Movie theater Q & A

Metro 4 Cinemas (left) is closing on July 31. Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino new entertainment complex will feature a movie theater (concept rendering, right) and is scheduled to open in September 2018.

(Metro 4, left) Julissa Zavala, The Sentinel; (New theater concept rendering, right) Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino / Cord Media Company

Q. When is the Metro 4 Cinemas theater closing?

A. On Monday, July 31, the Metro 4 Cinemas will screen its last film. The closing was announced on the theater's Facebook page 10 days prior, on July 21.

Q. What movies are the Metro 4 screening during its final weekend?

A. “Despicable Me 3,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.” According to the theater’s Facebook page, “Valerian” and “Apes” are showing at 10 p.m. on Monday, making those films the final ones to be shown at the theater.

Q. How long has the Metro 4 Cinemas theater been open?

A. Culver Theatres opened the theater 34 years ago, in 1983.

Q. Who owns the Metro 4 theater now?

A. Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, who also own Sierra Vista Cinemas 16 in Clovis. Culver Theatres sold the Metro 4 to them in 2007, when they were named North American Cinemas.

Q. Why is the Metro 4 closing?

A. Neil Pearlmutter, vice president of Santa Rosa Entertainment Group, said in a statement, “Closing the Metro 4 was a hard decision and not one considered lightly. We thank our wonderful patrons for allowing us to serve you. We will certainly miss seeing you each and every week.” Staff members working at the theater were not allowed to answer any questions regarding the closing, per corporate regulations.

The movie industry, from the studios to your local theaters, is not without its share of problems right now. According to Vanity Fair, most North Americans only see five or six movies in theaters each year.

The New York Times reported that audience polling service PostTrak said in 2014, 32 percent of people – almost one-third – made their decision on what movie to see while still in line at the theater. That dropped to 28 percent a year later. People who will see whatever movie is playing at their local theater may be declining.

Q. How do movie theaters make money?

A. Movie theaters collect only around 40 percent of ticket sales, per a report from The Week. Movie studios – the companies that make the films – collect the rest. If a movie is expected to be a blockbuster, a studio may demand 90 percent of ticket sales during the film’s first week in theaters. This percentage split changes as the weeks go by, with the theaters getting an increased share of the revenue. Concessions, like popcorn and soda, are marked up heavily to make up for revenue not gained from ticket sales.

Q. So, are movie studios doing OK?

A. Not necessarily. Many of the most popular movies are from a single company – Disney, who owns Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Five of the top 10 grossing movies over the past 365 days were from Disney: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Moana” and “Doctor Strange.”

With Disney so far ahead of the pack, the other movie studios are exploring alternative ways to show their films. One option, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, is to make movies available in home for $50 only two to four weeks after the film is initially launched in theaters.

Deadline Hollywood disclosed that these premium video on demand models could cause movie theaters to lose $380 million a year, according to a Wall Street analyst. On top of that, Netflix wants to produce 40 films a year that would be available in theaters and on its streaming service on the same day, creating $558 million in potential losses.

Q. Where will I go to see movies now?

A. Cinemark Movies 8 in the Hanford Mall. Lemoore Stadium Cinemas. Galaxy Tulare Luxury+. Regal Visalia Stadium 10. Regal Visalia Sequoia Mall 12. Edwards Fresno Stadium 22. Regal Manchester Stadium 16 in Fresno. Maya Cinemas Fresno 16. On your television at home, via cable, DVD, Blu-Ray, or an increasing number of streaming options led by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Q. What did Tachi Palace announce?

A. Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino is building an over 88,000-square-foot entertainment complex in Lemoore that includes an eight-screen movie theater. The center will also feature a bowling alley, a video game arcade and a billiards room. It will also include a concourse, bar and concessions area for cocktails and refreshments.

Q. When will Tachi Palace’s new theater open?

A. Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino’s entertainment complex is scheduled to open in September 2018.

Q. Any big movies coming out in September 2018?

A. The fourth version of “A Star Is Born” is currently scheduled for September 28, 2018. This version stars Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay and Dave Chappelle. The most popular movies coming out in 2018 after September may be “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2,” “Aquaman” or “Mary Poppins Returns.”

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