Monday, March 24, 2014 | 3:57 p.m.
Looking for movie stars? Want their autographs? Don’t think about Hollywood this week because the silver screen’s actors, actresses, producers and directors have upped from Tinseltown and are here on the Strip for the four-day, global CinemaCon meetings.
It all starts today in Celine Dion’s Colosseum theater at Caesars Palace with Paramount Pictures hosting Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and director Michael Bay in a screening of their summer blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will preview his new film “Hercules,” and Will Arnett will screen his “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” release. More than 5,000 motion picture theater industry professionals have arrived for the annual National Association of Theater Owners convention.
On Tuesday, Universal Pictures screen its upcoming Zac Efron and Seth Rogen movie “Neighbors,” and Lionsgate preview Ivan Reitman’s “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
On Wednesday, Walt Disney Studio executives will preview its summer slate, and then director Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “Batman” trilogy) will be an industry luncheon speaker about his big-screen passion. He also will participate in the Sprite Films nationwide competition showcasing the talents of the Top Six up-and-coming U.S. student filmmakers.
Other studios taking part with presentations Wednesday: 20th Century Fox , Sony and Warner Bros. Hollywood film veteran Tom Sherak will be honored at the Will Rogers Pioneers Foundation dinner. The studios remain tight-lipped about many of the movie stars they fly in to meet theater owners.
It’s mega-star day Thursday, which kicks off at lunch with our Las Vegas hero Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com talking customer service, culture and community. Then the awards start early evening at the Colosseum with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush as MC.
Chris Pratt, who stars in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” will be honored as Breakthrough Performer of the Year. Drew Barrymore will be awarded Female Star of the Year and Adam Sandler the Male Star of the Year, Ivan Reitman will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Kevin Costner for the Cinema Icon Award.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be named Comedy Filmmakers of the Year and Leslie Mann as Comedy Star of the Year. Also picking up awards: Nicola Peltz, Shailene Woodley, Jack Reynor, Chadwick Boseman and Andy Serkis.
The CinemaCon delegates also get to check out everything from new movie theater seating to popcorn breakthroughs. On Tuesday, a new, first-ever interactive movie technology will be unveiled at the South Point movie complex promising to be a true game changer in world cinema.
Barry Grieff, founder of Audience Entertainment, says the technology will be in 300 screens by year’s end and move globally next year. The technology that transmits from smart phone onto the screen allows moviegoers to control the movement and story outcome on the screen. Initially, it will work for advertising and movie trailers and eventually to feature films.
I know Barry from back in the days when he was president of Broadway Video in Manhattan for “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels. Barry commented: “As the digitization of cinema nears completion, we are left looking for what is next. What will make the cinema the entertainment destination for the 21st century consumer?
“At Audience Entertainment, we see ourselves as the enablers of a new interactive dimension to big-screen content and stories. We believe that the cinema is the perfect entertainment environment with the best seats, sound and pictures. Big screens will become interactive by understanding and reacting to the audience.”
Check back to Vegas DeLuxe for our continuing reports and photos from this year’s CinemaCon.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Located South of the Strip, South Point is a hot spot frequented by locals. The hotel-casino is decorated in a Pacific Coast feel, with golds, reds and browns, mixing an island feel with the ambiance of Southern California.
Guests rooms feature 42-inch flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and plush linens. Outside, the property features landscaped gardens, a hospitality to entertain poolside and a sand volleyball court.
When it comes to gaming, the South Point has more than 120,000 square feet of casino games, as well as a separate race books and sports books, a bingo and poker room. South Point also has some family friendly features, like a 64-lane bowling center, an arcade and a 16-screen movie theater.
Dining options range from an upscale meal at Michael's Gourmet to ice cream at Kate's Korner. The 24-hour Coronado Cafe is the perfect spot for a late-night craving, which include six midnight to 6 a.m. "graveyard" specials. Other restaurants include the Big Sur Oyster Bar, Don Vito's, Garden Buffet, Seattle's Best Coffee House and the Del Mar Deli.
One of South Points more unique features is the Equestrian Center and Arena, a first for Vegas. The Equestrian Center holds a variety of events, from college basketball to Championship Bull Riding.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.