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Michael Moore's movie theater and film festival

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Tim Wilson
Michael Moore's movie theater and film festival
on Jul 15, 2012 at 6:18:02 pm

He's actually been at this for a while, and it's a sweet, sweet story. It starts with renovating a long-abandoned grand downtown movie theater, no commercials, $2 popcorn, and turns into one of the highest-grossing theaters in the country. Ninety-one movies in this year's festival, with a good many of them free.

Included: get caught texting, emailing or talking on your phone during a movie in his theater and get banned FOR LIFE.

I'd love to pull off something like this. He did. It's inspiring.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Michael Moore's movie theater and film festival
on Jul 17, 2012 at 2:47:05 pm

We have an art theater with just four screens in the "small town" downtown area where I grew up in Illinois. They get a lot of business, too. They also bring in a lot of independent and foreign films, so it offers films that the AMC and Regal theaters are't willing to show. It's no Alamo Drafthouse, but drinks are like $1 and it's in a convenient location if you've been shopping downtown. Small local theaters kind of rule. I wonder how much profit they actually make if they are successful...?

But if I was rich, I would totally open a movie theater, I think it would be fun picking which movies to play and supplying people with entertainment. And if it helps turn around an entire town's economy like Michael Moore's theater, all the better!


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Tim Wilson
Re: Michael Moore's movie theater and film festival
on Jul 17, 2012 at 3:44:20 pm

Bryan Cranston is part owner of the Palme D'Or Cinema in Palm Desert CA, not far from where I live. It has a nice mix of majors and indie/foreign, sometimes sharing a screen, so that mainstream showings help directly subsidize the smaller pictures.

They've had an issue for the last several years, with a large complex owned by Cinemark, a mile or so away, and have sued under anti-trust statutes. Palme D'Or claims that Cinemark is strong-arming the big studios, threatening to hold their films out of major markets if they book showings with Palme D'Or -- who in many cases had been making bigger offers to these studios in order to at least try to compete.

Cases like this take a long time, but so far, Palme D'Or has won at every step. Interesting but sad tale here.

Another sad aspect is that the nearby Cineplex is huge - 15 screens I think, and the couple of big rooms have more capacity by themselves than Palme. They just don't need to play dirty...but the courts have ruled a couple of times that they are.

Yet another hazard of being small in an industry run by giants....but I'd still want to do it. :-)

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Michael Moore's movie theater and film festival
on Jul 19, 2012 at 3:13:29 pm

This is pretty cool. Unfortunately this story can only work if there is a community willing to work for free and they don't have a huge mortgage or rent to deal with. I just came back from vacationing near a small town called Coos Bay in Oregon. I used to live there, they have one of the last Egyptian Theatres, and the only with it's original organ. There is a similar push to restore that theater and make it functional again. If I had Michael Moore's money I would love to do some of the stuff he did with his theater in Treverse.


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