Comments from hardbop

Showing 76 - 100 of 374 comments

hardbop commented about Regal UA Kaufman Astoria & RPX on Mar 31, 2006 at 8:00 am

It is amazing the economic engine this 14-‘plex has been. Thirty-Fifth Avenue is filling up with chain stores. Pizza Uno opened first. Then Starbucks. Than “The Cup” a faux-retro restaurant with a cool neon sign. And now Baskin Robbins. Thirty-Five Street was dead prior to opening of the 'plex. It should be good for AMMI to, diagonally across the street.

hardbop commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:46 am

Does anyone know if the revivals will continue?

I wish it were true that when you leave your house, travel and pay bucks that the rep houses didn’t use faded prints. I am a frequent patron of BAM, AMMI, WR, MoMA & FF and often you see lousy prints. Most recently the print of “The Dunwich Horror” which screened at BAM recently was completely pink.

hardbop commented about Tribeca Cinemas on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:23 am

That makes sense, but you would think the Regal folks would welcome the Tribeca Film Festival with open arms becaue I can’t imagine that that ‘plex does much business. The only time I’ve ever been there is for the fest.

And one benefit for expanding the fest is that they seem to have added screenings for the films that are playing in the fest. Many of the screenings sell out. Since I’m not an insider, I don’t buy a festival pass, I don’t live “downtown” and I don’t have an American Express Card, I don’t get first dibs on tickets. All those groups get ducats first, then the tickets go on sale to the John Q. Public. I buy mine the day tickets go on sale and even then I’ve found myself shut out of screenings. Hopefully, the expansion of the fest will eliminate this.

hardbop commented about Big Cinemas Manhattan on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:20 am

I wonder how this cinema is doing? I went here quite a bit when it first opened, but haven’t been there in quite awhile and you don’t seem to hear much about it.

hardbop commented about Kew Gardens Cinemas on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:16 am

I continue to patronize this theatre (which I had never even heard of until I found this board) and last Friday caught “Tsotsi” and “Thank You For Smoking” for $6 a pop. Also caught “Cache” here.

Over a year you can save quite a bit of money when you spend $6 to see a film instead of $10.75 that I was charged yesterday by the Angelika to see “Duck Season.”

I now wait for the films to play at Kew Gardens whenever possible. They usually put up posters in the lobby trumpeting the upcoming films and put a sign up that tells when they are open. Usually they pop up here two or three weeks after they open in Manhattan at Lincoln Plaza or the Angelika.

hardbop commented about Carnegie Hall Cinema on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:10 am

I’ll say that this is one of the better uses made of space that was formerly a movie theatre. Earlier yesterday I walked down Bleecker Street and saw the Duane Reade getting ready to open where the old Bleecker Street Cinema used to be. Kind of made me sad to see a chain store replacing a funky, independent theatre that I patronized frequently when I lived in the Village in the eigties.

Later in the evening I was at Zankel Hall to hear a jazz concert in the space where the cinemas used to be. It is a beautiful hall and a much better space to hear jazz than the more storied (and larger) auditiorium upstairs.

hardbop commented about Film Forum on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:05 am

Not only are the screens small, but the sight lines are lousy. I guess stadium seating has spoiled me.

Meanwhile is anyone excited as I am about the Film Forum’s next program? They are doing a 70-film retrospective called “B Noir” for six weeks starting May 5. I’ll be making frequent treks down there. Some real obscurities that not only haven’t I seen, but haven’t even heard of.

Noir retros seem to do well and FF has done at least three for four of them since ‘92.

I also can’t remember a retrospective being bigger than 70 films. I know rep houses in the city have done Hitchcock, Fassbinder, Bergman retros, but I don’t think they’ve topped 70 films.

hardbop commented about Tribeca Cinemas on Mar 31, 2006 at 7:01 am

I have been attending films since the beginning (all the way back to ‘02) and am a little baffled by this change as well. You won’t get the sense of a festival if the venues are that stretched out and it defeats the festival’s original intent to bring people downtown. The only time I go below Canal each year is for this fest. Maybe they didn’t want to rent the projection equipment they had to bring to Stuyvesant High School and I assume Pace University’s theatre. I don’t even know if those venues are being used this year.

hardbop commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Mar 7, 2006 at 8:39 am

I was at the INDIANA JONES double feature Friday night (TEMPLE OF DOOME & LOST CRUSADE) and neither was a new print. If you recall, the MI3 preview screened right before those films and the trailer was pristine. Right after they went to the films and you could see the contrast between what a “new” print looks like and and what a faded print looks like. In fact, the contrast was startling.

hardbop commented about AMC Empire 25 on Feb 23, 2006 at 4:31 am

What was the movie? I have never experienced this, but I hope you e-mailed the AMC people. I had a problem there and e-mailed the national HQ and they were all apologetic and I received some passes. The best thing to do is go right to national HQ because that let’s the manager of the theatre know his superiors are aware of the complaint. They’ll forward the complaint to the AMC’s manager and he’ll respond.

hardbop commented about Fair Theatre on Feb 22, 2006 at 6:35 am

The fare at the Fair this week, at least according the the Voice ad, is “Kiss Daddy Goodbye” paired with “Death of a Ninja.” Then “Messenger of Death” and “Bruce Lee’s Greatest Revenge.”

Kind of reminds me of the type of fare seen on the marquees on the old 42nd Street between Seventh & Eighth Avenues.

hardbop commented about Sunshine Cinema on Feb 21, 2006 at 8:46 am

Here is the response from Landmark regarding the experience I had last week. I e-mailed them my complaints. My e-mail was sent to Landmark’s national site and it must have been routed to the Sunshine in NYC. Looks like they are going to “do the right thing.” But until I have the tickets in hand, I’ll reserve judgment. I received a similar response from someone at the Angelika who was all apologetic over a similar projection snafu, but I never received my promised tickets.

Dear Mr. xxxx,

I would like to apologize for your experiences at the Sunshine Cinema last Monday. It is my ongoing endeavor to provide the best movie going experience in the city and I am sorry to have so greatly failed to do so during your visit.

Please allow me to address the issues raised in your email:

  1. The improper positioning of the movie: This weekend, I spoke to the projectionist responsible for the presentation on Monday and she acknowledged both the error, which she’d noticed during the film’s closing credits, and the fact that she’d not waited for the start of the feature to ensure proper presentation quality (she’d left the booth during the trailers to start another film; this is personally my fault due to my inability to reach the theatre after Sunday’s snowfall; had I been there, she wouldn’t have needed to be so rushed). She has been reprimanded for both oversights.

  2. I cannot explain the lack of houselights when you entered the auditorium. Our lighting system is automated and, in this particular case, our projector must have failed to properly detect the “lights up” cue at the conclusion of the previous film. This is not, I can assure you, a common occurrence at the Sunshine.

  3. The failure of the on-duty usher to check the presentation has also been dealt with via disciplinary action.

  4. The theatre’s staffing: Staffing was actually normal for a wintertime Monday afternoon. Since installation of a new computer system a few months back, we’ve made the decision to sell tickets from our concession stand during off-peak periods. This has the benefits of A.) ensuring that patrons such as yourself never need conduct a ticketing transaction in cold/snow/rain/heat and B.) providing visitors to the theatre, who might not otherwise visit our concession stand, the opportunity to be exposed to some of our more eclectic food offerings, such as Japanese Pocky, vegan cookies, and wasabi peas. During peak periods of business, when we can’t accommodate both ticket and concession sales in the lobby, we still utilize our exterior box office. (Also note: The benefits listed are truly the only benefits we’re seeking to derive from this arrangement. We’re still scheduling both box office and concession attendants for these shifts, not just trying to save money on staffing.) (Should you ever encounter just one attendant, in all likelihood that attendant is “covering a break.”)

Again, please allow me apologize for the poor conditions noted in your email and thank you for bringing them to my attention. I take pride in the Sunshine’s reputation for excellence and am disappointed to have tarnished it. I’d like to request that you allow me the opportunity to do better by being my guest during a future visit. If you’d be willing to supply a mailing address, I would love the chance to prove that your last visit was a fluke by supplying you with some V.I.P. Guest Passes. Should you ever have anything you’d like to discuss during a future visit, or just want to say hi, please ask for me by name.

General Manager
Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston Street

hardbop commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Feb 21, 2006 at 8:25 am

It kind of seems penny wise and pound foolish not to schedule an intermission. Theatres make the bulk of their money (or at least they get to keep it all) from concessions. These long films give them an opportunity to sell more popcorn.

hardbop commented about Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas on Feb 16, 2006 at 5:29 am

They have a Thursday night screening series called Chelsea Classics hosted by “Hedda Lettuce.” It is geared toward the Chelsea community, so lots of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and camp.

I go to catch classics on the big screen. This week is FUNNY GIRL, which I caught at the Ziegfeld several years ago, and next week is FUNNY LADY, which I have never seen on the big screen.

I was there a few weeks ago and they announced the film is going to be completely renovated. The cinema won’t close, but it will be done on a floor-by-floor basis. There are three floors of cinema and it is probably overdue as the cinema where the Hedda Lettuce-hosteed screenings take place is missing chairs.

hardbop commented about Theatre 80 St. Marks on Feb 16, 2006 at 5:20 am

I walked by the theatre last Tuesday night on my way to catch a flick at Two Boots. It is absolutely amazing what is happening to the East Village in terms of the gentrification. It is like the East Village has been moved to Williamsburg.

Theatre 80 is still there and it is still being used for live theatre. The seedy bar across the street is still there, though. One of the few real places left in NYC it seems.

Meanwhile, I remember Howard Otway and how cantankerous he was. I asked him once if I could make a request and he told me he didn’t take requests, but I could make a suggestion for a film to show. It was clearly a labor of love for him because shortly after he passed, the family folded the tent. I remember they were criticized because they closed in the middle of a calendar. (Remember those Theatre 80 calendars!)

The last double bill I caught there was DESTRY RIDES AGAIN and RANCHO NOTORIOUS on 7/24/94. I was also there on 7/20/94 for a Billy Wilder double-bill of SOME LIKE IT HOT & THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH.

It is hard to believe it was over a decade ago that Theatre 80 stopped showing films. It was such an institution in the 80s and 90s and I assume in the 1970s, before I moved to NYC.

hardbop commented about Sunshine Cinema on Feb 15, 2006 at 6:21 am

No, this film was clearly not framed properly. The “missing part of the film” was showing on the black masking on the bottom. If they moved the film up it would have been ok.

hardbop commented about Fair Theatre on Feb 15, 2006 at 6:17 am

Another Voice Ad that says “New Policy: 2 New Action Films at All Times”

This week: Accident & Fish of Fear, Touch of Death

Champions & Bruce Lee Back From the Grave

hardbop commented about IFC Center on Feb 14, 2006 at 5:02 am

I’ve gotta say this is become the premier downtown venue for films. I find I go here more than anywhere. Kind of a nice vibe here. It reminds me of 1970s era rep/art house. I haven’t suffered the sloppy projection problems (yet) that have plagued the Angelika & Sunshine and there is a nice mix of first-run fare that often plays exclusively here as well as revivals. They have run Truffaut and are currently I believe running Fassbinder films on weekends. They also have Friday & Saturday midnight repertory screenings.

The seats are real comfortable too.

hardbop commented about Sunshine Cinema on Feb 14, 2006 at 4:55 am

I was down at the Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema yesterday and another projection disaster. There is all this hand-wringing in the movie industry about the decline in movie attendance/box office take and here is a reason why. I was in the big basement theatre yesterday to see THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN and they didn’t frame the film correctly so there was about a foot of black at the top of the screen and the image bled onto the masking at the bottom. All this for $10.75.

And they didn’t even put the house lights up before the film so one had to negotiate steep stairs in pitch black to find a seat.

No usher walked through the theatre so to alert someone would have meant leaving the theatre, climbing a flight of stairs and then walking across the lobby to the candy stand, doubled as the box office yesterday because of short staffing. I would have missed too much of the movie to tell them to project the film properly.

I had the same problem at the Angelika last year. You think this kind of thing would occur in the soulless multiplexes, but to have it happen in an art house, it makes my blood boil.

No wonder people are staying at home watching the videos.

hardbop commented about Fair Theatre on Feb 14, 2006 at 4:43 am

The display ad appeared in the Voice last week for the second consecutive week so it was no mistake. This week’s Voice comes out tomorrow so we’ll see if there is another ad in there.

hardbop commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Feb 13, 2006 at 6:42 am

I was at the OLD YELLER screening and it was fairly lighty attended and, because of the pre-film festivities, I now know more about greyhounds than I ever need to.

I don’t know if the March programs will tickle your fancy, but there will be two programs that March so hopefully they will step up the schedule:

March 10 & 11: Bad Day at Black Rock, East of Eden & Rebel Without a Cause. The series has something to do with films made or released in ‘55 that didn’t get nominated for an Academy Award.

March 24 & 25: Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, Harvey & The Ten Commandments. The latter should satisfy those buffs who want to see movies made for the big screen.

hardbop commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Feb 8, 2006 at 7:02 am

As somebody who regularly makes the trek from NYC to attend Loew’s J.C. screenings I think downtown J.C. could use a Starbucks or a Rite Aid or anything that would bring some life to the area. It is pretty rundown. That downtown area could use some redevelopment. There are plenty of seedy buildings and land right around the cinema that could be used for buildings. Leave the theatre alone, but that area needs a fresh infusion of capital.

hardbop commented about Fair Theatre on Feb 5, 2006 at 4:22 am

Why all of a sudden did they run a display ad in the “Voice.”?

hardbop commented about AMC Empire 25 on Feb 3, 2006 at 6:05 am

I am surprised that they allowed this merger to go through without forcing the combined entity to shed some theatres. I don’t quite understand why Cinemaplex Odeon & Loew’s had to shed cinemas when they merged, but AMC and Loew’s didn’t have to shed cinemas, particularly in Times Square where AMC is now the only game in town. There are what 25 screens at AMC and I think 14 at Loew’s across the street. 39 screens controlled by one company? At the least AMC should have been forced to sell one of those two theatres.

And speaking of AMC, there clearly isn’t enough product to go around to fill 39 screens during the dog days of February. They are desperate to fill those screens. “The Tenant” opens exclusively at AMC this week. They also opened the equally poorly reviewed “Tamara,” which is also playing in Manhattan at the often second run City Cinemas E. Village ‘plex and the New Coliseum in Upper Manhattan. Finally, to complete this sorry-assed trifecta, also opening at AMC today is an, ahem, art film, “A Good Woman,” which is also playing at the less than A-list Clearview Cinemas’ E. 62nd Street ‘plex and the higher profile Regal 14th Street 'plex. “AGW,” like “Tamara” and “The Tenant” were all poorly reviewed.

Another weird booking at the AMC was “Bloodrayne,” a horror flick that opened at AMC on January 13. It also opened in the boroughs as well, but AMC was the only theatre showing “Bloodyrayne” for the first week anyway. What was odd about “Bloodrayne,” in addition to its exclusive Manhattan booking at AMC, was the fact that it wasn’t reviewed in the “New York Times” even though advertising appeared in the Times.

hardbop commented about Loew's Jersey Theatre on Feb 3, 2006 at 5:50 am

It looks like the soap opera continues between the politicians & the folks running the theatre. This was in my e-mail in-box this a.m.:

But first, an important message to supporters and patrons of Friends
of the Loew’s:

Recently, the City has taken the position that the lease which was
executed between it and Friends of the Loew’s on October 15, 2004, is
not valid, that the ordinance which approved the lease should be
rescinded, and that the property should be conveyed to the Jersey City
Redevelopment Agency.

It is our position that the lease was approved by the City Council,
signed by the proper City officials, and is valid and binding on the
parties. We have retained counsel to try to resolve the matter with
the City, on a consensual basis if possible, or by litigation, if
necessary. We will keep you informed on this site as the case develops.