Tag Archives: movie theaters

Theaters say Bloomy’s soda ban will hurt bottom line


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Terence Cullen

Many businesses — and soda drinkers alike — are hoping that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban will fizzle out.

Russell Levinson, the general manager of MovieWorld in Douglaston Plaza, said the rules under the ban were unfair and would severely hurt his theatre’s business.

“It’s hitting us disproportionately — movie theatres and fast food chains will be the most affected,” he said.

The theatre, along with other businesses, has signed a citywide petition against the suggested ban. At press time, 183,463 individuals and 2,002 organizations have signed it.

Levinson then posted the petition on the theater’s website. Another way to catch the interest of moviegoers was the theatre’s marque. For several weeks, the line “say no to the soda ban” sat on the bottom marque — under the list of this summer’s top blockbusters.

Levinson said the efforts might not amount to much, but was hopeful that there might be some final decision or compromise that would washout the ban.

“I don’t have a lot of confidence that we’re going to be successful, but maybe there will be some last minute miracle,” he said.

Bloomberg said at a Tuesday, August 28 press conference that his administration was not changing any rules in the soda ban.

“If you ask the question, ‘Should we ban full-sugar drinks?’ you get the answer, ‘No,’” Bloomberg told The Wall Street Journal. “Unfortunately for your story line, that’s not what we’re doing. All we’re doing is saying that restaurants and movie theaters can’t use greater than 16-ounce cups. But if you want to buy five of them and drink it, you can go ahead and do it. So, nobody’s hurting anything.”

The smallest size soda at MovieWorld, which is independently owned, is the “kids” size that is 12 ounces, Levinson said. The theatre’s size small is 22 ounces, Levinson said, and would be way over the limit set under the ban.

“Your smallest kids size would just make it,” he said. “Everything will have to be changed and [soda companies] will have to come up with new alternatives as well.”

MovieWorld, like many other theaters, does not profit from ticket sales; rather, concession sales — popcorn, candy, nachos and soda — account for the theatre’s main revenue.

“You only make profit in concession,” he said. “Your popcorn and your soda are your two biggest sales and your two biggest profit margins. We will have to be very creative if this goes through.”

While fighting obesity is a good idea to Levinson, the theatre manager said banning soda from movies and restaurants was not the best way to go about it.

“I just think it’s the wrong way to go about fighting obesity,” he said. “I don’t think it attacks the problem where it should be. Soda is maybe 10 percent of somebody’s diet at most.”

NYPD to amp up protection at theaters in wake of shooting


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of WB/Ron Phillips

In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado massacre on opening night of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the NYPD announced they will provide police presence at theaters showing the film.

“As a precaution against copycats and to raise the comfort levels among movie patrons in the wake of the horrendous shooting in Colorado, the New York City Police Department is providing coverage at theaters where the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is playing in the five boroughs,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

Kelly said at a press conference this afternoon that he will have two officers stationed at 40 theaters throughout the city.

There was no police presence outside College Point Multiplex Cinema Friday afternoon, but moviegoers did not seem worried.

“That’s in Colorado – not New York. Anything can happen, but I’m not scared,” said Chris Nardi, 19, of Elmhurst.

A gunman opened fire at a Colorado movie theater killing 12 people and wounding dozens more.

Reports have identified 24-year-old James Holmes as a suspect who was taken into custody.

“I’m a big Batman fan…Unfortunately last night, somebody took it to the next level. I don’t know what was going on through his head. Maybe he took the movie too seriously. Maybe he thought that was how life really is. Unfortunately, he took it out on innocent people who were trying to have a good time. It’s a real shame,” said David Nisbett, 24, of Bayside.

“It’s not enough to prevent me from having a good time. It is enough to keep my eyes open while I’m having a good time because anything can stop that at any moment.”

— Additional reporting by Melissa Chan