From Morocco to Cuba: Documenting the World’s Endangered Cinemas

When I go to the cinema lately, I’ll admit, it does feel nostalgic, almost as if I’m doing something like they did “in the old days”– and my local cinema isn’t even a charming independent one. Should we blame it on Netflix? From our smartphones to internet-abled TV, today we have more entertainment options at our fingertips all the time, than ever before. Netflix has over 85 million members and operates in more than 190 countries worldwide. You’d like to think that cinemas will never disappear, but are you sure they really won’t?

If it did happen, at least German-born photographer Stephan Zaubitzer will have documented most of what we lost. In an ongoing archive of photographs, Stephan has been taking pictures of cinemas in city centers around the world, endlessly fascinated by their dark interiors and outlandish architecture that always stands out from their urban surroundings.

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It all started in Morocco in 2003 when his flight was delayed in Burkina Faso and so he went out into the city to explore and began photographing the city’s movie theatres. The rest is history– and a lot of its fascinating old cinemas….(read more)


Read the rest of this entry »


San Francisco Theater Evacuated After Reports of Gunman 

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Authorities received a 911 call Tuesday night of a person possibly armed with a handgun inside a movie theater at the Metreon shopping center. No injuries were reported.

San Francisco police says a man is in custody and a handgun has been recovered from inside a movie theater that was evacuated after officials received reports of a possible gunman. No injuries were reported.

“Witness Jeff Wincek tells the San Francisco Chronicle that though the theater was dark, he saw the glint of a gun barrel as the man waved the handgun. He says the man stayed seated while others ran out of the theater.”

San Francisco Police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan says authorities received a 911 call Tuesday night of a person possibly armed with a handgun inside a movie theater at the Metreon shopping center.

She says officers responded to the shopping center in downtown San Francisco and evacuated one of the theaters “in an abundance of caution.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Washington Mall Shooting: Gunman Kills 5, Disappears #CascadeMallShooting

A man armed with a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, fatally shot five people and vanished into the night.

A man carrying a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, shot dead four women and a man, and vanished into the night, police said.

Authorities believe only one person fired the shots at Cascade Mall in Burlington on Friday night.

A search is underway for an armed man who headed toward Interstate 5 after the attack, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a spokesman for the state patrol.

Francis released a blurry surveillance picture of a man described as the suspect. His motive or relationship to the victims, if any, are unclear, he said.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

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Witnesses described chaotic scenes and confusion when the shooting started about 7 p.m. local time

Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was watching a movie at the mall when attendants suddenly told them to leave.

“I didn’t know anything,” she said. “The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they were asked to have everyone leave immediately.”

Washington mall shooting: One suspect at large

At first, she thought it was a drill.

“But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster,” she said, referring to the shooting at a movie theater in 2012 that left 12 dead.

When they got outside, they saw numerous police vehicles, but no officers in sight, Montreuil said.

“We didn’t know if it was a fire so we were looking for smoke of some kind. Then a few officers started canvassing through the crowds asking if anybody saw anything.”

An officer “with a large gun started yelling for people to leave, and fast,” she said.

Armando Patino said he was working at a T-Mobile store near Macy’s when he heard the commotion.

“Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Patino told CNN affiliate KOMO.
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“I hear one shot and and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying, ‘gun.’ ”

Some of the people dashed out of the Macy’s store, unsure of where to go. Read the rest of this entry »


Judge Formally Sentences James Holmes to Life in Prison

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Prosecutors have said the jury was divided on the sentence, with 11 favoring death and one favoring life without parole. Under Colorado law, jurors must be unanimous to impose the death penalty, so Holmes automatically got a life sentence.

Sadie Gurman reports: James Holmes was an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, the judge said Wednesday before formally sentencing him to life in prison.

“We know that is very, very hard for people to see. We cannot feel the depths of your pain. We can only listen to everything you have expressed, and we pray for you…We are very sorry this tragedy happened, and sorry everyone has suffered so much.”

— Arlene Holmes

Samour contrasted Holmes’ bloody assault with the compassion of a juror who voted for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. And he noted the trial was fair, even if some victims were disappointed that Holmes didn’t get the death penalty.

Judge Carlos Samour sits on the bench during the sentencing phase of James Holmes' trial, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, at Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Victims and their families were given the opportunity to speak about the shooting and its effects on their lives. Holmes was convicted Aug. 7 of murdering 12 people when he opened fire on a crowded movie theater in 2012. (RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)

Judge Carlos Samour sits on the bench during the sentencing phase of James Holmes’ trial, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, at Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. (RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)

“It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts.”

— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.

Samour formally sentenced Holmes to life in prison without parole for the murders of 12 people. He also was sentencing Holmes to more than to 3,200 additional years for attempted murder and an explosives conviction.

The judge had no other sentencing option on the murder charges after a jury earlier this month did not unanimously agree that Holmes should get the death penalty. Samour issued his sentence after two days of testimony from survivors of the attack, including first responders.

District Attorney George Brauchler listens to victim statements being read in court during the sentencing phase in James Holmes' trial.

District Attorney George Brauchler listens to victim statements being read in court during the sentencing phase in James Holmes’ trial.

“Jurors rejected Holmes’ insanity plea, convicting him of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 others when he opened fire on a packed theater in suburban Denver on July 20, 2012.”

But he first spent more than half an hour defending the integrity of the justice system and disputing complaints that the trial was a waste of time. He noted the proceedings gave family members an opportunity to tell the world about their slain loved ones and provided survivors the chance to talk about their ordeal.

“I believe in the system. I said that before, and I’ll say it again. I believe in the system.”

— Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.

Samour disputed some victims’ suggestion that Holmes would have an easy life behind bars, noting prison is harsh and restrictive.

More than 100 victims and survivors testified this week about the searing physical and emotional scars the 2012 shooting has left. Read the rest of this entry »


Movie Theater Attack: When is America Going to Get Serious About Hatchet Control?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — A suspect wielding a hatchet and a gun inside a Nashville-area movie theater died after exchanging gunshots with a SWAT team that stormed the theater, police said Wednesday.

The suspect, only identified so far as 51-year-old white male, was wearing a surgical mask and was armed with a gun and a hatchet at the Carmike Hickory 8 theater in Antioch, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for Metro Nashville police. The suspect was said to be a local resident. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Shooting at The Grand Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, During ‘Trainwreck’ Screening, Shooter Reported Dead

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The Grand Theatre is a ‘Gun Free Zone’.

Two people are reportedly dead and at least six people have been injured after a shooting occurred inside a screening of “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“We think the shooter is dead,” police chief Jim Craft told reporters during a press conference. “It really is a chaotic scene…

Variety

(KADN) — myarklamiss.com reports: What we know now is that an unidentified person went into the Grand Theatre on Johnston street in Lafayette and opened fire. It’s unclear right now where in the building the shooting took place.

What we do know is there are at least 6 people injured and sources are confirming that the shooter is dead. State police say that there was an “active shooter” and it is now over.

Two people are confirmed dead including the shooter. Shooting was inside of a theatre. It is worth noting that The Grand Theatre is a “Gun Free Zone”.

Police are currently checking the theatre and parking lot for explosives.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.  Read full story here.

Developing…

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From Associated Press updating coverage:

Lafayette police Chief Jim Craft says the death toll in the movie theater shooting has increased to three.

Craft said at a news conference that seven victims were wounded and their injuries ranged from not life-threatening to critical.

Authorities have not released the identity of the gunman but say the 58-year-old white man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: Hundreds of German Theaters Boycotting Marvel Film

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Ryan Gajewski reports: The heroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron won’t be assembling at a number of German theaters.

“We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany. When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close.”

—  Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord

Theaters in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney‘s raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.

Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses. Read the rest of this entry »


ゴジラ!Godzilla Resurrected as Kabukicho Tourism Ambassador

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The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: Godzilla is playing a leading role again — this time as a tourist attraction in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, where the monster is working to resurrect the area’s reputation as a film hub.

“The 12-meter-high Godzilla head is a centerpiece of the building. The sculpture is installed 52 meters above ground level — matching the height of the original monster that appeared in the first film in 1954.”

The 30-story Shinjuku Toho building opened Friday in Kabukicho on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater. Thanks to the installation of a colossal sculpture of Godzilla’s head, the monster himself appears to be hovering over a terrace on the eighth floor. The new building houses a fancy movie theater and a hotel with rooms from which Godzilla can be observed close-up.

Kabukicho shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other business operators expect the new building to help reinvigorate the district as a center for cinema lovers. “We’ll do our best to make Kabukicho a safe, secure place,” said Mototsugu Katagiri, the 66-year-old head of the district’s commerce association, at a dedication ceremony Thursday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunAn aerial photograph of the Shinjuku Toho building constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater

The Yomiuri Shimbun – An aerial photograph of the Shinjuku Toho building constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater

Kabukicho was formerly home to more than a dozen movie theaters, but that number has dwindled as fewer people have been going to the cinema. Shinjuku Milano Theater was shuttered at the end of last year, leaving the district without a single movie house.

The Shinjuku Toho building was constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater, which closed in 2008. The new facility features a hotel and a movie complex.

With 12 screens and 2,347 seats, Toho Cinemas Shinjuku occupies the third to sixth floors. The theater features deluxe seats equipped with marble tray tables and power recliners. Read the rest of this entry »


COMING SOON: ‘Rise of the Entitlebots’

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Greg’s new movie “Rise of the Entitlebots” about a virus that infects people, forcing them to demand things from other people, that they can easily afford themselves.

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Official: 14-year-old went to Woody Allen Movie after Killing Teacher

WoodyShrugs1A 14-year-old Danvers High School freshman ducked into a darkened movie theater for a matinee of the new Woody Allen movie after authorities say he murdered his popular math teacher and dumped her body in the woods, a law-enforcement source said.

Authorities did not say specifically when they believe Philip D. Chism “assaulted and subsequently murdered” 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer. But the source said it was before he bought a ticket to the 4:30 p.m. Tuesday screening of “Blue Jasmine” at the Hollywood Hits theater in Danvers. Police reported Chism left the theater about an hour and a half later.

The theater manager said Chism “blended right in.”

Boston Herald