Friday, 15 November 2013

Arthouse cinemas are facing the last picture show

Article by the Telegraph's chief film critic arguing that the Competition Commission has made a significant error in its handling of the acquisition of Picturehouse by Cineworld. It's comparatively rare to read a story in which a big company taking over a smaller, independent one is considered to be a good thing, but it's a compelling argument that Cineworld understands Picturehouse well enough to preserve its ethos - and its loyal audiences.

Leonard Maltin: "If you don't care about running a cinema business, go and open a fast food restaurant instead"

Video rant on YouTube and brief transcript extracts c/o Indiewire.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The screen is silver, but the seats are gold

AMC Theatres - best known in the UK as the operator of the country's first multiplex at Milton Keynes, although their business here has been rocky - has started to refit its cinemas with spacious premium seating. According to the New York Times article, this involves reducing theatre capacity by 64%, yet may still make economic sense for the company.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mark Kermode: "Give us proper cinemas"

Mark Kermode in the Radio Times stating, clearly and concisely, what many of us have known for some time - that going to the cinema ain't want it used to be. Hat-tip to OFU alumnus Matttew for spotting and Tweeting.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

University of Surrey Management School lecture theatre

Today I finally saw inside the Management School lecture theatre. Remember the one? The theatre that the university offered to OFU in place of LT-G but which was turned down, without consultation, by USSU on our behalf? Yes, that one.

It's nice. I think we'd have been very lucky to have it and we'd have been happy there.

It's spacious and comfortable. It has three digital projectors although not mounted in a way that would lend itself to a hacked, twenty-first century facsimile  of a Cinerama screen.

The two side projectors are ceiling-mounted with their own retractable screens. The central Christie projector lives inside a small booth. It projects straight onto the front wall of the theatre. The image size is limited by six grills in the wall which are presumably for front centre and stereo sound. The theatre is  generously equipped with surround speakers. There is also a small theatre-style lighting rig.

In all, I'm quite impressed. There would be issues for the busiest film showings with patrons sitting in the front wings but we had the same problem of sight lines in LT-G; it's designed as a lecture theatre primarily, after all.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Why the Switch to Digital Projectors Means the End of the Small-Town Movie Theater

Article in The Atlantic Cities. Somewhat inevitably, small-town cinemas in the US are struggling with the costs of switching to digital. Nothing here we couldn't have guessed / foreseen, unfortunately, although some of the survival strategies (crowd-funding under the banner "Go Digital or Go Dark"; pooled resources between independent operators) are novel.

Similar article in NY Times.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Surrey is in Guardian's top 10 universities for the first time

Positive Guardian analysis with some highly dissenting views expressed in the comments section - Why the University of Surrey is on the rise. Under the circumstances, it seems likely that this is a statistical quirk and consequently unlikely that Surrey that will stay in the top 10 for long.

Monday, 20 May 2013

New YouTube channel for OFU!

When we started uploading old OFU films onto the Internet, we genuinely thought that YouTube would be a "flash in the pan" and that it would be cleverer to host our own. We were quite wrong.

At long last, then, OFU finally gets its own YouTube channel. It will take a while to migrate the films across so please be patient, and remember to subscribe to the channel to get updates as soon as they are available.