Live … from the big screen

December 19, 2007
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A few weeks back in my IBJ Daily A&E e-mail blast (you can subscribe for free here:,  I wrote about a recent presentation of a LaScala opera on screen at the Rave movie theater at Metropolis.

Last night, at Regal Circle Centre, I noticed a poster for the upcoming live broadcasts of six Metropolitan Opera productions there.

And I learned in today’s New York Times that the San Francisco Opera is joining the fray, broadcasting six operas a year directly to theaters. And Royal Opera of London has similar plans in the works.

Consider, too, that movie theaters are soon going to be screening the recent sold-out Hannah Montana teen rock concert.

So are we ready to go to the movies to see opera performances and current rock concerts?

Are there other uses for movie theaters we haven’t thought of?

What live events that you couldn’t make it to would you be willing to pay movie theater prices to see?

I’m also interested in whether an opera broadcast in a movie theater could be eligible for an Academy Award (but I don’t expect you to know the answer to that).

Your thoughts?
  • While not exactly A&E (depending on who you ask) my friends have watched Colts games at Greenbriar Cinema Grill and said it was a good time--I had to work Sundays last season when they were going or I may have joined them just to see what it was all about.

    There are also Oscar showings as a benefit for the Indianapolis International Film Festival. Was at Radio Radio this year and at the Greenbriar Cinema Grill in 2006, not sure of 2008 location.

    And I just read that a U2 concert--in 3D--was shown at Cannes and will be released soon. I paid for a pay-per-view of their 1993 tour and if I couldn't make it to a show I might check it out for the price of a movie ticket...
  • I think it is an awesome idea to use theaters for other uses. With so many theaters out there that might sit empty for an under performing movie, it just seems they could be used to broaden the horizons of interested folks who may not be able to get to see productions of this magnitude. I would pay to see it, and I would also pay to see certain sporting events. The thing is though I would love it to be in a Hollywood Bar & Filmworks venue (sans the right wing rhetoric from the owner).

    As far as Oscar eligibility, I can answer that. I used to run an awards show website until earlier in the year. An opera rebroadcast would not be eligible for Oscar contention because it was not produced specifically for the big screen. Since it is a stage show first and a movie second, it would not count. The same goes for if it were broadcast on TV or DVD first. If a movie is released in ANY format other than movie theaters anywhere in the world, it is not eligible for the Oscars.
  • Nick,
    Thanks for the insight.
    Question: Wasn't the movie Give 'Em Hell, Harry nominated for some Oscars? And I believe that was just filmed from the stage. When it comes to Academy Award eligability, is that any different from presenting La Scala's Aida in a movie theater (assuming it hasn't already been presented anywhere else except on stage)?
    Just curious.
  • Well, I think it comes down to the fact that Give 'em Hell, Harry was shot specifically for movie theatrical release. The Met and SFO are actually live broadcasts of a show taking place on their stage. Now, if they were to film it for distribution at a later date, then that would be another story.

    Also, Rule 2 of the Official Oscar rules state that a movie must be:

    d) for a run of at least seven consecutive days,

    e) advertised and exploited during their Los Angeles run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry

    So, since these are live events, I figure they are only going to be showing on that night through a satellite broadcast, so the theater will have no way of saving the showing for those 7 consecutive nights. Plus, normal and customary is pretty subjective.

    Long story short...No, they would not be eligible. :)
  • I saw a brand new Opera telecast live from The Met at a NE side theater about a year ago. The late, great Beverly Sills did the Intermission Show which included a tour backstage and an interview with Domingo. I found it to be very interesting and a heck of a great way to catch a brand new piece of opera without having to be in New York. I plan to go more in 2008.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?