Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Season's Hits at a Cinema Near You

For all you anglophone movie-addicts, the summer drought is over and the rain is about to pour down.


The Americom House of Cinema is due to reopen on Aug. 31, but it is undergoing a complete makeover and the B-movies Hollywood could not give away to domestic distributors that tended to end up on the cinema's screen last year are now a thing of the past.


Thanks to Americom's partners at Golden Ring, an all-purpose movie production and distribution firm run by Paul Heth and Ray Markovich, Moscow's only regular English-language movie house will be getting a list of critically acclaimed first-run movies this season -- and there will be licorice whips and Milk Duds too.


The first picture to show on Aug. 31 will be a romantic comedy called "I Love Trouble," starring Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts. Then, sometime between Sept. 12 and 15, Steven Spielberg's masterpiece "Schindler's List" will appear, in English with Russian subtitles. "Schindler's List" is scheduled to open in theaters throughout Russia at that time.


Beyond that, Heth has arranged for "Speed," a summer blockbuster starring Keanu Reeves; "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer; Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers"; "True Lies" with Arnold Schwarzenegger; "Four Weddings and a Funeral"; "Beverly audience to the movies.


"Last year when we had 'The Piano,' about 35 percent of the people who came were Russian," Heth relates. "We want to have that kind of success with 'Schindler's List,' because it is a movie that everyone's got to see."


"Schindler's List" will have Russian subtitles, but for other movies, headphones will as usual be available for the Russian-language voice over. Heth said he was also trying to upgrade the auditorium's archaic sound system. "We want to start with stereo and move on to digital sound, but it is a long, expensive process," he said.


"The ticket prices will still be $7 or $7.50, just like in New York or Los Angeles," he said.


Heth's sights are set high. He hopes to attract about 2,000 viewers a week and from that base to build a mini cinema empire in Russia.


"We are working on a deal to open up some cinema multiplexes," Heth says.


"We hope to make a formal announcement in 60 to 90 days." Hills Cop III"; and several others.


In addition, Heth and Markovich have hired a group of young Russians as ushers, cashiers and concessions-stand workers, all of whom will wear blue shirts and khaki pants -- the new Americom uniform.


The theater's lobby, on the second floor of the Radisson Slavjanskaya Hotel, will be decked out with movie posters and other cinema paraphernalia.


Motown music will play in the background. Video monitors will show previews of coming attractions.


At the concessions stand, Heth decided to offer what he calls the seven highest-selling movie snacks in the United States: Red licorice, Raisinettes, Reeses peanut butter cups, Milk Duds, Gummi Bears, Butterfinger bars and Junior Mints.


"It will be just like going to the movies back home," said Heth, a native of Los Angeles.


Despite the distinctly American flavor to the cinema's new image, Heth said his goal was to draw a large Russian