Thanks a lot, Forest City Ratner


The Indian movie multiplex in North Bergen –  Cineplaza  –  and recent home to both Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Sivaji (in Tamil and Telugu), has just closed up shop.

The reason:     $ $ $

You can read more here.

And some references  here, for part of a story I did last year on desi cinemas.

5 thoughts on “Thanks a lot, Forest City Ratner

  1. This is heartbreaking for me, too. I’ve only been there once, since I found out how to get there from Manhattan on the $2 vans. I was looking forward to taking other people there, and I’d been telling them about the Indian food stand in the lobby along with the “regular” (popcorn etc) stand.

    I do think there is an inaccuracy where the article says fewer people are going to Indian movies – I think they’re gaining audience size here. But yes, both the regular dvd business and the pirate business hurt the movie theatres.

    I am grateful for the existence of the dvd, but I also find it sad, people sitting in their own darkened livingrooms rather than being out in the community watching a movie — but don’t get me started.

  2. Joseph, SB,

    It is indeed a pity. I’ve been to Cineplaza since before, when it was at the other location, a few miles from the BAPS temple.

    For purely selfish reasons, it was great that every one of their theaters were so large. If you’re forking out $10 for a movie, you want to enjoy it on as big a screen as possible.

    It’s true, when there was a big release, the place would be packed. And Cineplaza got some great publicity from both the NYT and ABC News recently. But for every Sivaji or Kabhi Alvida, there were several Boom Shaka Lakas and other moneylosers.

    In Jersey, I would guess that the cinema in Edison (which had a very friendly staff but also a pretty gross ladies room when I was there last September) and the multiplex in New Brunswick will manage to stay open. The former is right on Oak Tree Road, and if you can’t manage to stay open screening Hindi and Tamil movies there, well, then there’s no hope. Plus both show a mix of Hollywood movies along with whatever they’ve got on offer from India.

    For NYC, I guess it’s hopeful that one or two multiplexes do seem to be screening some Hindi movies, though not with any great predictability, in addition to the Imaginasian.

    From a purely financial point-of-view, without entertaining thoughts or opinions about the rights of artists and copyrights and all, I suppose you can see why a family, especially one that might not be that well off, if they opt for the easy-to-get illegal copies for $2 from their local DVD guy, when you compare that to heading out to your local cinema on opening night, as much fun as it is for the social experience of seeing, say, Don or Bluffmaster with a packed house.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping Mr. Vijay Shah will find another property with parking and nearby public transportation where he can start up again…

  3. really sad to this one go…especially since i live about 10 minutes away from it. it’s kind of surprising actually, i thought bollywood was supposed to be doing well – or at least better – in the US market in recent times…and this particular theater was always pretty packed on weekends. still, hindi films are never going to bring in as much revenue as a hollywood flick…it’s a tough spot to be in if you’re a theater owner i guess. i agree with joseph that piracy is still way too rampant…forget going to the indian grocery store, you can see the latest releases online within days, sometimes hours of a film’s release. i guess we’ll just have to rely on distributors to convince the regals and amc’s to play a bollywood film here and there in manhattan…

  4. Oh No!
    I’ve personally watched about 6 movies there—I remember they had decent ‘chaat’ which was a welcome change from the awful nachos & popcorn in most other theatres.It’s really sad to see it go.What’d you think about this Maria?Are others going to follow suit?

    I would really blame all this on the rampant piracy @ Indian grocery stores(and online sites too) all over(They sell the movies DVD’s less than 2 weeks after its release!).Why would people go through the trouble if all they had to do was wait 2 weeks and then watch it at home happily.

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