Lotus Cinemas, an international and independent film theatre, is set to open on March 25 at Parkside Town Commons in Cary, about 18 miles from Durham, North Carolina. The theatre is a new concept and is the brainchild of Paragon Theatres’ co-CEOs Michael Whalen and Michael Wilson.
Leading British independent exhibitor Reel Cinemas, which operates 15 multiplex sites with 78 screens across the United Kingdom, has retained Showtime Analytics to provide it with an operational data platform and customer communication. Reel Cinemas just entered its 21st year in business. With continued expansion plans underway, the company launched two sites during the pandemic.
The Gregg Theatre in Sedan, Kansas, is preparing to open its doors once again thanks to a dedicated team of local volunteers and some help from Christie’s professional services team. First opened in August 1938, and featuring a beautiful marquee, the Gregg Theatre was one of the first theatres to introduce talking pictures. It was remodeled over the years, and a new, larger projection screen was installed in 1947
The United Drive-In Theater Owners Association and the Independent Cinema Alliance have launched the Blockbuster Summer program, designed to celebrate, and support the comeback of the movie-going experience.
The INDY Cinema Group has signed with Strong Technical Services to provide managed services including equipment monitoring, digital signage, remote access, and reporting for its theatres in Europe.
Cinemas temporarily closed by the government lockdown are re-opening to the public with the launch of a new virtual cinema called YourScreen, a partnership of local, independent exhibitors created to stream new films and films unavailable on other digital platforms into the homes of audiences around the United kingdom. These are films that might normally play in their local cinema.
Digital movie ticketing platform Atom Tickets and the Independent Cinema Alliance representing more than 175 companies and 3,000 screens, have formed a partnership to create an easy way for independent theaters to offer contactless, digital ticketing for movie fans. The first group of theatres to sign on and activate digital ticketing under the partnership include Premiere Cinemas, with theatres in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina; CineLux Theatres in California; Rainbow Cinemas in Alabama; Park Plaza Cinema in South Carolina; and Palace Cinema and Hollywood 20 Cinema, both in Tennessee.
This is not an article I ever wanted to write. As virtually the entire world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses everywhere have tried to find ways to survive. This is particularly true of the cinema business where nearly every movie theatre has been closed – properly, for the sake of public health – by government mandate. Hardest hit have been small, independent theatres and art house cinemas. Now I have to share the news that among them, the Bethel Cinema, my local movie theatre, is shutting its doors for good.
The Art-House America Campaign, a new relief fund established by initial donations from the Criterion Collection and Janus Films, has been launched to help the more than 150 independent movie theatres across the United States that have temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of that effort, a map is being created to track specific theatres that are closed.
The Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors has submitted evidence to the nation’s Competition Bureau regarding their access to films in Canada. Across the country, independent cinemas are coming together to decry prohibitive practices, which the association sees as unfairly blocking audiences from the choice of where to see a movie. They single out Cineplex for the blame.