62 New Screens For New
York & Massachusetts
Regal Plans Plexes
In Four ‘ThEATeries’
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Regal Entertain-ment Group unveiled
on Jan. 22 plans to build three new facilities in Upstate
New York and another in Kingston, Mass. All four are
expected to bow next spring.
Planned New York locations include the
Sangertown Square 14-plex in New Hartford, the Pyramid
Mall 14-plex in
Ithaca and the Poughkeepsie Galleria 16-plex in Poughkeepsie.
The Kingston 18-plex site will be located at Independence
Mall, serving the Bay State’s South Shore.
All but the Sangertown plex will replace
slightly smaller, non-stadium-style Regal plexes currently
the same malls.
In a partnership with Syracuse, N.Y.-based
Pyramid Management Group, Regal’s new facilities will serve as components
of Pyramid “thEATeries,” described as environments “that
will combine fine dining, interactive retail and state-of-the-art
“These new thEATeries will be entertainment
destinations for the regions that they serve,” said circuit
senior vice president of marketing and advertising Dick
Westerling, adding that “the theatres will enhance
the moviegoing experience for our loyal patrons and attract
new moviegoers from across the area.”
All facilities will include stadium-style
seating, plush, high-backed rocker reclining seats with
and digital surround sound. Sites will also feature the
Regal Crown Club loyalty program, computerized box offices
and “Express Kiosks” offering fully-automated
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Regal currently
operates 6,061 screens at 555 sites in 39 states.
40 New Mid-South Screens
Malco To Open 3
Sites, Renovate 4
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Malco Theatres on Dec. 11 announced
plans for the construction of three new facilities and
major renovations for four of its existing facilities
in the South:
Work was expected to begin in April on a Columbus, Miss.,
9-plex that will operate as part of Kenlan Development’s
Columbus Commons. This facility is expected to replace
eight screens at four Malco sites in the same market.
Construction of a new 10-plex is expected to begin before
summer on the circuit’s recently-acquired property
in Olive Branch, Miss.
Construction on a new 12-plex in Fayetteville, Ark.,
is expected to commence before year’s end. It
will replace eight Malco screens operating at two Fayetteville
Work is underway to add four screens to the circuit’s
12-plex in Owensboro, Ky.
• Five new screens will be added to the Malco 12-plex in
• Malco is in the process of adding a bar, a kitchen, a
fireplace and stadium-style seating to its Ridgeway
quad in Memphis, Tenn.
The circuit is planning for Memphis’ Paradiso the
addition of glass-fronted “private party suites” and
the cinema’s own ice cream parlor.
All new sites are expected to feature stadium-style
seating, plush rocker seats, wall-to-wall curved screens,
sound, large video arcades, lounge areas with café table
seating, Internet cafes, private party rooms and expanded
Memphis, Tenn.-based Malco currently operates 292 screens
at 36 sites throughout the mid-South.
Home State Opening in Texas
Rave Chain Revs
13 For Fort Worth
FORT WORTH, Texas – Rave Motion Pictures celebrated
the Dec. 17 grand opening of its Ridgmar 13-plex in West
Fort Worth, Texas, with a midnight screening of “The
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” followed
by a ribbon cutting by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
at 10 a.m.
The facility features an “eye-catching, art deco,
neon-infused exterior,” according to a circuit
press release, while the lobby houses a large concession
area with digital menus and in-lobby screens for watching
movie trailers and virtual video games.
All auditoria feature stadium-style seating with 18-inch
risers, rocker seats with retractable cupholders, 4-foot
row depths and wall-to-wall screens.
Prior to the opening, Rave hosted a private screening
for cinema construction crews, its fellow Ridgmar Mall
tenants and members of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Proceeds from a separate screening went to benefit
the Big Brothers/Big Sisters charity.
“Ridgmar 13 is especially exciting for us, since
it is close to home and our first in Tarrant County,” said
Rave national marketing director Jeremy Devine. “Wherever
our theatres are, they become the theatre of choice
Dallas-based Rave currently operates 11 sites in eight
At NATO Convention
Solomon, Greidinger, Caro, Davis & Anderson
At ShoWest 2004
LAS VEGAS – Exhibitors Teddy Solomon and Moshe Greidinger
were honored as ShoWester of the Year and International
Exhibitor of the Year, respectively, at ShoWest 2004 while
longtime NATO exec MaryAnn Grasso Anderson was slated to
receive the InterSociety Ken Mason Award. Filmmakers John
Davis and Niki Caro were honored as the convention’s
producer and director of the year, respectively.
Teddy Solomon, a founder of Gulf States
Theatres, was slated to receive his award at the convention’s
March 23 opening ceremony.
A native of McComb, Miss., and a graduate
of Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, Solomon began
career as a child working at silent McComb moviehouses
built by his father and uncle in 1927. After serving
three and a half years in the Army during World War II,
returned to his home state and went to work with his
father. In 1948, he began to build drive-ins and formed
While building and acquiring nearly 60 drive-ins, his
circuit was also busy building indoor cinemas, primarily
towns. Atlanta-based Fuqua Industries purchased the circuit
in 1972, though Solomon would buy the circuit back in
1975. In 1980 he phased out all of the circuit’s
drive-ins to concentrate on building indoor shopping
in the Southeast.
Solomon sold the 235-screen circuit to United
Artists in 1986. Ten years later, Solomon and his sons
shopping centers, and in 1996, he raised the first stadium-style
20-plex in New Orleans. He went on to construct four
additional multiplexes in Louisiana, and in March 2003
sold the five
sites to Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC Entertainment.
A past president of NATO and a board member
of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneer Foundation, Solomon
serves in various capacities with Variety Club International.
He helped to establish the first Louisiana Film and Video
Commission, which he continues to serve as chairman.
Inducted at ShowEast into the entertainment hall of fame
trade division of the entertainment industry, he was
in 1974 named one of the Ten Most Outstanding Men of
and in 1996 named New Orleans Man of the Year for his
efforts raising awareness of Crohn’s Disease.
Solomon, said ShoWest co-managing director
Mitch Neuhauser, “is
one of the true greats in the industry,” “one
who has played an instrumental role in the evolution of
it over the years, and most importantly, one who is truly
revered by his peers throughout the industry.”
Previous recipients of the ShoWester Award
include Phil Harris, Kurt Hall, Michael Campbell, Raymond & Joseph
Syufy and Bruce Corwin.
Moshe “Mooky” Greidinger, CEO of I.T. International
Theatres, was set to receive the International Exhibitor
of the Year award during the convention’s March 22 “international
After serving three years in the Israeli
defense forces, Greidinger joined his family’s business
in 1976 and has served as CEO of I.T. for the past 15 years.
serves as chairman of the board of governors of the Hebrew
Reali School of Haifa, board member of Hamacabi in Haifa
and Honorary Consul of Norway to the North of Israel.
He also supports a variety of other charities in Israel
In 1982, Greidinger led the team that opened
first multi. Operating under the name Rav Chen, I.T. has
stood as the leading exhibitor in Israel with 120 screens.
I.T. started international operations in 1997 by opening
a site in Hungary, and thereafter expanded into the Czech
Republic, Poland and Bulgaria. The circuit’s 233-screen
Central European division operates under the name Cinema
With a total of 353 screens in four territories,
I.T. plans to reach 500 screens in five territories within
MaryAnn Grasso Anderson, a NATO exec since
1988 who today serves as the association’s vice president and executive
director, was set to receive InterSociety’s Ken Mason
Award at the fete’s opening day breakfast.
Born in New York and raised in California, Anderson graduated
Phi Beta Kappa in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree
in art history from the University of California Riverside.
She earned a masters degree in library science from the
University of Oregon in 1974.
Upon receipt of her masters, she began an
11-year stint as director of the Warner Research Collection,
production research service designed to assist writers,
directors, producers, scenic artists and designers with
background research. In 1985, she joined the CBS television
network as manager of its docudrama department, a post
she maintained until joining NATO as executive director
three years later.
She is a voting member of the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a member of the
of Association Executives and InterSociety. She also
serves on the board of directors of the Will Rogers Motion
Pioneers. She has served as a voting judge for the Hollywood
Reporter Key Art Awards as well as AMPAS’ foreign-language
She was awarded the Dolby Laboratories STACE
Award in 2002 and honored in 1999 by Tripod Captioned Films
in promoting access for deaf and hard of hearing audiences.
She has served as a lecturer for the American Film
Institute and the UCLA Theatre Arts Extension.
Orlando, Lincoln Sites
36 For Florida & R.I.
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Cinemaworld announced in February plans to construct
two 16-plexes, in Orlando, Fla., and Lincoln, R.I.
The new Orlando site will be located in
the Hunter’s Creek area in southwest
Orange County at the corner of John Young Parkway and State Route 417.
Situated in a suburb of Providence, the
New England multi will make its home in the Lincoln Mall
at the intersection of Route 116, Route 146 and Interstate
Both facilities, slated to open in November,
will feature stadium-style seating with 18-inch risers,
high-backed rocker seats with cupholder armrests
state-of-the-art surround sound. The specialty concession stands are
expected to provide gourmet
hot dogs, pizza, chicken fingers, cheese sticks and french fries.
Melbourne, Fla.-based Cinemaworld currently
operates 46 screens at four sites.
Newnan Awaits Multi
14 For Atlanta Suburb
NEWNAN, Ga. – Consolidated Theatres announced on
Feb. 3 plans to develop a 14-plex in the Atlanta suburb
of Newnan, Ga.
Described as “modern and elaborate,” the
multi, which is expected to bow this autumn, will be
a part of the Newnan Crossing Center development currently
being planned by Georgia-based Thomas Enterprises.
The 50,560-square-foot facility will feature stadium-style
seating with 18-inch risers and high-backed rocker seats
with retractable cupholders. Auditoria will also feature
wall-to-wall screens and digital surround sound.
will include specialty coffees, Pizzeria Uno pizza and
Coca-Cola product beverages. The facility will also offer
the circuit’s MovieAwards consumer loyalty program.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Consolidated currently operates
222 screens at 16 sites in Virginia, North Carolina
and South Carolina.
Hayward Hails 12
Oakland Suburb Plex
HAYWARD, Calif. – Century Theatres announced on Feb. 4 plans to begin construction
late this year on a new 12-plex in Hayward, Calif., 15 miles south of Oakland.
Located at the intersection of B Street and Foothill
Boulevard, the multi will be part of the downtown area’s
18,200-square-foot Cinema Place project, which is also
slated to house a Cost Plus World Market and restaurants
Expected to open late 2005, the plex will feature stadium-style
seating, rocker love seats, digital surround sound, wall-to-wall
screens and a Cinema Café.
“We are delighted to be developing another project
with Century Theatres as the anchor,” noted Brad Blake, CEO of Blake Hunt Ventures, the developer
of Cinema Place. “We believe Cinema Place will be a catalyst for the renaissance
of Downtown Hayward.”
San Rafael, Calif.-based Century currently operates
over 900 screens in 11 states.
Raises 1, Breaks Down 3
Four Midwest Sites
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Goodrich Quality Theaters plans to begin renovations
this spring on four sites in Michigan and Indiana.
Major renovations to the chain’s 6-plex in Canton,
Mich., including the addition of a seventh auditorium,
were expected to commence in May.
Slated to be up and running by Thanksgiving, the new
Canton auditorium will feature stadium-style seating
with 18-inch risers, high-backed rocker seats
with retractable armrests, a 35-foot high ceiling and a 50-foot screen.
The existing six auditoriums will be retrofitted with
stadium-style seating with
The circuit is expected to begin auditorium renovations
in May for its Bay City, Mich., 6-plex and Lafayette,
Ind., 10-plex. Construction should
in April on the circuit’s 9-plex in Anderson, Ind.
Plans include “unsplitting” one auditorium at each site that had
previously been cut in two, reconfiguring the multis into a 5-plex, a 9-plex
and an 8-plex, respectively.
“I’m going back and undoing what I did 15 years ago,” said
circuit president Robert Goodrich. “After realizing that people want big
screens and stadium-style seating, I will focus on giving a larger presentation.”
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Goodrich currently operates
279 screens at 33 sites.
Free Trade Between U.S. & Lands
EIC Applauds Negotiations
With Australia, Central America
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Entertainment Industry Coalition For Free Trade
(EIC) applauded the successful Feb. 11 conclusion of the U.S.-Australia Free
Trade Agreement (AFTA), ending ongoing negotiations between the two countries’ trade
officials. The conclusion followed the Dec. 17 approval of the
U.S. and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Pending congressional approval, the AFTA will improve
protections against piracy overseas, includes strong
commitments to enforce
the term of protection for copyrighted material. Over time,
the agreement will strip away barriers to trade, eliminate
and promote investment
and economic growth.
“The agreement will benefit the hard working men
and women in the entertainment industry by ensuring continued
access to the Australian market now and into the
future,” noted the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chairman
and CEO Jack Valenti.
“NATO supports these two trade agreements and
similar efforts with other countries. Free Trade Agreements
help exhibitors who operate in these territories
in two significant ways,” said NATO president John Fithian. “First,
the agreements help to strengthen laws and enforcement efforts to combat movie
piracy. Second, the agreements will eliminate over time various tariffs and other
import restrictions that hinder the ability to construct and operate cinemas
The CAFTA agreement was signed by government representatives
from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
“In early 2002 President Bush put forward his
vision for the region, a free trade agreement with Central
America that expands economic freedom and opportunity
for all our peoples, and which supports regional stability,
democracy and economic
development,” said U.S. trade representative Robert
Zoellick in a U.S. press release.
began last January, and today we have fulfilled that
vision with a cutting-edge, modern FTA designed to tear
down the tariff
walls that block trade between the United States and
Central America, between friends and neighbors.”
Established March 13, 2003, the EIC, comprised of NATO,
the MPAA, the Recording Industry of America and other
leading entertainment-industry associations,
as well as more than a dozen major entertainment
companies, was established
to support the efforts of the U.S. government in
of free trade agreements with other nations, and to
see that those agreements
by Congress (In Focus, May
Cinemagic In Merrimack
Zyacorp Raises 12 In
New England Expansion
MERRIMACK, N.H. – Zyacorp Entertainment announced Jan. 16 that construction
on its new Cinemagic 12-plex in Merrimack, N.H., is underway.
to open its doors in June, the 36,500-square-foot, stadium-style
facility will be situated on a hilltop at exit 11 off
the F.E. Everett Turnpike, five minutes from Downtown
Manchester, N.H.-based Zyacorp currently operates 21
screens at two sites, in Salisbury, Mass., and Saco,
Maine, and plans to develop other New England locations.