150,000-Square-Foot Empire To Bow in 2005
For Miami Suburb
KENDALL, Fla. – Muvico Theatres
announced Oct. 1 that its prototype 150,000-square-foot
Empire 20-plex would
see a 2005 opening in the Miami suburb of Kendall.
Described as “one-stop entertainment in a lavish
complex with an Ancient World theme,” the facility
will feature an upscale restaurant, a 12-lane bowling
alley, a pool and darts parlor, a gaming and video
rooms and stadium-style seating in all auditoria.
The Kendall exterior
will feature a façade with
stone columns reminiscent of ancient Rome. The interior
will feature oversized mythological characters including
Poseidon, the minotaur and the Trojan Horse, while the
game room will feature video-simulation games such as
Ben Hur-style chariot rides.
The complex’s entertainment features will be designed
to cut across demographic lines, appealing to young
families, single adults and couples,” said circuit
president and CEO Hamid Hashemi.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based
Muvico currently operates 233 screens at 12 sites in
Florida, Maryland and
Six Criteria Established
Regal Sets New
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Regal Entertainment Group (REG)
announced Sept. 19 a new process for determining appropriate
content for video games located within its cinemas. The
process will employ new criteria, consisting of six guidelines.
REG management will evaluate all video games and those
containing any of the following will be excluded from
placement within the circuit’s cinemas:
• human-like characters suffering bloodshed
• graphic depictions of sexual behavior or nudity;
• violence toward law enforcement officers or figures of
• graphically violent character deaths of any kind;
• obscene or foul language of any kind; and
* the promotion or glorification of illegal activity.
“Parents of our younger moviegoers have concerns
about the content of certain video games,” noted REG
co-CEO Mike Campbell. “We want to do the best
job in evaluating which video games are acceptable
majority of our patrons.”
REG will also prominently display the voluntary ratings
established by the Parental Advisory System; color-coded
labels alert parents and players to game content.
Consumer information about the advisory system, including
posters and a “Guide to Families” brochure,
are available at all REG sites where video games
are in operation.
San Francisco Landmark
SAN FRANCISCO – Century Theatres’ Empire Cinema triplex in San
Francisco’s West Portal neighborhood began operating in September as
the circuit’s sixth CinéArts facility, shifting its programming
to include independent, documentary, foreign language and art films.
Located at 85 West Portal Ave., the Empire
opened as the Portal Theatre on Dec, 25, 1925. In October
1974, it was remodeled and reopened as the Empire.
Current features include rocker love seats and digital sound.
San Rafael-based Century operates over 900 screens in 11 states.
Seven Films In Seven Days
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Harkins Theatres celebrated its 70th anniversary
with a 7-day film festival featuring seven of the most popular films from the
past seven decades.
The traveling festival visited seven Harkins sites
over seven days, Sept. 19 through Sept. 25. Each facility
screened one film for a reduced rate of $3.
Titles included “Pulp Fiction,” “Life is Beautiful,” “The
Wizard of Oz,” “Gladiator,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Independence
Day” and “Titanic.” All net proceeds were donated to the
Arizona Animal Welfare League.
Participating Arizona sites included: Valley Art, Tempe;
Camelview 5, Scottsdale; Superstition Springs 25, Mesa;
Arizona Mills 24, Tempe; North Arrowhead Fountain
18, Peoria; Chandler Fashion Center 20, Chandler; and the Scottsdale 101,
For Open-Captioning Efforts
Bear Tooth Hailed
By Deaf Community
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Bear Tooth Theatrepub in Anchorage, Alaska, received
the 2003 Deaf & Hard of Hearing Community (DHHC) Accessibility Award at
a Sept. 26 awards ceremony held at the Arc of Anchorage.
Director of film programming Rand Thornsley and cinema
manager Deb Essex received a plaque in recognition of
the facility’s efforts to provide open-captioned
movies and access to the DHHC of Alaska.
“The open-captioned movies shown by the Bear Tooth
Theatrepub & Grill
provide vital access to the over 60,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in Alaska,” noted
DHHC team leader Alan Cartwright.
Specialty Giant Now In Hands of
ANGELES – 2929 Entertainment, co-owned by Internet
moguls Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, announced on Sept.
24 the purchase of Landmark Theatres, the nation’s
largest arthouse circuit, from Oaktree Capital Management.
existing management team was expected to remain in
place. Los Angeles-based Landmark operates
185 screens at 54 sites in 14 states.
After selling Broadcast.com,
the Internet company Cuban and Wagner founded, the
duo teamed to form
and soon thereafter acquired the extensive film
and TV library of Rysher Entertainment from Cox Enterprises.
They also co-founded the high-definition national
2929 is currently in
post-production on its second film, the 2004 Warner
Bros. release “Criminal” starring
Maggie Gyllenhaal and John C. Reilly.
Cuban and Wagner’s 2929 Entertainment also holds
interests in Magnolia Pictures and Lions Gate Entertainment.
Separately, Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise.
“Our goal is to
aggressively leverage our ability to produce our own
films, promote and display them on HDNet and
HDNet Movies and exhibit them at Landmark,” said
Wagner. “We think this acquisition provides a unique
opportunity to make a significant impact in the art and
independent film, HDTV production and digital exhibition
Chain To Grow Quickly
Create New Circuit
SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Metropolitan Theatres and Rocky
Mountain Resort Cinemas announced Sept. 26 the formation
of a new circuit, Metropolitan/Rocky Mountain Cinemas.
The new limited partnership was launched with 15 screens
at three existing facilities: a 5-plex in Aspen, Colo.,
a twin in Ketchum, Idaho and an 8-plex in Whistler, British
Columbia – all previously overseen by Sun Valley,
Idaho-based Rocky Mountain.
Metropolitan/Rocky Mountain is slated to unveil by
Christmas its new 8-plex in Park City, Utah.
Four additional projects are slated for later openings
in ski resorts throughout the Western United States,
including two gestating Idaho multis: a 6-plex in
Hailey and an 11-plex in Boise.
The joint venture is also planning an additional four
sites in Western Canada, including a 7-plex in Squamish,
All new facilities will feature stadium-style seating
and cafés offering
gourmet concession fare. Select locations will offer beer and wine and
private screening rooms.
Separately from the partnership, Los Angeles-based
Metropolitan will continue to operate its 69 screens
at 17 California and Colorado sites.
On its own, Rocky Mountain will continue to operate
The Wyo, its single-screen arthouse in Laramie, Wyo.
Programs Arthouse Fare
ATLANTA – Landmark Theatres on Oct. 10 finalized
renovations of its newly acquired Midtown Art Cinema
8-plex in Midtown Atlanta.
Landmark, which purchased the former Regal Midtown
Promenade Cinemas at 931 Monroe Drive in May, kept the
site open while completing renovations.
Seats were relocated in all auditoriums allowing for
better sightlines and increased legroom. Cupholders were
added to all seats and a redesigned
relocated concession stand was created as well as more wheelchair-friendly
spaces in the box office and concessions area.
Concession fare is being expanded to include fresh
baked items, a full espresso bar, gourmet candies, Italian
sodas and the usual
and soda favorites.
The facility now offers first-run independent, foreign-language,
documentary and restored classic films, as well as seasonal
film festivals including
on Film” gay and lesbian film festival held Nov. 12-16.
Landmark currently operates 185 screens at 54 sites.
16-Plex To 20
BRIGHTON, Mich. – MJR Theatres commenced construction
Sept. 15 to add four new auditoriums to its existing
Brighton Towne Square Cinema 16-plex in
Completion of the 4,240-seat 20-plex was expected by
the end of January. The site will remain fully operational
Oak Park, Mich.-based MJR currently operates 79 screens
at six sites.
New Titles For Syufys
Promoted To President
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Century Theatres announced
Oct. 8 the promotion of COO David Shesgreen to president
and COO, while Raymond W. Syufy stepped
up to circuit chairman and CEO and Joseph Syufy was elevated
to vice chairman and CEO.
Coming from Pacific Theatres, Shesgreen began his career
with Century 27 years ago as a film buyer. In 1996 he
president of programming
and corporate development and in 1998 was promoted to
As president, Shesgreen will continue to oversee programming
with senior vice president Robert J. Lenihan, as well
as finance, legal,
development, operations, marketing and analysis.
“David has been responsible for tremendous insight
and leadership over the years and we are most fortunate
to have him in the role of president of Century Theatres,” said
In addition, Victor Castillo, who had previously been
running corporate developing and construction, has been
to chief development
“I will continue to share the responsibilities
of running Century Theatres and CinéArts with my partner Joseph Syufy,” said Raymond W. Syufy. “We
are continuing to expand and grow, bringing new state-of-the-art theatres to