Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Canonizations among events coming to theater near you

By
From page A11 | April 28, 2014 |

PITTSBURGH — Move over, movies. Some of the best entertainment at your local cinema wasn’t shot in Hollywood, nor would it be eligible for Academy Awards.

Thanks to the growing concept of “event cinema,” everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to Pope Francis can be a star on the big screen.

Stage plays, sports and news events such as the canonizations this Sunday of two newly minted saints at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City – in 3-D and ultrahigh definition, no less – are being streamed around the world to patrons watching from their local movie house.

The advent of all-digital capability, not to mention satellite dishes at most major movie houses, has made all of this possible. Not only is far-flung fare brought to the local movie house, seats are much cheaper than attending the actual events.

“The audience has pretty much always been there, but it was difficult to deliver (the content),” said John Rubey, CEO of Fathom Events, a leading digital content producer based in Centennial, Colo. “In the early days, I think 2000, I remember we had to bring up satellite trucks to one event.”

Don Roy King has won Emmy Awards for directing “Saturday Night Live” on television. But he’s also deeply invested in the concept of stage-to-big-screen, live-event projects. He was one of the first to work on event cinema in the United States (with the musical “Tin Types” in the late 1990s) and his most recent challenge was capturing the Broadway production of “Romeo and Juliet,” starring Orlando Bloom.

“It’s sort of like a sporting event,” King said, comparing live to big screen. “Watching football on television is a different medium and each has its advantage, but they are both viable entertainment options.”

“At home, you don’t get that big field of green and the smell of the popcorn and the shake of the stands when the fans scream, but in the stands you don’t get the instant replays and the different camera angles and the commentary of the color man.”

Event cinema – also known as alternate content – is a rising trend, a chance for companies such as the National Theatre in London to grow their brand and for exhibitors such as Cinemark and Cleveland Cinemas to attract new audiences willing to pay premium prices.

“There are whole companies out there specifically targeting (the filming of) sports events or concerts,” said David Huffman, director of marketing for Cleveland Cinemas. “Everybody carves out a little niche as to what sort of specialty programming they want to pursue.”

It’s specialty, all right: an eclectic array of events have included a stand-up comedy concert by the French performer Florence Foresti; a tour of the National Gallery’s “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan”; the Wimbledon men’s and women’s tennis finals in 3-D; a live 50th anniversary broadcast of BBC cult hit “Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor”; Broadway’s “Memphis”; Aerosmith’s “Rock for the Rising Sun” concert in Japan; and George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in spade-wielding 3-D.

The modern-day commercial movie theater experience has become unpleasantly wedded to the practice of preceding the feature with 20 minutes of commercials and film trailers. In contrast, live event cinema is often preceded by extras such as a red carpet arrival for the Los Angeles premiere of “Abduction,” a 2011 movie filmed in Pittsburgh.

In between acts of some live events, such as the Metropolitan Opera, there might be cameras backstage to catch the singers as they dash for a drink or costume change.

“I think it’s a wonderful new asset. It’s a very powerful tool, being able to lift the curtain and see the magic behind it,” said Christopher Hahn, general director of the Pittsburgh Opera.

While access to specialized content comes at a higher price — typically $15 to $24, compared with the mainstream 2-D film price of $7.75 to $10.75 — it’s still far cheaper than seeing the real thing.

For example, the Peabody Award-winning “The Met: Live in HD” series is in its eighth season. It premieres opera live on Saturday afternoons, and encore performances generally are broadcast the following Wednesday evenings.

Theaters often pay a monthly rental fee to access content on a digital server. Fathom Events bills itself as the nation’s largest distributor of alternate content, supplying a national network of more than 1,500 theaters.

Fathom is owned by three major movie theater players: AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings and Regal Entertainment Group. It is partnering with Omniverse Vision to film and present the West End version of a new musical, “From Here to Eternity.”

Like “Macbeth” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “From Here to Eternity” is scheduled one day to play across the pond on Broadway. The National Theatre has honed its process for filming and producing event cinema, which is why it’s possible to cinecast – a term used to describe the streaming of event cinema – Helen Mirren in “The Audience” or Simon Russell Beale in “King Lear” with little fuss. Broadway is a different story.

“In some cases where you have a legacy production, you can have seven to 10 rights holders. And if you can’t get all of them to agree, you can’t do anything,” said Fathom’s Rubey. “Nothing is impossible, but by the same token, it’s more of a challenge.”

Broadway banks on big shows’ ability to tour, something that might be undercut if it chose to widely cinecast fare. In addition, Hollywood often casts its net toward what’s popular; a movie version of the long-running hit “Jersey Boys” is due out in June.

As for the Met, which has experienced soft ticket sales for three years, general manager Peter Gelb suggested to The New York Times that the live cinema events has led, possibly, to a mild “cannibalization” of its audience.

The Pittsburgh Opera’s Hahn said that has not been the case here.

“A lot of people say, ‘Well, I loved this or that, but I love this one (live at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center for the Performing Arts) more.’ And not just because it’s live, but it’s that experience of being in an audience with 2,000 people and experiencing the movement and the sound of everything there.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Girls on the Run expands, seeks volunteers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Doctors starting to shy away from non-vaccine advocates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ukraine: Russia-backed rebels overrun another town in east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

California meets judges’ prison crowding goal 1 year early

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Root of US political paralysis: Intolerance

By Clive Crook | From Page: A11

 
Left’s missteps show themselves – given time

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9