Circuit Will Near The 200 Mark
79 By Year’s
WEST CHESTER, Ohio – Dallas-based
exhibitor Rave Motion Pictures launched its 2003 expansion
on June 27
with the opening of the West Chester Village 18 in
West Chester, Ohio.
The circuit, which
currently operates 118 screens at eight sites, says
it will construct 61 screens at four
additional multis by the end of 2003.
include the East Baton Rouge 16 in Baton Rouge, La.,
the Destin Commons 14 in Destin,
the Rave Motion Pictures 13 at Ridgmar in Fort
Worth, Texas, and The Shoppes at Grande Prairie 18
The West Chester
site, situated at the southeast corner of Interstate
75 and Union Center Boulevard,
wall-to-wall screens, 18-inch stadium-style risers
with 48-inch row-depths, plush seats with retractable
armrests, digital surround sound and a plethora
of concession selections.
Indiana Earns Stadium-Style
RICHMOND, Ind. – Kerasotes Theatres shuttered on
March 28 its Richmond, Ind., 11-plex for major renovations.
The site was expected to reopen
in July as the new ShowPlace 11.
“The ShowPlace 11 will
feature a long list of amenities which will
provide our patrons a state-of-the-art moviegoing
experience,” said circuit chief operating officer
Upgrades include stadium-style
seating, new chairs with cupholder armrests,
state-of-the-art projection and digital
sound, a larger lobby, a new concession bar and arcade,
and a new exterior façade with new signage.
One of the 10 largest U.S. circuits,
Chicago-based Kerasotes currently operates
540 screens at 77 sites throughout
Portland Cinema Art
Regal Bows 6-Plex;
Adds 5 To Mich. 10
PORTLAND, Ore. – Regal Entertainment Group (REG)
on April 7 announced plans to expand its United Artists
Crossroads 10 in Portage, Mich. into a 15-plex, a move
to follow the June opening of its Downtown Portland 6-plex.
Portland’s new 1,100-seat Pioneer
Place Stadium 6 features stadium-style seating, plush
recliner seats with retractable cupholder armrests and
digital surround-sound systems.
The 32,000-square-foot site primarily
Cinema Art” specialty films.
The Crossroads 10 in Portage, Mich.,
earmarked for renovation and expansion, is located
off Interstate 95. Plans include
five new stadium-style auditoriums, as well as a retrofit
of the existing 10 auditoriums to stadium-style seating.
“We are proud to be a part of
the Crossroads Mall business district and with this
renovation we will be able to
better serve the moviegoers on the south side of Kalamazoo
for years to come,” noted circuit senior vice president
of marketing Dick Westerling.
Slated to open in 2004’s first
quarter, the 2,950-seat facility will also receive
a major remodeling of its
lobby and other public areas.
The plex will offer plush high-backed
rocking-recliner seats with retractable cupholder
armrests, digital surround
sound, “E-Z Ticket” kiosks and fully stocked
concession stands offering value combos.
Regal currently operates 6,159 screens at 567 sites in
Four For Ohio’s Oldest Capital
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Columbus, Ohio-based Classic
Theatres launched on March 28 its Classic Theatres 4
site in Chillicothe, Ohio (which, some 50 miles south
of Columbus, once served as the state’s first capital
“Basic,” “About Schmidt” and “Tears
of the Sun” were among the films attending the
reopening of the plex, which shuttered almost three
The quad, with auditoriums ranging
in size from 150 to 220 seats, is located in the
Shawnee Square shopping
center and features wall-to-wall screens, a full concession
area, new seats with cupholder armrests and digital
“We think it will do really well
when people realize the theatre is back open again,” said
circuit president Marlin Hambrick.
Classic Theatres currently operates
19 screens at six Ohio sites.
Georgia Couple Refurbishes
THOMASTON, Ga. – Amy and Malcolm Neal, owners of the Downtown Thomaston,
Ga., Ritz Theatre, celebrated in April the reopening of the single’s 68-seat
The year-long renovations brought new
seats with retractable cupholder armrests and folding
countertop-style tables, as well as new aisle and step
lighting, and new carpeting and drapes.
The balcony, reserved for over-21 patrons,
features its own concession and restroom area as well
as beer and wine service.
Aside from 20 of the original 1930s seats
that remain on the sidewalls as mementos, all old seats
were donated to local organizations.
The Neals, who previously owned and operated
the 1912 Kiva Theatre in Las Vegas, N.M., also operate
a café within the Thomaston site that serves lunch
during the day and offers movie patrons coffee and deserts
The couple began the initial restoration
of the 420-seat single in 1997. Changes included new
projection and sound equipment and a restoration of the
facility’s original tin ceiling.
The Ritz, open seven days a week, will
continue to program first-run releases as well as occasional
Cinemagoers Not Free To Ring
Ban On Cell Phones
BOSTON – Following New York City’s March ban of cell phone use in
moviehouses – the first-ever such ordinance passed in the United States – the
Boston City Council proposed a similar ban at an April 4 council meeting.
The ringing of cell phones, pagers and
other electronic devices in any “places
of public performance” – such as cinemas, museums and comedy shows – would
result in the confiscation of the device, as well as a potential fine of $50.
The legislation was set to be reviewed
by Boston mayor Thomas Menino within months.
FBI Seizes Illegal DVDs
U.S. Pirate Poses
As MPAA Investigator
LOS ANGELES – As nations abroad continue the fight against piracy, U.S.
FBI agents arrested a man in Los Angeles April 22 on charges of illegally videotaping
movies at screenings with the intent of selling copies before the movies were
released in cinemas.
Johnny Ray Gasca, 33, claimed in a journal
to be earning up to $4,500 a week from selling illegally
copied films, and found ways to place his name on guest
lists for studio test screenings.
At a screening of Warner Bros.’ “Cradle 2 the Grave,” Gasca
told studio officials that he was an investigator with the Motion Picture
Association of America (MPAA) who was training others
in how to spot camcording, according
to an FBI affidavit.
If convicted of misdemeanor copyright
infringement and the felony charges of witness intimidation
and using a false name, Gasca could face up to
The MPAA estimates that the film industry suffers a loss of over $3 billion
every year as a result of movie piracy.
Only 17 ‘Nay’ Votes
Illinois May Declare
Popcorn State Snack
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Moviegoers’ all-time favorite snack just got
something to pop about.
A bill establishing popcorn as the official
state snack of Illinois was passed by the state Senate
with a vote of 56-0 March 25, and breezed through the
May 7 with 98-17 approval. The kernel king was expected to receive from Gov.
Rod Blagojevich a final signature within months.
In an attempt to boost interest in civic
affairs, a teacher at a Joliet, Ill., elementary school
noted to her second and third graders that Illinois,
its Tully Monster state fossil and white oak state tree, is missing a state
snack. After polling more than 300 people for their favorite munchie, the
students created a Power Point presentation – declaring popcorn as the snack favorite – that
later made its way to state senator Larry Walsh.
“The second- and third-grade students
at Cunningham School in Joliet should be very proud of
themselves today,” said Walsh. “Their efforts on
behalf of this bill prove that anyone, regardless of age, can affect change in
Illinois currently ranks third in popcorn
production in the nation.