The Evil Sam Graham
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004
posted December 22, 2004 04:15 AM
Deseret Morning News
Trolley theaters are again opening
By Jenifer K. Nii
Deseret Morning News
Independent film aficionados will have another theater option as of Christmas Day.
Regency Theatres will open the four-plex cinema at Trolley Square formerly occupied by Madstone Theaters. The theater will offer independent and foreign films, along with "a whole gourmet cinema experience," said Regency spokesman Lyndon Golin.
"We provide a sophisticated movie-going experience," Golin said. "We sell espresso and cappuccino, imported chocolates and pastries. We'll try to bring in filmmakers to do Q&As. Our goal is to heighten the whole experience."
California-based Regency completed the acquisition Dec. 1, six months after Madstone folded. Golin said he was confident Regency will fare better, that the market will support another art-house theater and that there is fertile ground on which to grow.
"I don't think they gave it enough time," Golin said of Madstone. "It takes a couple of years, a year minimum, to establish a business like this.
"The market here I think will only get better. This is the home of Sundance, which is among the biggest American festivals for film. The more films, independent and foreign, that can play here, I think will increase the level of interest and the patronage. As more people see specialized film, we win over a lot of people."
Still, Golin acknowledged that Salt Lake City "wasn't on our radar at all" until Regency started negotiating the purchase of several theaters from Madstone earlier this year. When the latter organization failed, Regency dealt directly with Trolley Square to reopen the theaters.
On Saturday, Regency will open with "Finding Neverland," starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Julie Christie, on two screens. Other films were still being confirmed Tuesday. Updated information can be found by calling the theater, 801-746-1555, or at the company's Web site, www.regencymovies.com.
The theater also will play host to more than 65 screenings during the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, according to Patrick Hubley of the Sundance Institute. In total, Salt Lake theaters — the Regency and the Salt Lake Film Society's Broadway and Tower theaters — will host more than 150 screenings during the festival's 10-day run.
Tori Baker, executive director of the Salt Lake Film Society, said Salt Lake has a loyal and specific market of film lovers who will be able to differentiate between the Regency and the Society.
"There is a difference between a California company owning a theater in your area that plays independent films and a local film organization that runs an art house that gives back to your own community," Baker said. "The Film Society, with our nonprofit status, is confident that we have a strong, loyal customer base that knows their choice to go to the Broadway Centre or the Tower Theater is directly supporting their own art film community.
"The Film Society is not merely running a theater that hosts independent art films," she said. "Rather, it fosters local appreciation for art films as well as emerging local filmmakers."
| IP: Logged