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Saturday
Apr232011

A Thrilling Hyland Cinema Movie Theater Review

A to Z Challenge,Movie Theaters
'T' is for "Thrills" and "Theater" today in the A to Z Challenge, so here is a movie goer's perspective at the Hyland Cinema in London, Ontario that may be worth keeping in mind during your next trip to Canada. In this interview, Beverly from Blue Velvet Vincent shares her experience on everything from ticket prices to concessions during a recent visit to this movie theater to see "Kill the Irishman" starring Vincent D'Onofrio who currently sits on the King Dong throne at this blog.

Madlab Post: Describe the atmosphere at Hyland Cinema.
Blue Velvet Vincent(BLV): I tend to be on the nostalgic side so the atmosphere of The Hyland Cinema was intriguing to me. I wish I would have taken pictures to spark my exact memory. The Cinema has a small lobby, there was a long cast iron bench for resting while waiting for the previous show to end. I can imagine in days gone by what the lines must of been like because there was maybe standing room for about 20 people in the lobby itself.

One wall was covered in framed movie posters of coming attractions. There was a box of rolled up movie posters from movies of the past available for purchase. The proceeds would go to charity. The ceilings are low, with potted light that were dimly lit. We didn't end up buying concessions but there was plenty to chose from. They even offered Cappuccino's and flavored teas.

Once inside the theater, I was initially surprised by the size of it. It had two nice wide aisles that you could go down to chose your seat. We first chose a seat approximately in the middle of the theater but decided to move because someone sat right in front us. The seats sat rather low and I was staring at the back of somebody's head. Once moved and settled into our new spots I was quite content just to sit and look around. The seats were comfortable enough, high backs with enough back support. I didn't leave achy anyways.

The curtain was drawn in front of the screen which I thought was kind of neat. I had never actually seen that before and it was kind of thrilling to see them open again as the movie started. It added to excitement of seeing the movie. The theater offered surround sound. From what I understand it went under renovations 2001 with a new projections, sound system and screen.

The theater was actually very clean. The manager came in after the previous movie had ended and starting picking up garbage off the floors and seats while we took our seats. I get the impression the theater doesn't take in the big crowds like it did at one time. She was done picking up in no time.

MP: How was customer service at the Hyland Cinema?
BLV: The service was great. They were so accommodating. When my husband asked if there were any movie posters available from the movie we were going to see, within minutes I had the poster in my hands. It was great. She told me they are always shipped 3 or 4 posters per movie. The ticket prices are fair. I think we paid $9.00 each.

A to Z Challenge,Movie Theaters
MP: What made you decide to visit the Hyland Cinema recently?
BLV: The only reason we went to the Hyland Theater was for the movie itself. I knew "Kill the Irishman" wasn't going to make it to my town so I was willing to drive the hour to see it there.

Nothing would stop me from going to the Hyland Theater again. I even tried to talk my husband into going to see the movie one more time before it was gone. No luck. Like I said, I like the atmosphere of the theater. It certainly was different than the Cineplex's that I'm used to but the small lobby and small concession stand was charming. The low counters of the concession stand made it more personal too. You bought your ticket and your concessions at the same counter. "Enjoy the movie" the attendant says. Nice!

Would I recommend the theater? Now I'm a small town girl and I found the area in which the theater was a little scary. Old part of town. But these are just first impressions. Sure I would recommend it. If you want to see the movie it's a fine theater to see it in.

A to Z Challenge,Movie Theaters
MP: Why did your husband refer to Hyland Cinema as a place where Pee Wee Herman might show up?
BLV: My husband was just trying to be funny. He was teasing me because I would probably sit in the scuzziest of theaters if it meant I could see Vincent (D'Onofrio) on the big screen. There weren't that many people in the theater, 35 or so, so if you wanted to sit in back corner of the theater and get your "rocks off", chances are nobody would notice. He was referring to PeeWee Herman being arrested back in 1991 in an adult movie theater for indecent exposure.

MP: What was your worst movie theater experience ever?
BLV: I don't really have a worst movie experience. I'm actually easy to please. I might see maybe 7 or 8 movies a year. Although, once at the Odeon theater in my hometown of Sarnia we sat in front of a group of kids that blurted out the lines before the actors did. They had obviously seen the move several times. The theater was full so we either had to tell them to shut up, which is hard for me to do, put up with it, or leave. I'm not one to create a scene so I put up with it. That was quite a few years ago, today I wouldn't put up with it.

MP: Describe what your ideal movie theater would be like.
BLV: My ultimate movie theater would have to have recliners. Leg room, and elbow room is a plus with me. A coat check would be awesome. I'm always taking off my coat and throwing it on the seat beside me and there's always stuff falling out of my pockets on to the floor.

And why oh why do the concession have to be so friggin' expensive? If they don't want people sneaking in their treats why not offer cheaper concessions. It use to be that movie night use to be a cheap night out. Not anymore.

That's about it. The theater doesn't have to be extravagant, after all I'm coming to see the movie, not the theater. As long as I can walk away from it still feeling my toes, I'm happy.

Thanks to Beverly at Blue Velvet Vincent for doing this interview and I welcome those who have visited the Hyland Cinema AND those who have watched "Kill the Irishman" to share your thoughts and experiences with this theater and/or movie!

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Friday
Apr222011

Sex, Lies and Videotape!

A to Z Challenge
Today’s ‘S’ post for the A to Z Challenge involves a short list of movies that are each centered on three different areas of life in general and the moviemaking business. How do we deal with sex, lies and videotape in our society? There may be many different answers to this question but some films have dealt with the matter head-on in a powerful way that could make or break these three things.

9½ Weeks
Folks in Hollywood are no stranger to the phrase “sleep your way to the top” because just when you thought the casting couch was soooo 80s and beyond, actresses including Megan Fox remind us that sex....or at least the pursuit of it, is alive and well among some of the top directors and producers strolling down the red carpet. Adrian Lyne’s “9½ Weeks” starring Kim Basinger doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to one of life’s many pleasures. This movie puts the ‘S’ in sex for lovers of cinema and erotica.

The Invention of Lying
Forget everything you were told during your childhood about the boy who cried wolf. Telling lies are bad in real life but Ricky Gervais found out that the truth may get you nowhere, at least in the movies. “The Invention of Lying” has a funny way of showing how people may prefer lies rather than the truth no matter what circumstances they are in. This epiphany is what made Gervais’s character rich and famous in this movie. It can also be viewed as a reminder that everyone does not always tell the truth so never doubt that someone could be lying to you.

Capturing the Friedmans
Remember those twin babies that were all the buzz not too long ago with their baby talk? Yeah, home movies can be a drag and silly depictions of uninteresting moments in life but imagine what would happen if you’re recording a birthday party that leads to situations that are much sticker than cake and ice cream. Andrew Jarecki found a way to turn home movies, photos and new video footage into a dramatic and shocking roller-coaster that depicts a dysfunctional family turned upside down when accusations of horrible crimes emerge.

Watching this movie may cause you to think twice about dismissing the use of home videos as an amateur hobby. "Capturing the Friedmans" makes viewers take home video footage seriously, as certain tapes in this movie become more valuable than ever during a search for evidence, honesty, answers, freedom and support from the community, lawmakers and especially.....the people who matter most in life.

What are YOUR views on Sex, Lies and Videotape:

Is ongoing "9½ Weeks" style SEX ideal for modern day couples?

Should LIES be acceptable to give or receive in some circumstances (um...does this dress make me look fat?) but not others or are they always a no-no?

Will homemade movies with VIDEOTAPE always be in style or have they really become obsolete due to the evolution of digital media recording devices?

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Thursday
Apr212011

Royalties and the Independent Film Producer

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'R’ is for "Royalties" today and writers, musicians, painters, graphic artists and other professionals working in a creative field can relate to royalty concerns or protocol in one way or another. For the purpose of this post however, I would like to specifically address independent films and the producers who make them (the main points in this post can still apply to other industries including the book publishing industry). A recent lawsuit filed by a few cast members of the TV show, “Happy Days” against CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures reminded me about one area that some indie film producers may ignore when making movies....this area is called merchandising.

In the lawsuit, an attorney for these “Happy Days” cast members (and the wife of actor Tom Bosley who died last year) are claiming that they were cheated out of more than $10 million in revenue generated from the sale of slot machines, drinking glasses, T-shirts, lunch boxes, greeting cards, board games and other merchandise. Of all the cast members in this lawsuit, only one is reported to have received a payment of $600 about a decade ago from the profits on “Happy Days” merchandise. This lawsuit and the claims surrounding it is one example of how important it is for filmmakers to keep in line with the contracts that are made between cast, crew and other members involved in a film. A lesson in deciding early on whether merchandising rights apply to any given project can also be learned from this “Happy Days” lawsuit.

A to Z Challenge
Merchandising is a separate issue than DVDs or even the digital market including downloads and online video streaming that were covered in F--k the Cheerleader, Save the Actors last year. Independent film producers should consider whether the movie that is currently being promoted has a viable market for merchandise sales, and all of this may be best to figure out during the development and pre-production stages. Doing so could reduce the likelihood that there will be any fuss about merchandise sales after the movie is released.

Some filmmakers may think “I’m not making the next ‘Avatar,’ so I don’t have to worry about this” while other filmmakers think “My film has a little ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ mixed with some ‘Blue Valentine,’ so I don’t have to worry about merchandising rights or royalties because my audience is not interested in too many products but if I luck up and sell like 3 T-shirts at the local Fringe Festival, that still does not mean I need to pay out royalties”....and um, neither of these two positions couldn’t be any further from reality.

A to Z Challenge
Now, I’m not a lawyer so what I’m about to say should not be taken as legal advice but any filmmaker who is making a movie with the intent to distribute it should not only have a contract that states whether actors or crew will receive a percentage of revenue generated from merchandise sales related to the film but should make sure that they have the rights to associate their cast members’ names with such merchandise if products that were not a part of the distribution plan are now suddenly added into the mix.

More importantly, filmmakers who enter into a merchandising agreement with cast or crew members should make good on these agreements, PAY the royalties already and refrain from playing games!

Stay Tuned for Part 2: Choosing to Sell or to Not Sell Film Related Merchandise

This post is part of my participation in the A to Z Challenge.

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