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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Famous Players Crazy!

Author Topic: Famous Players Crazy!
Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 12-08-2000 06:02 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Has anyone been to A Famous Players SilverCity themed theatre, or any other Famous Players theatre? I personnally love Famous Players, but It costs a lot! Famous Players charges the most money in Canada!!

Adult 12.00
Chld & Seniors 6.00
Adult Weekday matinees 7.00
Adult weekend matinees 9.00

Do you believe it? Oh weel, I still love them!! If anyone has any Famous Players Pictures, can you e-mail them to me, or tell me where they are on the net?


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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 12-28-2000 12:27 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey... Now at my local theatres they start introducing the show! A spot light comes on and a guy comes in and introduces it! Hey also asks for questions!!! COOOL! Do you do this?


P.S. What are some cool unique things your theatres do?

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 12-29-2000 06:59 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The "personal touch" of a show introduction sounds like a great idea. I know the Dryden Theatre at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House here in Rochester has the curator introduce many of the classic films (including some original nitrate prints!) they screen. The 5-screen Little Theatre has someone introduce some of the art films they screen. Many IMAX theatres have a pre-show introduction (either live or on film). IMHO, having someone address the audience before a show personalizes the theatre experience, and probably leads to a better behaved audience (knowing that a real person is paying attention to the people in the auditorium).

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243

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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 12-29-2000 07:56 AM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We did something similar to this at a few Wometco theatres for a while.

At a few theatres, if there was an audience of fifty or more, the usher would go to the front of the auditorium and introduce himself, then tell the customers he would be in and out of the auditorium, and if there were any problems with the film or disturbances to bring those probelms to his attention. It did cut down on some problems with chatter at one theatre, and the spies from the local AMC picked up on the technique for a couple of their locations.

When I first introduced the idea, it was interesting to watch the reactions from the ushers. Some got right into the spirit of the thing and had a lark with it. Some turned the stint in the front of the auditorium into a quick comedy routine. On the other side, one usher was so pertified of the idea that he almost burst into tears before I could say that participation was voluntary. Some people have a sheer terror of standing in front of a group.

At Shadowood in Boca Raton, when we played Schindler's List, the manager, who was the son of Holocaust survivors, decided on his own that he would introduce the show to the primarily Jewish audience. He introduced every show for about a month, and sat in the lobby with many customers who found the film to intense to watch. I can't think of a better example why each theatre and community has to be treated individually. Some theatre circuits would have just run the print on as tight a schedule as possible, and left the audiences to fend for themselves.

More sadly, Morrie had numerous school showings of the film, and there were some inevitable kids who cut up and acted out during the film.

Morrie was publicly recognized by Speilberg at NATO Showest that year for his efforts with Schindler's List. It was a fitting last hurrah for the Wometco name, as we knew at the time of the upcoming sale of the last Wometco theatres to Cobb.

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Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 524
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 12-29-2000 07:57 AM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gee, I wonder if this could have anything to do with the prices being so high......

Ottawa Citizen, December 19, 2000
"Movie chains accused of squeezing out competitors"

Competition Bureau probes allegations that Famous Players, Cineplex Odeon collude against independents

Glen McGregor
The Ottawa Citizen

The federal Competition Bureau is investigating allegations that Canada's two largest movie theatre chains use their market power to ensure that independent theatres don't get a chance to screen the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

Documents filed by the bureau in Federal Court this month accuse Famous Players Inc. and Cineplex Odeon Corp. of using their dominant positions to engage in anti-competitive behaviour by splitting the hottest new movie releases between them.

Although such investigations are usually kept confidential, details of the probe became public this month when Competition Bureau lawyers went to court seeking an order to have 17 film distributors open their books to investigators.

A supporting affidavit filed by a bureau investigator says his preliminary inquiry found that Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon use "splitting arrangements" that ensure that neither company bids against the other for the rights to newly released films. These deals relegate other theatres to a "perpetual second-best position for the exhibition of commercially valuable motion pictures in Canada," the affidavit claims.

The splitting arrangements have been in place since the early 1990s, or at least since before 1994, according to the bureau's preliminary inquiry, and have "substantially reduced" competition in the Canadian theatre business.

Such an anti-competitive practice would discourage competitors from entering the Canadian theatre business and keep ticket prices artificially high.

Movie ticket prices have climbed steadily since the early 1990s, as Famous Players and Cineplex have enjoyed near total dominance of the theatre industry, controlling more than 1,600 screens between them. The top price of a movie ticket in Ottawa jumped to $12 from $10 earlier this year.

The theatres use their market power to "coerce" film distributors into splitting deals, but the distributors have "largely agreed" the document says. Most of the major distributors are owned by or affiliated with Hollywood motion picture studios that make the films.

Famous Players generally screens films made by Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney and MGM, while Cineplex runs films from Universal, 20th Century-Fox and Columbia Tri-Star.

The court documents also allege the two theatre chains use exclusivity arrangements to ensure they are only exhibitor in a certain market, "often in the face of overwhelming demand by both the consumer and other exhibitors -- that goes unsatisfied."

The splitting practice may have allowed the two companies to insulate themselves against a changing industry and delay their move into capital-intensive "mega-plexes" -- large, modern theatres typically located in the suburban areas -- while preserving their operations in downtown areas.

The affidavit suggests that while U.S.-based companies like AMC began moving toward mega-plexes in the United States more than five years ago, the splitting arrangement may have allowed theatre chains to delay such innovation here in Canada.

Joanne Fraser, vice-president of corporate affairs for Famous Players, said the company only received a copy of the affidavit yesterday and has yet to prepare a response. A spokesperson for Cineplex Odeon did not return calls requesting comment.

The order from Federal Court will force the distributors cited to hand over reams of business information dating back to 1998 so bureau investigators can assemble an accurate model of how the theatre industry operates.

This is not the first time the federal government has taken a look at the movie theatre business. In 1974, the government set up an inquiry to study why independent cinemas couldn't get the rights to new releases. That inquiry was shut down by the attorney general. Four subsequent inquiries were also discontinued for various reasons.

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