• July 31, 2006

    World premiere of “Preserve Me a Seat”

    GRAND ISLAND, NE — A restored theater success story called the Grand Theatre in Grand Island, Nebraska was the setting for the world premiere of the documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat” on Wednesday, July 26, 2006. An audience of 150 filled the lovingly restored deco theater in downtown Grand Island to watch the 118 minute film.

    A lively panel discussion occurred after the film with board members of the Grand, the film-makers and real estate developer, Paul Warshauer from Chicago. Although it is billed as a preservation film, it is really the story of three failed attempts to restore old theatres in Omaha, Boston, and Lombard, IL.

  • July 27, 2006

    AMC Broadens Scope to Independent Films

    In order to draw audiences away from smaller independent theaters and from home theaters, AMC has started an initiative to split its programming in some theaters between mainstream and indy flicks:

    Plush stadium seats. Surround sound. Miles of movie screen. Multiplexes might seem to have it all — as long as you’re willing to watch flicks about pirates or comic book heroes.

    But fans of independent film, accustomed to seeking out their favorites at art houses or on DVD, are getting a bigger welcome at mainstream movie theaters these days — led by AMC Theatres, the company that invented the two-screen multiplex in 1963 and the 24-screen “megaplex” in 1995.

    For the full story, visit the Journal News article.

  • July 21, 2006

    Oscars Strikes Back at DVD’s

    According to this report, the Academy is considering issuing new rules to drive distribution back into theaters:

    Many industry analysts predict that it’s just a matter of time before movies are released simultaneously to theaters, home video and/or pay-per-view TV.

    But perhaps not, if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has anything to say about it.

    AMPAS is considering a rules change that would make films released simultaneously on the big and little screen ineligible for Oscar consideration.

    For the full report, visit the Mercury News Article.

  • July 19, 2006

    Promising News for the Moviegoer

    HOLLYWOOD, CA — The Movie Advisory Board took an exit poll of people that saw the new Pirates of the Caribbean film and it points towards a preference for seeing movies in actual theaters as opposed to at home:

    Having measured the desire of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest moviegoers to see the film in- theater, the Movie Advisory Board, a joint initiative between Nielsen Entertainment and, announced today the results of a survey of over 1700 moviegoers who had seen Pirates from its opening through last week. 89% of Pirates theatergoers stated they would have still seen the film in a movie theater, even if it was available on the day of its theatrical release, either for sale or rental.

    For all the statistics, visit the Full Report on Yahoo.

  • Further Details on AMC’s A.M. Cinema

    Here is some more information direct from AMC regarding the new matinee policy:

    Kansas City, Mo (July 13, 2006) —– AMC Theatres today announced the launch of A.M.Cinema, a new program providing early-morning guests the opportunity to see first-run movies at the best ticket price of the day. Beginning Friday, July 14, 2006, the program invites moviegoers to visit their local AMC theatre before noon Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays* to enjoy ticket prices of $4, $5 or $6 depending on the theatre and market. A.M.Cinema is available at more than 300 AMC theatres in the U.S. including AMC Loews theatres, AMC Star theatres, AMC Magic Johnson theatres and AMC Cineplex Odeon theatres. The program will also be offered at AMC’s seven Canadian locations beginning Friday, July 21, 2006.

    For the full press release, please visit the AMC Site

    There is still no word if Regal Entertainment or any other major chain will follow suit.

  • July 17, 2006

    AMC lowers prices on Manhattan pre-noon showings

    NEW YORK, NY — AMC theaters has instituted a policy of $6 morning showings at their showings at their Manhattan theaters in NYC.

    Some lucky Manhattan moviegoers got a huge surprise with their popcorn yesterday morning – $6 tickets.

    “I’m in shock; this is fantastic,” said a smiling Danny Rivera of Greenwich Village, who stepped up to the ticket counter of the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street and learned that two tickets for “The Pirates of the Caribbean” would set him back only $12 – not the $21.50 he was expecting.

    For the full story, please follow this link:NY Post Article on AMC

  • July 14, 2006

    Foreign Theaters' Varying Idea of Luxury

    A look into theaters around the world and how they cater to their different audiences:

    The lights dimmed, the crowd in the theatre hushed, and I settled into my seat with anticipation of the movie to come. But suddenly everyone stood up. On-screen, images of the Thai king drifted across in collages as swelling music played in the background. I stumbled to my feet to join the rest of the crowd as everyone paid a pre-film homage to the beloved monarch.

    Read the full report on

  • July 13, 2006

    Documentary on Film Exhibition Network in Russia

    We recently completed a documentary film on film exhibition and distribution in Russia:
    Dir. Alexander Gershtein, Thomas Lahusen, Tracy McDonald, Alexander Nikitin. 46 min., 21 sec.
    Digital video; color and b&w.
    Russian with English subtitles.

    For a synopsis and a trailer, see:

  • 16-screen “Movie Palace” for Milwaukee?

    MILWAUKEE, WI — Lou Rugani of Kenosha Wis., was kind enough to send me this notice from a local paper. Whether one could call this to-be-built complex of screens wth a raucous lobby of “entertainment” a “Movie Palace” is up to the observer, but I guess it is good for this ritzy suburb of Milwaukee. Double Grande Staircases? Something tells me they won’t be of marble, but at least there is more attention to decor. I wonder if they will have lines of different color LEDs in the carpeting to help one find his screening room among the 16?! All they will be missing is a platoon of ushers to keep the vastness under control. And no mention of digital projection, hmmmmm. Still I give them my Best Wishes, even though they do still own one of the most glorious true movie palaces in the Midwest; the former WARNER, now called the GRAND in downtown Milw., now sitting dark, low these eleven years now with little effort by Marcus to re-program and reopen it. I guess their definition of ‘movie palace’ has changed. Jim Rankin, Milwaukee

    Marcus theaters Corp., a division of Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp., is making the dinner-and-a-movie date a one-destination affair. Marcus announced Thursday it will break ground July 12 on The Majestic, a 16-screen movie theater complex in the town of Brookfield that will include an Italian cafe, a coffee and ice cream shop, a lounge and an auditorium for live performances and meetings.

  • July 7, 2006

    Theatre Historical Society 2006 Awards

    The THS Awards Banquet at the Boston Conclave was a grand and exciting occasion! And the winners are:

    This year saw the inauguration of our first annual CREATING THEATRE HISTORY AWARD which will be given each year to a theater or a person as selected by the Local Conclave Chairs to honor excellence within our conclave area. The committee this year selected CESAREO PALAEZ and the Cabot Street Theatre in Beverly MA. Cesareo’s story of his escape from Cuba as a young boy and his subsequent success in America is heartwarming. His childhood love of theaters led him to buy and restore this fabulous French Deco delight and use it to house his world famous magic shows.

    THE BOOK OF THE YEAR went to THEATRES OF BOSTON by our late member Don King. This book was a long time project of Mr. King and was published after his death thanks to the dedication and determination of his friends. THS Northeast Director Bob Stinson accepted the award in Don’s memory.

    The HONORARY MEMBER OF THE YEAR was given to Bob Ohmann who singlehandedly restored his family business The Ohmann Theater in Lyons, NY. Mr. Ohmann today is a successful developer in North Carolina but never lost his love of his grandfather’s vintage theater in the small canal town of Western NY state. Bob used his own resources and work crews to recreate the simple beauty of the theater while updating the projection and stage equipment to accomodate modern presentation.

    And the main award of the night…. MEMBER OF THE YEAR went to Dr. John Kiesendahl for his many years of quiet service to THS. Dr. John heads up our all-important Elections Committee which does not get much public attention but plays a vital part in the smooth operations of your Society. Dr. John also produced, with Dr. Tom DuBuque, the wildly popular and successful Kansas City Conclave in 2004.

    Congratulations to all of our winners!