Movie theaters have been struggling during the COVID pandemic and news has broken that Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres will close down due to it. The news comes just as things were slowly returning to normal with the box office showing some life as blockbusters are released and individuals receive vaccines.
In a statement, the company said:
After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations. This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward.
To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our customers. To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.
This will shutter some iconic theaters like Cinerama Dome which was featured in film and television.
There is always a chance the company will be bought out but reports indicate the company is behind when it comes to rent for their locations.
The company controlled 300 screens in California and featuring locations outside the state in Boston, Chicago, and Maryland.
June 2022 is the 40th anniversary of the heroes convention and after two years of the pandemic, HeroesCon 2022 will be one hell of a return.
After much deliberation, HeroesCon will skip 2021 and instead return in 2022 to mark 40 years.
All 2020/2021 HeroesCon tickets, Artist Alley tables, and Exhibitor Booth reservations will transfer to 2022. Hotel rates will be made available as soon as the 2022 show dates have been finalized.
The convention has been watching vaccinations and most importantly listening to attendees who responded that 95% would not be comfortable attending a June 2021 convention. That along with construction at the convention center, capacity restrictions until the fall, limited on-site concessions, and social distancing helped guide the decision.
With the COVID pandemic still raging and the future uncertain Comic-Con International has announced that San Diego Comic-Con 2021 will be going virtual. The convention organizers had already announced that Wonder Con, which was to take place in March, would be doing the same.
San Diego Comic-Con 2021 will again be virtual and free, like it was in 2020. The virtual event will span three days, July 23 to 25. They are limiting it to three days due to “limited financial resources”.
But, there’s a chance we’ll also get the bonus of an in-person event. San Diego Comic-Con is planning a three-day in-person convention in November. Specific details, attendance capacity, badge cost, etc., will be coming down the road.
For those with badges for 2021, those will be transfered to 2022 unless a refund is equested. The convention is working on possibly rolling things over to November’s event instead.
With two conventions cancelled and mention of it in their newsletter, there’s concern about the convention’s financial stability. It’s a concern being echoed about many conventions.
In their 2019 990 report, the convention had about $27.7 million in expenses for the year. It’s unknown what those expenses are now due to the pandemic with no in-person convention and instead 2020 being virtual. It’s also unknown what revenue they might have gained from that convention as well.
You can read their full statement below as well as a link where you can get more information if you’re a current badge holder.
Give Comics Hope, the charitable initiative which began its fundraising efforts this past fall has announced the application period opens March 1 and close on March 15 with funds distributed in April. The initiative was created and spearheaded by comic book industry veteran Bill Schanes and designed for all members of our community to rally together to provide vital aid to comic book shops, the heart and roots of our vibrant comic book community.
Shops can apply now.
Give Comics Hope’s charitable efforts have been focused on two auctions and other fundraisers designed to raise the funds to be distributed to comic book stores in early 2021. With the new application dates, this also gives everyone the opportunity to make a donation to Give Comics Hope. The final total raised by Give Comics Hope is still being tabulated as the results from the various fundraisers are still coming in. Depending on how many stores apply and the final amount raised they anticipate the grants will range from $75-$200.
Give Comics Hope has partnered with the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to assisting comic retailers and booksellers, to oversee the management and disbursement of the funds raised by Give Comics Hope. The initiative will take no organizational fees, and will only deduct any actual, direct costs incurred from the funds raised. Binc will not take any organizational fees from the Give Comics Hope initiative and will cover all direct expenses the Foundation incurs. Since its inception, Binc has provided over $9 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 9000+ families. Support for the Foundation’s programs and services comes from all sectors of the book and comic industries. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be the safety net for booksellers and comic retailers by supporting employees and their families. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the book and comic industries came together in an extraordinary way allowing Binc to help 2,200 booksellers, comic retailers, and stores with $2.9 million in urgently needed assistance. Help for financial emergencies for booksellers, comic retailers and store owners is available from Binc.
In 2020 TKO Studios launched an initiative to help comic shops suffering during COVID-18. Launched in March, the comic publisher sent 50% of every sale from their webstore to the local comic shop of a customer’s choosing.
The initiative ended in August and during the 6 months, the publisher sent over 1,500 checks to over 650 comic shops! In May the publisher announced they had sent “over a thousand checks to over 600 stores”.
It’s an impressive initiative showing how publishers can help directly boost comic shops impacted during economic struggles. It was one of the numerous ways publishers and creators rallied to help shops make it through the year. In October, BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation announced they had raised over $950,000 to benefit comic retailers.
After a challenging year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced that TCAF is back from May 8-15, 2021 — with a virtual twist!
Free of the shackles of corporeal existence, TCAF’s marketplace will have more days than ever before, and include a week of on-demand programming. Comic and art lovers will be able to visit TCAF 2021 online to peruse and shop hundreds of exhibitors’ amazing works, sit in on classic Q&As, workshops, talks, and so much more!
TCAF’s new exhibition website is being made in partnership with Canzine (the festival of zines) and the Toronto Hand Eye Society. Zinesters and indie video game creators will be among the 600 virtual exhibitors in May!
Applicants will have the choice to apply for TCAF, Canzine OR Comics x Games. Accepted exhibitors will have a customizable online shop page where they can upload up to 5 items for sale. After TCAF, exhibitors will send all sold items to a warehouse, where orders will be bundled and shipped off to shoppers. This process is to help save exhibitors and visitors excess transaction and shipping fees. Options will be available to see additional products.
Applications to exhibit at TCAF 2021 are open until March 3rd, 2021. International exhibitors are welcome! CLICK HERE TO APPLY.
At this point, the planning process for this year’s Small Press Expo would be well underway. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that planning has led to continued uncertainty over the event.
In an update to the community, the SPX team has let it be known that the “only certainty we have for SPX 2021 is uncertainty”.
The convention is in a difficult position as large-scale in person events are booked years in advance which means there were already contractual obligations for 2020 and 2021 before everything went to shit.
Due to those contracts, SPX can’t unliaterly and preemptively cancel their 2021 event. They would experience penalties they’d have to pay the hotel and it’d jeopardize the future of the show.
So, that puts the convention in the hands of the Montgomery County, MD government. If the county says events such as SPX still cannnot happen, it makes it easier for the show to back out of their contract. So, the convention needs to wait to see what decisions the county makes before making a final determination on the status of the 2021 event. Last year, that decision was made in June.
SPX has vowed to do the following:
- Stay in contact with MontCo’s Department of Health and other agencies to monitor them so SPX can see how they are reacting, or not, to allowing events like SPX to happen.
- SPX will hold off the exhibitor processes of the lottery and invites until at least April. Sometime in late March, they will update the community on whether they will start the Exhibitor processes or not.
- Room block information for reserving hotel rooms will not go out until SPX decides whether to move forward with the Exhibitor processes.
- SPX will work with publishers on a slate of Special Guests with the understanding that they might not attend an in-person event but would be invited to participate in virtual programming.
The next update will happen in late March when we all will have a better idea as far as how vaccination programs are going and what the infection rates are.
It’s one of two new comic book days today. What are you all looking forward to? Sound off in the comments! While you wait to start reading, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
ICv2 – Comic Industry Forecasts for 2021: Dare to Hope! – What do you expect to see in 2021?
Smash Pages – Looking Back | COVID and Comics – How do you think it impacted comics? Did things actually come out for the better?
The Beat – The Beat’s 2021 Creator Survey Part 1: We Survived 2020 – The Beat kicks off their annual survey!
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) looks like he’s getting his wish as his legislation to increase the penalties for streaming unlicensed work is currently part of the desperately needed COVID-19 relief legislation being voted on today.
Tillis’ legislation is a bit different than the legislation of the past with a focus more on commercial operators than individual users. If passed, illegal streaming of works including movies and musical works could carry up to 10 years in jail.
The current relief legislation as a whole is being criticized for being dropped on elected officials to vote on and there not being given enough time to read it. This is surely just one example of unrelated legislation included.
The bill also features a plan to create a small claims adjudication system within the U.S. Copyright Office. The “claims court” would forgo judges for “claims officers.” These claims officers will be able to issue fines up to $30,000. The House Judiciary Committee called that amount “truly small” amount.
That is the culmination of years of work by advocates on behalf of copyright owners a way to deal with infringement outside of going through the court system. That may be unconstitutional and will likely be challenged as such if passed. The system gives the option as an opt-in and isn’t compulsory so there’s the belief it’ll pass a legal challenge due to that. The goal is to lead to a swifter resolution over takedowns of copyright material posted online. The DMCA is already a tool that’s widely abused and we’re sure this will be as well.
Known as the CASE Act, it had previously passed the House by a 410-6 vote before being blocked in the Senate by Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Legislation is often added to legsilation like the COVID-19 relief knowing that the legislation will likely pass and on their own, the legislation would not.
A vote will occur today on the legislation.
The Denver Pop Culture Con has canceled its convention scheduled for May 2021. With ongoing restrictions and uncertainty towards the future, the convention decided to make an early call. The convention was set for May 14-16 at the Colorado Convention Center.
The convention’s cancelation has caused an impact in that it also has caused cutbacks involving the nonprofit tied to the convention, Pop Culture Classroom as well as the convention itself.
There is going to be a shift in their missions going forward focusing in on educational opportunities, instruction, and connecting with the creative community during the health crisis.
The convention and nonprofit are focusing on expanding online offerings for students, teachers, and aspiring creators, as well as engage fans virtually.
With a money crunch Pop Culture Classroom is asking for donations to help continue.
For those with questions about the convention cancelation, you can visit an online FAQ.