Heading to Hollywood, Florida for ShowEast


Each year at this time, theatre owners and members of the motion picture industry prepare for their trek to Hollywood, Florida to attend ShowEast. There are lots of reasons to attend—to see holiday films; to visit the trade show and experience new technologies; to attend educational seminars. But the most important reason, from this editor’s viewpoint, is to network with one’s peers in the industry.

One can really get the pulse of the industry by interacting with others at ShowEast. If the feeling is upbeat, it could be because product for the remainder of the year is solid and commercial. If you hear a lot of tech language, it could be because there are demonstrations of the new multi-channel sound systems or laser projection. Or if you are just sitting in the lobby bar, you can get a good read on growth opportunities, new innovations and films coming down the pike.

So, yes, there is something for everyone and ShowEast has it for you. ShowEast is mostly about film. And for this edition, the current agenda has seven features from Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Fox and The Weinstein Co. Additionally, there will be demonstrations of the Dolby and Barco multi-channel audio systems. And for those looking for a glimpse of the future, we’ve learned that Christie will be doing a demo of laser projection and is hoping to screen an entire feature in this process.

ShowEast has teamed up with The Coca-Cola Company to present the Cinema Retail Workshop, where a number of theatrical exhibitors will compete on programs they initiated at their theatres to promote a product. The National Association of Concessionaires will host a Concessions Spotlight featuring products to be displayed on the trade show floor, which will be followed by an expert panel discussing the laws and regulations involved with implementing an alcohol beverage program in theatres. And the trade show will feature many new products and highlights which can be previewed in the November edition of FJI.

The final-night awards dinner, hosted once again by Coca-Cola, will be themed to The Hunger Games and pay tribute to Kyle Davies of Relativity Media, Ellis Jacob of Cineplex Entertainment, Mike Polydoros of Lionsgate, Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama, Michael Lewis of RealD and Phil Rafnson of Moving iMage Technologies.

The November edition of FJI includes an in-depth interview with Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob. The past two decades have seen Cineplex switch to digital and create Ultra AVX (large-format) and VIP houses. Ellis has become the leading figure in theatrical exhibition in Canada. Today Cineplex operates 136 theatres and 1,454 screens and welcomes some 71 million guests annually. Ellis has orchestrated this great expansion via acquisitions including Cineplex Odeon, Famous Players, Cinema City, and several AMC Theatres last year.

Ellis believes that you always have opportunity if you have new ideas. He is building the first all-VIP Cinema under construction at the Shops at Don Mills in Toronto, where all screens will offer luxury amenities as opposed to a select number having been established in existing theatres. Alternative programming, Super Ticket and their SCENE loyalty program are also examples of things that Cineplex does well.

Giving back to the community and helping those in need are very important to Ellis. Whether hosting an annual Community Day that last year raised $425,000 for Starlight Children’s Foundation or by responding to immediate needs like the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy, Cineplex offers needed support.

ShowEast has made a wise choice in honoring this gentleman from Canada and this editor and his staff are delighted that we can profile him in the new edition of FJI.

Saluting a Groundbreaker
Ironically, it’s not until a person dies that you learn more about them and how important and respected the individual truly was, judging by the wonderful things being written or said about them. That’s certainly the case when it comes to the late Ray Dolby. Glowing quotes about Mr. Dolby have appeared from a who’s-who of the industry, including George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Sid Ganis and many others.

Ray Dolby was a great pioneer is his field and is recognized around the world for developing groundbreaking audio technologies. His work in noise reduction and surround sound led to the development of many state-of-the-art technologies, for which his namesake company holds more than 50 U.S. patents. Because of his pioneering work, Dolby Labs’ technologies are an essential part of the creative process for recording artists and filmmakers.

Ray founded Dolby Labs in 1965 and over the years the company transformed the entertainment experience, from the cinema to the living room to mobile entertainment.  The industry has awarded Dolby Labs with 10 Academy Awards and 13 Emmy Awards for its groundbreaking achievements.

This editor was fortunate to have met Ray on a few occasions. He was thoughtful and patient and loved to talk about movies, sound and flying. Yes, Ray was an accomplished pilot and flew many types of planes.

Along with his wife Dagmar, Ray was active in philanthropy and supported numerous causes and organizations. In recent years, the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building at the University of San Francisco’s Stem Cell Center and the Brain Health Center at California Pacific Medical Center both received generous donations from the Dolby family.
You cannot go a day without seeing the Dolby logo on some piece of technical equipment or home entertainment system. These breakthroughs will always remind us of Ray’s reach and intelligence.