Billie Piper

Director: Lena Dunham

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Act

MY POLICEMAN

Fri, 10/21/22 LTD

Stars: Harry Styles, Emma Corrin

Director: Michael Grandage

Rating: R

Genre: Rom/Dra

GOOD NIGHT OPPY

Fri, 11/4/22 LTD

Director: Ryan White

Rating: PG

Genre: Doc

BLEECKER STREET

BREAKING

Fri, 8/26/22 LTD

Stars: John Boyega,

Michael Kenneth Williams

Director: Abi Damaris Corbin

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Dra/Thr

BLUE FOX ENTERTAINMENT

William Gruenberg:

william@bluefoxentertainment.com

JANE

Fri, 8/26/22 LTD

Stars: Madelaine Petsch,

Chlöe Bailey

Director: Sabrina Jaglom

Rating: R

Genre: Thr

WAITING FOR BOJANGLES

Fri, 9/2/22 LTD

Stars: Romain Duris, Virginie Efira

Director: Régis Roinsard

Rating: NR

Genre: Rom

80

September 2022


DISNEY

818-560-1000

Ask for Distribution

BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA

FOREVER

Fri, 11/11/22 WIDE

Stars: Letitia Wright, Tenoch Huerta

Director: Ryan Coogler

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF/Fan

Specs: Dolby Vis/Atmos

STRANGE WORLD

Wed, 11/23/22 WIDE

Director: Don Hall

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

Specs: Dolby Vis/Atmos

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP:

QUANTUMANIA

Fri, 2/17/23 WIDE

Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly

Director: Peyton Reed

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF

HAUNTED MANSION

Fri, 3/10/23 WIDE

Director: Justin Simien

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3

Fri, 5/5/23 WIDE

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana

Director: James Gunn

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

THE LITTLE MERMAID

Fri, 5/26/23 WIDE

Stars: Halle Bailey

Director: Rob Marshall

Rating: NR

Genre: Fan

Rating: NR

ELEMENTAL

Fri, 6/16/23 WIDE

Director: Peter Sohn

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED INDIANA JONES

Fri, 6/30/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv

THE MARVELS

Fri, 7/28/23 WIDE

Stars: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris

Director: Nia DaCosta

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF/Fan

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION 2023

Fri, 8/11/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

BLADE

Fri, 11/3/23 WIDE

Stars: Mahershala Ali

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION 2023

Wed, 11/22/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

ROGUE SQUADRON

Fri, 12/22/23 WIDE

Director: Patty Jenkins

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF/Fan

UNTITLED MARVEL 2024

Fri, 2/16/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION 2024 1

Fri, 3/1/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION

2024 1

Fri, 3/22/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD

ORDER

Fri, 5/3/24 WIDE

Stars: Anthony Mackie

Director: Julius Onah

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION 2024 2

Fri, 6/14/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION

2024 2

Fri, 7/5/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

THUNDERBOLTS

Fri, 7/26/24 WIDE

Director: Jake Schreier

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

FANTASTIC FOUR

Fri, 11/8/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Fri, 11/11/22 Wide

September 2022

81


On Screen BOOKING GUIDE

FOCUS FEATURES

THE SILENT TWINS

Fri, 9/16/22 WIDE

Stars: Letitia Wright,

Tamara Lawrance

Director: Agnieszka Smoczyńska

Rating: R

Genre: Dra/Bio

TÁR

Fri, 10/7/22 WIDE

Stars: Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss

Director: Todd Field

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Bio

ARMAGEDDON TIME

Fri, 10/28/22 LTD

Stars: Anthony Hopkins,

Jeremy Strong

Director: James Gray

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

SPOILER ALERT: THE HERO DIES

Fri, 12/2/22 LTD

Stars: Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge

Director: Michael Showalter

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

CHAMPIONS

Fri, 3/24/24 WIDE

Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson

Director: Bobby Farrelly

Rating: NR

Genre: Com

HIDDEN EMPIRE RELEASING

UNTITLED HIDDEN EMPIRE THRILLER

Fri, 10/21/22 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

IFC FILMS

bookings@ifcfilms.com

BURIAL

Fri, 9/2/22 LTD

Stars: Charlotte Vega, Tom Felton

Director: Ben Parker

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

SALOUM

Fri, 9/2/22 LTD

Stars: Yann Gael, Evelyne Ily Juhen

Director: Jean Luc Herbulot

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

SPEAK NO EVIL

Fri, 9/9/22 LTD

Stars: Morten Burian,

Sidsel Siem Koch

Director: Christian Tafdrup

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

GOD’S COUNTRY

Fri, 9/16/22 LTD

Stars: Thandiwe Newton, Joris Jarsky

Director: Julian Higgins

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

VESPER

Fri, 9/30/22 LTD

Stars: Raffiella Chapman,

Eddie Marsan

Directors: Kristina Buozyte,

Bruno Samper

Rating: NR

Genre: SF

PRETTY PROBLEMS

Fri, 10/7/22 LTD

Stars: Britt Rentschler,

Michael Tennant

Director: Kestrin Pantera

Rating: NR

Genre: Com

LIONSGATE

310-309-8400

WHITE BIRD: A WONDER STORY

Fri, 10/14/22 WIDE

Stars: Bryce Gheisar, Ariella Glaser

Director: Marc Forster

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Fam

THE DEVIL’S LIGHT

Fri, 10/28/22 WIDE

Stars: Virginia Madsen, Ben Cross

Director: Daniel Stamm

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

JESUS REVOLUTION

Fri, 2/24/23 WIDE

Stars: Joel Courtney,

Anna Grace Barlow

Directors: Jon Erwin, Brent McCorkle

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Fam

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4

Fri, 3/24/23 WIDE

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen

Director: Chad Stahelski

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME,

MARGARET

Fri, 4/28/23 WIDE

Stars: Rachel McAdams,

Abby Ryder Fortson

Director: Kelly Fremon Craig

Rating: NR

Genre: Fam

UNTITLED DIRTY DANCING SEQUEL

Fri, 2/9/24 WIDE

Stars: Jennifer Grey

Director: Jonathan Levine

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Rom

MAGNOLIA PICTURES

212-379-9704

Neal Block: nblock@magpictures.com

RIOTSVILLE, USA

Fri, 9/16/22 LTD

Director: Sierra Pettengill

Rating: NR

Genre: Doc

The Silent Twins

Fri, 9/16/22 Wide

PIGGY

Fri, 10/14/22 LTD

Stars: Laura Galán, Richard Holmes

Director: Carlota Pereda

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

NEON

hal@neonrated.com

MOONAGE DAYDREAM

Fri, 9/16/22 LTD

Director: Brett Morgen

Rating: NR

Genre: Doc

UNTITLED NEON FILM 1

Fri, 10/7/22 LTD

Rating: NR

UNTITLED NEON FILM 2

Fri, 11/23/22 LTD

Rating: NR

82

September 2022


Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Fri, 3/3/23 Wide

PARAMOUNT

323-956-5000

SMILE

Fri, 9/30/22 WIDE

Director: Parker Finn

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

BABYLON

Fri, 12/23/22 WIDE

Director: Damien Chazelle

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

TITANIC 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Fri, 2/10/22 WIDE

Rating: NR

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS:

HONOR AMONG THIEVES

Fri, 3/3/23 WIDE

Stars: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez

Directors: Jonathan Goldstein,

John Francis Daley

Rating: NR

Genre: Fan

UNTITLED SCREAM SEQUEL

Fri, 3/31/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE

BEASTS

Fri, 6/9/23 WIDE

Stars: Anthony Ramos,

Dominique Fishback

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD

RECKONING PART ONE

Fri, 7/14/23 WIDE

Stars: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

Specs: Dolby Vis/Atmos

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES:

THE NEXT CHAPTER

Fri, 8/4/23 WIDE

Director: Jeff Rowe

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE

Fri, 10/13/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED STAR TREK

Fri, 12/22/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: SF/Act

UNTITLED BOB MARLEY

Fri, 1/12/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Bio

TIGER’S APPRENTICE

Fri, 1/19/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE

Fri, 3/8/24 WIDE

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

IF

Fri, 5/24/24 WIDE

Stars: John Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds

Director: John Krasinski

Rating: NR

Genre: Com/Fan

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 8

Fri, 6/28/24 WIDE

Stars: Tom Cruise

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

UNTITLED TRANSFORMERS

ANIMATION

Fri, 7/19/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED SMURFS ANIMATED

MUSICAL

Fri, 12/20/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani/Mus

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

323-882-8490

GIGI & NATE

Fri, 9/2/22 LTD

Stars: Charlie Rowe,

Marcia Gay Harden

Director: Nick Hamm

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Dra

THE GOOD HOUSE

Fri, 9/30/22 WIDE

Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline

Directors: Maya Forbes,

Wally Wolodarsky

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Rom

CALL JANE

Fri, 10/14/22 WIDE

Stars: Elizabeth Banks,

Sigourney Weaver

Director: Phyllis Nagy

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

September 2022

83


On Screen BOOKING GUIDE

SABAN FILMS

MANEATER

Fri, 8/26/22 LTD

Stars: Nicky Whelan, Trace Adkins

Director: Justin Lee

Rating: R

Genre: Thr C

HLIGHT PICTURES

SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES

SEE HOW THEY RUN

Fri, 9/30/22 LTD

Stars: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan

Director: Tom George

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor/Mys

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

Fri, 10/21/22 WIDE

Stars: Barry Keoghan, Colin Farrell

Director: Martin McDonagh

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

THE MENU

Fri, 11/18/22 WIDE

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy,

Ralph Fiennes

Director: Mark Mylod

Rating: NR

Genre: Com/Hor

EMPIRE OF LIGHT

Fri, 12/9/22 LTD

SONY

212-833-8500

BULLET TRAIN

Fri, 8/5/22 WIDE

Stars: Brad Pitt, Joey King

Director: David Leitch

Rating: R

Genre: Act

Specs: Imax, Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE INVITATION

Fri, 8/26/22 WIDE

Stars: Nathalie Emmanuel,

Thomas Doherty

Director: Jessica M. Thompson

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor/Thr

SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME –

THE MORE FUN STUFF VERSION

Fri, 9/2/22 WIDE

Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya

Director: Tom Watts

Rating: PG-13

Genre: SF/Act

THE WOMAN KING

Fri, 9/16/22 WIDE

Stars: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Rating: NR

Genre: His/Dra

LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE

Fri, 10/7/22 WIDE

Stars: Javier Bardem,

Winslow Fegley

Directors: Will Speck, Josh Gordon

Rating: NR

Genre: Fam

DEVOTION

Wed, 11/23/22 LTD

Stars: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell

Director: J.D. Dillard

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Act/Dra

I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Wed, 12/21/22 WIDE

Stars: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Bio/Mus

A MAN CALLED OTTO

Wed, 12/14/22 WIDE

Stars: Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño

Director: Marc Foster

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

KRAVEN THE HUNTER

Fri, 1/13/23 WIDE

Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson,

Russell Crowe

Director: J.C. Chandor

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/SF

Specs: Imax

HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON

Fri, 1/27/23 WIDE

Stars: Zachary Levi,

Zooey Deschanel

Director: Carlos Saldanha

Rating: NR

Genre: Fam

IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME

Fri, 2/10/23 WIDE

Stars: Priyanka Chopra Jonas,

Sam Heughan

Director: Jim Strouse

Rating: NR

Genre: Mus/Rom

UNTITLED GEORGE FOREMAN

BIOPIC

Fri, 3/31/23 WIDE

Stars: Khris Davis, Sullivan Jones

Director: George Tillman Jr.

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/Bio

The Invitation

Fri, 8/26/22 WIDE

84

September 2022


BONES AND ALL

Fri, 11/23/22 WIDE

Stars: Timothée Chalamet,

Taylor Russell

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

WOMEN TALKING

Fri, 12/2/22 LTD

Stars: Rooney Mara, Claire Foy

Director: Sarah Polley

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

UNTITLED RUSSO BROTHERS

FAMILY FILM

Fri, 1/13/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Fam

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Fri, 8/31/22 Wide

CREED III

Fri, 3/3/23 WIDE

Stars: Michael B. Jordan,

Tessa Thompson

Director: Michael B. Jordan

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

THE POPE’S EXORCIST

Fri, 4/7/23 WIDE

Stars: Russell Crowe

Director: Julius Avery

Rating: NR

65

Fri, 4/28/23 WIDE

Stars: Adam Driver,

Ariana Greenblatt

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Rating: NR

Genre: SF/Thr

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE

SPIDER-VERSE

Fri, 6/2/23 WIDE

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos,

Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

Specs: Imax

NO HARD FEELINGS

Fri, 6/16/23 WIDE

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence

Directors: Gene Stupnitsky

Rating: NR

Genre: Com

INSIDIOUS 5

Fri, 7/7/23 WIDE

Directors: Patrick Wilson

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

GRAN TURISMO

Fri, 8/11/23 WIDE

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

THE EQUALIZER 3

Fri, 9/1/23 WIDE

Stars: Denzel Washington,

Dakota Fanning

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Thr

Specs: Imax

MADAME WEB

Fri, 10/6/23 WIDE

Stars: Dakota Johnson

Director: S.J. Clarkson

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/Fan

GHOSTBUSTERS SEQUEL

Wed, 12/20/23 WIDE

Director: Jason Reitman

Rating: NR

EL MUERTO

Fri, 1/12/24 WIDE

Stars: Bad Bunny

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/Fan

Specs: Imax

SPIDER-MAN: BEYOND THE

SPIDER-VERSE

Fri, 3/29/24 WIDE

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos,

Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

Specs: Imax

UNTITLED SONY/MARVEL UNIVERSE

Fri, 6/7/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/Fan

UNITED ARTISTS RELEASING

310-724-5678

Ask for Distribution

THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF

LONGING

Fri, 8/31/22 WIDE

Stars: Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton

Director: George Miller

Rating: R

Genre: Dra/Fan

ABOUT FATE

Fri, 9/9/22 LTD

Stars: Emma Roberts, Thomas Mann

Director: Marius Balchunas

Rating: NR

Genre: Rom/Com

TILL

Fri, 10/14/22 LTD

Stars: Danielle Deadwyler,

Whoopi Goldberg

Director: Chinonye Chukwu

Rating: NR

Genre: His/Dra

A GOOD PERSON

Fri, 3/24/23 WIDE

Stars: Florence Pugh,

Morgan Freeman

Director: Zach Braff

Rating: R

Genre: Dra

ON A WING AND A PRAYER

Wed, 4/5/23 WIDE

Stars: Dennis Quaid,

Heather Graham

Director: Sean McNamara

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

CHALLENGERS

Fri, 8/11/23 WIDE

Stars: Zendaya, Josh O’Connor

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

UNIVERSAL

818-777-1000

JAWS (IMAX RE-RELEASE)

Fri, 9/2/22 LTD

Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw

Director: Steven Spielberg

Rating: PG

Genre: Adv/Thr

BROS

Fri, 9/30/22 WIDE

Stars: Billy Eichner

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Rating: R

Genre: Com/Rom

September 2022

85


On Screen BOOKING GUIDE

HALLOWEEN ENDS

Fri, 10/14/22 WIDE

Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis,

Andi Matichak

Director: David Gordon Green

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

Specs: Imax/Dolby Vis/Atmos

TICKET TO PARADISE

Fri, 10/21/22 WIDE

Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts

Director: Ol Parker

Rating: NR

Genre: Rom/Com

THE FABELMANS

Fri, 11/11/22 LTD

Stars: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen

Director: Steven Spielberg

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

SHE SAID

Fri, 11/18/22 WIDE

Stars: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan

Director: Maria Schrader

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra

She Said

Fri, 11/18/22 Wide

VIOLENT NIGHT

Fri, 12/2/22 WIDE

Stars: David Harbour

Director: Tommy Wirkola

Rating: R

Genre: Act/Thr

PUSS AND BOOTS: THE LAST WISH

Fri, 12/21/22 WIDE

Stars: Antonio Banderas,

Salma Hayek Pinault

Director: Joel Crawford

Rating: PG

Genre: Ani

M3GAN

Fri, 1/13/23 WIDE

Stars: Allison Williams, Ronny Chieng

Director: Gerard Johnstone

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor/Thr

DISTANT

Fri, 1/27/23 WIDE

Stars: Anthony Ramos,

Zachary Quinto

Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Com/SF

Specs: Dolby Atmos

KNOCK AT THE CABIN

Fri, 2/3/23 WIDE

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Rating: NR

Genre: Thr

COCAINE BEAR

Fri, 2/24/23 WIDE

Stars: Keri Russell, Margo Martindale

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Rating: NR

SUPER MARIO BROS.

Fri, 4/7/23 WIDE

Stars: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy

Directors: Aaron Horvath,

Michael Jelenic

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

RENFIELD

Fri, 4/14/23 WIDE

Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage

Director: Chris McKay

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor, Com

FAST X

Fri, 5/19/23 WIDE

Stars: Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron

Director: Louis Leterrier

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

STRAYS

Fri, 6/9/23 WIDE

Stars: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

OPPENHEIMER

Fri, 7/21/23 WIDE

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt

Director: Christopher Nolan

Rating: NR

Genre: Dra/War

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2023 1

Fri, 8/4/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER

Fri, 8/11/23 WIDE

Stars: Corey Hawkins,

Aisling Franciosi

Director: André Øvredal

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

UNTITLED PLEASE DON’T DESTROY

Fri, 8/18/23 WIDE

Stars: Ben Marshall, John Higgins,

Martin Herlihy

Director: Paul Briganti

Rating: NR

Genre: Com

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2023 2

Fri, 9/29/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

EXORCIST FRANCHISE IP

Fri, 10/13/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

TROLLS 3

Fri, 11/17/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

MIGRATION

Fri, 12/22/23 WIDE

Director: Benjamin Renner

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2024 1

Fri, 1/12/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL ANIMATED

EVENT FILM 2024 1

Fri, 2/9/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2024 2

Wed, 2/14/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED DREAMWORKS

ANIMATION FILM

Fri, 3/8/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL ANIMATED

EVENT FILM 2024 2

Fri, 3/22/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2024 3

Fri, 3/29/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2024 4

Fri, 5/10/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM

2024 5

Fri, 6/21/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

86

September 2022


DESPICABLE ME 4

Wed, 7/3/23 WIDE

Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

Director: Chris Renaud

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS PROJECT 2024 1

Fri, 9/13/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

UNTITLED UNIVERSAL ANIMATED

EVENT FILM 2024 3

Fri, 9/27/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED BLUMHOUSE

PRODUCTIONS PROJECT 2024 2

Fri, 10/24/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

WICKED PART 1

Wed, 12/25/24 WIDE

Stars: Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo

Director: Jon M. Chu

Rating: NR

Genre: Mus

WARNER BROS.

818-977-1850

DON’T WORRY DARLING

Fri, 9/23/22 WIDE

Stars: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles

Director: Olivia Wilde

Rating: R

Genre: Thr

BLACK ADAM

Fri, 10/21/22 WIDE

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Fan

Specs: Imax

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS

Wed, 12/21/22 WIDE

Stars: Zachary Levi,

Jack Dylan Grazer

Director: David F. Sandberg

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/Adv/Fan

Specs: Imax

AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM

Fri, 3/17/23 WIDE

Stars: Jason Momoa

Director: James Wan

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF/Fan

Specs: Imax/Dolby Vis/Atmos

SALEM’S LOT

Fri, 4/21/23 WIDE

Stars: Alfre Woodard, Lewis Pullman

Director: Gary Dauberman

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

Specs: Dolby Vis/Atmos

THE FLASH

Fri, 6/23/23 WIDE

Stars: Ezra Miller, Kiersey Clemons

Director: Andy Muschietti

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF/Fan

Specs: Imax

BARBIE

Fri, 7/21/23 WIDE

Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling

Director: Greta Gerwig

Rating: NR

Genre: Com

THE MEG 2

Fri, 8/4/23 WIDE

Stars: Jason Statham, Wu Jing

Director: Ben Wheatley

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

BLUE BEETLE

Fri, 8/18/23 WIDE

Stars: Xolo Maridueña

Director: Angel Manuel Soto

Rating: NR

Genre: SF/Fan/Act

UNTITLED DC EVENT FILM 2023

Fri, 9/22/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

DUNE: PART TWO

Fri, 11/17/23 WIDE

Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Rating: NR

Genre: SF

Specs: Imax

THE COLOR PURPLE

Fri, 12/20/23 WIDE

Stars: Corey Hawkins,

Taraji P. Henson

Director: Blitz Bazawule

Rating: NR

Genre: Mus

WONKA

Fri, 12/15/23 WIDE

Stars: Timothée Chalamet

Director: Paul King

Rating: NR

Genre: Fan

Specs: Imax

UNTITLED WB EVENT FILM 2023

Fri, 12/25/23 WIDE

Rating: NR

TOTO

Fri, 2/2/24 WIDE

Director: Alex Timbers

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani

UNTITLED GODZILLA/KONG

EVENT FILM

Fri, 3/15/24 WIDE

Director: Adam Wingard

Rating: NR

Genre: Act/SF

ISpecs: max

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR

OF THE ROHIRRIM

Fri, 4/12/24 WIDE

Director: Kenji Kamiyama

Rating: NR

Genre: Ani/Fan

FURIOSA

Fri, 5/24/24 WIDE

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy,

Chris Hemsworth

Director: George Miller

Rating: NR

Genre: Act

UNTITLED DC EVENT FILM 2024 1

Fri, 6/21/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED NEW LINE HORROR

EVENT FILM 2024 1

Fri, 7/12/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

UNTITLED NEW LINE HORROR

EVENT FILM 2024 2

Fri, 8/2/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Genre: Hor

UNTITLED NEW LINE EVENT FILM

2024 3

Fri, 9/6/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

UNTITLED DC EVENT FILM 2024 2

Fri, 10/4/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

Black Adam

Fri, 10/21/22 Wide

UNTITLED WB EVENT FILM 2024

Fri, 11/8/24 WIDE

Rating: NR

September 2022

87


MARKETPLACE

ADVERTISE

IN THE NEXT

ISSUE OF

Our Sponsors

Advertiser

Cinergy 75

Cinionic

GDC Tech

Geneva Convention 8

Page

BC

IFC

Gold Medal Products 75

Premiere 58

Proctor Comp 26

QSC 45

Qubica 65

Ready Theatre Systems 20

Retriever Solutions 26

Sensible Cinema 88

Show East 2

Spotlight Cinema Network 29

St Jude 76

Telescopic Seating

The Boxoffice Company

Tivoli Lighting 1

5, IBC

21, 33, 45,

79

Image Credits & Acknowledgments

Cover: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 03: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 04: Photo Courtesy Cinergy Entertainment

Page 09: Photo by Daniel Loria

Page 14: Courtesy Studio Movie Grill.

Photo by Genna Degan Shapella

Page 15-17: Courtesy Variety the Children’s Charity

Page 18: Courtesy Will Rogers Foundation

Page 22-23: Photos by Daniel Loria

Page 24: Courtesy of CMX

Page 27: Courtesy of Violet Crown Cinema

Page 28: Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Page 30-31: Courtesy Alpine Cinemas / Cinemart Cinemas

/ Nicolas Nicolaou

Page 32: Courtesy Cinema Village/ Nicolas Nicolaou

Page 34-39: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 40: Photo of Quentin Tarantino by Gage Skidmore.

Page 41: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 42: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse; Photo by Heather

Kennedy, photo of Tim League by Anna Hanks

Page 43: Photo of Bong Joon Ho. Provided by

Alamo Drafthouse; Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 44: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy

Page 47: Photo by Jeremy Banks via Unsplash.com

Pages 48-49: Provided by Alamo Drafthouse;

Photo by Heather Kennedy.

Pages 50-51: Photos courtesy of Violet Crown Austin

Page 52: Photo courtesy of Moviehouse & Eatery.

Page 53: Photo courtesy of Galaxy Highland.

Page 54: Photo by Daniel Loria

Page 55: Photo courtesy of the Austin Film Society. Photo of

the Paramount Theater by The Austinot, austinot.com.

Page 56: Photo courtesy of Blue Starlite

Page 59: Photo courtesy of Premiere Cinemas

Pages 60-65: Photo courtesy of Cinergy Entertainment

Pages 66-69: Photos courtesy of Premiere Cinemas

Pages 72-74: Photos courtesy of Variety of Texas

Page 77: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

All Rights Reserved.

Page 78: Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Page 79: Photo: Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera

Page 80: Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios.

© 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Page 81: © MARVEL

Page 82: Photo courtesy of Lukasz Bak/Focus Features

Page 83: © Paramount Pictures. All Right Reserved.

Page 84: ©2021 CTMG. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Marcell Piti

Page 85: © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Photo by Elise Lockwood.

Page 86: Photo by JoJo Whilden/Universal Pictures,

© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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All Rights Reserved.

Call or Email to

book space today!

Patricia Martin

patricia.martin@boxoffice.com

203-788-1447

88 September 2022


LASER-FOCUSED ON DELIVERING

YOUR VISION

With laser projection from Cinionic, you'll

house today's leading technology capable

of impressing all generations of moviegoers

on every size of screen. You can count on

outstanding image quality with laser in an

easy-to-operate system. All matched to your

theater's unique needs and operations. From

boutique to premium, we have a laser

solution for every screen and business,

bringing you improved moviegoer

satisfaction, enhanced visual performance,

operational excellence, and resource

efficiency for an eco-friendly and

cost-effective way to deliver cinema.

learn more at www.cinionic.com

LASER PROJECTION FROM

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