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Author Topic: Other people talking about Cinematour
Adam Martin

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

 - posted April 11, 2004 03:40 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
The beautiful thing about the internet is that you go to look something up on Google and you end up taking tangent after tangent after tangent until you end up somewhere you didn't expect to end up reading something better than whatever it was you forgot you started looking for.

Long story short, I found someone's blog where they talked about a visit to Cinematour:


Sunday, August 17, 2003

11:07 PM


A few days ago, when I was in Victoria, I e-mailed myself some links I'd come across while at the internet café, and only today did I have a proper look at them. One I'd discovered while running a search to see if there was a site for The Vic Theatre, where I was going to go to see a matinee of Swimming Pool, the new François Ozon film with Charlotte Rampling. Didn't come up with any official site (it's operated by the Landmark chain) but a Google search did lead to a site listing cinemas in B.C. that I hadn't seen before. Cinemas past and present, all over the province. Wow. And, as it turns out, the site's mission is to document the locations and histories of cinemas around the world. Holy!

It's called CinemaTour, and I can't believe I hadn't come across it before. Tho' looking on the About page leads me to think that perhaps I did at one time, before its current incarnation. What a massive undertaking. You could spend your whole life researching such a project and never definitively complete it. Not that I ever finish anything I start, but if I were to do something like that, I think I'd need it to be finishable, y'know? Ah, but what am I talking about?! All the projects in my life are never-ending! Never really starting, either, of course. Heheh. But if I ever actually got on and did something and finished it, my god, what would I do? Was it just last night I was babbling on to a friend on the phone about The War of the Roses? About how it took twenty years to finish the house, and then what? Decorating all done, kids off to college, guess there's nothing left to do but start your own business and realise you don't get along with your husband and so fight to the death over who gets the house. The last time I saw that movie it really depressed me. Cos they took it so far. And how could you grow to so hate someone you once loved? Or maybe great sex had been confused with love and they never should have gotten married. But let's not go there!

Back to working on projects. I once created a website for the theatre I worked at. Tho' it was really more for me. It was about the theatre -- gave customer info on location, prices, films, etc. -- but it was also some sort of attempt to create something definitive. The site didn't just list showtimes, it also suggested how early to get there. It included pages detailing info on things like concession offerings and wheelchair access and neighbouring businesses. But essentially, it was a fansite. I took photos, I went to the city archives and dug up old newspaper articles and pictures to include on a History page, I went thru the projectionists' logbook and my own film diaries to piece together the total list of films that had played there since its reopening as an arthouse and their run dates. Yeah, like anyone would care what had played there for a week in Feburary '93 (heheh, could it've been John Sayles' Passion Fish?) But I wanted to share my pride in our programming, and somehow I thought listing the films and making a page for each title (director, stars, awards, reviews, trivia, photos, etc.) would prove how great a place it was. Or maybe I just wanted to prove something to myself. Like I could actually research and write about something that was important to me, instead of just keeping it in my head. Even if no one else cared. But that's what a person could do on the internet, right? -- dedicate a little section of cyberspace to her obsession. Who knows? If I'm interested enough in something to spend time compiling information on it, maybe someone else would like to see it. And I felt like I was doing it one better cos I was actually an expert on this place, having been there from the start. Well, as it were -- tho' I included info on the theatre's entire history, the site specifically covered only its current incarnation, from its reopening as an art house to the present.

Nearly a year after initially creating the site on a freebie page (a techie friend was so impressed he suggested I get a proper domain and supplied me with free hosting) I'd barely gotten back two years in the Past Films pages of the project when that present came to an end (the corporate mentality that had taken over became unbearable and we all left) and the scope of my website project was adjusted to reflect it, now merely commemorating the decade of 1990 to 2000 (the good ol' days, as it were.) Tho' I did maintain the current showtimes info for a few months after The End, I realised I had to let it go. Eventually the domain name expired and it dropped from existence.

Kinda like the idea I had several years ago to do a book about cinemas in Vancouver. I think I like to think that my mentioning that at a party once led to someone else's mounting a photo exhibit of just that subject. Meaning a friend of a friend who'd been there stole my idea. But really, other people have ideas. And some of them even carry them out. A colleague mentioned something to me the other day about a similar sort of publishing project. Here I was tossing out ideas and suggesting applying for heritage or arts grants for funding and so on. I didn't say I'd like to help or contribute research or writing or anything. Is it cos I've offered to help on projects before and gotten burned? Or that the idea of actually working on something sounds like too much bother? Could I be that lazy? Or is it selfishness or arrogance? I know that other people's involvement or deadlines forces me to get on with things, but if I can't always have things my way... Fear of failure? Nah, it's laziness.

Ahem! Okay, that was quite the tangent. Here I'd thought I might write about how checking out this Cinema Tour website had led to reminiscences about cinemas I've been to. Like last summer's trip to San Francisco including visits to the Castro, the Lumiere and Midnight Mass at the Bridge. Maybe I'd finally blog a bit about that. Or even further back, to my trip to New York in '94... Almodóvar at the Angelika Film Center, second-run stuff for $2 at Worldwide Cinemas on 50th (alas, now closed, I see) and other theatres I'm not sure I remember the names of -- wasn't it some little screening room on St. Mark's with Bette Davis and/or Kate Hepburn's handprints out front where I saw Manhattan? (I'd so wanted to see Manhattan in Manhattan!), and was it a Loew's in Times Square where I saw Allison Anders' La Vida Loca? what about that place on 42nd Street that had been made into a multiplex where the last screening was 2am?... Remember the marquee poetry from the opening scenes of Vanya on 42nd Street? -- that was there when I was there. (I understand it's Disneyfied now.)

But it doesn't seem I will now. After a little post-work CinemaTour-ing, I microwaved some popcorn and watched Adaptation, another recent acquisition to Jo B's video library. I'd kinda been saving it to watch with someone who hadn't seen it yet, but hey. It occurred to me that Swimming Pool and Adaptation would make a good double bill (both being about writers working at their craft, and all.) And perhaps pontificating such things would make a more interesting blog entry than this has been. Maybe if my blog had a focus, even something as broad as "cinema"...

Yeah, whatever. Here I go again, indeed. This tour thru Jo B's thought processes is over. For tonight, anyway.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted April 11, 2004 07:38 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
You should respond and get them to do their part in helping finish the site.

Also -- what're we going to do when Adam dies? We must brainwash more people. NOW!!!

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