Cinecon location

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
Histogram
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Cinecon location

Unread post by Histogram » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:46 pm

Has there been much serious discussion lately about relocating Cinecon? Hotels and motels in the Zone (Hollywood neighborhood) have become ridiculously expensive.

The Glendale locations in 1999 worked well for me, as did Hollywood for several years. Eventually I would just attend for one full day with a day-pass. That is, I would hit the road early to infiltrate the Zone; find a parking space; attend screenings and dealer rooms all day; and successfully find egress from the Zone late at night when there is little traffic to contend with.

I considered attending the full festival in 2018 -- but everything is overpriced (aside from the festival pass itself).

Is Cinecon losing potential attendees because of this? I am a bit blase about the Hollywood neighborhood. The Egyptian Theater is great. A few book stores are excellent -- Larry Edmunds among others. But the area is essentially an obstacle that gets in the way of the all-important screenings of films. There are other great theaters and hotels that can accommodate dealers.

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9358
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:19 am

The Motel 6 on Whitley is inexpensive and just a couple of blocks away from the Egyptian. It is nothing fancy, but you will only be sleeping there if you are watching films 14 hours a day.

Histogram
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Histogram » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:13 pm

Motel 6 is a good example of the problem I described.

I stayed there in 2002 while I attended the full festival, Thursday - Monday. Motel 6 on Whitley Ave. is a five-floor building. I got a room on the 3rd floor. Noise from upstairs woke me up. I am with you in the goal of getting a basic place to stay that is nothing-fancy, just somewhere to sleep and to store luggage and park a car safely. Being awakened during the limited time available for sleeping is an elementary failure.

In 2002, I paid $58/night plus taxes at this motel. Afterward, I decided to find other places to stay. Now, in 2018, the cheapest price I see at the same place is $114/night plus taxes.

Nick_M
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Nick_M » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:16 pm

The solution to being awakened is simple: sleep with earplugs.

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:21 am

Nick_M wrote:The solution to being awakened is simple: sleep with earplugs.
not an option for me.

much as I love the Eqyptian, I would also welcome discussion about relocating Cinecon, or return to the days when it traveled.

Adding insult to injury to the expense of lodging, Hollywood Boulevard becomes a zoo during the Saturday and Sunday nights of Labor Day weekend ... to the point that I feel a bit unsafe walking back to the hotel when the last film gets out around midnight.

We've also experienced safety concerns within the Loews hotel.

FilmGauge
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by FilmGauge » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:29 pm

I attended a few Cinecons back when it traveled around the country. Living in the Northeast makes California cost prohibitive for me.

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9358
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by silentfilm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:24 pm

I love the Egyptian Theater. It is historic. They can project different film gauges.

Cinecon is an enormous undertaking. They have dedicated group of volunteers in L.A. I'm sure that a big chunk of the audience comes from Southern California. If it moved anywhere but New York or San Francisco, attendance will be greatly decreased.

I agree that it is expensive to travel to Cinecon (or other film festivals). Finding a roommate and using public transportation can reduce the cost. I've only been six times and have not had that problem with noise, but I always bring ear plugs whenever I stay at a hotel for any reason.

Histogram
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Histogram » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:46 pm

There are other theaters and hotels in the Los Angeles area.

These days, Hollywood in particular is a price-gouging neighborhood. Hotels from mid-level downward are ripoffs. There are a surprising number of mediocre properties with inept hoteliers in the area, and the prices are nuts. I have wondered for a long time how that market endures. I suspect much of the mid-level hotel commerce depends on an endless supply of first-time visitors who will be disappointed with poor quality and high prices and might never return. This is evidenced by hotel reviews. However, there is no need for us to pile into a price-gouging neighborhood as if we were naive first-time visitors.

Cinecon's previous location in Glendale had a nice theater and hotel. The Alex Theater is still open. There are others in the region, too. How about rewarding hotels and hotel operators that are reasonably high-quality and well-priced and have a theater in the vicinity?

Regarding Motel 6, I described both sides of a transaction: what-you-get and what-you-pay.

What-I-got. In my earlier message I used neutral language to describe a problem concisely: "Noise from upstairs woke me up." To elaborate, I was repeatedly awakened by percussive noise from overhead in the form of door-slams and occasional furniture slams that defeated the earplugs that I was using.

What-I-paid: $71/night including taxes [2002 dollars] = $99/night including taxes [2018 dollars]. Last time I checked, the lowest price in 2018 is $133/night including taxes. The real cost, adjusted for inflation, increased 34% over the years, and it was too high to start with. Similar stories at other hotels.

My response is to walk away from the transaction. In other words, I stopped going to the full festival.

Charles
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:34 am

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Charles » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:38 pm

I don't really have a horse in the race, as I live here in Los Angeles. I would be happy with Cinecon at any location, but realistically, it's not moving. Might I suggest Airbnb? I see multiple available rentals in Hollywood for under a hundred dollars, some for significantly less if one is willing to have only a room within a larger place or to be farther away from the Egyptian. I've used it myself for Cinevent in Columbus the past two years and had great experiences at a fraction of the cost of a downtown hotel. Just my two cents.

Nick_M
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Nick_M » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:15 am

Not only Airbnb, but there are several hostels nearby. The Egyptian has great public transit access, too. A hotel along the Red Line or the several bus lines would be fairly easy to do.

User avatar
precode
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:49 pm
Location: Shemptown

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by precode » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:30 pm

"There are other theaters and hotels in the Los Angeles area."

Yes, but there are very few theatres that can project 35mm prints, especially archival ones on reel-to-reel (and none can run nitrate). We considered the other Cinematheque theatre, the Aero, in Santa Monica, but there isn't a hotel anywhere near it. The Egyptian is a terrific facility (as well as being a restored 96-year-old Hollywood movie palace), it's in walking distance of several hotels and motels, and there are plenty of restaurants within just a two-block radius. Moreover, because I'm a Cinematheque trustee, I was able to help finagle a theatre-rental price at a nice reduction that we would not have gotten elsewhere even if there were an elsewhere. If someone wants to hold Cinecon somewhere else, they're welcome to make the offer, but I sincerely doubt they'd get many votes. The days of Cinecon running collectors' 16mm prints are long gone, and our attendees seem to find the present set-up just swell.

Mike S.

Histogram
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Histogram » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:17 pm

What formats can the Alex Theater in Glendale handle?

User avatar
precode
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:49 pm
Location: Shemptown

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by precode » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:27 pm

Histogram wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:17 pm
What formats can the Alex Theater in Glendale handle?
35mm. That's it.

Mike S.


User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:54 am

precode wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:30 pm
"There are other theaters and hotels in the Los Angeles area."

Yes, but there are very few theatres that can project 35mm prints, especially archival ones on reel-to-reel (and none can run nitrate). We considered the other Cinematheque theatre, the Aero, in Santa Monica, but there isn't a hotel anywhere near it. The Egyptian is a terrific facility (as well as being a restored 96-year-old Hollywood movie palace), it's in walking distance of several hotels and motels, and there are plenty of restaurants within just a two-block radius. Moreover, because I'm a Cinematheque trustee, I was able to help finagle a theatre-rental price at a nice reduction that we would not have gotten elsewhere even if there were an elsewhere. If someone wants to hold Cinecon somewhere else, they're welcome to make the offer, but I sincerely doubt they'd get many votes. The days of Cinecon running collectors' 16mm prints are long gone, and our attendees seem to find the present set-up just swell.

Mike S.
Mike, I love the Egyptian, but the cost of lodging has skyrocked in the past 10-15 years - and my salary has stayed about the same. I can spend a week in Europe for the cost of a week in California.

That said, all of the Loew's rooms allotted for Cinecon have sold out, so there appear to be enough film fans of means out there willing and able to fork over the money necessary to attend Cinecon.

Good for Cinecon.

But unless my financial situation changes drastically, this will probably be my last Cinecon.

Histogram
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by Histogram » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:14 pm

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:54 am
I can spend a week in Europe for the cost of a week in California.
Or consider a more apropos alternate use of a big chunk of money: to cover expenses of running the film festival or to restore films.

Lots of people who attend Cinecon stay in lodging. The aggregate amount of money that these people spend on lodging is huge. If, instead, we were staying in a less expensive area (saving an aggregate large amount of money) and spending a little more on the festival registration fee -- an extra $10, $20, or whatever each -- then the following would happen:

1) Individual attendees save a lot of money
2) Cinecon revenues increase because registration fees increased
3) Cinecon expenses increase. Cinecon covers additional expenses with the additional revenue: rent projectors to use at a new location for the festival; pay additional rent for the venue.
4) If the increase in revenue is enough, restore more films and do whatever worthwhile things Cinecon does.
5) Lots of money is redirected away from overpriced hotels and toward reasonable hotels plus worthwhile Cinecon activities.

User avatar
precode
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:49 pm
Location: Shemptown

Re: Cinecon location

Unread post by precode » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:43 pm

Histogram wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:14 pm
Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:54 am
I can spend a week in Europe for the cost of a week in California.
Or consider a more apropos alternate use of a big chunk of money: to cover expenses of running the film festival or to restore films.

Lots of people who attend Cinecon stay in lodging. The aggregate amount of money that these people spend on lodging is huge. If, instead, we were staying in a less expensive area (saving an aggregate large amount of money) and spending a little more on the festival registration fee -- an extra $10, $20, or whatever each -- then the following would happen:

1) Individual attendees save a lot of money
2) Cinecon revenues increase because registration fees increased
3) Cinecon expenses increase. Cinecon covers additional expenses with the additional revenue: rent projectors to use at a new location for the festival; pay additional rent for the venue.
4) If the increase in revenue is enough, restore more films and do whatever worthwhile things Cinecon does.
5) Lots of money is redirected away from overpriced hotels and toward reasonable hotels plus worthwhile Cinecon activities.
You forget that most of the prints we run come from archives and the studios. They will not loan them out to just any old facility. The Egyptian is the only public venue in L.A. that has a certified-to-run-nitrate booth in addition to using only union projectionists, plus is AMIA-approved. The reason the TCM Festival runs mostly DCPs now is that the Chinese Theatre is not considered an acceptable venue for studio and archival prints (those run at, yes, the Egyptian). As I said above, if we were to move "elsewhere," we'd be running 16s and DVDs, which would be a huge step backwards. I'm sorry the hotels seem expensive (you should see their normal rates!), but we really cannot maintain our high standards of presentation anywhere else.

Mike S.

Post Reply