Comments from IanJudge

Showing 1 - 25 of 247 comments

IanJudge commented about RKO Boston Theatre on Jun 14, 2017 at 6:21 am

Good eye!

IanJudge commented about RKO Boston Theatre on Jun 14, 2017 at 6:06 am

Likely the State, which was across the street diagonally.

IanJudge commented about Theater owners complain about Interstellar film release on Oct 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Wish they had reached out to my theater – though we have Digital, we retained 35mm and specifically asked to play it on film, since we prefer it for both quality and reliability.

IanJudge commented about Return Film to the United Palace on Jun 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

If they are installing digital, they will not be returning “film” at all.

IanJudge commented about West End Pussycat Cinema on May 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Perhaps there were trademark issues?

IanJudge commented about West End Pussycat Cinema on May 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

But remember it was replaced in the 60’s by a modern futuristic (at the time) new development, a shining “new” Boston rising from the old. I am sure in anticipation of the new upscale West End, the dumpy neighborhood Lancaster was “modernized” and reprogrammed to fit this new vision of the city.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Dec 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

We have added digital projection to our screens; however we have retained 35mm film projection alongside the digital projectors in houses 3 and 4, and of course in the main theater as well, which can now present 35mm, 70mm, and now digital content. While we would have preferred to remain with film alone, it is clear that the film studios are not supporting that format. However we do intend to book film when available and certainly for classics series, etc.

IanJudge commented about Landmark Kendall Square Cinema on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm

No, the Kendall doesn’t have 70mm capabilities. In fact I have heard they are weeks away from going digital in fact. The only other 70mm theater in greater Boston is my Somerville Theatre, and we were unable to book The Master because the Kendall has ‘clearance’ over us and blocks us from playing any title they want to play.

IanJudge commented about AMC Loews Harvard Square 5 on Jun 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

It’s sad, and make no bones about who is to blame – it’s AMC. They are cash-starved and sold the building – though it is a profitable location – for a quick paycheck. They have no idea how to operate theaters that are not within their business model (modern multiplexes with 8+ screens) and so this location did not see it’s potential under their ownership. While Loews was by no means perfect, they damned well knew how to maintain and run, and most importantly BOOK smaller theaters in urban areas like this. They would occasionally give the Kendall Sq. a run for their money on wider-release art films, but not AMC – they have NO imagination.

I am sure they merely see this location as part of the same marketplace where their new 12-plex at Assembly Row will go, so they look at it as simply an old location replaced eventually by a new one, but that is a false perception of the marketplace – locals can tell you that they are very distinctly different areas despite geographic mileage being so close. These morons in Kansas City (who in many ways can massively share the blame for dumbing-down and ruining the movie-going experience on a national level) should be ashamed. But I guess that’s what you get when your CEO is from Frito-Lay and Starbucks, you get a complete and utter disregard for showmanship, and for taking the time to know your market.

IanJudge commented about AMC Loews Harvard Square 5 on Jun 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Rumor around town is that the Harvard Square Theatre has been sold by AMC Theatres to a commercial developer who does not intend to keep the building in use as a theater but will instead most likely demolish it or redevelop it. We shall see what happens…

IanJudge commented about Ave Atque Vale: Let's hear it for skilled projectionists as they pass into history on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

Interesting and sad to say the least. I’d also argue that the continuous consolidation of the country’s largest exhibitors has hastened the demise of the projectionist, as well as eradicated much of the magic of the movies.

However, I’m sure my great projection staff who are with the Local 182 here in Boston would challenge that article’s position that the “Local 306 in New York City, {is} the last uncombined projectionists union in the country” which is certainly not the case.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Dec 9, 2010 at 11:42 am

Yes, Ron that has to be us. The tracks passed within a few yards of the side of the building, and you would indeed have seen the old signal tower in the middle of the square if you were facing that direction.

IanJudge commented about West End Pussycat Cinema on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Funk & Wilcox were the architects of the entire Boston Garden/North Station complex (1928-1998).

IanJudge commented about West End Pussycat Cinema on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

I’ve no real idea, but I’d imagine it was gone by the 50’s and certainly by the time the B&M RR cut the number of tracks in half at North Station and gave over much of the outside platform areas to parking lots. The old North Station (from the 20’s to the 50’s) had quite an extensive concourse, with various shops, waiting rooms, restaurants, etc. and most of these were closed off to the public or significantly reduced after B&M inter-city rail ceased in the 60’s.

I would guess that the cinema was probably reconfigured into retail space or other uses so long ago that there would have been no trace of it in the station in the years I went there (80’s-90’s.)

IanJudge commented about West End Pussycat Cinema on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:21 am

Joe, that was a little cinema that was actually IN the North Station building. Like the South Station Theatre, it was a smallish space that catered to the throngs of railway riders.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Tonight, the Somerville Theatre main theater sold out the midnight opening of the new ‘Harry Potter’ film, the first time a commercial release (as opposed to special events like film festivals, etc.) has done this since the 1960’s as far as we can tell. To see the theater so full of excited, enthusiastic people was truly amazing.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Aug 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I should say it was Sack/Loews “Cinema 57”.

IanJudge commented about Theatre 1 & Space 57 on Aug 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm

This was opened by Sack Theatres as the “Sack 57” and later when Loews acquired Sack, it became the Loews 57, which is the name it closed under.

IanJudge commented about Repertory Series at historic Somerville Theatre begins with Jeff Bridges retrospective on Apr 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Tron = not available to us per the Mouse.

MPol – we’re working on finishing up our 70mm installation and I swear to you we will be playing your favorite film when we do – hopefully by next summer at the latest.

IanJudge commented about Somerville Theatre on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Repertory cinema makes a return to the historic Somerville Theatre in
Somerville, Mass. this April and May with a retrospective series “Spanning Bridges” that celebrates the work of Academy Award winning actor Jeff Bridges. All features are on 35mm film and will be presented on the theater’s big screen in its recently restored main theater, making use of as many archival prints as possible with the return of a changeover system in the booth.

Afternoon admission is just $5 and evening is just $8; all co-bills are double features.

The schedule is as follows:

APR. 27-28-29
3:30p 7:30p
Playing as a double feature with:
FAT CITY (PG) 1 hour, 40 mins.
5:45p 9:45p
Please Note: No shows before 7pm on Wed. April 28.

MAY 3 â€" 4
3:45p 7:30p
Playing as a double feature with
RANCHO DELUXE ® 1 hour, 33 mins
6:00p 9:45p

MAY 5 â€" 6
STARMAN ® 1 hour, 55 mins
3:30p 7:30p
Playing as a double feature with
STAY HUNGRY ® 1 hour, 42 mins
5:45p 9:45p

MAY 10 â€" 11 -12
THE BIG LEBOWSKI ® 1 hour, 57 mins
2:45p 7:30p
Playing as a double feature with
THE FISHER KING ® 2 hours, 17 mins.
5:00p 9:45p

SEABISCUIT (PG13) 2 hours, 21 mins.
5:00p 7:30p

MON â€" TUE â€" WED â€" THU
MAY 17 â€" 18 â€" 19 â€" 20
CRAZY HEART ® 1 hour, 52 mins.
3:00p 5:15p 7:30p 9:45p

The theater is planning on following up on this series with more classic and specialty film programming.

IanJudge commented about Paramount Center on Mar 27, 2010 at 9:39 am

I would have to respectfully disagree with you Nicolas, and say that the Paramount was indeed a movie palace. While there is room for some subjectivity as to defining that term, the Paramount is a prime example of the last major wave of the movie palace period. It was built as a first-run luxurious house downtown by one of the major theater chains, and there were (and are) similar Paramounts across the country that are also considered to be ‘movie palace’ material. It was certainly more of a palace than the Modern from a marketplace/consumer point of view.

IanJudge commented about Modern struggles of the adult theater on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Have to agree with you about the physical surroundings, but as for presentation, here’s an interesting view on the old days before the adult houses went to video projection:

I was talking with one of my projectionists, a 33 year veteran of the booths, and he was recalling his early days working in the porn theaters of Boston. In those days, the local union would start the operators in those theaters and they would work their way up to more prestigious theaters. Nearly all of the long-time operators have more than a few interesting stories from those days as you can imagine!

Anyhow, this was when porn was still on 35mm. All those booths were carbon-arc changeover houses. I said to this projectionist “Gee, that image, though it was poor quality filmmaking, must have looked pretty good with old-school carbons, etc.” And he agreed, yep, those old dinosaurs were super-bright, and with no platters the films didn’t really get damaged all that much.

We talked for a moment and then I said: “you know, it is pretty sad that the porn houses 30 years ago threw a brighter picture than all of the multiplexes downtown do today” since of course so few of the chain booths have a clue about bulb focus, amperage, etc.

He agreed, aware of the irony all too well.

IanJudge commented about Capitol Theatre on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

We’ve installed Digital 3-D in auditoriums #1 and #4 at the Capitol; 35mm film remains alongside the digital in the main house (#1) but #4 is now 100% digital. While we are very pro-35mm film, installing this equipment was a way to ensure the Capitol gets first run movies in these formats. “Avatar” opened this week in the new Real D process and the presentation was top notch. The second-run market has dried up & this installation will help keep the Capitol open.

-Ian/FEI Theatres

IanJudge commented about AMC and Regal ban outside food from theaters on Dec 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

Well, another across the board big chain policy that us independents can take advantage of by allowing outside food!

We’ve always allowed outside food at my theaters. Of course you don’t want people eating smelly main courses, but we patrol for that anyhow when ushers do their theater checks. Considering what some of these mega plexes sell (burgers, nachos, chili dogs) they obviously aren’t doing it for smell issues!

Our customers appreciate that we’re not going to make them throw out their coffee or ice cream cone etc. and they like it when we say “don’t throw it away – we’re not like that here!” even when we sell it ourselves.

By allowing outside snacks, and not being a ‘food nazi’ you might lose some concession sales, but you gain a happy customer, and that is something you always want!

And sneaking in candy in your pocket is a tradition that I’m sure goes back to the first nickelodeon.

IanJudge commented about Will movies at home kill movie theaters? on Nov 22, 2009 at 1:01 am

I agree that the movie going experience is not what it once was. The lack of showmanship is tough, the chains have dumbed down the experience, and the magic is gone in many ways. But audiences don’t know how to handle even a good experience! When we double-curtain a show, or the operator closes the curtains between previews and the feature, people are confused and shout and think we are screwing up. I’ve even had customers think that the orchestral intermission music played before the show to a closed curtain is the movie playing without picture! When, as required, the ushers at my theaters patrol and are aggressive on talking and cellphone use, we get more complaints from these patrons than we do from the non-offenders. People, by and large, suck.

However, folks have been predicting the end of theatrical exhibition since the 50’s, and it hasn’t died, despite lousy operators, lousy movies, lousy technology like digital intermediates and presentations, and lousy audience behavior. People still like to sit in that darkened room and be immersed in a movie. And brother, when they actually fire on all cylinders and make a good movie, that experience, even in the crappiest theaters, is still something magical.