Greg Rutkowski, an exhibition veteran who was instrumental in several innovations during his 20-year tenure at AMC Theatres — including the circuit-wide introduction of the cupholder armrest — died November 28 in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer. He was 64. While at AMC, Rutowski helped expand the circuit, especially in LA, including AMC’s flagship theatre in Century City (Century 14) and one of the first high-volume theaters in Burbank (Burbank 10). He also opened the Santa Monica 7, among the first marquee tenants on the Third Street Promenade that eventually became a high-end retail district. Among his other operational successes (many still being used today) was exhibition’s first guest-loyalty program, AMC MovieWatcher Rewards, which was based on the airlines’ frequent-flier club models and proprietary research that showed the importance of “value added” amenities; the “Silence is Golden” marketing campaign to remind moviegoers not to talk during the movies, well before the days of cell phones; and Clip, the animated company mascot that appeared in the chain’s feature presentation trailers.
After AMC, Rutkowski co-founded with Jonathan Dern The Bigger Picture, a pioneer in the development and introduction of digitally delivered films; that company eventually became Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. He also worked at Sundance Cinemas as EVP and COO, and was EVP Corporate Development at Century Theatres. Most recently he ran Digital Attractions, a marketing and distribution company for indie films.
EXCLUSIVE: AMC Theaters pulled out all the stops to cash in on the huge audience interest in Marvel’s The Avengers, and the exhibition chain says today that the effort paid off. “We grossed almost $4M … Read More »
BREAKING… AMC Theatres made the announcement today and is adding more shows at participating locations. The May 3rd event will feature 6 Marvel movies including the May 4th midnight release of Marvel’s The Avengers in RealD 3D. Price is $40 for … Read More »
Web platform Tugg is teaming up with a group of exhibition powerhouses for a plan designed to give consumers a programming role in their local theater. Chains Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, AMC Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Goodrich … Read More »
UPDATE: Talk about advance planning. A handful of IMAX theaters that screened the special 6-minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol thought it would be a good idea to sell TDKR/IMAX 12:01 AM opening night … Read More »
AMC Theatres and the building’s owner, Avco Corp, couldn’t settle on new terms so it’s exiting the Avco Four-plex in Westwood on December 4th. AMC has a newer, cushier, larger, and busier theater in nearby Century City. But the owners … Read More »
UPDATE, 7:12 PM: Reps for MoviePass confirm they have thrown in the towel and canceled their test run in San Francisco this weekend. They say this is on a “temporary hiatus,” but I doubt we’ll see this service up and running again particularly since it’s clear two major theater chains don’t want it. That Moviepass counted six AMC theaters in its test run without actually getting clearance from that chain or from Landmark, probably qualifies this as one of the most boneheaded stillborn launches in recent entertainment history.
PREVIOUS: Hollywood doesn’t like to let newcomers into its exclusive club. When a couple of companies tried to sell sell futures based on box office movie grosses, the MPAA used its lobbying might to crush the ventures in DC. Netflix is one of the few interlopers that managed to create a niche for itself in the Hollywood infrastructure, helped by the indisputable fact it was providing a new revenue source at a time when DVD revenues went in the crapper. So it’s not surprising that an upstart service like MoviePass is having so many problems as it tries to test out a service that was to start this weekend in San Francisco. The plan was to charge $50 a month for passes that allowed buyers to see as many movies as they wanted in a calendar month. Stacy Spikes, one of the execs who formed the venture, seemed crestfallen this evening; on the eve of the test program, AMC and Landmark both said they hadn’t been informed about it, wanted no part of it and even seemed to scoff at it. Read More »
AMC Theatres will be the exclusive exhibitor for the pro-Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated, which charts the ex-Alaska governor’s rise to national prominence, and has solidified a release date: July 15 in select cities (Dallas, Denver, Oklahoma City, Orlando, … Read More »