Author Topic: Are Movie Theaters Dying?  (Read 7898 times)

Dr. Jitters

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2012, 11:23:19 AM »
Hepcat wrote:
Quote
The only big name movie stars that might attract me to flicks are Godzilla, Rodan, Gorgo and Reptilicus.

 :laugh:

I'll continue supporting Movie theaters, and if there is an historic theater where you live, please support them, especially if they are showing vintage movies.  I loved seeing Frankenstein and Dracula in the historic Pomona Theater, before I left So cal., and I've gone to a couple of shows here in Wilson, at the 1919 former vaudeville house that was saved by the community.

This is also another interesting effect that is happening more often now.  Communities coming together to save an old theater or joint-ownership by a community.    Someone else mentioned a theater becoming a non-profit and that's another way small theaters have survived.  "Socialism" at its best --   ;)  when the society works together for their own benefit rather than one individual's self-interest.

Fester

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2012, 12:02:51 PM »
Somehow this seemed apropos.



Seriously some places have succeeded in reducing this problem.

Alamo Drafthouse takes on texters


Here is the whole message.   Warning! Plenty of NSFW words. This fool is peeved!

Don't Talk - Angry Voicemail (Uncensored)


If it wasn't a 2100 mile (one way) trip to that theater, I'd be a regular patron!

Jim Bertges

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2012, 03:12:39 PM »
As someone who has worked in both theatres and in the film industry I find this a very interesting topic of conversation. Yes theatres are changing and small, independent theatres are dying out. It's really all about money, studios are after a big opening weekend because the theatrical release of a movie is just a commercial for all the ancillary sales they'll be making down the road. A higher grossing movie will make more money on DVD, On Demand and streaming and it will sell more merchandise and it will generate a sequel which restarts the cycle. With any luck they'll have a franchise on their hands. Theatre chains are charging more for admission because fewer people are attending and in general a majority of the ticket sales goes to the studios, the studio percentage starts out really big the first weeks, then as admissions slow down, the studio share decreases and the theatre's share increases. As we all know the profit center of a theatre is the concession stand.

Something else that has changed over the years is the audience. Since studios are still aiming their output at that golden 18 to 35 demographic theatres are full of young folks who are used to sitting in their living rooms, talking, commenting and telling people on their TV screens how to behave. They don't know any better than to have some respect for their fellow movie goers because they think they're still in their living rooms. Theatres could curb this by simply sending an usher through the auditorium every 20 minutes or so just to express their authority. But they'd rather keep that manpower behind the concession counter.

Something that I haven't seen mentioned is one of the reasons the theatre going experience is such a memorable one. You are a part of a large group of people experiencing the same thing at the same time. It's that audience interaction with what's going on up on the screen and with each other that you'll never get sitting in your own living room. This is particularly true of comedies and horror films where things seem funnier or scarier when the whole audience is laughing or screaming at the same time. That's another reason theatres will never entirely disappear.

This thread has made me very nostalgic for the old days when I worked theatres, but I'll save that for another thread. I love those grand old single auditorium theatres large and small where Saturday afternoons were spent exploring worlds of imagination.
You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.

Wolf Man

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2012, 04:28:41 PM »
Thanks for posting that voicemail Fester.  Illuminating.

That reminded me of the Twilight fan girl who thinks werewolves are not big scary monsters and that the Wolfman film was just copying Twilight.  Some people are so clueless it is amazing they manage to feed themselves or wipe their a**. 

This voicemail illustrates a number of issues besides the fact the girl is a blithering idiot. 

First, denial.  She did not know she was not supposed to text.  Of course, she did not read any of the warnings not to text as I am sure they are posted.  What happens when people are immature in the extreme is the denial of responsibility for their actions.  It is never "their" fault. 

This is illustrated by those who, when being rude and someone calls them out for it claims that person is being rude to them.  It is stupid and ridiculous but happens far too often in our society today because people are being raised to reach much less levels of maturity than in the past. 

Second, the rules don't apply to her.  How many adults in today's world think the rules don't apply to them.  Sure, we know we are not supposed to text and drive yet there are still those who think they can do it with their skill level and that those rules don't apply to them.  Then, when they kill someone it is everyone Else's fault but their own.  No responsibility for their actions and no remorse. 

Third, and I do apologize to those young people who are better than this but today's youth and even many adults are just not mature enough to handle technology and the discipline it requires.  If you own a cell phone, and we all do it takes discipline to leave it in the car when you enter the movie theater as I do "all" the time with no exceptions.  If you are attending a movie then you will be out of contact with others for a period of about two hours so you don't need that phone.  Train yourself to do the right thing.

I attended the sneak preview of Last Samurai.  There was a man sitting behind me in a pretty full theater.  His phone rang and he answered it before the film started so I said nothing.  Then the one and only preview started while he was still talking.  I still said nothing because it was a preview although I usually enjoy hearing them.  Finally, the movie began and he was still talking.  I can be quite mean and scary when needed although I am usually considered jolly.  I yelled with a theater trained projection "Get off the "expletive" phone, now!  Here is the funny part, ready for it, not only did he get off the phone but I saw about twelve other people grabbing their phones and quickly turning them off. 

The story illustrates that some people are simply careless.  Some "forget" to leave their phones in the car or "forget" to turn them off when the giant screen in front of them "tells" them to.  That is pure carelessness but "almost' forgivable, almost.  Then there are those who "know" what they are doing and simply do not "care" about anyone else around them, sorry but mostly the younger generation.  There are also those around, the peers who sit in silence suffering and annoyed who won't put "peer" pressure on the others to behave.  It is all of our responsibility to put that "peer" pressure on those misbehaving to straighten up or get out.  Fortunately I am big enough to back that up but I will also back up a lady or anyone else smaller who is brave enough to speak out so they will always be safe when I am around.  They never need fear retaliation when I am there and I know there are others like me out there.

Technology requires training to use and discipline to use it "properly".  Train yourself to do the right thing.  It takes discipline and training to pull your care into a parking lot and stop if you need to have a phone conversation.  In the Fire Department and the Military is the same way we "have" to train ourselves to do the right thing.  It does not always come easy or naturally but it is necessary.  Doing the right thing can be, leaving the phone in the car, turning it off, saying to someone else for not complying, not texting when it is not appropriate or even dangerous, using our technology the right way to make our lives better not the wrong way to make others miserable, annoyed or even hurt them with our carelessness. 

I applaud that theater for taking a stance.  If more did that then our movie experiences would be much more enjoyable.
Even a man who is pure at heart......

Terry

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2012, 08:56:43 PM »
The last movie I saw in a Theatre was " Patriot " with Mel Gibson, Going to the movies use to be fun, Not anymore, people are ignorant and loud, I wait until the movie I want to see is put on  DVD.  >:D >:D >:D

Wolf Man

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #50 on: May 25, 2012, 09:24:28 PM »
I'm betting that he does not have state of the art surround sound. That would require five identical full range speakers which is the way to get the best sound. If he has derivative center channel and rear speakers instead of identical co-equal speakers, his audio is not state of the art.

 ???

Not really sure why you would say that "without" knowing what he has but ok.  SInce I am not an expert I wrote to see what he has and this was his response.

"Hi Rick,
This guy is not very knowledgeable about home theater audio. Having all identical full range speakers has nothing to do with state of the art surround. No more than having all the tires on your car made by the same company would make it a "state of the art" car. It just makes it more likely to sound balanced and matched all around. It is very expensive and problematic to have five or more "identical full range" speakers, especially the center channel, and I would guess that less than one in a thousand home theaters are so equipped. Many people have been using five or more identical speakers for home theater since home theater began. It's just that most of them use smaller "non-full-range" speakers, so it's nothing new. By "full range" speaker I mean that a separate subwoofer would not be needed as all the speakers go to perhaps 20 Hz or below. Most state of the art home theaters do not have large identical speakers all around, and even very few dealer's showroom setups have them either. "

I don't have anything like that myself because I won't run exposed wires to the rear of my room although I know a way using molding to hide the wires I am still studying my room to determine the best way to do it and keep the room looking good.  I have considered a sound bar because I have very limited space next to my TV for tower speakers.  Rear sound does not mean that much to me personally but it does to my friend who spent a great deal of money on his system not withstanding studying the equipment for a long time and using meters to test the sound and accoustics in all corners and area of his theater.  His home theater is the same quality you find in Hollywood mansions. 
Even a man who is pure at heart......

Hepcat

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2012, 10:50:41 PM »
Not really sure why you would say that "without" knowing what he has but ok.  SInce I am not an expert I wrote to see what he has and this was his response.

Well I did say I was betting and I was betting wisely by playing the odds.  Your friend himself says that not one in a thousand home theaters is equipped with five identical full range speakers.

This guy(Hepcat) is not very knowledgeable about home theater audio.

That's correct. I already indicated that I have zilch interest in home theater. My interest is in state of the art surround sound.

It(five identical speakers) just makes it more likely to sound balanced and matched all around.

Precisely. And having sound that's balanced and matched all around is a necessary condition for having a state of the art surround system. It's not of course a sufficient condition but it's certainly a necessary condition, just like having the right tires is a necessary condition for maximizing the performance of your sports car.

Having all identical full range speakers has nothing to do with state of the art surround.

Yes it does. After all, it's a necessary condition.

It is very expensive and problematic to have five or more "identical full range" speakers, especially the center channel, and I would guess that less than one in a thousand home theaters are so equipped. Many people have been using five or more identical speakers for home theater since home theater began. It's just that most of them use smaller "non-full-range" speakers, so it's nothing new. By "full range" speaker I mean that a separate subwoofer would not be needed as all the speakers go to perhaps 20 Hz or below. Most state of the art home theaters do not have large identical speakers all around, and even very few dealer's showroom setups have them either.

That's precisely correct. And that's why hardly any home theater systems are equipped with state of the art surround sound. The big screen part of a home theater system almost invariably entails compromise when it comes to speaker considerations.

And speaking of cell phones, I have that covered. Not a single soul has ever been disturbed by the ringing of my cell phone. And that's not because I have it set on vibrate.

 ;)


 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 08:37:59 AM by Hepcat »
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Gillfan

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2012, 11:53:21 PM »
I've got to agree with Wolfman, the theater experience is not getting better.
I attend the cinema about 110-160 times a year. Yes, I see about 2-3 movies a week.
On average I attend 1-2 industry screenings a week. Sadly, even there the behavior is slipping. Except for showings in the Producer's Guild theater, I have seen people talking on phones, and texting, and  even using i-pads which are insanely bright.
I've seen well known critics, people you know from tv and newspapers and magazines, behave horribly and rudely.

Now the really sad part, I attend live theater frequently as well and the behavior is getting worse there too. At a recent show a teenager attempted to play a game on his phone during the performance. People talk, people even try to use their phones. It's a sorry state of affairs.

All that said, I love the cinema so much I will keep going, but I will try to time my attendance to be with true fans. People who will be respectful of the craft. I will also hope that more theaters take the lead of the Alamo, and while I don't like beer and food-service during films, I do like much of what they do and thing the industry is better for it.

I just have to add that I'm old enough to have gone to Times Square theaters in the 70's -80's before the cleanup and even then, audiences were better behaved, except for the occasional sex and stabbing.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 11:57:54 PM by Gillfan »

Flower

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2012, 07:58:11 AM »
People should turn off all phones and devices upon entering theaters .. Now that I think about it, the theaters were telling patrons this but seem to have stopped in the past few years ...  >:(
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Hepcat

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2012, 03:06:05 PM »
I can't believe back then how kids 6-12 years old were just dropped off by themselves for 5 hours, and nothing ever happened!

But something did happen. The kids had a good time and grew up right because they didn't have helicopter parents hovering over them all the time to stunt their interaction with their environment and thus their growth and development. These days of course the Society of Hysterical Mothers of America would hyperventilate at the thought of allowing kids to be kids.

 :o



« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 06:46:30 PM by Hepcat »
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Anton Phibes

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #55 on: May 26, 2012, 05:40:13 PM »
I have a friend with Tourette's syndrome. He works a back breaking mover's job and has to pay child support because his ex wife cheated on him....and he wasn't ok with that. Imagine that.

When we go to the theater....he is better than people with no afflictions (he keeps it in check with nicotine).

One time when we went to see a flick....about 7 kids were at the theater with their mama. Mama and the kids wouldnt stop talking. So--my friend leaned over and said: "What was that last part--I didnt hear you." They looked at him and said :"What?!".  He then replied "well---as much as you are talking it must be better than the movie. Since I paid $8 to get in---I wanna be entertained. So  let's hear it."

They got up and left.

One time I was stressed over my job (and the resulting permanent nerve damage that came with an accident on said job). my brother came up from Kentucky and asked me to go to see "The Grudge".  While there---you couldnt even hear the movie over all the kids talking, texting, & screaming across the theater. Without even being aware I did it until afterwards I screamed at the top of my lungs to "SHUT UP OR GET OUT".

The result was a posse of hoodlums waiting outside of the theater, and my brother brandishing his bowie knife. He's also 6'5 and looks like a maniac. No further altercations.

Theaters area nightmare. Now the Rave is going to start serving mixed drinks. Which is gonna keep me from taking my kids there. Its bad enuff without kids getting sloshed on top of it. I wish they would pump them thru your house for the same price. I would pay it.

60sThru80s

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2012, 08:13:04 AM »
I remember reading an essay about this by Harlan Ellison written a few decades before people were carrying cell phones into movie theaters. The complaint remains the same, and there is nothing new under the sun: people talking loudly to each other in the theater has the same root cause as people talking into cell phones in the theater. Some people just do not register in their own minds that they are out in public, not in their living room. If a spouse gets up in the middle of the film to go to the concession stand, the other spouse will yell out "hey, bring me back a soda" as if they think they are sitting on their couch and one of them is going to the kitchen, yelling "hey, as long as you're going to the fridge, bring me back a beer!"

It's like the movie theater is a "half-way house" between their own home and the outside world. They just don't consider themselves truly "in-public."
"...just leave me something to read." - Francesca, Mad Monster Party

Wolf Man

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #57 on: May 27, 2012, 10:44:24 PM »
I was in one a few years back watching Gladiator with a friend at a mattinee when soneone actually thought they could get away with smoking.  As a Fire Inspector I could have shut down that theater until they ejected the person but since I was with a work out buddy we just stood up and threatened to beat their a**.  We did not smell it again but had we seen "who" it actually was copious violence would have ensued.
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Wolf Man

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #58 on: May 28, 2012, 04:23:59 PM »
When I was in High School, we had the coolest theater on the back side of Pembroke Mall.  It was a free standing structure that had two round theaters.  There was no center aisle in these theaters so all the seats were in long rows.  Made it difficult to get up and use the restroom but very cool none the less. 

I saw the first show on opening day of Empires Strikes Back there.  I also saw, opening day first show of Alien.  Good times. 

That theater was torn down to create an 8 theater cinema inside the mall.  The spot still stands empty and I pass it all the time.  A barren reminder of theaters perishing. 

The 8 theater cinema that replaced it closed down several years ago.  Now there is no theater in that mall. 

There is another mall called Lynnhaven that went up while I was in High School.  It had a six theater cinema inside and downstairs and a four theater cinema upstairs.  I saw numerous films at both but both are now closed down.  While these theaters were still open they build on the edge of their parking lot an 8 theater cinema.  Then the inside ones closed and shortly thereafter the outside one closed.  Then, a few years back they build another outside theater near their food court.  This is one of the few remaining theaters in the city.  It caters mostly to young teens and young adults.  Some time ago my wife and I attempted to see a film on a Friday evening, arguably one of the busiest times to go.  It was an unsuccessful attempt.  There were so many incidents of cursing, near fights, security guards trying to corral teens and kick some of them out that we abandoned the attempt.  We have not tried to see another film on a Friday or Saturday since.  Those days are definitely off limits to us even if we were to attempt to attend a film. 

On a road near our Ocean front tourist area there was a theater, twice in the same location.  Both times it failed and closed down. 

In an adjacent city there was a very cool 6 theater cinema with a Piccadilly Cafeteria inside Military Circle mall.  It was a fun time to see a film then hit the cafeteria since it was decorated like a medieval castle.  I saw Excalibur there many times during its first run always eating at the cafeteria afterwards.  This mall then build an outside 8 theater cinema, afterward closing down the inside theater.  This mall converted over time to an urban mall and everything that means.  With shootings, drug dealings and stabbings in the parking lots the outside theater soon closed.  This mall then build an inside theater again but has nearly the same resulting problems and violence inside.  My store was located originally just opposite the theater.  In the year my store was in that location I had numerous cases of vandalism to my property from the movie patrons. 

I relocated my store to another mall in another adjacent city, Chesapeake.  Inside this mall was a nice theater once where I saw the last showing on opening day of Return of the Jedi.  The theater was packed, every seat filled and we gave a standing ovation and everyone screamed in delight when Vader threw the Emperor off the throne room platform to save his son.  That was an awesome show.  Then that theater closed down shortly after and has now reopened with very limited success as a Cinema Cafe showing second run films. 

Another local theater in my home city closed down and has reopened as a second run Cinema Cafe owned by the same people.  Again, limited success even with showing Monday Night Football and offering free munchies. 

A cinema located a little further from the tourist area but on the same road had two theaters and originally offered first run movies but then was relegated to showing second run films for a dollar admission fee.  I saw Return of the Jedi there for the last time before that theater converted to a Vet office.

There is another history I will share of a theater that will interest monster fans.  We had a theater on the main strip of the tourist area next to the ocean front.  This was a very old theater in a historic style architecture.  They embraced that old style to the hilt and would have midnight creature features.  I saw Fantasm there with a double feature of The Fog.  The theater altered its lobby to look like a Gothic Victorian parlor.  How cool is that!  The theater did not survive long but then reopened as a Haunted House attraction for the tourists.  This was a favorite landmark for many years.  Finally and sadly, not too many years ago it was closed down and demolished.  When I was in Inspector class one of our instructors used that building as a teaching tool with a number of slides showing all the unauthorized alterations and code violations.  I had fond memories of that place and part of its charm was all those alterations.  Made it quite scary inside knowing how dangerous the building actually was.  None the less, its time has now passed.  I was very sad to see it go.  The parlor lobby had gotten even more monsterfied over the years to play to the tourists. 

We still have a haunted Pirate attraction and another Haunted House further down the Avenue but those have limited openings during tourist season.  My wife and I have attended both on a number of occasions for that cheap Halloween thrill. 

It was this thread that got me thinking about all the theaters I have seen come and go in our large metropolitan city and some of the adjacent cities.  Theaters have truly struggled to stay afloat and most have not.  I also see the current theaters declining.  Less showings, less matinees, problems with first run showings and audience behavior, these theaters all have expiration dates on the horizon. 

Just like diners on Route 66, we may one day remember those theaters as relics of a bygone era as we sit at home watching movies we streamed from the Internet.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 04:39:01 PM by Wolf Man »
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Hepcat

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Re: Are Movie Theaters Dying?
« Reply #59 on: May 28, 2012, 06:02:29 PM »
If theatres all close, big budget movie production will cease as well.

 :(
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 06:25:37 PM by Hepcat »
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