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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Chains and who they bought up (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Chains and who they bought up
Raymond Stewart
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Northern New Jersey
Registered: May 2005


 - posted November 14, 2005 07:44 PM      Profile for Raymond Stewart   Email Raymond Stewart         Edit/Delete Post 
The big chains bought up smaller chains like candy some years back. In Atlanta Cineplex Odeon bought both Plitt and Septum out and managed to run both chains into the ground. By the time Cineplex left Atlanta and turned the keys over to Carmike all that was really left was a collection of $1.00 theaters in poor condition. Regal bought Litchfield and Storey and managed to buy their way into bankruptcy, closing the majority of the locations that they had purchased. United Artists bought Georgia Theater and Hoyt’s, very little of which remain today. GCC sat on their hands and AMC just kept on building.

All in all it seems Cineplex Odeon did the worst job in Atlanta. What happened elsewhere in the country? Who, in your opinions, did a good job and who really messed up some good locations in your area? (I was driving in NJ today and saw the first C.O. sign I’d seen in years and it reminded me of what they did back in Atlanta...I guess it might get an AMC sign soon, but it only had 6 screens and they don’t like smaller locations very much)

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Ron Newman
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Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted November 14, 2005 09:38 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
In Boston, Loews bought USACinemas in 1988. USACinemas had been called Sack Theatres until 1985. Over the following 17 years, Loews proceeded to close almost every theatre that Sack or USA had built or bought.

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


 - posted November 15, 2005 12:24 AM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
In Seattle, Cineplex Odeon bought out the local (and much loved) SRO chain. Slowly, but surely, they closed many locations, while running others into the ground. Today, there are only two original SRO complexes surviving. Regal bought out Portland Oregon's ACT III chain, promptly cheapening the movie-going experience in their theaters. ACT III was proud to have all their new builds THX certified, but Regal has failed to renew any licenses. As what happened across the country, AMC bought out GCC and is now in the process of running into the ground, downtown Seattle's best multiplex, the Pacific Place 11. AMC's bookers have no idea regarding Seattle's audiences and have failed to book proper films into the decidedly upscale mall location. They also have no idea how to book the Cinerama, but due to Paul Allen's watchful eyes, that theater is being well taken care of. As a side note, I have to laugh at the fact that AMC does not know how to run a single screen house such as the Cinerama. Their print advertising and tickets read "Cinerama 1". Does AMC insist that there must be a number after their theater name, no matter the number of screens?

The only chain that has benefitted (or at least stayed consistant)with the previous owner's intentions was the purchase of the local art-house chain, Seven Gables, by Landmark Theaters. Their houses have been updated in most cases with new seating, upgraded sound systems and new projection equipment, while keeping the charm intact of the mostly older buildings they occupy. They are my chain of choice for seeing movies in Seattle.

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Tom Mundell
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Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted November 15, 2005 06:43 AM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
I'm still pretty upset about AMC buying General Cinema, which owned all of my favourite theatres. None are as good as they used to be... [Frown] Regal bought Hoyts, which in my minimal visits there hasn't been too bad; I can't stand The Twenty, but they seem to do a better job than Hoyts, at least in some locations. They even upgraded the Concord NH location a bit; at least a few more auditoriums have digital sound now and some curtains on the walls to kill that aweful echo it used to have. They also added some handicapped seating, but looks like it's really narrow and would be tough to actually get a wheelchair into [Confused] Landmark seems to vary by location; I like their Waltham, MA theatre, but the Cambridge, MA theatre has always had horribly scratched prints when I've been there. No ads at either though! [thumbs up]

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Richard A Stegman Jr
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Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted November 15, 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
The AMC/GCC debacle sucked big time!

As did Regal's buyout of both UA and Edwards.

I wasn't too surprised when Pacific acquired SRO's Southern California theatres.

I do wish Century,then Syufy,hadn't taken over the Mann theatres in Las Vegas in the mid 80's only to close them soon after. They also ran the Parkway triplex in Vegas when Plitt pulled out after the Cineplex takeover.

I hate "The 20" too! [moon]

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Raymond Stewart
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Posts: 5
From: Northern New Jersey
Registered: May 2005


 - posted November 20, 2005 03:53 PM      Profile for Raymond Stewart   Email Raymond Stewart         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, there wasn't much of GCC left for AMC to take over in Atlanta, only 1 nearly new 15 screen, all the rest of the old GCC's had been shuttered.

Who doesn't hate the 20? We know they gotta make money somehow but that load batch of advertising is awful! Where did that all start? The first time I ever saw it was pre-REG UA locations.

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Tom Mundell
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Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted November 21, 2005 06:48 AM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
I have to wonder how this excessive an amount of advertising really works. At Harry Potter this weekend I saw nearly an hour of ads; I was there early to beat the crowds, so about 20 min of animated slides, then 20 min of commercials, then 20 min of trailers. After all of that I can't remember a single ad I saw; heck, I couldn't even tell you what movie trailers they showed which are ads I'm actually interested in. [Mad]

Picture and sound for the feature was excellent though.

Also forgot to mention Canad Cinemas; I believe they originally owned and built most of what are now Regal in NH. (Hoyts bought the chain sometime in the 90's I believe, and of course are now all Regal) I had only been to some of those theatres a minimal number of times before Hoyts took over so I'm not sure if they improved things or made them worse.

[ November 21, 2005, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: Tom Mundell ]

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George Gates
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Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted November 21, 2005 11:44 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
Somehow, I think having an hour of ads before a film would be counter productive, as it would reduce the number of showtimes substantially. Are they running 3 shows a day in order to accomodate the ads? What were the advertised times in the auditorium you were in?

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Tom Mundell
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Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted November 22, 2005 06:53 AM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
Harry Potter was playing in two auditoriums, and from the showtimes it does look as if each auditorium only had three shows a day on weekdays and then a fourth show on weekends. "the 20" (or AMC's equivalent) starts around 20 min prior to showtime, then regular trailers start at showtime. I arrived around 2:30 for a 3:30 show which actually began sometime around 3:40-3:50. (or roughly thereabout, I don't remember exactly...) It's probably actually a bit less than an hour between end of credits of previous show, and beginning of next show; anytime nothing else is on screen, AMC runs movietunes and animated slides. That's still a lot of ads!

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George Gates
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Posts: 55
From: Providence, RI
Registered: May 2005


 - posted November 22, 2005 10:15 AM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
I even hate the slide show. Theatres used to be concerned with customer satisfaction, and would run the commercials before advertised times.

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John J. Fink
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Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted November 22, 2005 03:19 PM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
We also have to talk about in this thread Clearview Cinemas in NJ, they bought up most of the smaller chains and even took over a few from bigger chains in the mid to late 90's. Chains aquired include Nelson-Furman, CJM, some of Magic Cinemas, and a bunch of independent operators.

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Raymond Stewart
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From: Northern New Jersey
Registered: May 2005


 - posted November 22, 2005 06:13 PM      Profile for Raymond Stewart   Email Raymond Stewart         Edit/Delete Post 
Clearview is a mystery to me, sometimes it's good, other times not so good. I look forward to getting into their remodeled Succasunna 10, that was a hodge-podge last time I was there. The Parsippany 12's performance is sporadic at best and while I admire that they've kept the Clairidge open for the sake of history I hope to never visit again; I have never found an auditorium that is comfortable or that has acceptable sight lines.

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John J. Fink
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Posts: 123
From: Buffalo, NY
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted November 27, 2005 06:45 PM      Profile for John J. Fink   Author's Homepage   Email John J. Fink         Edit/Delete Post 
Clearview has a market hold here - Northern NJ has only a few indepedent opperators and small chains, while Clearview isn't a huge chain they have a nice hold over Northern NJ. Since they have that market hold and no one has threatened it they have no incentives to upgrade their theaters. The upgraded Cinema 10 will look almost like a Regal Cinemas when its done and those two new theaters won't have stadium seating (and since the booths will be only about 5 feet above the ground) theres no chance it could ever be converted. All of this could hurt them when AMC/Loews returns/opens at Rockaway Mall.

As for Cinema 12, the seats are 10 years old, the auditriums are falling apart and yet, the snack bar and loby areas has been remolded 3 times in 10 years. The Claridge too is uncomfortable and the sight lines haven't been corrected (number 5 is an akward theater). I only go there because they show good movies. Clearview is an okay chain, but they charge as much as AMC or Loews and don't provide the kind of ammenties the larger chains do.

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
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Posts: 36
From: Bensalem, PA
Registered: Jun 2005


 - posted May 13, 2006 10:05 PM      Profile for Michael R. Rambo Jr.   Email Michael R. Rambo Jr.         Edit/Delete Post 
Out here in the Philadelphia area, AMC Theatres bought out the following chains:
  • Loews Cineplex (Loews Cineplex bought out Cineplex Odeon, who bought out RKO Century Warner, who from 1967 to 1981 was known as RKO Stanley Warner, and from 1930 to 1967 was called Stanley Warner, and from 1901 to 1930 was The Stanley Company Of America, started by Stanley Mastbaum and Jules E. Mastbaum)
  • General Cinema
  • Budco Theatres (Budco bought out William Goldman Theatres)
Regal Entertainment Group, in Philadelphia, bought out United Artists Theatres, who themselves bought out Sameric Theatres.
[Cool] [Cool]

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


 - posted May 14, 2006 02:01 AM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Chain Ownership Evolution in Seattle:

1) Fox-Evergreen bought out by National General, which was purchased by Mann. Luxury Theaters took over Mann, then was swallowed up by Act III. Act III purchased by Regal.

2) SRO Theaters purchased by Cineplex Odeon, then Lowes bought Cineplex Odeon, changing the name to Loews-Cineplex (later shortened to Loews). AMC purchased Loews.

3) General Cinema purchased by AMC after GCC went into Bankruptcy.

4) Seven Gables Theaters purchased by Landmark

5) United Theaters (a subsidiary of Pacific Theaters) once owned severl drive-ins and "walk-ins" (as they liked to call them) throughout the Greater Puget Sound market, but, one-by-one, were either sold off individually (the walk-ins) to other operators or, in the case of the drive-ins, sold off for the valuable land. Now, only the Valley 6 Drive In remains, and it is threatened by "big box store" developement each year. The theaters sold to other chains:

The Varsiy to Seven Gables Theaters
The Ridgemont to Seven Gables Theaters (after being leased to a porn operator for a couple of years)
The Cinerama to SRO Theaters
The Southcenter to SRO Theaters
The Admiral (in Bremerton, WA) to Luxury Theaters
The Tacoma Mall to SRO Theaters

The Cinerama and the Varsity are the only theaters still showing films. The Admiral is a performing arts center, and the others have all been razed for other uses.

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