Sunday, December 21, 2014
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

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics