Wednesday, May 12, 2010

“Movie Gallery to close all Hollywood Video stores - Nashville Tennessean” plus 3 more

“Movie Gallery to close all Hollywood Video stores - Nashville Tennessean” plus 3 more


Movie Gallery to close all Hollywood Video stores - Nashville Tennessean

Posted: 12 May 2010 01:13 AM PDT

Movie Gallery Inc., the owner of struggling movie rental chain Hollywood Video, said Tuesday that it plans to close its remaining stores, including several in the Nashville area, as consumers more than ever get their movies through the mail, at vending machines or across high-speed Internet connections.

There are about 10 Hollywood Video or Movie Gallery stores in the Nashville area, including in Clarksville, La Vergne and Murfreesboro.

The No. 2 rental chain behind Blockbuster Inc., filed a notice with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond that it will terminate its business operations after defaulting on a loan from one of its creditors.

An agreement filed with the court said the move to close more than 1,900 remaining stores is in the best interests of the company and its creditors. The agreement does not specify a timeline, and still must be approved by a bankruptcy judge.

The company, based in Wilsonville, Ore., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, buckling under the competitive pressures created by Netflix Inc., DVD kiosk company Redbox and delivery of movies and TV shows over the Internet.

The bankruptcy filing does not include Movie Gallery's Canadian operations.

It was the second trip through Bankruptcy Court in just three years for Movie Gallery.

The company first landed in Bankruptcy Court in October 2007, unable to sustain the debt it took on in a $850 million acquisition of rival Hollywood Entertainment Corp., in 2005.

The acquisition made Movie Gallery the second-largest rental chain in the country, but it has been forced to close more than 2,400 of its stores over the past three years, according to court filings.

Despite moving to shut down unprofitable locations, the company said it continued to see significant losses last year. Annual revenue fell $546.3 million, or 28 percent, to $1.4 billion.

In a court filing, Movie Gallery Chief Restructuring Officer Steve Moore said the company was facing "looming defaults" on its loan agreements.

The company lists debts between $500 million and $1 billion, compared with assets of just $10 million to $50 million.

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American Idol: Duets shine on movie-themed 'American Idol' - Naples Daily News

Posted: 11 May 2010 07:29 PM PDT

In this publicity image released by Fox, the remaining four contestants on the singing competition series, 'American Idol,' from left, Casey James, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Michael Lynche are shown on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/ Fox, Michael Becker

In this publicity image released by Fox, the remaining four contestants on the singing competition series, "American Idol," from left, Casey James, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Michael Lynche are shown on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 in Los Angeles.

— Maybe the remaining "American Idol" finalists should start a band?

The final four singers earned more praise for their moody matchups than their solos during Tuesday's edition of movie-themed performances on the Fox singing competition.

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze ascended with "Falling Slowly" from the film "Once," while Michael Lynche and Casey James dazzled with "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" from "Don Juan DeMarco."

"They were better than all of the solo performances," gushed Kara DioGuardi.

The picky judge declared that both duets, which featured the finalists accompanying themselves on guitars, were incredible, but she asserted the union between Bowersox and DeWyze on the Oscar-winning song was one of her favorite moments from the ninth season. She informed them the teamwork "brought out the best in both of you."

Simon Cowell agreed.

"I don't know if I would call that a good song," teased Cowell. "I would call it a fantastic song."

Bowersox, a 24-year-old musician from Toledo, Ohio, was the biggest standout with her solo effort, riffing on Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright" from "Caddyshack."

DeWyze wasn't as lucky. The 24-year-old paint sales clerk from Mount Prospect, Ill., wilted with Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" from "Batman Forever." Cowell said it verged on karaoke.

"I felt good about it," replied DeWyze.

The judges also denounced the solo song choices from James, a 27-year-old musician of Fort Worth, Texas, and Lynche, a 26-year-old personal trainer of Queens, N.Y.

James wasn't at the head of the class with Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" from "The Graduate." Lynche failed to make a splash with Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" from "Free Willy."

"What you did tonight," DioGuardi told Lynche, "you could do in your sleep."

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Fox is a unit of News Corp.

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On the Net:

http://www.americanidol.com/

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Eviction threat for Allen Park movie studio - The Oakland Press

Posted: 11 May 2010 10:07 PM PDT

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Allen Park movie studio misses rent, faces eviction - Detroit Free Press

Posted: 11 May 2010 04:02 PM PDT

The City of Allen Park is threatening to evict Unity Studios from its city-owned facilities in what could be a blow to Michigan's hopes to establish a homegrown movie industry.

Led by Hollywood production executive Jimmy Lifton, Unity announced its plans in April 2009 to build sound stages and other production facilities in Allen Park in what was billed as a $146-million full-service studio. It has not yet built sound stages but has been operating the Lifton Institute for Media Skills, a training facility.

In recent months, though, Lifton has failed to make rent payments to the city, and he has failed to produce required documents outlining his venture's financial condition. So the city recently issued a notice of its intention to evict Lifton.

"It is regretful and disappointing that Unity has defaulted on its lease contract, which leaves us no option other than to protect the city and our taxpayers by exercising our right to terminate the lease if necessary," Allen Park Mayor Gary Burtka said this afternoon in a statement. "We are in discussions with Unity to re-evaluate Unity's role in the future development of the project."

Eric Cedo, a spokesman for Unity Studios, disputed the city's claims of default today. Reached by phone, Cedo said, "We are not in default of our lease. We have no intention of leaving. ... We're working very closely with the City of Allen Park to make sure we're there for a long time to come."

Lifton is a native of Detroit who is president of Oracle Post, a California production studio whose credits include work on such popular TV shows as "Heroes" and "Law & Order."

The site of Unity Studios is a 104-acre office park formerly occupied by a Visteon technical center. It is located off Southfield Road south of I-94.

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.

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