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June 28, 2001 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: Itemus Releases Shooting Gallery Statement; Sundance Goes to School and Angelika in Da

DAILY NEWS: Itemus Releases Shooting Gallery Statement; Sundance Goes to School and Angelika in Dallas



by Eugene Hernandez, Anthony Kaufman and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE


>> Itemus Updates Shooting Gallery Situation; Parent Still Considering "All Options"


(indieWIRE/06.28.01) -- Itemus publicly acknowledged the ongoing
difficulties facing Shooting Gallery yesterday (Wednesday), saying in a
prepared statement that "the financial situation at its recently acquired
Shooting Gallery subsidiary continues to deteriorate rapidly." In
yesterday's prepared statement, Itemus confirmed what many already knew,
"Shooting Gallery management...has terminated most of its employees in all
departments of the company." Yesterday was the official last day of work for
Shooting Gallery staff. An email message to the staff made the layoffs
official.


The brief statement from Itemus, which concluded its acquisition of Shooting
Gallery in April of this year, essentially repeated last week's
announcement. "Itemus is actively considering all options in regard to its
Shooting Gallery investment, and is cautiously optimistic that it will be
able to complete a transaction with the disposition of certain assets in the
face of strong creditor pressures."


As indieWIRE reported on Monday, Shooting Gallery chief Larry Meistrich held
an emotional meeting with company employees on Friday afternoon, notifying
his staff that the company would likely be unable to pay workers for future
work at Shooting Gallery. Itemus has since indicated that employees would be
paid for work through Tuesday.


An email message, sent to Shooting Gallery employees yesterday, has been
published by Inside.com. The message goes one step further than Friday's
statements from Larry Meistrich, "We regret to inform you that your
employment with Shooting Gallery and/or Gun For Hire is terminated effective
immediately. Although we value your contribution to the company, its dire
financial condition has dictated such a result. You will be paid up to and
including today on the regular pay period." [Eugene Hernandez]


>> Sundance Channel Goes DIRECTV to College Campuses


(indieWIRE/06.28.01) -- Sundance Channel and DIRECTV Inc. will provide
university campuses with regular Sundance Channel programming in an agreement
announced recently by the cable network's Tom Christie, executive vice
president, Sales & Affiliate Marketing. The agreement with DIRECTV, a
leading digital satellite television service provider with nearly 10 million
customers, will provide the Sundance Channel to college and universities,
according to a press release, by "satellite master antenna systems, via a
head-end distribution." The cable operator is best known for providing
independent features, shorts, documentaries, world cinema and animation to
its viewers with no commercials.


"College students are a perfect audience for Sundance Channel because of their
adventurous spirit and intellectual curiosity" said Christie in a prepared
statement, "We are delighted that Sundance Channel will now be available to
the college student who is a fan of inventive and imaginative filmmaking."
Sundance Channel, which launched in 1996 in a venture between Robert Redford,
Showtime Networks Inc. and Universal Studios, operates separately from the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival. [Brian Brooks]


>> Angelika Advances on Dallas


(indieWIRE/06.28.01) -- After New York City and Houston, TX, a third Angelika
Film Center and Cafe
will open in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on August 3rd.
Owned by New York-based Citadel Cinemas, the 3-theater chain is devoted to
American independent and foreign films (with the exception of 3-4 studio
releases at the Houston venue).


The new Dallas-based 8-screen art-plex, however, will be exclusively devoted
to specialized films. Upcoming releases include such mini-major fare as
"Hedwig & the Angry Inch" (Fine Line) and "Made" (Artisan), as well as smaller movies such as "Chopper" (First Look Pictures), "George Washington" (Cowboy Booking International), "Come Undone" (Picture This Entertainment), and "Greenfingers" (IDP Distribution). Located in the new Dallas development known as Mockingbird Station, the theater/cafe will feature "bistro-style" food from Dallas' former Parigi chef, Lisa Kelley. The Angelika will join Landmark's 3-screen Inwood Theatre as the only art-house cinemas in Texas's Metroplex region. [Anthony Kaufman]

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