Monday, September 1, 2014

A little bit of awesomeness; the Ken survives

[This originally appeared on on April 24, 2014]

Its a day that make me proud that I live in San Diego.
Unknown-38As the headline from the Landmark Cinemas press release (below) today states: “A Community Speaks Out For Its Favorite Theater (And Wins)“, the good people of the city of San Diego have managed to reverse a disturbing trend, the trend being the closure of small, independently run cinema houses across the nation. The giant multiplexes have displaced the smaller venues for screening films, particularly those that show independent and foreign films. How many times have we heard of such theaters shutting down in town after town. It is no different than the systematic closure of smaller book stores around the country.
It seemed the Ken Cinema, that bastion of fringe/independent/foreign cinema in San Diego, and the only single-screen movie theater in the city, had run its final mile when it was announced two weeks ago that the legendary theater was going to shut down at the end of April. How could the place where I had watched The Kid With A Bike, and The Dark Horse and The Great Beauty, and the Oscar Nominated Shorts not exist anymore? The cinema, formally part of the Landmark Cinemas chain, was to have its final movie screening this week. It was unbearably sad to see the demise of a great local institution. There were the expected protests from movie lovers, but truth be told I had little hope that much would come from the outrage expressed by a small community of cinephiles. After all, the decision was based on economics and therefore immune to all the emotional reasoning in the world.
Imagine the great surprise then to hear this morning that the Ken Cinema owners were able to miraculously figure out terms to keep the cinema going! I know that the likes of Scott Marks (lead film critic for The Reader) refused to take no for an answer and became an indefatigable champion to keep the Ken alive. And many others added their voices. And alive it is now!
In a usually not so awesome world, this is a little bit of awesomeness. It fills me with pride to live in a place where people care about cinema enough to reverse a national trend! Not bad, San Diego, not bad at all.

Lauren Kleiman                                                                                    Chris Principio                                         
A Community Speaks Out for Its Favorite Movie Theatre (and Wins)
San Diego, Calif. (April 24, 2014)— Landmark Theatres, Property Owners, Barry Green and Randi Hock along with Torrey Pines Property Management President, Chip Crandall are happy to announce today that they have come to terms ensuring that the Ken Cinema will remain open for many years to come.
According to Ted Mundorff, President and CEO, Landmark Theatres, “the community spoke and we listened. Because of the outrage to the closing of this beloved theatre, it caused Landmark and the Berkun family to sit down and get it done.”
In addition, Landmark is looking to implement several upgrades to the theatre including a new digital system and luxurious seating.
This weekend, the theatre has scheduled a special ‘thank you’ celebration of their patrons favorite films including screenings of Seven Samurai, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Lebowski and Singin’ in the Rain. “Now instead of a sad celebration, this weekend will be filled with smiles and gratitude”, added Mundorff.
The Ken will reopen on May 2nd with a full schedule of showtimes.
About Landmark Theatres
Landmark Theatres is a recognized leader in the industry for providing independent and select commercial films in a sophisticated adult-oriented atmosphere. They have 50 theatres in 21 markets across the country.
Landmark Theatres is part of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes Magnolia Pictures, Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2929 Productions, AXS TV and HDNet Movies.
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