by John Stoehr
The distribution company that launched a 12-week series of independent films at the James Island Carmike has killed the project mid-way through, citing a lack of interest from the movie-going public.
Jerry Dalton, of DPEC Studio, a company in Loris, S.C., tells City Paper there wasn't enough to demand to warrant supply, even though "people complain and beg for an alternative to Hollywood."
Films with star power failed to sell well. Only 10 tickets were sold in advance of Remarkable Power!, a film starring Tom Arnold and Kevin Nealon (see image at left). Most of the other films had much less star power and consequently performed even worse.
"You'd think a town like Charleston, there'd be more excitement," Dalton says.
Dalton has never been to the James Island venue. He adds that he'd heard reports from area media that the eight-screener is unpopular with movie patrons.
City Paper's music editor, T. Ballard Lesemann, recently saw the Iron Maiden documentary there. He characterized, at the request of this reporter, the movie house as "the last of a dying breed of old-school cinemas" and his seat as "the worst seat I've been in in over 10 years." He also reported he still has a bruise where he was jammed in the knee during the entirety of the documentary by a cup holder placed on the back of the seat in front of him.
"Goddamn," Lesemann says, searching for the words to describe how he felt.
Dalton says he'll revisit the issue in the fall. Meanwhile, he said he planned to call a representative of Southeast Cinemas, a Charlotte-based company that is building a new 16-screen cinema where the old Citadel Mall theater used to be. Southeast Cinema plans to build an IMAX and says it may devote three to four screens to art house movies, the kind distributed by Dalton's company.