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Corona Virus Effect On Theatres In The USA

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  • #61
    And now AMC joins Regal in shutting down
    My sister lives (and I work) near the flagship former Cinetopia rathouse (and the once-glorious Tom Moyer/Act III Cascade Park 4) so I ride past it fairly often. The place has become quite popular with the local sk8r dood/BMXer contingent over the last few days. I mean, AMC; not like they can exactly afford to hire rent-a-cops (not that those'd make any difference anyways). The Cascade Stadium 16 was the same way when I saw it last week, deserted but with a different bunch of skaterz.

    I understand Vancouver Mall is shut down. I don't make it over there very often these days (not many do...) so I haven't seen how desolate the place is.


    • #62
      Another issue that has occurred to me: If this goes on for long a lot of (maybe all of) my candy and drinks and whatnot will expire. Most of that stuff has a "best before" date stamped on it and I don't know if people would want to buy it (or if I would want to sell it) after that date.
      Can your supplier give you credit on expired-unsellable product? I worked in a convenience store years ago and their suplier (company in Olympia called Harbor Wholesale) did. I'd collect all the expired stuff in a cardboard box for the weekly inventory scan then after they issued credit, my supervisor let the employees take however much of it they wanted.

      If you can get credit, you could maybe set them out on a table in the lobby after you get your fresh product stocked and reopen, and put a sign "FREE - EXPIRED BUT STILL EDIBLE" on them so they at least don't go to waste, if just to get rid of it all. There's probably somebody who'll take it off your hands.
      Last edited by Van Dalton; 03-24-2020, 07:03 PM.


      • #63
        If this goes on for long a lot of (maybe all of) my candy and drinks and whatnot will expire.
        There was a major power failure in part of San Francisco over the weekend. I texted one of the theater owners
        who lives out of town to let him know the power was out in his 2 buildings since there was nobody at the theaters,
        which were closed up due to the C-Virus. I was hoping he was going to tell me I could go down & eat all the ice
        cream- - but unfortunately the power was only out for abt 2hrs, & the freezer stayed cold enough to prevent much
        melting. (He's got those big 5gal tubs of ice cream in there, & they have quite a bit of 'thermal inertia' ) Shucks!
        Last edited by Jim Cassedy; 03-24-2020, 07:41 PM.


        • #64
          I don't buy my candy from a "real" wholesaler since their minimum order amounts (usually $2500) are far too big for me. $2500 worth of candy would probably be a year's supply so I buy about $300 or $400 worth at a time from Costco and and from Real Canadian Wholesale, which is sort of a big grocery store. I very much doubt anything would be returnable upon expiry since, among other things, I'm just not that big of a customer.

          Oh well. I guess I'll just throw stuff out as it expires and restock when I can reopen.


          • #65
            Frank Cox, I don't know the laws in your part of the world but here in Michigan we can sell food that exceeds the "best used by" date. We purchase king size candy bars that are past their best used date and sell them for .33¢. They sell real well. The price is low enough where it is not worth sneaking in their own food, and I make a few cents. People will buy broken and outdated candy if it is cheap enough... and it did not appear to hurt our full priced candy.
            If the candy gets old while we wait this out, you still might be able to get your money back on it, or some of your money back. You might not need to toss to throw it out and if you do, throw it out in my direction.. lol.


            • #66
              I might have missed this, but we got a note from our service company on Christie, Dolby, GDC, and QSC requirements to maintain extended warranty on the equipment. We had called the Christie NOC to get their guidance when we closed on Monday last week, but even following their very slightly lower guidelines of operation, we've lost three out of 14 IMB's already.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Ronda Love; 03-25-2020, 03:41 PM. Reason: Edited to add the other notices received later.


              • #67
                Originally posted by Frank Cox View Post

                Oh well. I guess I'll just throw stuff out as it expires and restock when I can reopen.
                Give it to local kids NOW, people will love it, and it's good PR


                • #68
                  Seems like when I was a small kid in the late 1950's /60's going to many matinee movie shows they did not put any expiration dates on candy? Then in the mid 1960's when I worked at the Fox Oakland and Paramount Theatres in Oakland CA behind the candy counters for Fox West Coast Theatres they just let the candy sit till It sold then they ordered more from the Fox WC home office in Culver City CA.

                  I remember getting some complaintments from mad parents when they brought candy back that was was too old and hard as a rock to eat.

                  I wonder what year they started to put expiration dates on the candy wrappers?

                  The worst thing for me was some of the managers at FWC as they got a cut of all candy counter sales. FWC did not pop their popcorn in all their SF Bay Area theatres It came in big brown bags each week from Culver City, we just re heated It in the display warmer.

                  A few times I remember coming in to open up the candy counter and I'd find (This is gross) a few mice eating the popcorn overnight. I told the manager and he just took out the mice/rats and just left the popcorn in the case to heat and sell. He told me to keep my mouth shut . Can you imagine this going on today with the health concerns ect!.

                  Unless some of today's closed up movie theatres have someone going in to check on things the same thing may happen today, I bet most cinemas have removed all their popcorn from the machines but the ants may take over around the soda machines with syrup ect. Mice and rats will get into the candy wrappers, move all the candy and put inside a large re fridge till the place reopens in a few months just in time for the Summer movies.

                  The refreshment counters of today sell so much more then just candy, I think most items will stay fresh till and If the cinemas turn on the projectors again.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Frank Cox
                    Oh well. I guess I'll just throw stuff out as it expires and restock when I can reopen.
                    Not like my parents in law, then. Sorry to go OT, but thought that a giggle might be justified in these times.

                    My wife read somewhere that ibuprofen is not only useless for pain relief if you catch coronavirus, but can actually make the symptoms worse. Therefore, acetaminophen (US - it's called paracetamol in the UK; not sure about Canada) is the only painkiller that one should use. So she went looking for some, and quickly discovered that it had gone the same way as toilet roll: either unavailable or egregiously price gouged (same thing with Indian tonic water after rumors stated to spread that quinine kills the bug - still, better than drinking fish tank cleaner like that Darwin award nominee in Arizona, I guess).

                    Not to worry, said her mother (a retired nurse, who, one would have thought, should know better) - we have enough in our zombie apocalypse survivalist supply kit to take care of the whole family, if necessary! She went to check her stocks, and returned triumphantly with a couple of boxes. The expiration date on them? September 1981. I'm not joking. That stuff was on pharmacy shelves when I was in elementary school, and E.T. was playing in theaters!

                    I'd be intrigued to know if taking 38-year old acetaminophen pills would be effective, dangerous, or if they would simply have no effect. But unless I get the bug, am very seriously ill, and have no alternative, I don't intend to find out!
                    Last edited by Leo Enticknap; 03-26-2020, 02:34 PM.


                    • #70
                      I'd be intrigued to know if taking 38-year old acetaminophen pills would be effective, dangerous, or if they would simply have no effect.
                      My first career was in pharmacy and this comes up all the time. Expired medication doesn't turn into something dangerous over time, but it does lose potency. The dates on the bottles are when the manufacturer guarantees that the drug will be close to original potency. Some drugs weaken quickly, while others take a while and some drugs must be dosed precisely, so the main risk in taking old medications is that if they treat a life-threatening condition and they lose potency, you won't be getting the dose you need to save your life anymore. There was a scare some years back with expired tetracycline causing renal tubule damage, but manufacturing has since changed to greatly reduce the chance of that happening anymore. That said, even though expired APAP would generally be considered safe, 40 years expired is definitely beyond the pale! The normal number of tablets would probably do nothing for you, but you have no way of knowing how much active drug is still in there, so you if you took extra tabs, you might wreck your liver. Also, any medication that has ever been opened is likely to be contaminated with bacteria and/or fungi from the air and the hands of the person who opened it. After this long, even if it is still sealed, I wouldn't trust it, especially since they used cotton on those bottles in the 80's, a practice that has since been stopped due to the increased chance of microbial growth. So to sum up, you are a wise man to stay far away from that ancient Tylenol!


                      • #71
                        Leo - that issue about corona and ibuprofen (and generic drugs) has been turned over a few days ago. There was some confusion about this, but it looks as if WHO decided to declare this a non-issue.
                        As far as I understood, when they brought it up, they explained that you would need to be in a progressional state of the covid-19 illness where other people than you or your wife decide about which drugs you receive. But it seems even that condition is a no-condition anymore. In germany, this story developed as an actual scam, being put through by an unsolicited WhatsApp voice message. The hospital this story was referring to as the source of the advice didn't know anything about it. One of those weird things that happen in days like this.


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Sarah Treichel
                          The normal number of tablets would probably do nothing for you, but you have no way of knowing how much active drug is still in there, so you if you took extra tabs, you might wreck your liver.
                          Agreed completely. One of the reasons I stay away from the stuff completely, preferring aspirin or ibuprofen if I ever need a pain killer, is that acetaminophen is hepatoxic at only slightly above the therapeutic dose. I don't even like having it in the house (especially as we have a four-year old child). At around the time I emigrated from England to California (2013), its use as a method of suicide had become so widespread that the UK made it illegal for more than 10 pills in any one transaction to be sold over the counter.

                          This is all turning very cheerful! If the shutdown continues much longer, I think I'll break out my DVD of Dawn of the Dead, just to lighten the mood. However, given the behavior in shopping malls recently, it's in danger of becoming a documentary...

                          Carsten - if this really is a hoax, one has to wonder if the manufacturers of this stuff had anything to do with it. Whenever these stories do the rounds, the supermarket shelves get cleared out of the promoted item. My wife had me buy a load of tonic water, though I'm guessing (Sarah - any thoughts?) that the amount of quinine in it is such that one would need to drink gallons of it before it had any effect on the coronavirus, even assuming that it is effective in pill form, anyways (about which there appears to be conflicting evidence). Still, there are things one can add to tonic water, so I'm not too fussed about that!

                          Reminds me of a story on a radio talk show last week. Apparently some bright spark at the Shanghai Brewing Co. announced on social media that his beer contains enzymes that can kill the coronavirus. Needless to say, sales went through the roof during the hour or two it took for the Chinese authorities to pull the posts down and arrest him (and probably execute him, I would guess).
                          Last edited by Leo Enticknap; 03-26-2020, 04:02 PM.


                          • #73
                            After this long, even if it is still sealed, I wouldn't trust it, especially since they used cotton on those bottles in the 80's, a practice that has since been stopped due to the increased chance of microbial growth.
                            Oh no. I just opened a new vial of Nature Way melatonin supplement (yeah, I have insomnia issues...) about a week ago and you should have seen the bigass wad of cotton I had quite a time pulling out of a 1" vial opening with my gigantic fingers. The vial itself is about 2" high by 1 1/2" wide (more or less), so with only 150 5mg tablets inside the bottle is only about 1/4 full when new.


                            • #74
                              "Filmland is full of gloom and germs," Moving Picture World reported in November 1918.

                              The Hollywood Reporter

                              Originally posted by The Hollywood Reporter
                              A massive influenza outbreak 102 years before the current pandemic shut down production and felled actors: "Pessimists croaked that this was the beginning of the end."

                              It should have been a joyous time in Hollywood. The horrific First World War was about to come to an end — in November 1918 — and the nascent silent film industry was booming, distributing pictures to more than 20,000 theaters across America. According to the Weekly Service, by 1918 some said the film industry was soon to be the fifth biggest in the country, behind agriculture, coal, steel and transportation, with an estimated capital invested of $250 million. But this rapid progress was threatened by the outbreak of an influenza pandemic, one that would claim millions of lives worldwide.

                              Much like Hollywood today amid the COVID-19 crisis, studios and theaters were forced to come to terms with a viral threat to the livelihood of the business and the lives of its employees. "Filmland is full of gloom and germs," Moving Picture World reported in November 1918. “Everyone you meet has a different cure for the flu…and in spite of this, everyone you meet has either just gotten over an attack of the flu or is just getting down with it.”

                              For months, L.A.-based studios and theater chains believed that the so-called Spanish influenza was an East Coast problem. “The situation regarding influenza is nothing like as serious here as it is in the East,” one film representative told the Los Angeles Times. “Should the local health officials ask the picture houses to close, I am sure the managers would do anything the officials desire.”

                              But the flu was moving westward. In early October, the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry, losing money because theaters across the U.S. were half-empty, announced an embargo on the release of new films for a month starting Oct. 14. L.A. theater owners, some of whom had already begun distributing gauze masks, reacted to the embargo with bravado. The legendary theater impresario Sid Grauman, however, dismissively told the Los Angeles Times that he had "plenty of films on hand, that no word had come from anyone to close and that he had not heard a single sneeze in any of his audiences."

                              On Oct. 11, L.A. City Hall ordered all theaters, motion picture houses, theaters and places of amusement closed until further notice. In all, 83 movie theaters were closed, shutting out thousands of film fans every week. “Did the young man pleasure-bent seek recreation at his favorite matinee or picture theater?” the Los Angeles Times asked. “Lo, a sign greeted him ‘closed by order of the health commissioner.’”

                              Studios were also coming to terms with the dangers of filming during the outbreak. Word arrived from New York that popular actor Bryant Washburn had infected co-star Anna Q. Nilsson while shooting Venus in the East. On Oct. 16, Frank Garbutt, vp and West Coast manager of Lasky Photoplay Corp., announced that three pictures in production were being rushed and that most of the studio would go dark for a month. The Metro, Mack Sennett and Triangle studios followed suit. Stars like Constance and Norma Talmadge agreed to forgo their salaries so that regular employees could continue to work.

                              As silent-film producer Benjamin Hampton told it, panic set in as the still-young "studios closed entirely, or operated on part time, and pessimists croaked that this was the beginning of the end." Popular Metro matinee idol Harold Lockwood, 31, died of the influenza Oct. 19, and Russia's first movie star, Vera Kholodnaya, would also succumb to the Spanish flu in Odessa, breaking the hearts of millions of European fans.

                              Even as the flu’s power became heartbreakingly evident, some smaller studios realized that shutting down even for a month was a financial impossibility. In mid-October, Robert Brunton of the Brunton Studios on Melrose Avenue banded together with smaller studios including the Kitty Gordon Film Company and the Helen Keller Film Company. They wrote an impassioned letter to California Congressman H.Z. Osborne asking for cooperation in keeping the film industry going. “A large majority of motion-picture studio work here is done outdoors and is less dangerous during the epidemic than any other industry,” Brunton wrote on behalf of the consortium. He claimed that if his employees were not paid, they would not be able to keep up with their Liberty Bond payments, thus damaging the war effort.

                              It appears that some film work had resumed by late October even though influenza was still ravaging L.A. On Oct. 24, the L.A. chief of police issued rules prohibiting crowd scenes in movies, and that spectators congregating around film shoots were to be dispersed. In early November, silent superstar Lillian Gish was struck with the flu while working at Sunset Studio. Her sister and fellow actor, Dorothy, would also be infected, as would actress Olive Thomas and screenwriter Frances Marion. (A young Walt Disney also contracted the flu and survived.) Lillian Gish would later make light of her illness, claiming that "the only disagreeable thing was that it left me with flannel nightgowns — have to wear them all winter — horrible things."

                              In late November, director Allan Dwan, who had recently recovered from the flu and was still looking ill, bragged to a Motion Picture World reporter during an interview at Sunset Studios of the cast he had just put together for the film Cheating Cheaters. The roster included Jack Holt, Clara Kimball Young, and the recently flu-stricken Anna Q. Nilsson. The reporter was shocked by impressive roster in such a perilous time.

                              “’Where,’ I asked, ‘and how did you get them?’

                              ‘Flu,’ said Dwan. ‘many of the studios are closed, and as all the players would rather work than not, I had the pick of a big flock.’”

                              According to Richard Koszarski, author of Flu Season: Moving Picture World Reports on Pandemic Influenza, 1918-1919, security guards at some studios sprayed down every visitor with disinfectant, while some people believed that a "yeast cake a day keeps influenza away."

                              At the Robert Brunton Studios on Melrose, a Red Cross nurse sprinkled guests with powders, while producer Thomas Ince gave all his employees masks that “interfere to a considerable extent with cigarette smoking.” Motion Picture World reported, "Mack Sennett has equipped his forces with little bags of powdered camphor asafetida and other sweet-smelling unguents. The bags are worn around the neck just south of the wishbone, and everyone on the place, including Teffy the dog, Pepper the cat and seven kittens are wearing them."

                              Although many (including the Gish sisters) were still seriously ill or would soon become ill (Hollywood's undisputed queen Mary Pickford among them), the Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 2 that L.A. theaters, which claimed to have lost a million dollars a week ($17.1 million in today's dollars) during the seven weeks of closure, were to reopen. The "funless season" had ended, and Angelenos could "rest assured that … the motion picture palaces have made active preparations for a rousing welcome for us. Their managers have chosen the liveliest, the snappiest, the brightest and the best pictures for our delectation!”

                              By early spring of 1919, the pandemic had slowed. Soon the studios were running to capacity, and the temporary losses suffered because of the flu were tempered by the mad entertainment crush and money rush of the 1920s. The Spanish flu pandemic quickly became a sad footnote in movie history.


                              • #75
                                There was a NATO webinar yesterday in which John Fithian gave an educated guess as to how long we'll all be shut down. He said his best guess is, we should expect to be closed through May and possibly into the first week or two of June, with the rest of June being a ramp-up period and we should hopefully be going full steam ahead by July. I hope he's right.

                                Of course this is all predicated on the virus behaving as the experts predict it will, and people not being idiots, so I'm taking all predictions with a grain of salt.