Today's Newsreel

  • April 25, 2007

    New cinema book

    Soon to be published, as I am the author, is the history of silver screens in the Catawba Valley. Over 89 theaters noted and their history…editor is Nathan Moehlmann BA, MA. It’ll arrive about May 07, w/pics.

  • April 5, 2007

    New “Preserve Me a Seat” review just published online

    Fresh from last weekend’s showing at the historic Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri, my documentary about historic movie theatres,“Preserve Me a Seat” has received a new review from the website

    You can read the review here:
    Cinephelia Review
    A dvd of the movie is also available at: Apartment 101 Films.


  • March 21, 2007

    Small town cinemas book

    PRYOR, OK — With a look into the Allred Theatre as well as other small town theaters, a new book will attempt to highlight this rapidly depleting art form.

    As in many small towns, the Allred, located on Main Street, is the heart of Pryor. Photographers Tony and Eve Worobiec, of England are hoping to capture the beauty of small town cinemas in their new book “Icons of the Highway: Celebration of Small Town America.”

    “Then we suddenly realized that these lovely old fashioned cinemas were doing the exactly the same. They’re moving to these mega complexes. This is really a culture we associate with America, we’re thinking about the 50’s and 60’s. It’s when America was set aside from the rest of the world. When America was really at its peak as far as culture is concerned. So we thought let’s see if we can discover it. Let’s see if we can find it. We decided what we needed to do was cinemas.”

    For more, go to the Pryor Daily Times.

  • March 20, 2007

    Film to explore DM’s ‘Lost Cinemas’

    DES MOINES, IA — A local filmmaker is using computer technology to animate pictures of old theaters as the centerpiece of his new documentary.

    Downtown Des Moines once glittered with showy movie houses and matinee lights: the Dreamland, the Radium, the Casino, the Garden, the Rocket.

    Now, filmmaker Mark Heggen is bringing them back to life in a documentary called “Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines.”

    Heggen began his research in the 1980s, collecting old photos and stories. Now, he’s animating those old photos in a documentary film, using software to turn on the lights in the old marquees and making black-and-white crowds come to life.

    To read the full story, go to the Des Moines Register.

  • January 9, 2007

    Mr. JIM RANKIN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    With the utmost regret, I must inform you of the passing of Mr. Jim Rankin of Milwaukee, a prolific contributor for decades to theatre history nationwide and in particular to the rich history of Midwestern theatres.

    Jim may have been one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on draperies and tassels, and was often called upon to share his knowledge with planned and ongoing restoration projects and scholarly journals on the topic.

    Those who knew Jim as a friend – there are many – will attest to his old-fashioned courtliness and courtesy to all, including (and almost especially) the rawest neophytes with a newfound interest in the trappings of theatre lore.

    Jim’s many postings here are often the only remnants of the rarest stories that surround so many of the long-lost and mostly-forgotten theatres of decades past.

    Jim Rankin very often talked about the need to raise a voice on behalf of any endangered theatre – and yet he still managed to keep a practical mind towards all foreseeable eventualities and outcomes in each case.

    A “realistic dreamer” was Jim.

    Often vocal against the sort of elitism and “cliqueyness” that can creep into dedicated groups including theatre aficionados, Jim made certain his personal approach to all who met him was filled with all the personal warmth and welcome that is called for when making new friends with similar interests.

    Though Jim rarely complained, his health has been poor for decades. His father died at sixty – Jim’s age, when he passed just before the New Year of 2007 of kidney failure, the result of diabetes.

    Jim Rankin loved all theatres, including the most modest small-town houses that dotted the American landscape in the past century. But Jim really did favor ostentatiousness and opulence above all, and would joke, punctuated by his loud and memorable laugh, that the Roxy and San Francisco Fox were far too plain for his tastes.

    Jim was very devout in his religious beliefs and lived his exemplary, too-brief life with a sense of dignity, honor and responsibility to himself, his friends and his interests.

    I know that Jim will forever dwell among the beauty and majesty of his Heavenly Father’s mansions, to which our greatest and most magnificent earthly palaces pale in comparison.


    Services for our brother Jim Rankin will be Friday, January 12th, 2007 at 7 PM at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses – 12165 Layton – West Allis, Wisconsin.

  • December 4, 2006

    The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television

    The museum at Bradford, UK, is now known as The National Media Museum.

    For more information, go to the National Media Museum Website.

  • November 2, 2006

    “Matinee at the Bijou” returns

    MEDFORD, OR — The Chudwig Group, a production company and content aggregator, announced today that agreements with PBS to air in 2007 a 12-episode sequel series to the popular 1980’s hit: Matinee at the Bijou, will anchor the group’s sponsorship development effort.

    During its initial five-year run in the 80’s, Matinee at the Bijou was one of America’s favorite entertainment programs — consistently rated in the top-ten national PBS programs.

    Screen legend, Debbie Reynolds, will host the new HD series. Reynolds will open each, two-hour episode with a performance of the original theme song and then describe for the audience that episode’s cartoon, short subject, action-packed serial chapter and classic feature film.

  • October 12, 2006

    Humana Medicare brings “Casablanca” back to the silver screen

    In an effort to promote their 2007 health plans, Humana is rereleasing “Casablanca” in theaters across the country. The promotion started yesterday in AMC, Regal and other major chains in specially designated markets.

    The special screening events are designed to introduce those eligible for Medicare and their caregivers to Humana’s 2007 Medicare Advantage plans in a fun and entertaining environment.

    “As Humana learned last year, education is key to helping those eligible for Medicare understand what subtle changes may be ahead for 2007,” said Debbie Smith, regional president for Seniors Products for Humana’s Western Region. “Continuing our industry-leading educational efforts around Medicare and providing guidance to seniors in learning ways to get the most value from their benefits creates a positive experience.”

    In addition to “Casablanca,” attendees will also see “Changing Lives,” a short film about Humana that features several Humana Medicare Advantage members. Since no trip to the movies would be complete without popcorn and soda, refreshments will be served to all attendees.

    To read more about this story, visit East Valley Living.

  • September 29, 2006

    Campaign ad hits theater

    TWIN CITIES, MN — Much to the audience’s surprise, a candidate for county sheriff started running a campaign ad in one theater.

    Going to the movies is the ultimate form of escapism — or at least it was until Friday.

    That was when the curtain came up before the 7:30 showing of “The Illusionist” at the Highland Theater, and where there materialized a leading man so familiar to the St. Paul audience that some in the theater gasped at his sudden appearance on the silver screen.

    It was former Police Chief Bill Finney. Seems he’s running for Ramsey County sheriff.

    For more on this story, visit The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

  • September 28, 2006

    Movie theater tosses texting teens

    ARLINGTON, TX — Looks like there is some justice in this world yet. Two teenagers were thrown out of a theater, just for texting!

    A local movie theater is in the spotlight after kicking out a group of teenagers for sending and/or receiving text messages inside one of its auditoriums.

    The AMC 24 in Arlington Parks Mall used police officers to escort the teens from the theater during the weekend.

    Did they go too far?

    For more, visit NBC5.