Universal CinemaCon presentation turned stars into movie workers

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CinemaCon, the annual cinema owner convention, is all about flash. It’s designed to excite and inspire global exhibitors on each studio’s annual film offerings and sweeten the pot with star cameos.

Sure, the shopping lobbies at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are packed with the latest in recliners and the latest in concessioning trends, but the core workers who populate American theaters can often get lost in the crashing footage. comic book movies. or a fleeting glance at Scarlett Johansson next to the Wheel of Fortune slots.

In a year when approximately 115,000 American theater workers seeing their employers forced to shut down, Universal Pictures has spent time and money celebrating the bailiffs, hostesses, ticket takers and theater directors who got us into the cinema before the coronavirus devastated the world. ‘industry.

On Wednesday, Universal featured some 75 minutes of upcoming movie footage, including “Halloween Kills,” “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “Sing 2,” “The Black Phone,” Jennifer Lopez’s “Marry Me” and more. Remote crews were dispatched to film celebrity presentations for the convention, but added a thoughtful touch – words from resurgent theater staff, once again facing crisis as the delta variant of COVD-19 looms large. cinemas.

Jamie Lee Curtis elated her latest battle with Michael Myers, but before CinemaCon viewers were treated to a trailer, she threw it at the director of the Magic Lantern Cinema in Ketchum, Idaho. He expressed his grief over the theater’s closure and his excitement at welcoming audiences once again for “Halloween Kills”.

Matthew McConaughey shouted his favorite employee at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse. Ethan Hawke introduced the crowd to Aaron Baseman, a New Jersey Princeton Garden Theater employee and aspiring filmmaker. Lopez emphasized the value of the original storytelling for his pop star romance “Marry Me,” then confided in a member of the Bronx’s Concourse Plaza Multiplex room named Leon. Katherine Lawrence, 86, of AMC Village Theaters in Manhattan, was spotlighted by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Their placement in the studio’s premium reel was not only chic, but a reminder of what is in play for the theatrical show. Especially in the lavish CinemaCon auditorium, which was much more empty than usual this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic.


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