Although I've been a programmer for 30 years, I [relatively] recently (2012) got my degree in Cinema Studies, which is the formal analysis of film as a text. (It's not just saying whether a film is good or bad, but examining themes, set design, sound, etc.) Part of my studies involved looking at the whole process, from pitching a film through global distribution. We all complain about the high costs of movie tickets and snacks at theaters, the frequently lousy chairs and so forth, but the movie studios are not innocent in those costs. While I don't have exact figures to give, out of a $12 movie ticket, the theater may only be getting about $1.50 of the revenue, maybe even less, as the studios are charging them exorbitant licensing and leasing fees for each movie. In addition, they sometimes force theaters to take films that they know are or will be crappy as part of a package deal in order to get the big films. Ever hear the term blockbuster? That's from studios leasing a block of films to theaters, most of which will not be good, in order to get one or two films that everyone is going to want to see. The first blockbusters were films that they sold outside of those blocks because they wanted to make sure that they maximized their potential income.
The only place theaters, including both the small boutique theaters and big chains, make money on are the snacks and food they serve in the theater. As the movie studios continue to raise the costs of leasing the films, the theaters are forced to increase their food costs to keep up while trying to strike a balance with the actual ticket costs. (Lets face it, none of us would likely pay $20 to see Twilight. Hell, I wouldn't take money to see it...)
And then, there's Hollywood's push towards digital distribution, which I admit makes the movie-going experience more pleasant all around. (I've been in a theater when the celluloid film strip melted on the projector, not to mention the graininess that's sometimes there.) A theater quality digital film projector system costs over $75,000, you can probably pile at least another $20k or more on top of that for theater quality THX and/or Dolby speakers, $5-10k for a good projection screen, and God knows how much for seats, maintenance, etc. for each individual theater room at a multiplex. Some of the movie studios have helped with the transition from celluloid to digital projection, it was in their best interests after all, and in the past helped with the hifi to stereo transition, but on the whole, the studios' only goal is to squeeze money out of the theaters. And don't get me started on why they keep making formulaic sequels and remaking/rebooting films... That's got absolutely nothing to do with them being out of ideas, in case you're thinking that...
So, bottom line, Hastings is only partially right. The theaters are the easy target for his blame, but then he's not trying to put films in theaters. It's the movie studios that are really to blame for the sad state of film though.