CinemaTour
Cinema History Around the World
 HOME ·· CINEMAS ·· FORUM ·· LINKS ·· BOOKS
 Contact Cinematour ·· Help & Hints ·· About Cinematour
Cinematour Forum


  
my profile | my password | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » Cities with NO cinemas (was: Springfield, MA)

   
Author Topic: Cities with NO cinemas (was: Springfield, MA)
Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 10, 2006 05:39 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
Wandering around this site...and others...I'm always curious when I come upon a community that seems to have lost *all* of its cinemas. (Maybe this because my home town, where I grew up, now has nothing within a twenty-to-thirty minute drive, whereas it used to have Canada's first drive-in, a nabe, and a multiplex right there, smack-dab in the middle of everything.)

Springfield seems to be one of these communities. Now, I'm not familiar with the area, but can anyone shine any light as to where the 'locals' now view their films?

And can anyone else out there offer up other examples where neighbourhoods, communities, towns, cities, now have *no* cinema tradition left to speak of?

Just curious...

 |  IP: Logged

Richard A Stegman Jr
Member

Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted September 10, 2006 08:35 AM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
The town i used to live in,Fontana California,once had a mainstream single screener,a porn theater and a drive in theatre all within a mile of each other.

The mainstream theatre(The Fontana Theatre)and the porn theatre(part of the now defunct Pussycat chain)were around the corner from each other downtown,while the D.I.(The Bel-Air)was just off the freeway.

In the 80's,the Fontana closed and became an arts and crafts store. it's now a live theatre venue. The Pussycat closed and converted to a second run house.(renamed the Del-Mar)it's now a church. The D.I. is now a car lot.

In 1991,Mann Theatres opened an eightplex there only to sell it within a year to the(pre-Regal) Edwards chain.

Edwards sold it in 2000 to indie chain(and curent owner)Ultrastar Theatres.

The area i live in now,which about 45 minutes west of Palm Springs,has no movie theatre,so our closet options are a three screener in Banning or the Krikorian multiplex in Redlands. both are about 15 minute drives on the 10 freeway.

 |  IP: Logged

Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted September 10, 2006 07:34 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
In the case of Springfield, this economically depressed city is able to only support only one megaplex, the National Amusements' Showcase Cinemas 15 located in West Springfield, a separate city located just over the river from Springfield. Regal had built a complex in 1999 located in the eastern section of Springfield, but couldn't make a go of it. Entertainment Cinemas took it over, but they also failed.

Even more surprising, save for a couple of IMAX screens and two megaplexes, AMC's Fenway and Boston Commons, the city of Boston is without any other open cinemas. Cinemagoers must go to the nearby suburbs (Brooklyne (sp?) and Cambridge to name two) for any specialty films. A sad state of affairs for a great city.

Hope this answers your questions, Perry.

 |  IP: Logged

Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 11, 2006 05:12 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
re: Boston... That's amazing. There must be some very intriguing reasons why this happened.

I've always thought a unique approach to showing a city's changes would be by using cinemas as an indicator. The ebb and flow of people in and out of downtown cores, how neighbourhoods change.

Obviously, being on this site, I have a passion for cinema houses, but perhaps even moreso, what they represent in a 'social experiece' sense; they can be such a reminder of how much times have changed.

 |  IP: Logged

Ron Newman
Member

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


 - posted September 11, 2006 07:16 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
In Boston, General Cinema Fenway (13 screens) opened in 2000. Loews Boston Common (19 screens) opened in 2001. Both are now part of AMC. An anti-trust agreement with the state and federal governments requires AMC to sell Fenway, but they haven't yet.

These two megaplexes are the only commercial movie theatres located entirely within Boston city limits. The Showcase Cinema at Cleveland Circle straddles the Boston-Brookline city line. A year ago, several newspapers reported that it would close and be replaced by condos, but so far it remains open.

The short version of the Boston story is that Sack Theatres had a local monopoly in Boston in the 1970s and 80s. Sack became USACinemas, then was sold to Loews, which proceeded to close almost every theatre that Sack and USA had built or acquired.

The CinemaTreasures page for Copley Place Cinemas is a good place to start if you want to learn more of this history. Also see this forum post here at CinemaTour.

 |  IP: Logged

Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 11, 2006 10:50 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
I'm trying to process this number: something like 80+ cinemas have existed in Boston-proper at one time or another since the turn of the 20th century...and there's not *one* left, other than the ones that have been turned into live theatre venues?!?

That's astounding.

I'm curious which 'palace' Bostonians would choose to still be in operation if they had their druthers...

 |  IP: Logged

Ron Newman
Member

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


 - posted September 11, 2006 11:11 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Boston's last vestige of 'palatial' cinema exhibition was the Wang Theatre's very occasional and half-hearted Motion Picture Mondays series.

Unfortunately the Wang Center discontinued this program last year. I wish they'd bring it back. The Ohio Theatre in Columbus is a good example of how to do this right.

 |  IP: Logged

Roger Katz
Member

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted September 11, 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
In addition to the 15 screens in West Springfield there are two multiplexes within Springfield city limits: the Springfield Plaza 16 which was reopened earlier this year by Entertainment Cinemas and the Showcase Cinemas Eastfield Mall.

 |  IP: Logged

Adam Martin
Administrator

Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted September 11, 2006 05:02 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Phoenix Bel Air 10 is the only place in the city limits of Detroit to see movies daily, and it's on the city limits. Sure, there's the Redford, but they are operated by the Motor City Theatre Organ Society and run a classic film series and organ concerts.

 |  IP: Logged

Dan Roben
Member

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


 - posted September 11, 2006 05:56 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
Roger, thanks for the correction to my post. I was under the im-pression that Entertainment Cinemas closed the Springfield Plaza complex, and I wasn't even aware of Eastfield Mall. That'll teach me to rely on a friend who was born and raised in Springfield, but hasn't lived there in years and hates the city!

 |  IP: Logged

Mark Richey
Member

Posts: 90
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted September 11, 2006 06:30 PM      Profile for Mark Richey   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Richey         Edit/Delete Post 
Granted, the Dallas suburb of Richardson isn't anywhere near as big as Detroit or Boston, but as recently as 1990; the city of just under 100,000 had 19 screens spread out among 4 different theaters. Today, there are only 3 screens operating (in a former General Cinema 6-plex), and they exclusively show Asian films (the rest of the complex is now an Asian entertainment center).

Nearby Carrolton has also lost all of its theaters. It had two older GCC multiplexes that shuttered when the chain went into bankruptcy (one briefly came back as a movie grill), and a Cinemark dollar theater that is now owned by a church.

Residents of either city don't exactly have to drive far to catch a movie. The AMC/Loews Keystone 16 is right across the city limits in Dallas, and there are plenty of other theaters in close driving distance. However, it's still odd that nearly every other major suburb in the north Dallas area has had giant multiplexes open in the last few years, while both of those cities lost all their screens.

 |  IP: Logged

Christopher Crouch
Member

Posts: 292
From: Anaheim, CA
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted September 12, 2006 03:54 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch         Edit/Delete Post 
Beyond Springfield, western Ma. isn't particularly a hot bed for movie going in general. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Pittsfield, Ma. and don't recall movies ever playing as large a role in the community as you see in other areas. All of Berkshire county barely managed to keep one theatre running, successfully, at any given time (80's Cinema Center, 90's Hoyts' mall location). Perhaps, the closest thing to having multiple theatre venues was back when the single house palaces were still viable in the downtown area.

I think some areas' lack of theatres are simply a reflection of differing social values.

 |  IP: Logged

Ron Newman
Member

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


 - posted September 12, 2006 04:38 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe Berkshire County has gotten better? I'm looking at MrMovieTimes.com now and I see movie theatres in Great Barrington, Lanesboro, North Adams, and Williamstown.

(But it won't give me any showtimes for North Adams. Maybe it closed?)

In the summertime, the Berkshires have lots of other entertainment options besides movies, but that's only three months out of the year.

[ September 12, 2006, 05:52 AM: Message edited by: Ron Newman ]

 |  IP: Logged

George Gates
Member

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


 - posted September 12, 2006 12:27 PM      Profile for George Gates           Edit/Delete Post 
Counting theatres is a bit deceptive. In Boston, you can count the Kendall since it's just over the bridge, about a mile from downtown. The two AMC's are still in business, and there are lots of shopping center screens around the city. Megaplexes put nearly every single screen theatre out of business over the past 40 years. You can visit the CinemaTour of nearly every small town anywhere and see that most all are gone.

 |  IP: Logged

Perry Robitionate
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2006


 - posted September 13, 2006 05:47 AM      Profile for Perry Robitionate   Email Perry Robitionate         Edit/Delete Post 
"Megaplexes put nearly every single screen theatre out of business over the past 40 years."

Don't want to take this discussion off-topic, but don't you think this is a 'not quite accurate' way of addressing how we ended up where we've ended up? (Admittedly, there's probably a kajillion threads that have already dealt with this basic issue, but I haven't as yet spent the time trawling the archives...) Isn't this a bit like saying 'CDs put vinyl out of business'? Most of the discussion I read about the cinema biz totally ignore the prime factor in any changes that have taken place: the consumer.

To paraphrase, 'Multiplexes don't kill single-screeners, customers kill single-screeners.'

Apologies for hijacking my own thread...

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central  
   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

© 1995-2013 Vision Entertainment Services. All rights reserved.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2