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Hoyts Now 50:50 Ownership
                                                                                  Kerry Packer’s Publishing and
                                                                               Broadcasting Limited has formed a
                                                                               joint venture with West Australian
                                                                               Newspapers Holdings to buy the Hoyts
                                                                               Group from Packer’s privately owned
          Rivoli Acknowledged.                                                 Consolidated Press Holdings.
            I was interested to read in CR 45  •  NEWSREEL                 •      PBL and WAN will each pay
                                             •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • • •
          that the Rivoli in Camberwell Road                               ••
                                                                               $173.5 million for a half share in
          Hawthorn has been named by Screen  ••  CINEMA, THEATRE &         •   Hoyts. The Hoyts Group includes
          International as one of the world’s best  •                      ••
                                                                               Hoyts Exhibition; 377 screens across
          cinemas.                          ••  SHOWBUSINESS NEWS •            47 multiplexes in Australasia; Hoyts
            This is pleasing to me because I  • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• •  Distribution and Val Morgan, the
          was the Honorary Heritage Officer for  IMAX Thinks Big               largest cinema-advertising group in
          the Art Deco Society Inc. and a
                                               The Toronto-based IMAX          Australasia.
          member of its Preservation Committee.
                                            Corporation is pinning expansion plans  PBL and WAN have ambitions to
          The committee provided heritage and
                                            on two developments.               boost Hoyts earnings by more than 50
          architectural advice for the
                                               No longer is it necessary to build a  percent in 20005-06. Twelve cinemas
          redevelopment of this significant
                                            dedicated cinema, which costs at least  will be refurbished and three opened,
                                            $US 5 million. Instead, it is possible to  but analysts have expressed doubts
            My responsibility started with
                                            retro-fit a multiplex for $1.7 million, in  about one thrust of the plan – to
          advice to Boroondara Council at
                                            a makeover called MPX.             increase ticket and snack bar prices. In
          hearings on architectural and planning                               Australia, 65 percent of cinema revenue
          matters, and evolved to working as a  Second, IMAX Corp. is now able to  is from ticket sales, but in the U.S.
          heritage consultant with the Village  release film in its IMAX format at the  where outside snacks are banned at
          Roadshow architects and designers.  same time as the main release. Using a
                                            process called DMR, it takes about four  most cinemas, food sales sometimes
            I must compliment Village                                          account for the bulk of profits.
                                            weeks to ‘blow-up’ a film at a cost of
          Roadshow on their positive attitude to
                                            $5 million, which is shared between the  Greater Union has banned patrons
          heritage matters on this major project.
                                            company and the relevant studio. The  from bringing in food from outside.
          They listened carefully to our requests
                                            company can also turn an animated  Hoyts has said that it will not do the
          submitted on behalf of the Art Deco
                                            picture into a 3-D movie for $10   same. In Australia Hoyts has 23 per
          Society and were prepared to amend
                                            million and do it just as quickly.   cent of gross box office revenue.
          their plans to ensure that the integrity
                                               Polar Express, which was released  -Business Review Weekly
          of the building was maintained. They
                                            on traditional screens and in IMAX,  10 March 05, and later issues.
          were a splendid company to deal with.
                                            was the first major animated feature  A Gloomy Forecast
          Cliff Skinner, Elwood
                                            film in 3-D. In an era where the time  Unless the new Hoyts is holding
            Cliff Skinner has a background in  between a film’s release and its  some aces close, their optimism for
          Town Planning, Architecture and Land  appearance on TV is getting ever  2005 seems unrealistic, according to an
          Economics. He is a Fellow of the Town  shorter, IMAX seems to give a film a  assessment of Melbourne exhibition
          Planning Institute of Australia and a  longer life because it is a spectacle that  trends by CATHS member and industry
          Life Member of the Art Deco Society  cannot be replicated at home.   insider David Kilderry.
          Inc.                                 There are 46 IMAX cinemas across   In an on-line editorial, David points
            Cliff has had a long time interest in  Europe, out of 240 worldwide, and the  out the folly of the push for more
          international cinema designs and has  company reckons it can double its  screens in Melbourne when the
          inspected many inter-war cinema   European presence over the next few  overseas experience has been dire: in
          complexes in the United States, Canada  years. It has 16 under development  2000 in the USA, eight out of the top
          and Britain.                      across the continent and there are 13  ten exhibitors were forced to file for
                                            possible sites in Britain - on top of the  bankruptcy protection.
                                            nine already there.
                                                                                       CINEMARECORD 2005     5
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