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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Seattle Cinerama going Digital 3D and No More AMC

   
Author Topic: Seattle Cinerama going Digital 3D and No More AMC
Jeff Arellano
Senior Member

Posts: 685
From: Monterey Park, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 08, 2010 03:23 PM      Profile for Jeff Arellano   Email Jeff Arellano         Edit/Delete Post 
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/seattle-cinerama-theatre-to-go-digital-and-3-d-99847779.html

quote:

Seattle Cinerama Theatre To Go Digital and 3-D


More festivals, more community events to be seen at iconic theater

SEATTLE, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The treasured Seattle Cinerama Theatre is getting a 21st Century technical upgrade with state-of-the-art digital sound and pictures along with a refurbishment of the classic, mid-century, wide-screen theater.

The two-month project will ensure that Cinerama remains a vital piece of Seattle's entertainment experience, where movie goers will be able to see a wide diversity of programming, from the latest 3-D blockbusters to indie films on the festival circuit.

In 1998, philanthropist and investor Paul G. Allen saved the Cinerama from a fate as a parking lot, dinner theater or rock climbing gym, and restored the massive, curved screen used for special presentations of Cinerama and 70mm wide-screen movies. It is one of only three theaters in the world that can show original Cinerama movies.

Allen and Cinerama have been strong supporters of independent films. Use of the theater has been donated for numerous festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival, the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and the Seattle Human Rights Film Festival.

The upgraded Cinerama will host even more festivals and community events, according to Lyn Tangen, senior director of Corporate Communications at Allen's Vulcan Inc.

Cinerama will close Aug. 30 for two months for installation of cutting-edge digital sound and projection system and the remodeling needed after a decade of heavy use.

When Cinerama reopens in the fall it will be operated by a new management company. Allen has hired Greg Wood, owner and operator of Portland's Roseway Theater, to operate Cinerama. Wood recently renovated and reinvented the Roseway, preserving its original art-deco decor and installing the newest in digital projection and sound systems.

Wood had extensive theater experience when he purchased the Roseway in 2008, a beautiful single-screen theater that has won rave reviews and quickly developed a dedicated following among Portlanders.

"Greg is a great fit with Cinerama and our emphasis on local relevance, progressive, independent thinking, and attention to detail," Vulcan's Tangen said. "He understands the importance of Cinerama to the community."

Tangen also thanked AMC Entertainment Inc. for its years of quality management of the iconic theater. The company will close out its role Aug. 29.

There are few single-screen theaters that still provide the array of movie choices available at Cinerama. Going forward, Wood and Vulcan will build even closer relationships with the public as well as the many community groups around Seattle that will come to Cinerama for fund-raisers or other special events.

"It's an amazing opportunity to be taking the helm of one of the coolest theaters on the planet," Wood said. "We're all excited to see these improvements happen. It will be a wonderful addition to the future chapters of Cinerama history."

Seattle movie buffs should watch Cinerama.com to be among the first to learn about plans for the grand reopening and to see what will hit the new, big screen first.


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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted August 08, 2010 11:08 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Wow! This is big news. I question the decision to add 3D since that format already seems to be losing steam (no surprise). And I guess nobody can stop the digital runaway train (unfortunately), but the idea of having a local operator (well, at least one based in the Northwest) is great news. I've heard nothing but great things about Portland's Roseway Theater, though I have yet to visit it.

Everyone loves to badmouth AMC (me, too), but except for their gigantic mistake of going with non-union projectionists a few years ago, they have managed to put on a damn good show, despite some glitches with 70mm presentations. Kudos to them.

I am especially excited over Vulcan's renewed interest in making The Cinerama more of a community theater. My guess is that this means there will be more 70mm/Cinerama festivals that will be properly advertised, and greater use for the many film festivals that call Seattle home.

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted August 09, 2010 11:59 AM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder what this will mean as far as their ability to book films without the backing of a major chain? Aside from the festivals and special programing, the Cinerama books major blockbusters that it shares with its AMC sister theatre the Pacific Place 11. Are those days over? Would they have any leverage as a single-screen independent against AMC and Regal in downtown Seattle? Or will they even bother. I am excited about the prospect of the Cinerama offering more diverse programming, but it is still nice to know that they might be showing the latest Star Trek film etc.

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Dan Spaulding
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jul 2010


 - posted August 15, 2010 04:32 PM      Profile for Dan Spaulding   Email Dan Spaulding         Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't visited the Cinerama for the past 8 years. Run by AMC it is nothing special & doublebooks whatever is playing a few blocks over at Pacific Place. I've seen doublebookings of other 1st run movies at competing theaters downtown so I don't see Paul Allen getting shut out of booking the latest films. I'm sure any studio would love to see there films screened there & I hope to become a regular there once more. Hopefully the prices will be reasonable at both the Box Office & Concession stands.

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Dan Roben
Member

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted August 15, 2010 10:47 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
To get an idea of what the Seattle Cinerama might be like under its new management team, all one has to do is look south to Portland, Oregon where the management company's other theater, The Roseway, is located.

Portland is grossly dominated by Regal and, to a lesser degree, Cinemark. Yet the Roseway, with its 3D capability, is able to book big-studio fims such as Toy Story 3 (in 3D) and Inception.

Pricing in the Portland Market for the big boys ranges from $9 night shows and $7 matinees (with a $3.50 surcharge for 3D) at Cinemark to $10 to $10.50 night, $8 to $8.50 matinees ($3.50 3D surcharge) at Regals. The Roseway charges $7 for all shows (with a $2 3D surcharge).

I wouldn't expect the Seattle Cinerama to be that inexpensive, but I can see it being priced at $9 (AMC now charges $11).

Like Dan S. said above, I don't expect the Cinerama to be lacking for prestige product. But I do see a lot more variety in the films they do show. Ultimately, I would love to see shorter term bookings so that there are always lines at the box office, but, not being in the business, I don't know if this is possible.

This is great for Seattle!

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted August 15, 2010 11:19 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan, I do not know where you see double bookings with competing chains in downtown Seattle. The Cinerama will double book only with its sister AMC theaters in downtown Seattle, the Pacific Place 11 and the Uptown in lower Queen Anne. It never has had the same bookings as Regal or Landmark within the same zone. The only exception is the 21 and over independent boutique house The Big Picture in Belltown.

I do not see AMC or any other chain wanting to share films with the Cinerama once it is independent, nor do I see studios seeing an advantage having a film at the Cinerama, it being a single screen with 800 seats when they could have it at AMC or Regal on 4 or more screens with 2400 seats. I know that we theatre buffs see the prestige factor in of having a film at the Cinerama, but the studios will see the bottom line of number of seats to put butts in.

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Dan Spaulding
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jul 2010


 - posted August 16, 2010 10:19 AM      Profile for Dan Spaulding   Email Dan Spaulding         Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with everything you said Mark. In addition to the Big Picture the other theater I was referencing to for doublebookings is the Boeing Imax at Seattle Center. My thoughts were that the Cinerama like these 2 theaters won't be blocked from showing the same movies playing at AMC's Pacific Place 11 & Regals Meridian 16 because it will now be run as an independent. I guess we'll have our answer after the remodel & they are no longer part of AMC

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Dan Spaulding
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jul 2010


 - posted November 05, 2010 06:07 PM      Profile for Dan Spaulding   Email Dan Spaulding         Edit/Delete Post 
Today's Seattle Times announced that the Cinerama will reopen on Nov 19th at 12:01am with the latest Harry Potter. There website will be updated next week with advanced ticket sales. No word on what the admission will be yet but a small popcorn will cost only $2. Compare that to the $6 for a small popcorn at Regal & AMC Theaters. They mention they have new artwork in the lobby, a new concession stand & carpeting. It looks like the AMC Pacific Place & Boeing Imax also will have HP now selling tickets

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted November 05, 2010 06:11 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
Since the Cinerama is no longer AMC I wonder if they will play day & date now with the Regal Meridian 16 as well.

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Dan Spaulding
New Member

Posts: 12
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jul 2010


 - posted November 16, 2010 02:50 PM      Profile for Dan Spaulding   Email Dan Spaulding         Edit/Delete Post 
The Cinerama now has there new website up. There charging $9 before 6pm for all ages & $11 after 6pm for Adults. There advertising chocolate covered popcorn. I'm not aware of any other theaters offering such a sweet treat, at least not in Seattle. They also have chocolate cupcakes & a Cinerama chocolate logo bar by Theo. I'm going to visit this venue early next week & avoid the opening weekend crowds of Harry Potter

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted November 16, 2010 03:16 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Link, please...

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Mark Campbell
Member

Posts: 437
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted November 16, 2010 03:20 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell         Edit/Delete Post 
www.seattlecinerama.com

Chris - living in Seattle but traveling to LA now and then for work I get the best of both worlds. But I have to say the Seattle Cinerama kicked but over the Cinerama Dome even before this newest remodel.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted November 17, 2010 11:24 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
No argument from me, Mark. Seattle Cinerama is a FANTASTIC place! It was the highlight of my trip to Seattle during New Years 2006!

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