The Bridge, Showcase at the Ritz to Change Hands?
As I reported today, The Bridge multiplex at the University of Pennsylvania and Showcase at the Ritz in Voorhees, NJ -- respectively leased and owned by the cash-strapped National Amusements chain, cornerstone of Sumner Redstone's corporate empire -- are being eyed by the Dallas-based Rave Motion Pictures, a chainlet with over 400 screens in 14 cities, including Dallas, Forth Worth and Columbus, Ohio.
Known for its state-of-the-art digital technology and nifty seating (that includes retractable armrests that make cuddling possible), Rave operates upscale multiplexes that show primarily mainstream movies. (A random search of offerings at its Forth Worth and Columbus multiplexes show that while Rave is exhibiting artier titles such as Brothers, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Everybody's Fine, its focus is on fare such as Twilight and The Princess and the Frog.)
Should Rave acquire the Voorhees multiplex, upon its opening in 1996 one of the premier moviegoing destinations in the nation, with real marble details instead of Corian, will it spell the end of that theater's showing of independent films? At that 16-plex, Showcase reduced the number of screens dedicated to artfilms from about eight to four. If you're a regular at either of these theaters, what features would you like to see under new ownership?