Dickinson Theatres inks deal to go digital

posted by Austin Klososky on November 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Dickinson Theatres of Overland Park, KS recently inked a deal to begin transitioning all of it’s 40 locations to digital in near the future.

“AccessIT is excited and proud that Dickinson Theatres will be the first exhibitor partner in our Phase 2 Deployment Plan,” said Chuck Goldwater, President of AccessIT’s Media Services Group. “With more than 80 years of excellence in the exhibition business, Dickinson Theatres and John Hartley and his team have the experience, the vision and the passion to take full advantage of the benefits of digital technology as leaders in the industry."
Read more in Access IT

Dickinson Theatres, Inc. owns and operates 40 movie theatre locations in 11 states with 380 screens in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. A privately owned organization, Dickinson Theatres, Inc. is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas and employs over 1100 staff members including 24 full time corporate employees. For more information about Dickinson Theatres, Inc. visit www.dtmovies.com

Comments (14)

JoelWeide on November 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm

It is good to see that a privately owned organization is doing this type of upgrading in the midst of a credit crisis. However Dickinson does need to do some renovating in many of their locations as many of these houses are showing the wear and tear of the years.

KingBiscuits on November 8, 2008 at 5:51 pm

This has been in the works for a while. For example: back when they bought back the Springfield 8 in Springfield, Missouri, they announced that all the auditoriums would get digital projection plus an IMAX screen would be built for Spring 2009.

JoelWeide on November 8, 2008 at 6:22 pm

That is interesting. I was under the impression that the IMAX expansions would be new construction, not add ons to exhisting theatres. It is my understanding that the Northrock 14 in Wichita,Ks will get an IMAX auditoriam, after the proposed new theatres' shopping center development fell through.

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on November 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

From what I’ve heard, after the success of the Gateway 12 IMAX in Arizona they added a sixth one onto the deal and shortly after bought the Springfield. I also know that Springfield 8 is extremely busy, they make almost as much as the Starworld 20 in Tulsa which is the biggest money maker in the chain.

JoelWeide on November 8, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Any word on how the Little Rock, Ak IMAX is doing. Shortly after its opening, they picked up an closed United Artists 8 screen, in Little Rock and announced a major renovation and expansion.
Then everything got quite as to expansion and renovation plans.

JoelWeide on November 8, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Springfield was always a good town for them, they had theatres all over including Joplin Web City and Branson, and either sold or pulled out during the bankruptcy.

KingBiscuits on November 8, 2008 at 10:12 pm

They pulled out of the Springfield/Branson in 1998 or 1999, after the closings of three theatres (Century 21, Tower, North Town) and a fourth on its last legs(Fremont) due to competition from the Campbell 16 (Wehrenberg) and the Palace (Warren).

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on November 9, 2008 at 11:12 am

The Chenal 9 in Little Rock is doing well. They had a lot of trouble getting the UA in North Little Rock up and running again, I don’t think they knew what they were getting themselves into. I think the IMAX idea for the Northrock 14 in Wichita is great, especially given Dickinson’s fierce battle with Warren in that market having an IMAX screen would bring something to the game that Warren can’t.

I also heard word that the digital role out is to begin in January and hopefully be done by the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2009.

JoelWeide on November 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm

AustinK, you appear to know alot about the Dickinson circuit. Are you employed by them, I used to manage the Mid-State twin in Salina, Kansas for them when Glen Jr. ran the company,and Kent Dickinson was just down the hall. I don’t know why I even care anymore, but your comments are interesting.

Any word on how the West Pointe End 8 in Oklahoma is doing, and when will construction begin
on the new Dickinson Theatre in Junction City, Kansas, I was under the impression that it should
have been opened by now.

Thanks for your information.
Joel Weide

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on November 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Yes, I’m an employee. I haven’t heard much about West End Pointe 8, which probably means it’s doing fine. I really don’t know much about operations in or around Kansas City or Junction City, so I have no info for you.

Sounds like you worked for the chain at a great time, the chain is a much different animal these days, and I don’t especially mean that in a good way. I’m pretty sure they don’t know the meaning of the word “RENOVATION.”

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on November 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm

View link

“We’re being told that a 3-D presentation of the next Super Bowl is a possibility. I want 3-D sports, 3-D operas. … I want 3-D preachers on Sunday morning. I want that preacher to reach out and grab me.”

John Hartley has such a way with words…

JoelWeide on November 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm

It’s fairly obvious that the theatres aren’t cared for very well. When I walk into the Central Mall 10 in Salina, Kansas, I can tell buy the various designs when Kent Dickinson ran the company, when Wood Dickinson ran the company, and the renovations John Hartley has made. They don’t blend together well at all.

KenLayton on November 10, 2008 at 8:25 am

If the theaters aren’t cared for, then video projectors are NOT going to help. In fact, since they cost so much, you’ll see LESS care in the theaters!

Austin Klososky
Austin Klososky on November 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Yeah but I think its more like the studios are putting pressure on the chains to make the switch, that article said Dickinson only has to pay 10 or 15 percent of the cost, and after that they get subsidized “virtual prints” for a while. To be honest without the studios I doubt there would be hardly any adoption of digital, movie theatre chains are pretty cheap.

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