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March 05, 2007

CineMagic deal to premier?

Last Monday I called up Steve Laninga of CineMagic Theatres to check into his company's projects here in Rochester.

I was particularly interested in its plan to build a third theater in south Rochester to compete against Weherenberg Theater that is going up in the Maine Street development along U.S. 63.

I was also interested in what the plan is for the kitchen at the Chateau, which CineMagic closed down when it bought Chateau from the Chafoulias Cos.

Laninga told me he did not have anything for me on those topics. Hwoever, he said he would have an announcement late in the week. When I checked with him on Friday (my interpretation of 'late in the week'), he said the announcement "was not done cooking." He said to call him this week.

So look for movie theater news of some sort this week.


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While I like the idea of having a movie theater on the south side on town, I hope that if they both build they can both make it. Otherwise if and when one or both shuts down, those type of buildings take a long time to fill and just become eyesores. Case in point Cinema 3, Barclay Square, Apache, Galleria.

Actually, Apache was torn down and not left empty. Same with Barclay Square. Galleria should have been turned into a discount theater but the Cinema is the only chance at that. Anyone game?

Actually Tony, the Barclay Square movie theaters sat empty for a long time before the building was "remodeled".

I have to agree with Marc on this one. As nice as it would be to see theaters on the south end of town, I just don't see how Rochester will support two more. Maybe if they got a larger variety of movies in town - *hint, hint*.

How about a dinner movie theater? or a budget theater?

Sorry Chris, Barclay was not empty. It was a discount theater until it was torn down. If it was empty, it wasn't for long, maybe a month or two at the most and only because Barclay was going in a different direction.

What kind of movies do you want? They already run all the main stream films, and the smaller films often are not available to the Rochester market as we just aren't that big of a town yet? Sometimes some of these smaller films only play in 1 or 2 theatres in the entire country...Why do you think Rochester is worthy of playing these smaller or more limited releases?

Which types of films come to a particular city has nothing to do with the size of the city or the decisions of studios. It has to do with aggressive (in the positive sense) theater managers working with good distributors. If I had the cash, I'd love nothing more than to put the Cinema 3 back to its original Cinerama screen and turn it into a classic/art film house.

Rochester has the market; it just needs someone with the passion and devotion (and yeah, cash) to make it happen. However, I don't see Rochester having the market to support four gogolplexes all showing the latest "Fantastic 4" on three screens apiece.

I have a friend in the industry and he has worked in the business for a long time, and things he says have changed over the years...There are just too many theatres this day and age to play everywhere...Studios are afraid to release the smaller market films wider because of cost. Theatres in Rochester are doing very well in playing such smaller released films such as Last King Of Scotland, Notes On A Scandal, Amazing Grace, Black Snake Moan, Pan's Labyrinth, etc. The problem the theatres run into is that movies like Pan's Labyrinth, which is a wonderful film, did no business in this town...I was at a showing at the Hollywood, and they had only 5 people for a 9pm show on Saturday night...Not too impressive...Hard to make ends meet if that is all the support you get..

I agree, Jim. I'm amused when I see requests for better selection,etc...the business climate is such that if it could make money, it would be making money.

the cinema3 would make a great dinner it

"I was at a showing [of Pan's Labyrinth] at the Hollywood, and they had only 5 people for a 9pm show on Saturday night...Not too impressive..."

If the movie was still as horribly underprojected as it was when it first opened there, I'm not surprised. Cinemagic has a reputation for turning down the brightness of its projectors to save money--at the cost of muddy, detail-less movies. It was amazing how much more of Pan's Labyrinth could be seen in the clips on TV than in the theater at Cinemagic.

If theaters want art movies to succeed in this town, first they have to care about them enough to make them worth going to. An underprojected film shoved down to one of the living-room-sized theaters at the end of the wing and shown for only a week is not going to draw audiences.

Yeah, Cinemagic does have projector problems. Mainly related to their projection systems being 20+ yrs old. I can't tell you how I know this but I do. It seems when you open a new theater you should get new projectors.

when i went to watch Blood Diamond the projector overheated 4 times and we lost picture, but still had sound. they never backed the film back to where we missed the scenes. however, they gave a us a free pass...whoop-de-doo. i haven't went back since. i am really bummed they own chateau...and now opening another...

Yeah, it's almost impossible to back up a film. You pretty much have to just keep on going.

My friend in the industry says it is nearly impossible to back up a film and re-start this. The films are on 35mm reels. This is not a DVD or VCR where you can just hit the rewind button. Also, for all you smart people out there, Pan's Labyrinth played for almost a month at CineMagic. It must have done some business, otherwise, it wouldn't have stayed that long. Every movie theatre chain throughout the nation has problems with projectors. I mean, no matter how much money you spend, you can't control problems or projectors.

I have been a very loyal customer to both CineMagic Theatres and Chateau over the years. Both have their plus's and minus's. I mean, Chateau has a lot to offer, but they bring in a younger, more troublesome crowd..Why do you think they need security on the weekends...CineMagic has older projectors, that occasionally have problems, but I love their popcorn, and their manager Terry is the best...I will always stay a loyal supporter of CineMagic & Chateau..They have done the community proud, and I for one am glad to have them here!

I just talked to the Director Of Marketing at Wehrenberg Theaters. If you would like to see Independent Movies or Classic/Art Films, you need to let them know. So far, they haven't gotten any feedback from the community. Please go to
and let them know what kind of movies you would like to see in the new Movie Theater.

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