Save the Movieland 8!


I have fond memories of going to the old Como 8 cinema at the Apple Tree Mall to see such second-run movies as “Backdraft.” That theater has been gone for years now, followed by the cheapie Super Saver Cinema on Elmwood, A few years ago, Dipson turned the McKinley Mall into a modernized second-run theater, and Movieland 8 is still chugging along at the old Thruway Mall site. But it needs some help. Here is a piece I wrote for the Buffalo News Gusto blog.

“As far as I’m concerned, digital projection is the death of cinema. The fact that most films aren’t presented in 35mm means that the world is lost. Digital projection is just television in cinema.”

Thus spaketh a typically hyperbolic Quentin Tarantino during a lengthy press conference at the recent Cannes Film Festival, as reported by Indiewire and just about every other outlet that covers cinema.

Cinephiles can debate the accuracy of QT’s statement, but the “Pulp Fiction” director is undoubtedly correct in asserting that this is a new, digital world. And for movie theaters in Buffalo and beyond, this is a costly, dangerous transition.

The Movieland 8 theater located at the old Thruway Mall site in Cheektowaga, posted an update on its digital conversion process on Facebook, and the news was mixed, at best:

“If you have been to visit us recently, you have seen that we have been able to obtain 3 digital projectors for the theater, but we are in need of 5 more. If we do not get the 5 projectors, our doors will be closed by fall at the latest, but there is a strong possibility it could happen earlier. We are doing all we can to try to make that not happen!”

The Movieland 8 is not the loveliest place to see a film — the sound during the last film I saw there, Sofia Coppola’s “Bling Ring,” seemed to be emanating from speakers ready to be euthanized — but with ticket prices continuing to rise, affordable options are more important than ever before.

Movieland 8 has started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the projectors. We will keep an eye on how things progress over the summer.

“We are a small, locally owned business, and many of our employees have been dedicated to us for many, many years. We are working hard to make some changes and to obtain some funding, but we will also be releasing an Indiegogo Campaign later on today to help raise money towards the digital projectors. This money will go towards the projectors, but more importantly will keep our doors open, allowing us to bring discounted movies to the community and keeping jobs in WNY. We hope you’ll support us and help spread the word. Thanks for your support and your time, and PLEASE come see us at the movies!”

(Image from