Saturday, January 29, 2005

Film Exhibitors

I'm back to sorting out film industry economics for a whitepaper (among several) I'm working on for consulting. I was sifting through documents on distribution and started thinking about the exhibition market. In LA, it seems dominated by Edwards and indie houses seem to be at risk left and right. I'm sort of at a loss why the Fox needs to be saved while the Art can stay open, as well as venues up north like the Albany, Grand Lake, and Sequoia. It's an interesting "retail" question of localized draw, experiential dimensions, and industrial organization, with the consumer implication of what is screened (i.e., only fat margin films) and even community character (whatever that ill-defined term means). Will technology kill the art-house indie theatre, making it woefully cost-ineffective? On the other hand, will technology rationalize film distribution, allowing for more "product" in the channel through various modes (Internet, cinema, PPV, etc.) by lowering costs and risks? Does the big-screen 'film experience' matter, beyond the super SFX blockbusters? 
Above: interior-Grand Lake,

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