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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » LOEWS / CINEPLEX BANKRUPT & SOLD!!!

   
Author Topic: LOEWS / CINEPLEX BANKRUPT & SOLD!!!
John Eickhof
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 587
From: Wendell, ID USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 02-16-2001 09:03 PM      Profile for John Eickhof   Author's Homepage   Email John Eickhof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In today's Orange County Register (So Cal)
It is headlined on page 5 business section that Loews / Cineplex has filed Bankruptcy
Thursday and simaltaniously was offered a buyout by a group of investors led by Onex Corp. of Canada! also named as investors are Oaktree Capitol Management LLC and Pacific Capitol Group Inc. (Both of LA Cal.) Loews,
effective today actually closed the 675 screens that were operating week to week for the last month. (Including 20 screens I used to service in Boise ID) A side note...Oaktree is the investment group working with Philip Anschutz on his buyout of Regal & Edwards!

------------------
John Eickhof President, Chief Slave
Northwest Theatre Equipment Co., Inc.
P.O.Box 258
Wendell, ID. 83355-0258
208-536-5489
email: jeickhof@nteequip.com

John Eickhof
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 587
From: Wendell, ID USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 02-17-2001 01:29 PM      Profile for John Eickhof   Author's Homepage   Email John Eickhof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The interesting thing about these closures of the Loews / Cinepelx houses is what will happen to the equipment & furnishings? If I remember right they are owned or levied by CCFC (Coca Cola Finance Co) there may be a whole pile of late model Simplex stuff available soon!!!

------------------
John Eickhof President, Chief Slave
Northwest Theatre Equipment Co., Inc.
P.O.Box 258
Wendell, ID. 83355-0258
208-536-5489
email: jeickhof@nteequip.com

Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16269
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-17-2001 05:10 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well its about time they go bye-bye. I can't remember a Low's/Cineplex theater that was very nice. They really screwed up McClurg Court Theater in Chicago big time. It used to be a nice theater till they chopped it up.
I can guarantee you that they will not be missed by anyone.
Mark @ GTS

John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5436
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-18-2001 12:13 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
>>I can guarantee you that they will not be missed by anyone<<

...except maybe those folks who were employed to operate those 675 screens.

James R. Hammonds, Jr
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 931
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-18-2001 01:17 AM      Profile for James R. Hammonds, Jr   Email James R. Hammonds, Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
<<I can't remember a Low's/Cineplex theater that was very nice.>>

Actually, there is a loews near my parents' house here in spring, tx (which I previosly mentioned in another post) that is really nice for being biult in 1984.
It is still pretty decent today.

If loews was able to and would spend the money to upgrade their sound systems (one house in digital, 5 in stereo, 4 in mono) and redo their seats (very uncomfortable and non-stadium of course) it would be and excellent place.

But when Cinemark opened the Tinseltown in the Woodlands, their business dropped drastically.
They were the only theatre in town that summer that didnt have a huge line for independence day.

I'd still like to go in one day and ask if
I could take pictures for the site.

If I had the money and there was a market for independent and foreign films in a northern suburb of houston, that would be a place I'd love to upgrade ant turn into an arthouse.

Aaron Haney
Master Film Handler

Posts: 265
From: Cupertino, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 02-19-2001 07:27 AM      Profile for Aaron Haney   Email Aaron Haney   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not another one! If this keeps up, Philip Anschutz is going end up owning half the movie theaters in the US. And it's pretty clear what his plan is -- convert them all to the crappiest, cheapest digital projectors he can find, transmit the movie data over his Qwest network, and show tons of advertising to cover the cost. This is going to suck, suck, suck.
------------------
Aaron Haney
Professional Complainer
Apple Computer, Inc.


Christopher K. Williams
Film Handler

Posts: 26
From: Redmond, WA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-19-2001 02:37 PM      Profile for Christopher K. Williams   Email Christopher K. Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anybody know which theaters in which states are closing, or what percentage of Loew's screens 675 is? Just curious...

John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 02-19-2001 02:47 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't be too worried about Anschutz (or anyone else) making theaters crappy. Not only are many of them already poorly made, (small, dimly-lit shoeboxes) it seems that anyone who owns more than 300-400 screens just can't seem to make any money.

Name a chain that's over 15 years old, that that has always run an acceptable operation, with over 300 screens.

Besides, if the public accepts increased ads, then it is the right thing to do, I guess. Not wild about it myself, but I don't pay the bills.

Ky Boyd
Hey I'm #23

Posts: 314
From: Santa Rosa, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-19-2001 03:21 PM      Profile for Ky Boyd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christopher,

Over in the ground level forum, I posted a press release annoucing the closings which included a list of cineplex/loews theatres slated for closure.

Ky

Aaron Haney
Master Film Handler

Posts: 265
From: Cupertino, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 02-19-2001 10:37 PM      Profile for Aaron Haney   Email Aaron Haney   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John Walsh said:
Name a chain that's over 15 years old, that that has always run an acceptable operation, with over 300 screens.

Well, your standard of what is acceptable is no doubt different from mine, but how about Century? Of course, I can't really say whether they have always done a good job -- I've only been attending their theaters for the past 3 years, but so far I like what I see. And they show no advertising other than previews before the movies.

Besides, I should have made it more clear in my original post that it's the conversion to digital that I'm worried about. I honestly wouldn't mind if digital is done right, but based on Anschutz's track record in other businesses (just do a web search for "consumer opinion" in regards to Qwest), I doubt that he will do it right. Those theaters he owns will be permanently stuck with the crummiest, lowest-resolution digital projectors money can buy. I just know it.

What's going to make this even more unbearable is that the press will undoubtedly cheer him on. They will keep referring to this as a "revolution", because hey, anything "digital" is automatically better than anything else! The press will also repeatedly talk about how film is a "bad" and "old" technology that has all these problems like scratches, dirt, etc. -- the usual worst-case scenario arguments. No mention whatsoever will be made of the kind of high-quality, problem-free film presentations that we all know are possible. And no mention will be made of 70mm, either, because it's been a few years since that was popular, and after all, any technology that didn't see widespread use in the last 24 hours, doesn't need to be reported on.

In short, what I'm worried about is that he will set the bar for movie presentation quality even lower than it is now, while the media sits back and cheerleads. It's depressing and disheartening, but at this point it sounds like that's what's going to happen. Sad.
------------------
Aaron Haney
Professional Complainer
Apple Computer, Inc.


John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 02-19-2001 10:58 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron;

Your points are well-taken, but (this push for digital) is happening in several places. Anschutz didn't start it, and he's no where near the only one (although he does also own technology to move it along.) And, with this big shake-out in the exhibition industry, some one was going to buy some theaters... better that, then they close and people their jobs.

I've seen some really, *really* good video projection. In some places (smaller screens) it would be good enough to replace 35mm. I've seen some very bad 35mm presentations, so video is not evil by itself.. it's how it's used.

I tend to agree that the theaters are going down hill, but after projecting for 25 years, I don't know wheather they really have, or I'm just an old fart..


Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 02-19-2001 11:12 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aaron - Marcus Corporation has been very successful for at least 40 years.

Aaron Haney
Master Film Handler

Posts: 265
From: Cupertino, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 02-19-2001 11:54 PM      Profile for Aaron Haney   Email Aaron Haney   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul: I was quoting John above; sorry, I should have made that clearer. I edited my post and added the text "John Walsh said:" to make it more clear.

John: I agree it's better that someone buy the theaters rather than for them to simply close and put people out of work. I'm just lamenting the fact that it has to be this guy.

I understand that the push for digital is coming from various places (mainly from people who stand to financially benefit from it), but Anschutz is the first person in a position to really make it happen on a largre scale. And based on this article, it sounds like he's really hell-bent on doing so. That bothers me, because I doubt he will try to do a quality job. (Side note: the article I linked to also contains hints of the mindless "it's digital therefore it's better" blather we'll no doubt be hearing more of in the near future).

I certainly don't think video is evil. Of course it is theoretically possible for digital to match the quality of a good film presentation, even 70mm; after all, what's hitting the screen are just light patterns, they could come from anywhere, and the viewer would never know the difference. However ... the systems I've seen demonstrated (as well as the specs on upcoming systems that people are hyping up) just don't cut it. Yet people like Phil Barlow of Disney are saying that it's already "good enough". And everything I've seen and heard has led me to believe that "good enough" is all we're going to get. I find that depressing.


Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 02-20-2001 09:14 AM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From what I have been told this guy can be a shaddy character so I don't know if I would trust anything he says. I was told that the only reason he bought that railroad was so he could lay the fiber optic lines under the track and sell off sections to other parties and avoid government regulations. Since the government does not regulate the railroad tracks.

John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 02-20-2001 11:14 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, that article does have a lot of "yea-digital" propaganda in it. It has some 'mis-speak' in it, too. For example, I hate it when they say that 'moviegoers prefered the digital.' What people? I couldn't care less what Gladys Burger of Pottsville, PA thought about it. Let industry people judge it.

Sad thing is though, I feel the theaters brought this mess on themselves. Most chains were always looking to run cheaper and cheaper, years before this current mess. No maintaince, cut staff, cheap equipment, etc. When I first started working, I was told to remove the 75watt and higher bulbs and replace them with 40 watt to save money. What a joke. While there were several factors that lowered the exhibition indsustry, personally I think the biggest single factor was the theater owners themselves.



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