Rave to offer digital, 3-D, large-format screensWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rave Motion Pictures is upgrading the cinema experience in Northwest Ohio during the next few months.
The majority of screens throughout the area have been showcasing movies in 35mm film and not digital, said Jeremy Devine, vice president of marketing for Rave Motion Pictures.
“We didn’t have ‘Avatar’ in 3-D, neither did Levis,” said Rik Griffin, assistant manager at the Rave theater at The Shops at Fallen Timbers. “I don’t know how many people came in here and I’d say ‘Maumee’s showing it at 12:50’ and they’re like ‘I’ve got to leave? You’re the newest building in town. You’re only 2 years old. Why am I going to the oldest theater in town?’ It was backwards.”
Upgrades at Rave’s three local cinemas will help the company meet the market’s digital and 3-D demand, with more than 15 3-D films slated from now until the end of the year, Devine said. In addition, the company is upgrading technology to give viewers a reason to experience films at the movie theater, he said.
The Rave cinema at Fallen Timbers has recently been upgraded to all digital screens and received one 3-D screen from the closed theater in Maumee. The theater will receive an additional four 3-D screens by the end of the year.
By the end of the fall, Fallen Timbers will also have one large format theater, which features a bigger screen as well as enhanced picture and sound (Devine said ongoing negotiations prevent him from confirming whether the large screen will be the IMAX brand).
Theaters at the Westfield Franklin Park Mall and the Town Center at Levis Commons are scheduled to upgrade to all digital auditoriums by the end of October.
Franklin Park, which has two 3-D screens, will have a total of five by the end of the year. Levis Commons, which currently shows no 3-D films, will receive four 3-D screens.
The average cost of an upgrade is $100,000 per screen, Devine said. With 42 auditoriums owned by Rave, the company is investing approximately $4 million into the market.
Although the upgrades will allow the theaters to show more 3-D films, the company has made a commitment to show family films in 2-D as well.
“Some love 3-D, and some don’t like them,” Devine said. “If a family has four kids and don’t want to pay the up charge, go ahead and see it in 2-D and you will enjoy that type of movie.
“If you have a ‘Toy Story’-type movie, we’re committed to giving people choice.”
Benefits of digital
For the customers there are a number of benefits to digital technology, Devine said.
Digital films supply a richer picture with more pixels and there is no degeneration of film through time. Digital technology also eliminates sell out and capacity issues at theaters.
“Let’s say you’re at Bowling Green State University and a bunch of you and your buddies want to see the midnight show of ‘Harry Potter.’ Before we had a contract with the distributor and we’d get two or three prints. Once it sold out its sold out,” Devine said. “In the world of digital, at midnight we can just keep exporting this copy to all other auditoriums and therefore you can match the demand much better.”
Digital theaters also allow for more alternative content. Rave showed the World Cup as well as the BCS bowl game in 3-D, Devine said.
In October, Fallen Timbers will showcase Metropolitan Opera and with the screen upgrades more alternative programming will be coming, Devine said.
“With alternative content the concept is you can end up having a lot of unique programming and niche programming,” he said.
Digital content allows theater managers to be on the floor more, Griffin said. Previously, the managers were the only ones that switched films, but with digital technology a movie can be started and stopped with just the push of a button, he said.
In addition, digital technology also provides a platform for 3-D films.
In order to show 3-D, a digital projector must be equip with a special lens and the screen must be silver for more reflectivity, Griffin said. The 3-D film contains more frames per second as well as a right and left eye picture, he said.
The closing of Maumee’s theater was a necessary move in upgrading the film market in Northwest Ohio, Devine said. Rave needed to rearrange its resources within the market to afford the capital for technology upgrades, he said.
“We’re faced with nearly zero digital and virtually no 3-D in a marketplace that just keeps throwing it in,” Devine said. “You can’t not have this stuff available.”
Rave owned the building at Maumee, while it leases its space at Franklin Park, Levis Commons and Fallen Timbers, Devine said. The company couldn’t close what it didn’t own, so it closed the Maumee theater, he said. Rave, while not responsible for the numerous vacant buildings left by National Amusements, is actively working to find a use for the theater it closed in Maumee.
“We’re anxious to re-purpose our building. We think it will be a win for the community to be able to find a purpose. Were talking to a number of people I know real estate is working very hard on it,” he said.
It’s too early to determine if the closing of Maumee has cost Rave a loss, or temporary loss, but the other three theaters are showing an up-tick, Devine said.
All employees from Maumee were offered positions at the other three theaters too, Griffin said.
Other changes made by Rave Motion Pictures include 50 cents off matinee, adult and child tickets as well as free refills on large popcorn and fountain drinks.
Levis Commons will continue to play independent films dubbed “Rave Reviews,” and the company hopes to reinstate classic film screenings, “Rave Cinema Classics,” at the theater, said Devine.
To learn about one-time events or to view movie times, visit www.ravemotionpictures.com.