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If only my hometown Cinerama theatre – The Indian Hills – had not met the wrecking ball 10 years ago; our screen was bigger and the interior design better than either Seattle or the Dome (ok, so I’m biased) – think of the Cinerama festival we could have put on there! And, as the walls came down as I was filming my documentary that day 10 years ago, it was possible to still see the original projectors in the booths. It’s so sad.
Please consider talking to The Grand Theatre in Grand Island, Nebraska, or The Midwest Theatre, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska – this would make a great addition to either theatre!
How I wish I could go to Toronto to see this…BUT…the true “2001” 70mm experience was seeing it at Cooper’s Indian Hills theatre on the 105 foot curved screen. To this day, that remains THE cinematic experience of my life (for the record, I saw it there for the first time in junior high when it was reissued in 1974)…As you probably know, the theatre sadly was demolished, but when I play my “2001” blu-ray, I imagine myself sitting down low near the screen, scrunched down in my purple velvet seat, waiting for the “ultimate trip” to begin…
This sounds like a great event, but nothing will replace seeing “2001” in 70mm 6 track stereo at a Cooper Theatre! I saw the film when it was reissued in 1972 at Omaha’s Indian Hills (our city’s version of The Coopers located in Denver and Minneapolis)on the 105 foot wide curved screen and it was a life-changing cinematic event.
I’d be interested in buying a text ad to promote the dvd of my movie theatre preservation documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat.” Please email me at:
Another national review can be seen here:
Thanks Brooklyn Jim! Looks like the link to the review didn’t get attached above. Here’s the link:
Sorry about that!
This new review of “Preserve Me a Seat,” which features the efforts to save Omaha’s Indian Hills Theatre appeared yesterday. Here’s the link:
In addition to the premiere in Grand Island, Nebraska, “Preserve Me a Seat” had its Omaha premiere the following night at the last remaining single screen theatre in Omaha, Nebraska, The Dundee, and played to a near capacity house of 225 people. The next evening the film was screened at the University of Nebraska’s Ross Media Center as well. “Preserve Me a Seat” follows the ongoing struggle to protect and preserve our historic movie theaters and cultural legacy, profiling theatres in Boston (The Gaiety), Chicago (The DuPage), Detroit, (The former Michigan Theatre), Omaha, (The Indian Hills Cinerama Theatre), and Salt Lake City (The Villa). The film will next be presented as part of the opening night movies at the upcoming Estes Park Film Festival, Sept 15-17th in Colorado.
Other festival and screening dates are pending. For those interested, the dvd is available for order online at www.apartment101films.com for only $12.99 plus shipping
For more information, email me at
To begin, the direction I was going was actually based on bookings. As I mentioned previously, we have several(and have had in the past), with more emails asking for us every day. You may not call that a paying audience, but we receive residuals, so however you wish to look as those figures. These non-profits fill the house. Part of this, I believe, is due to the factor that they receive films that aren’t always available elsewhere(probably due to a lack of digital equipment). Apparently, again, it sounds as if your local filmmaker was having a few more problems than just being digital, if his early figures, with DVD, were “near-zero”. However, it sounds interesting that they actually made a figure like “30,000” after going to 35mm. What’s their website? I’d be interested in looking into this one further. Let me know more.
As far as figures go, Peter, as I’ve previously mentioned, our film, alone, was $10 grand. So, you’ve basically doubled our budget within a couple friendly conversations. What I really need to know is where is this $10 grand lying around? Also, when I was referring to the smaller, single-screened, independents, I never meant to imply that they should invest $100,000 in new equipment costs-that’s completely your own figure, there. An independent theater usually requires all the aid that they can gain, so I’m not sure where they would locate this kind of cash. All I meant was that independent theaters would be able to acquire more independent film if they invested-only a little-in a simple projection setup. Anything to help business, was my point. You see, Peter, we made our film because we have a concern when it comes to these vintage movie theaters. One after another, they’re being mowed over for parking lots and other things. We care, though, and wish to promote the importance of these theaters.
Your position, then, is one of equipment and technique. Mine, on the other hand, is simply consideration and preservation. I have a background in architecture and love these theaters. I feel that the newer theaters are just not as enjoyable. This, though, is just one man’s opinion. But some of these points is why we created the film. Our film is playing a 1937 vintage movie house this evening. We held a media screening there a couple of weeks ago, and the film looked great. At least, that’s what we all felt. Okay, here’s the punchline, Peter. Are you ready for this? They informed me that the projection system was one of the most inexpensive models-I think they said something about Walmart, in fact.
Now, I’m sure that in your case, you would want nothing to do with this type of thing. However, if you consider the possibilities of the numbers of theaters that hold your opinion, all I imagine is how so many patrons will, likely, never see this film. Although if you would say that I owe it to them, fine. Again, inform me where this $10 thousand dollar is located, please. On the other hand, perhaps these theaters should look into inexpensive digital equipment, for now, and present these films. Rather than discussing astronomical and unrealistic figures, as we’ve now done here. So, I wish you well in the future and may business do well for you. At least, I hope, as well as it is for us at this time.
AMC and Landmark Theatres are digital-ready theaters. This is because this is where things are going, Peter. Digital video was really not too impressive when it was really starting to hit, some years ago. In fact, I was totally against it, then. But a lot has changed. The detail is, often, amazing(though cheaper films, with poor quality lighting, the lack of technology, and an inexperienced crew is a whole different story). I agree that film does have that classic look, though(however grainy it often appears).
The college media arts centers/theaters, who are commonly a major customer with us, are rarely not digital these days(indie film is larger on campus than in corporate theatres). There are a number of new non-profit media centers/art theaters popping up in the communities, also, all of them digital(we have several in Nebraska-and if we’re getting them in a place like Nebraska…well, you know). Most of the independent theaters we’ve played commonly have the equipment, as well(we’ve been thinking about touring with the film next spring, so we called ahead to look into the probability).
The film festival circuit, where we’ve won awards with past films, and have gotten a lot of notoriety(as well as DVD sales), are all digital, anymore(well, how couldn’t they be, with the indie budget of us filmmakers). However, to be fair, Peter, I admit that a number of the struggling one-screen theaters are not. Although, as you mentioned with “wider distribution”, these independent theaters could probably go further if they spent a minor amount of change and updated their theaters. I mean, what’s a few hundred dollars, when it comes to revitalizing a theater-especially one that may be struggling, in the first place, right? On the other hand, think about all of the indie filmmakers who haven’t got that $5 grand(most of the filmmakers that I’ve met, anyway). Your local one was, obviously, one of the rarities. Come to think of it, would you ask him to introduce me to his financiers? We’ve got presskits!
I’m not certain, from your last comment, if there was some problem with that locally-made indie film that necessitated the transfer to 35mm prints(I have seen indie films that could use work, in any format, though ours has specifically received compliments on its color and detail of picture-even on a wide screen). As far as your comment on a DVD appearing poorly on a wide screen, I apologize for saying this, but that’s not just false when pertaining to our film, but also untrue when it comes to most of the digital indie films that have come to our local theaters-and AMC(especially since the AMC Select programming). As far as film having a wider distribution, I’ll bite-but what, exactly, is your figure when you say “less than a tenth” of a half-million? I mean, a tenth, itself, is still $5 grand-and we’re independent-and self-financed and distributed. Our film, alone, was not even $10 grand. Also, is the indie film you mentioned a full-length feature or a short? That would vary costs a bit(ours is a full feature). Its all out-of-pocket with us, though, Peter. Again, I still submit, renting a digital projector is around $200, for a good one, just to keep things grounded a bit, here. I admit, I tend to think within the independent box-since that’s exactly what I am. If I were a large studio or had a number of financiers, this conversation would probably hold a little more weight, just to be fair. However, if you feel compelled, look into it and let me know the true cost.
Unfortunatley the cost of transferring digital video to film is astronomical – over $500,000.00 and who can afford that? Not me.
Every major film festival now uses digital projectors – they have made showing independent movies like mine viable for large movie theatres/screens. A high quality projector can be rented fairly cheaply. Since my movie was shot on digital video anyway, many times people never know their watching it digitally projected and not on film. Either way, I’d love for you to see or show the movie.
Feel free to email me at
The film was shot on digital video and would need a digital projector to be shown in a theatre using dvd. If you’re interested or have any more questions, feel free to email me at
I’ve submitted it to the upcoming Austin film festival, but haven’t heard yet whether it has been accepted as a selection. In the meantime, you can tell your local historic/independent theatre about it or see the movie on dvd. Thanks1
Actually, the premiere is THIS week – I sent the news item in on Friday. :)
This weekend Nebraska Public Radio will broadcast a story about the documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat” and The Indian Hills Theatre. You can listen to the story online following this link:
After 5 years of work and one lawsuit that lasted 3 years and was finally dismissed in my favor, I’m thrilled to announce that my documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat” will premiere next week in three Nebraska cities: Wednesday, July 26th at 7:30pm in Grand Island, Nebraska at the historic Grand Theatre, Thursday, July 27th, at 7:00 pm at Omaha’s last single screen theatre, The Dundee, and Friday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Center in Lincoln, Nebraska on the UNL campus. The documentary has also been chosen as the opening night film for the upcoming Estes Park Film Festival in Colorado, Sept 15-17th.
Here’s some links to news articles about the premiere so far:
For more information about the documentary, which will also be available on dvd for only $12.99 next week too, please visit:
Here’s another article that appears in today’s (Thursday, June 20th) Omaha World Herald. You’ll have to register to read the entire article, but registration is free.
here’s another article that appears in today’s Omaha World Herald about “Preserve Me a Seat” and historic theatres.
I’m excited that my new documentary, “Preserve Me a Seat” will premiere at The Grand Theatre next week – Wednesday, July 26th at 7:30 p.m. We don’t remember a lot about our distant past, but we do remember our favorite movie theatre. “Preserve Me a Seat” is a documentary about these theaters and the ongoing fight to protect and preserve them for future generations. Featuring efforts to preserve theaters in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Sat Lake City, and Omaha, “Preserve Me a Seat” will appeal to anyone interested in saving our classic theatres for future generations.
Here’s a link to a news article about the premiere here:
and a local news station report here:
I hope all of the local Cinema Treasures members will attend! See you next week.
Writer/Director, “Preserve Me a Seat"
An article about the film can be found here:
Also, a television newscast for the movie premiere can be found here:
My name is Jim Fields and I’m an independent filmmaker from Omaha, Nebraska. Currently, I’m making a documentary called, “Preserve Me a Seat,” which is about historic movie theaters and the people who try to save them from getting torn down. I’m coming to Lombard next Friday/Saturday to film interviews and footage of the Dupage Theater and the controversy over whether or not it should be saved. If anyone here would like to be interviewed for the movie, please contact me at:
I don’t know if anyone from St. Joseph involved with the preservation or current management of the Missouri Theatre reads this page regularly, (the link to stjoears.org doesn’t work), but I’m an indie filmmaker currently making a documentary about historic movie theatres and the people who fight to save them from demolition. I would like to come down to St. Jo and film the theatre and interview those involved with its preservation and knowledgable about the theatre’s history. If interested, please email me at: