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TOPIC: No films already for some theaters???

No films already for some theaters??? 01 May 2012 16:04 #38357

  • rufusjack
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This from a theater near me on their website:

"The Digital Revolution is moving faster than expected and we are seeing the availability of film become pretty disillusioning for small town ‘Mom & Pops’ like us. With being unable to receive ANY prints this week, we have opted to close for this one week only. We’ll utilize the time for some of our projects that we have either procrastinated about or just plain ‘didn’t have the time’ to do. Hope everyone understands!"

This same theater is getting some help from their community:

www.kansascity.com/2012/04/30/3584877/ef...ginsville-movie.html

Effort to save Higginsville movie theater gets $25,000 boost
BY EDWARD M. EVELD
The Kansas City Star

Residents of Higginsville, Mo., banded together to help save the Davis Theatre which needs an expensive upgrade in order continue showing movies. George and Fran Schwarzer (foreground) have owned the theater since 1998.

The townsfolk of Higginsville, Mo., worked hard to win $50,000 in a recent Reader’s Digest contest, a cash infusion that would have gone a long way toward preventing their downtown theater from going dark.

They competed against local community projects nationwide, and although they didn’t hit the jackpot, they took second place and $25,000 in winnings. Not too shabby.

“We were pushing hard there at the end,” said Colleen King, president of Friends of the Davis Theatre 4, the group raising funds to keep the much-beloved Main Street cinema open. The 3.8 million votes cast online for the Davis was bested only by the town of Lake City, Iowa.

“We wanted that money bad,” King said. “But this is a good boost.”

Reader’s Digest is planning an award presentation for its “We Hear You America” contest later this month.

Donations and a variety of fundraisers that began last summer, including a recent volleyball tournament, netted about $18,000, King said, bringing the total amount raised to more than $43,000.

Unless the theater is equipped to show movies digitally, owners Fran and George Schwarzer have said they will have to shut the doors. Around the country, many small-town theaters, smaller suburban complexes and drive-ins are struggling with the same issue. The movie industry is phasing out 35-mm film and switching to digital production.

Theaters that aren’t digitized won’t be able to screen regular and 3-D movies. And the switch isn’t cheap. Equipping the main auditorium at the Davis would cost about $70,000. The total price for all four theaters is about $300,000.

“We’re starting to feel the panic,” King said. “The theater is a big part of our Main Street. It’s vital.”

When the Schwarzers began telling folks the bad news last year, the response was immediate: There had to be another way. Many in Higginsville, a town of about 4,700, have fond memories of the Davis since childhood, and the theater is still a part of local date nights and family nights.

The Davis already is feeling the ill effects of fewer movies available in 35 mm, Fran Schwarzer said. The theater was dark for about a week but will reopen Friday with “The Avengers,” a first-run movie.

“It’s happening sooner than we thought,” she said. “I’m very happy that people are understanding the importance of the theater to downtown and that we need to preserve our historic places.”

The theater building, once a livery, was transformed in the 1930s into a movie palace. It was a music venue for a time before the Schwarzers restored it as a movie house and added the three smaller theaters.

Plans are to save the Davis in stages, first digitizing the main theater — the Grand Lady — and to ready it for other performing arts events. Ultimately, the Davis would become a nonprofit community theater.

The Friends group is writing a business plan and acquiring nonprofit status, which will improve its chances at grants and donations. And the town’s homemade fundraisers will go on, King said.

“We are not stopping,” she said. “We will make this happen.”

To reach Edward M. Eveld, call 816-234-4442 or send email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 01 May 2012 16:31 #38359

  • Bob Nash
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Other small theaters, including single screen theaters, have become digital. A four screen ought to be able to go digital or it ought to go out of business
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 02 May 2012 17:51 #38366

  • revrobor
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How sad that you have nothing better to offer this forum than a sarcastic and exaggerated post. Perhaps after you've been in the industry for a while you will learn to offer constructive comments and how to deal with those with which you disagree.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 02 May 2012 18:26 #38368

  • muviebuf
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Sounds like Higginsville is throwing their version of a Pity Party in hopes to get a boost for their donations.
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 02 May 2012 18:57 #38369

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I tend to agree with muviebuf. I think that this is just a ploy to get the attention of the folks in Higginsville to come to his aid. I don't have a problem with any theatre trying to get community support, but be honest with them. If he cries wolf and there is no wolf... well, we all know how that story ended.

As a film booker for several other theatres as well as my own, I have had absolutely no problem getting 35mm prints thus far. Is there anyone here who has? Even if that were the case with one particular film at one studio, there are lots of other films and many other distributors. There is just no justifiable reason not to have a picture on his screen.

The other scenario is that this could be a theatre that is a slow pay and may owe everyone money and thus couldn't get a print.
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 08 May 2012 16:57 #38413

  • RoxyVaudeville
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As a film booker for several other theatres as well as my own, I have had absolutely no problem getting 35mm prints thus far. Is there anyone here who has?

Allow me to answer my own question.

I now have egg on my face. While what I posted above was true as of that date, it now has all changed. This has been a week from hell... well at least the past day and a half has been. Here it is Tuesday afternoon and I just got confirmation of an available 35mm print for one of my booking accounts and still have one more screen to cover. I have tried to book 5 different movies for these two single screen theatres and in every case was told that there are no 35mm prints, BUT if they can use digital... no problem.

Of course there are other films... whoops, I must stop using that word. I mean there are other movies that I could get, but they would do absolutely no business.

The problem appears to be with theatres that play 3 to 5 weeks after break, as there are now so few 2nd screens coming off that are still using film. Late run houses like my own don't have this problem, since by that time so few theatres are still playing those movies that there are plenty of prints still available. However, that will change as more and more theatres convert.
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Re: No films already for some theaters??? 09 May 2012 13:42 #38414

  • Mike
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Here's the problem: On opening films the 2nd prints, and 3rd and 4th prints, that were all in big theatres in major markets all came from theatres that have now gone digital. So basically speaking there are no 35mm 2nd or 3rd or 4th screens coming off after 2 weeks anymore. All the majors or most of them have gone digital. If the movie tanked (see John Carter): then some 35mm's are available. If the movie does well: it will hold and will not be available. (see The Help) The nice thing about digital is that after two weeks anyone who wants a digital print gets one; it does appear that while they still do structured roll outs it seems like no holds barred after two weeks. I just ran into the same thing looking for 35mm for a couple theatres and was repeatedly told: if you want a digit print: we are good to go. But 35mm? It's Monday for Friday. I was also told that out of a 2500 print roll out only 500 are 35 MM. In no time at all that will be zero.
Michael Hurley
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