Comments from SethLewis

Showing 276 - 300 of 392 comments

SethLewis commented about Mark Cuban asks "What business are theaters in?" on Jan 29, 2006 at 5:42 am

As a hotelier and restaurateur, I expect my employees to understand and appreciate their product (ie what the chef prepares)…way to few cinema managers bring their staff up to speed on what they are serving ie what’s on screen and really hire outward, engaged people to bring their brand to life…
It may well come down to segmentation, but even when cinema operators try to cater to an older more affluent audience they still appear clueless

SethLewis commented about Mark Cuban asks "What business are theaters in?" on Jan 29, 2006 at 5:40 am

Theatre owners still don’t completely get it…At the latest attempt at a luxury cinema experience in London’s West End, the Apollo West End, the outside of the theater is dressed up, the auditoriums are slightly posher with velvet seats, but the service experience is negligible, and the bar and concessions rather basic…I paid over the odds to reserve a seat for The New World, a great picture to see in a theatre, but the 12.50 pounds has to cover more than a fancy rest room

SethLewis commented about Vue West End on Jan 14, 2006 at 1:23 am

Never managed to visit the original Warner as a single screen but as a twin, triplex and even fiveplex it was much better than as this nineplex which is almost a grind house in comparison. Before the refit in the mid 90s the ads in Time Out were fullpage black and white with short synopses of the films and 4 out of 5 screens were worth the trip to the West End…Saw Driving Miss Daisy, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Grifters here
As a nineplex there are only 2 really great screens and the rest are good for filler and second run rather than first run…the crowds are also pretty unpleasant…Over the years have made it through The Fugitive, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Fifth Element, Gilbert Grape, Scream, Don Juan De Marco, Big Night, Gingerbread Man, True Romance and plenty more and more recently exclusive first runs of The Aviator and Brokeback Mountain but hate paying 12.50 pounds essentially 20 dollars for a mediocre multiplex experience

SethLewis commented about Curzon Chelsea Cinema on Jan 14, 2006 at 1:16 am

Almost a gold standard of a single screen cinema, I used to live around the corner from here. All that’s missing is popcorn which Artificial Eye doesn’t seem to think would fit with the art crowd. Would also love to see some more flexible programming here ie some weekend revival series. Have seen a fair amount of pictures here in 15 years in London including Short Cuts, Billy Elliott, Celebrity, Crouching Tiger Flying Dragon, Sweet and Lowdown, Love and Death on Long Island

SethLewis commented about Beekman Theatre on Jan 14, 2006 at 1:05 am

As indicated in the very first post for this theatre, this was one my local theatres growing up. Thanks to AAlvarez for coming up with these lists. What they tell us is how flexible Rugoff/Cinema 5/RKO Century/Cineplex and finally Clearview were with this theatre in the variety of first run, Hollywood, foreign art and revival programming. When I get back to NY it distresses how few theatres are left on the East Side and though multiplexes and advance booking serve their purpose, it was a lot more fun when you used to line up for hours on a cold night around the block at the Beekman, the Cinema 1 or the Sutton.
For the record, from those lists I was there for South Pacific, Laurel & Hardy’s Roaring Twenties, The Two of Us, The Maltese Bippy, Lady L, The Liquidator, Z, The Confession, The Sorrow and the Pity, Little Murders (and I’m sure Paper Chase not Brewster McCloud), The Exorcist,Animal House, The Milagro Beanfield War, When Harry Met Sally, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior, Clean and Sober and probably a few more

SethLewis commented about Odeon Taunton on Sep 26, 2005 at 8:08 pm

Have they extended the cinema yet…Saw a few films there in a spate a few years ago FaceOff Little Voice Boogie Nights and nothing for a while…a serviceable multiplex which could be bigger in a community which deserves slightly bigger and better

SethLewis commented about Cineworld Cinema - Leicester Square 4DX on Jul 31, 2005 at 2:21 am

Have seen a number of Paramount and Universal releases here over the year including Carlito’s Way, Henry & June, Jungle Fever, Schindler’s List, Star Trek Generations and Gangs of New York

This whole complex seems lately to playing second fiddle since the Odeon UCI merger with moveovers coming in from across the square…a shame because despite its basement location this is still a good screen in which to see a first run if you can survive without stadium seating

SethLewis commented about Cineworld Cinema - Chelsea on Jul 27, 2005 at 12:07 pm

A serviceable neighborhood theatre…the upstairs screen number 3 is probably the most comfortable…Have seen a wide range of pictures here over the years including The Prince of Tides, High Heels, In and Out, The Edge, Fight Club, Traffic, What Women Want, Bofinger, There’s Something About Mary and The Matrix

The scary part is that in my 15 years in London this and the Fulham Rd theatre among a couple of others have been rebranded 5 times from Cannon to MGM to Virgin to UGC and now to Cineworld…How is the customer supposed to develop any sort of allegiance?

SethLewis commented about Odeon Marble Arch on Jul 22, 2005 at 10:04 pm

The rebuilt Odeon Marble Arch was a gem…Saw Oliver there in the 60’s and The Doors and Terminator 2 there in the 90s…The decline of 70mm and roadshow style attractions made this theater hard to programme towards the end…it day dated a lot with Odeon Leicester Sq and rollout runs but lost its exclusive feel therefore plexing was the way to go. The plexing isnt terrible but no joy – have seen Speed 2 and The Tailor of Panama here. The programming is generally along the lines of a wide rollout keeping in mind the neighborhood is now made up of primarily upscale Middle Easter residents

SethLewis commented about Screens 2 - 5 Odeon Leicester Square on Jul 22, 2005 at 10:00 pm

The seats are wide,the raking isn’t bad and overall they have a bit of a screening room feel and often your last chance to catch something you want to see…Have caught The Freshman and Rushmore here

SethLewis commented about Odeon Luxe London Haymarket on Jul 22, 2005 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for adding this one. Easily the most uncomfortable complex in the West End – with really bad leg room. Went and paid full price under duress to see pictures such as Naked by Mike Leigh and recently Stander because this was the only place they were playing. Odeon should be much more flexible with pricing here.
Said this becaue it is beneath a block of flats, conversion for other use would be rather difficult and because we love cinemas we’re kind of glad it has survived.

SethLewis commented about Cinemart Cinemas on Jul 16, 2005 at 10:56 pm

Lovers and Other Strangers was from ABC Pictures Cinerama Releasing
Remember the interesting horizontal layout of their showcase ads when they mainly showcased thru the RKO’s in the early 70s

SethLewis commented about Fine Arts Theatre on Jul 15, 2005 at 10:30 pm

Saw Fritz the Cat opening night at the Fine Arts

SethLewis commented about Grand Pussycat Cinema on Jul 4, 2005 at 11:35 am

In the mid 70s after Trans Lux gave it up, it had a short identity as the Bryanston West…Bryanston being the releasing company that was releasing the Andy Warhol Frankenstein in 3D series…Then a very short life as just the WEST…Doubt anyone visited this theatre deliberately under that identity

SethLewis commented about Beekman Theatre on May 14, 2005 at 12:09 am

Reassuring…assume they will rebrand it and reopen it quickly
The East side hasnt lost another theater then

SethLewis commented about Everyman York on Apr 10, 2005 at 7:50 am

Travelled up to York for business not long ago…for a beautiful town this cinema is a shame…looks from the outside as if it has been poorly maintained.

SethLewis commented about St. Marks Cinema on Apr 2, 2005 at 12:58 am

Saw Blade Runner here in 1982

SethLewis on Mar 24, 2005 at 11:57 pm

Another one of my growing up theatres…this was primarily a United Artists showcase to start and eventually opened a lot of Warner Bros and Universal product daydating with the Criterion or the Rivoli on Broadway and the Murray Hill or 34th St East..Under City it has been more of a Disney and independent showcase.As a single screen remember seeing a revival of Around the World in 80 Days, The Hospital, Freebie and the Bean among others there…As a twin Casualties of War, Die Hard, Blue Steel, The Accidental Tourist…In its early years it had the distinctive touch one year of listing all of its summer pictures on a board in the ticket booth

SethLewis commented about What Cinema Was In "An American Werewolf in London"? on Mar 8, 2005 at 2:16 pm

The Eros was part of a chain of newsreel theatres that evolved into some wacky double bills and then soft porn in the 60s-70s…They were as good in their own way as what 42nd St had to offer even if their double features ran for longer…Remember seeing Mad Dog Coll and something else with the Mad Dog Coll theme playing out into the cool London air in early 70s keep in mind that the main feature was made in around 1961

SethLewis commented about 34th Street East Theatre on Feb 13, 2005 at 10:41 am

This was a Walter Reade theatre which shifted over to Cineplex Odeon during the 1986-7 buyout…It was a pretty safe bet in the 70s to day date with an 86th St and a Broadway Loews house for a first or showcase run…

SethLewis commented about United Artists East 85th Street on Feb 13, 2005 at 1:08 am

Even with a bland theatre there is a story to tell…believe this open around 1970 – possibly day dating with the also opening on Broadway Orleans (a Pacific house triplexing the Cinerama/Penthouse twins … the Orleans went porn very quickly after that) with A Dream of Kings a National General release with Anthony Quinn…After that it became part of the Flagship theatres showcase showing mostly Fox pictures…Somewhere in there it had a very long run of The Stewardesses a soft porn 3D picture on showcase…Remember riding by there as a kid as well and seeing on the tiny marquee “Stop Pay TV” which was the UA mantra at the time…It just settled over time into a neighborhood showcase house showing pictures from just about all studios in showcase runs…Over the years (I ended up living about four blocks away in the late 80s) I saw stuff as diverse as a double feature of The Sterile Cuckoo and Friends, a revival of Song of the South, a final run of The French Connection, You’ll Love My Mother a Universal programmer with Patty Duke, and in the 80s Fat Man and Little Boy, The Two Jakes, Joe and the Volcano, Born in the USA…I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s still there and surviving as a single screen not that it’s a glamorous theatre in a basement beneath a high rise

Sometime in the mid-70s probably just after UA opened the Eastside Playhouse on 55th and 3rd, this theatre was referred to as UA East 85th St a clunky name but probably to differentiate it from that theatre…particularly as there was some occasional day dating with it…The UA Yorkville wouldnt have been a bad name referring to the neighborhood it was in wouldnt it now

SethLewis commented about Beekman Theatre To Close? on Dec 31, 2004 at 2:33 am

I’m lucky that I don’t live on the East Side of Manhattan anymore – would sorely miss the Beekman, Sutton, Plaza, Fine Arts, 68th St Playhouse, Coronet & Baronet even the Manhattan Twins of my youth…What’s equally stressful is that developers and cinema operators and zoners can’t get together to give the Upper East Side a good stadium seating megaplex that would give the neighborhood what it needs – access to a variety of mainstream and art house programming…Much as I miss the old single screen theatres as a concept, there seems to be some exciting work done outside NY by companies such as Muvico and Rave…I live in London now – neighborhoods here were severely underscreened for years forcing us into the West End into grand but not necessarily comfortable theatres…We now have a 12 screen Vue (ex Warner Village) which does do a solid mix of mainstream and art house programming in stadium seating – I’ve seen everything from Anchorman and Open Range and The Bourne Supremacy to The Motorcycle Diaries to Garden State and I Heart Huckabees there. This said we did go to the West End last night to see The Aviator where it was in on an exclusive in the Vue multiplex there – 2 screens with stadium and wide screen ( a great experience) and 2 smaller screens (probably not so great)

I’m a keen once a day reader of this sight but something tells me we should be fighting for the higher cause – of the pleasure of seeing movies in cinemas with people and if megaplexes with good programming (and sound financing with mixed use facilities) are the future – then so be it.

Loved the Beekman but if NYU needs to make it into a hospital then Mazel Tov

SethLewis commented about 777 Theatre on Dec 27, 2004 at 12:26 pm

Saw a great double bill here of Breaker Morant and Gallipoli here in the summer of 82

SethLewis commented about Art East Cinema on Dec 1, 2004 at 3:23 pm

This theatre shifted policy many times. I remember seeing IF Stone’s Weekly there during its early days as an art house. It then went porn both gay and straight, $1, porn and then a brief comeback as a discount house before closing down.

SethLewis commented about Apollo Theatre on Nov 28, 2004 at 1:21 am

I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark here in the main screen in 1981 and Fort Apache the Bronx in the small screen. Zurich at the time had a few large cinemas remaining – the ABC, the Bellevue which was very Disney, the Capitol which was porn these three I believe now are plexed – but the Apollo was the grandest. The other great thing about Zurich moviegoing was a showcase in the Bahnhof (the train station) with posters and showtimes of anything playing in town – which was great for students and trainees working there who didn’t really know enough German to buy a paper. Most major releases are shown in English with 3 subtitles German Italian and French