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4 items from 2014

Metropolitan Opera Contract Talks Extended Three Days

31 July 2014 8:49 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

New York's Metropolitan Opera says labor talks with its unions have been extended for an additional 72 hours, averting a threatened midnight lockout. Photos Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films The company announced late Thursday that the delay was requested by a federal mediator who had arrived just hours earlier to try to resolve the labor standoff. Thousands of company members had faced the prospect of losing their paychecks and health care at 12:01 a.m. Friday if company general manager Peter Gelb acted on his threat to lock them out. Photos 10 Highest Grossing Movie Sequels Gelb has demanded the Met's

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- The Associated Press

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The Met Opera Struggles to Adapt and Survive Amid Controversy ('60 Minutes' Video)

30 July 2014 11:51 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

A major labor lock-out looming, a famous composer's opera facing scrutiny from those fearing it will incite anti-Semitism abroad: these days, the majority of the drama at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City seems to be happening not onstage, but offstage. Thursday night, the Met's contract with 15 unions will expire, and the organization's general manager, Peter Gelb, has threatened to lock out many of the company's workers--among them musicians, singers, and stagehands--if they do not acquiesce to new contracts with pay and benefits cuts. The Met's already facing weak box office sales, and a delayed start to the new season starting September 22 could be very troubling for the financially struggling institution.  And, as the New York Times points out, the potential for damage lies not only in single tickets, but in the loss of subscriptions--a similar lockout in 1969 led to a major dip in subscribership. Both sides are preparing »

- Jacob Combs

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The Muddled Logic of the Met’s Death of Klinghoffer Pullback

18 June 2014 8:30 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

All over Europe, people who had no idea that the Metropolitan Opera was planning to broadcast its new production of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer in November have just discovered that it won’t. The opera, which deals with the terrorist hijacking of a Mediterranean cruise ship and the murder of an American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer, has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism ever since its 1991 premiere. There will be time when the production opens at the Met in the fall to chew over the work’s politics and prejudice. For now, the company’s general manager, Peter Gelb, prodded by the Anti-Defamation League, has decided that (a) no, it’s not anti-Semitic; (b) it’s a masterpiece; (c) it’s perfectly fine for the Met to perform it for its heavily Jewish audience (and donors); and yet (d) actually, it might be better if European audiences didn’t get another look, »

- Justin Davidson

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CinemaCon: Exhibitors Search for Alt. Content to Fill Weeknight Seats

24 March 2014 1:25 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

With 90% of the 40,000 movie screens in the U.S. now converted to digital and the worldwide rollout moving quickly, digital cinema might appear to be yesterday’s news.

But d-cinema is a hot topic again at CinemaCon 2014 because two major components of its ecosystem remain works in progress: alternative content to help exhibitors fill empty seats Monday through Thursday, and a robust, cost-effective electronic delivery system that can transmit content to theaters.

Alternative-content insiders say the market is in its infancy. “The future is vast and exciting to us,” says Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of Fathom Events, which is co-owned by theater chains AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark and cinema advertising firm Ncm. “We’re just beginning to understand what works and what doesn’t.”

Understanding what works and why is vital for the search for the next big alternative-content hit. The handful of proven hits do offer hints »

- Glen Dickson

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