Gareth of Skewed and Reviewed spoke with Damon Rubio of Ultrastar Cinemas about the changes in store for the industry and cinemas as well as the history of the company.
I agree with some of the stuff he is saying, like the things about 3D or how the distributors are the ones to blame for the hollywood problems. However being from AZ he is fibbing on a lot of things too. -Their main theater is in upscale Scottsdale, in the middle of a really busy and fancy market here. Its not "in the middle of no where" or "secondary market." Its basically the West Hollywood of Arizona. -They are not the only theater doing those deals. Harkins is the leading chain here and has way more customer friendly things. They have the popcorn deal AND one for soda's, they also have free things if you buy so many tickets etc...Let's also not forget student and military discount, VERY IMPORTANT. -ultraStar has the cool "4D" stuff, but not every movie is made for it, and it cost twice as much to see it there. They also don't have student/military discounts. If they were true to the "secondary market" then we would have one in places we find Harkins theaters, but we don't. Its in major markets, and no where near key markets. I do like their idea of a "full experience" its just not cost friendly in my opinion, especially since gas prices here are over 4 dollars already and it no where near us.
Ultrastar is opening the only theater in Maricopa in November and are expanding to more remote areas where Harkins has not yet reached. But Harkins has the Loyalty Program. I do not agree with the 3D for live action as it is a night and day difference to me for that. I remember not being able to make the press showing of Tron Legacy, we paid the 10.00 upcharge for two 3D tickets, and the movie opened with a text saying that large parts of the film were shot in 2D and that was the intended viewing format. I would have liked to have known this. They try to say Real 3D and so on, but the only way to know is to do the research. I know Drive Angry used Shot in 3D as part of the campaign, but still look at all the lousy conversions. Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Thor, Captain America, Harry Potter, etc in the last year alone. People are souring on the tech when they are getting ripped off, no matter how much conversion you do, it will never be the same quality as a shot in 3D film.
It is interesting though, I have enjoyed being in a market in the last year with two regional chains instead of having AMC be your only real option with a few Century and another large chain being all there is.
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