An Ode to the Drive-in Movie Theater



By Christina Rice, Senior Librarian - LAPL Photo Collection
One of the last times I went to a drive-in movie theater was in 1982 or 83 for a double feature of E.T. andThe Dark Crystal playing at the Foothill Theater in Azusa. As I recall, the asphalt was full of potholes and my folks had to move the car two or three times until we found a speaker that actually worked. Once the movies started, the screen was so dark that we could barely make out what we were seeing. E.T. wasn't a problem, since I had already seen it four times (I was nine years old after all), but had no clue what was going on in The Dark Crystal. Whenever that film comes up as a topic of conversation, which happens more often than you'd expect, I am not sure if I can honestly say that I have seen it.
Despite this memorable, though less than optimal experience, I really miss going to the drive-in. I have fond memories of curling up with a blanket in the backseat of the Ford LTD, where my older brother and I would actually watch The Jungle Book or Rocky II instead of fighting, which was our usual MO. And if the movie wasn't great, we could just sprawl out and crash while our parents still felt like they were kind of having a night out. Just driving past a drive-in would give us a cheap thrill, as we tried to guess what was playing on the gigantic screen while we zoomed by.
The very last time I went to a drive-in was to see Cannon Ball Run II (which seldom comes up in conversation). We were at a place somewhere in Orange County and I remember the screen being bright and visible while the sound came through some sort of hook-up through the car stereo. I was heartily impressed by this newfangled technology and figured the drive-in theater was keeping up with the times and would be a fixture for me to take my own kids to one day.
Of course I was a na├»ve youth at the time, and wholly wrong about the future of the drive-in movie theater. To look at a collection of Pacific Drive-In aerial photos taken by the Kelly-Holiday Company, which now resides at the Los Angeles Public Library, it's impressive to see the valuable real estate these cinematic playgrounds took up. The acres of space seemed ready to be eaten up by the surrounding tract homes or retail spaces. With the ever-growing landscape of Southern California, I guess their days were always numbered. Sure, there are a couple of holdouts like the Vineland in Industry and the Mission Tiki in Montclair, but they're far enough from where I live that going to them seems more like an event than a spontaneous night at the movies.
These days, with the talking/calling/texting that takes place in multiplexes, the drive-in seems like a pretty great idea. But that could just be me as a cranky adult pining for the potholes and broken speakers of my childhood.

George Clooney in hot water over Venice stunt


by Tom Kington in Rome

George Clooney sent hearts fluttering as he arrived at the Venice film festival in typical style this week, dressed in a white t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of his own brand of tequila and nonchalantly steering a water taxi to his luxury hotel.

But one Venetian resident was not impressed, and has demanded that city police take action against the star unless he is able to produce the required licence for navigating on Venice's canals.
The protest by local lawyer Mario D'Elia comes amid rising concern over chaotic traffic on the city's Grand Canal, following the Aug 17 death of a German tourist who was crushed when his gondola was hit by a water bus.
On Monday, Venice mayor Giorgio Orsoni issued a long list of proposals for calming the waters, including a clampdown on overtaking, steering too fast and talking on a mobile phone while navigating, as well as drug tests for gondoliers.
Clooney himself appeared to have been rattled by his brief excursion on the city's canals. When asked at the festival about his new space thriller Gravity, he said getting round Venice in a boat was tougher than being lost in space.
Sources at the Venice town hall told the Daily Telegraph that Mr D'Elia's complaint had been passed on to the police and that checks would be made.
A city coast guard official said piloting a taxi in Venice required a professional licence by law.
But one town hall official played down the prospect of Clooney ending the festival in jail. "Photos in the papers do not represent proof, so checks will be made," he said. "But if an offence was committed it would be an administrative offence punishable with a fine. And if it came to that, it would be the taxi owner, not Clooney, who would be fined."

'Idol' Judge Search Could Delay Show Production

by Kim Masters

Producers consider Harry Connick Jr. for the slot left open by Dr. Luke after the veteran producer offered Sony Music half his $12 million fee in an unsuccessful plea to let him take a judge's chair, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.


The collapse of songwriter and producer Dr. Luke’s deal to judge American Idol was a tough setback for Fox, Fremantle and the show's producers that has left little time to fill a judge’s slot before the show begins taping, which originally was set for next Tuesday but could be delayed.


At this point, it appears that Harry Connick Jr. is likely to join the panel, though sources say Fox had hoped to add an industry professional to the mix rather than another celebrity. While Fox was said to be somewhat cool to the Connick idea, sources say there is reluctance to add another woman to the mix given friction last season between Mariah Carey andNicki Minaj, which didn’t play well with the show’s key older female demographic. Fox declined to comment on any aspect of Idol business.
Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez reportedly have committed to judging this Idol season.
Luke's deal unraveled Friday, Aug. 23. Initially, Luke’s camp said he had come to a realization that Idol would demand too much of his time given his commitment to his label at Sony Music. (Luke’s Kemosabe imprint is home to songwriter-turned-solo artist Bonnie McKee, rapper Juicy J and pop-urban act Becky G.)
But sources say Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, remained so interested in becoming an Idol judge that he continued to plead this week with Sony Music CEO Doug Morris to allow him to appear on the show. An insider says Luke offered Sony Music half his Idol fee, said to be about $12 million -- close to the $15 million Lopez is set to receive (and more than Urban earns).  For Luke, the sacrifice would not be great as he is said to earn more than $30 million a year from his music business.
But Morris did not relent, because Sony's competitor, Universal Music Group, holds the exclusive rights to American Idol recordings, and he did not want Luke, in effect, to help his bitter rival. A source says Morris, having allowed Luke to produce Katy Perry’s latest album for Universal, was unwilling to yield on this.
Meanwhile, sources say Fox and Idol producers are upset with CAA -- which collects millions in packaging fees on Idol -- for assuring them that Luke’s contract would allow him to take the job. When Fox attorneys examined the deal with Sony Music, they found that Luke was not free after all. CAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

What Inspires Me: Flawed People And Underdogs


by Shane Snow CCO of Contently
I don't like Superman. He can't lose. Whenever I'm watching a Superman movie all I can think about is He's invincible. I'm not worried and I'm not impressed when he inevitably wins. To me, that's not inspiring.
The fact that you're able to read this — and I'm able to write it — on a computer with Internet means we've all hit humanity's jackpot in some regard. We're literate. We live in a time where technology has improved the quality of life dramatically over any other period in history. And we can afford to instantly access the greatest trove of information that ever was.
At a high level, we're all outrageously lucky. But despite our great fortune, we're all unlucky at times. We've all got problems.
Personally, I'm inspired by people who overcome bad fortune or circumstance to fulfill their dreams. Professionally, I'm inspired by people and businesses that do incredible things despite glaring flaws or environmental disadvantages.

These people remind me that, despite the things I complain about (setbacks, bills, stress, whatever) and what I consider personal setbacks (growing up relatively poor in a small town, mywife becoming mentally ill, being 5'9" not 6'2" (as superficial as that sounds), infuriating neuroses, etc.), someone else has had things worse and still became massively successful.
That's why I like flawed people and underdogs. They can't just work hard to overcome their obstacles, they have to work hard and smart. And that leads to amazing things.
None of us are Superman, and that's ok. Batman had his demons, and he was mortal. And he became awesome. Here are some of my favorite flawed people and underdogs who inspire me in my work as a journalist and entrepreneur:
If you want to be inspired that you can overcome your problems, just look at this list of incredible people who have Major Depressive Disorder.
Say what you like about their personal lives or politics or mistakes, people like the above remind me that when life gives you lemons, you can stuff them in your pockets (with help, if necessary), get back out there, and change the world.

What flawed people or underdogs inspire you?

What helps you overcome your setbacks?

Hollywood’s Biggest Bang for Its Buck


By CATHERINE RAMPELL

CATHERINE RAMPELL
CATHERINE RAMPELL
Dollars to doughnuts.
Earlier this week Forbes had an article on the return on investment on this summer’s films, noting that some have still not collected box office grosses that exceed their original production budgets. “R.I.P.D.,” for example, cost $130 million to make, but has earned shy of $50 million at the global box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
The horror movie “The Purge,” on the other hand, cost $3 million to make and has grossed nearly $80 million worldwide. That’s a box office return more than 26 times the original cost. The Forbes article then observed that “Horror films are definitely Hollywood’s best bet in terms of turning a profit.”
So I decided to look at the data to see if that is usually true.
I figured it was too soon to calculate the box office R.O.I. for a lot of 2013 films, since they may still be running in theaters, so I pulled data on movies from 2003 to 2012 that grossed at least $2 million domestically. I then sorted them by genre. Here’s what I found:
Data shown refer to films with at least $2 million in domestic box office grosses. Most data comes from OpusData, with some select entries from Box Office Mojo.Data shown refer to films with at least $2 million in domestic box office grosses. Most data comes from OpusData, with some select entries from Box Office Mojo.
The average movie earned 452 percent of its original production budget in global box office revenues, or about 4.5 times the budget.
The genre with the biggest box office R.O.I. was actually documentary, with domestic box office returns averaging 12 times the original production budget, and global returns at nearly 27 times the original budget. Of course, documentaries are generally much cheaper to make than other genres, averaging about $2.6 million in production budget versus $95 million for action films (unadjusted for inflation). So it makes sense that for the small subset of documentaries that do well (remember, these averages include only those films with domestic grosses above $2 million), the R.O.I. can be enormous.
Horror films did second best, earning on average six times their budgets when you look just at American box office returns, and about 12 times their budgets worldwide.
Some caveats: Remember that these are just box office returns (not all of which go back to the studio). Films have other revenue streams (including DVD sales, television rights, licensing for games, etc.) that have become more important over time.
And these R.O.I.’s are ratios, not raw dollar figures; documentaries may make a lot of money relative to their initial budgets, but the average nominal global box office for the documentaries in my sample is $24 million, compared to more than $200 million for action movies.
Finally, note also that some of the sample sizes are small, both because there were not many films in a given genre made over the last decade that made more than $2 million domestically (e.g., in the concert/performance genre), and because in some cases the production budgets are not made public. This appears to happen especially frequently for documentaries, unfortunately.
Here’s a table showing the count of films in each genre, and then then count of films in a given genre for which I was able to obtain production budget information.
GenreTotal films in genreTotal films in genre that I have budgets for
Documentary7823
Horror129113
Concert/Performance86
Drama488357
Comedy466373
Thriller/Suspense206170
Romantic Comedy12288
Black Comedy1411
Musical2119
Western1010
Adventure197176
Action221190
All genres19601536

Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Dominates + 'Modern Dads', 'Deal With It', 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' & More

Written By 
August 22nd, 2013

Duck Dynasty was Wednesday's top cable program, with a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating, down from last week's  5.0 adults 18-49 premiere rating.  Modern Dads came in second with a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. We only receive the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for the whole day from our primary source, if you don't see your show it was not in that top 100 list. 

Selected Wednesday cable ratings: (all Live+Same Day ratings):
Show
Net
Time
Viewership (million, Live+SD)
Adults 18-49 rating (Live+SD)
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
10:00 PM
10.070
4.5
MODERN DADS
AEN
10:31 PM
3.973
1.9
ADSM
11:30 PM
3.141
1.5
ADSM
11:00 PM
3.114
1.5
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
9:00 PM
3.805
1.4
TBSC
9:30 PM
3.291
1.4
TBSC
10:00 PM
3.076
1.3
TBSC
9:00 PM
2.986
1.3
TBSC
8:30 PM
2.958
1.2
ADSM
12:00 AM
2.076
1.0
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
8:30 PM
2.592
1.0
ADSM
10:30 PM
2.279
0.9
BIG BANG THEORY, THE
TBSC
8:00 PM
2.255
0.9
ADSM
12:15 AM
1.818
0.9
DEAL WITH IT
TBSC
10:30 PM
1.938
0.9
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
8:00 PM
2.179
0.8
AQUA TEEN HUNGERFORCE
ADSM
12:30 AM
1.545
0.8
HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO
TLC
9:00 PM
2.054
0.8
CHALLENGE: RIVALS II
MTV
10:00 PM
1.337
0.8
USA
9:00 PM
3.182
0.7
MODERN DADS
AEN
11:01 PM
1.585
0.7
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
7:30 PM
1.751
0.7
SQUIDBILLIES
ADSM
12:45 AM
1.310
0.7
USA
10:01 PM
2.364
0.6
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
11:31 PM
1.618
0.6
ADSM
10:00 PM
1.629
0.6
NICK
5:30 PM
2.908
0.6
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
12:01 AM
1.502
0.6
NICK
5:00 PM
2.910
0.6
FULL HOUSE
NAN
10:30 PM
1.965
0.6
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
12:31 AM
1.423
0.6
FULL HOUSE
NAN
11:00 PM
1.733
0.6
NICK
6:00 PM
2.745
0.6
FULL HOUSE
NAN
10:00 PM
1.963
0.6
BRIDGE, THE
FX
10:00 PM
1.657
0.6
FRIENDS
NAN
12:05 AM
1.292
0.5
CMDY
10:00 PM
1.040
0.5
NICK
4:30 PM
2.612
0.5
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
1:01 AM
1.200
0.5
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
2:01 AM
1.172
0.5
BRVO
9:00 PM
1.350
0.5
HIST
8:00 PM
2.030
0.5
FULL HOUSE
NAN
11:33 PM
1.630
0.5
HIST
9:00 PM
1.577
0.5
FX MOVIE PRIME
FX
7:00 PM
1.236
0.5
NICK
6:30 PM
2.618
0.5
FULL HOUSE
NAN
9:30 PM
2.022
0.5
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
7:00 PM
1.300
0.5
HIST
8:30 PM
1.867
0.5
SPIKE
9:30 PM
1.399
0.5
FRIENDS
NAN
12:39 AM
1.131
0.5
ENT
11:00 PM
0.987
0.5
LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SRS L
ESPN
8:00 PM
1.957
0.5
HIST
7:30 PM
1.580
0.5
SPONGEBOB
NICK
4:00 PM
2.226
0.5
JOE ROGAN QUESTNS EVRYTHG
SYFY
10:00 PM
1.108
0.5
BABY DADDY
FAM
8:30 PM
0.920
0.5
DUCK DYNASTY
AEN
6:30 PM
1.039
0.5
MELISSA & JOEY
FAM
8:00 PM
0.851
0.5
MINNIES BOW-TOONS
DSNY
8:25 AM
1.754
0.5
MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE
DSNY
8:00 AM
1.720
0.5
PARANORMAL WITNESS
SYFY
9:00 PM
1.029
0.5
PAW PATROL
NICK
12:00 PM
1.947
0.4
Top Chef MASTERS
BRVO
10:00 PM
0.953
0.4
FULL HOUSE
NAN
9:00 PM
2.026
0.4
CMDY
11:00 PM
0.882
0.4
HOUSE HUNTERS
HGTV
10:00 PM
1.659
0.4
Top Shot ALL STARS
HIST
10:00 PM
1.240
0.4
SPIKE
8:00 PM
1.106
0.4
USA
7:00 PM
2.095
0.4
SPIKE
9:00 PM
1.349
0.4
SPORTSCENTER LATE       L
ESPN
11:00 PM
0.974
0.4
EXTREME COUGAR WIVES
TLC
9:30 PM
1.130
0.4
CMDY
9:29 PM
0.896
0.4
TNT
9:00 PM
2.132
0.4
PROPERTY BROTHERS (1 HR)
HGTV
9:00 PM
1.468
0.4
SEINFELD
TBSC
7:30 PM
1.016
0.4
SPIKE
8:30 PM
1.215
0.4
HOUSE HUNTERS INTL
HGTV
10:30 PM
1.779
0.4
TNT
10:00 PM
1.817
0.4
SPIKE
10:30 PM
1.161
0.4
USA
8:00 PM
2.386
0.4
MYSTERY DINERS
FOOD
10:00 PM
1.309
0.4
TNT
8:00 PM
2.018
0.4
USA
6:00 PM
1.819
0.4
TBSC
11:00 PM
0.850
0.4
SPIKE
10:00 PM
1.139
0.4
AMC MOVIE W STORY NOTES
AMC
9:00 PM
0.939
0.4
SEINFELD
TBSC
7:00 PM
0.856
0.4
MYSTERY DINERS
FOOD
10:30 PM
1.057
0.3
FUNNIEST COMMERCIALS: SUM
TRU
9:00 PM
0.943
0.3
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
OWN
9:30 PM
1.047
0.3
USA
5:00 PM
1.585
0.3
TNT
3:00 PM
1.124
0.3
SWAMP MURDERS
ID
1:00 AM
0.802
0.3
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
OWN
9:00 PM
0.890
0.3
WICKED ATTRACTION
ID
12:00 AM
0.829
0.3
CEDRICS STAND UP
TVL
11:30 PM
0.916
0.3
EXES, THE
TVL
10:30 PM
1.273
0.3
TVL
10:00 PM
1.282
0.2
-
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.