From the Dallas South News Wire
The Oak Cliff Foundation has officially handed the keys to the historic Texas Theatre over to Aviation Cinemas, Inc., a newly formed movie theatre company with the expressed goal of renovating the theatre by installing a 35mm changeover system, tweaking the existing digital projection system to meet I-Cinema compliance, and installing a new adjustable 40 foot screen. This will allow the theatre to screen movies of various exhibition formats, utilizing state of the art equipment. The large screen will be moveable to allow for other kinds of entertainment including plays and concerts.
The old school style film changeover system will allow the Texas to screen repertory film prints that would not normally be allowed to be spliced together on a platter. Additional exhibition for small format films and filmmaking will be supported by the addition of 16mm and Super 8mm projection. Plans also include constructing a concession stand and a separate full-service bar in the main lobby and soundproofing the area between the theatre and the bar.
“Phase one is to get the theatre in good working condition in order to exhibit films in traditional and digital formats,” said Barak Epstein, President and CEO of Aviation Cinemas. “Long term goals to restore the theatre to its original condition still exist; but in order to realize those goals we’ve got to be on par with competing theaters. Attracting audiences is the only way this theatre will survive.”
Aviation Cinemas, named in honor of billionaire Howard Hughes, who financed The Texas Theatre in 1931, is the brainchild of award-winning independent filmmaker, Barak Epstein. Epstein has been scouting potential spaces in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for several years. Following the Oak Cliff Foundation’s involvement with the Texas Theatre led him to his first opportunity.
Award-winning Independent film producer, Adam Donaghey, is Vice-President and CMO. “Barak and I have been looking for the next project to team up on,” said Donaghey, who’s produced several films alongside Epstein, “and when the opportunity to be a part of a movie theatre with the kind of history the Texas has, I jumped all over it.”
Creative Director for The Oak Cliff Foundation, Jason Reimer, will stay on as a part of Aviation Cinemas, continuing to head up programming and book shows. “When Barak came to us with his ideas for the Texas Theatre, “ says Reimer, “I knew instantly he was the right fit. Coupled with Adam’s ability to scout the latest and greatest on the indie film market, will make for some quality programming.”
While the theatre has content booked through the rest of the year, beginning in October, including the Texas Blood Bath Film Festival in November, the grand opening of the new Texas Theatre is scheduled in January 2011. Following the grand opening, phase two will consist of remodeling the balcony by possibly turning it into two additional screens (similar to the Inwood Theater in Dallas), remodeling additional areas for lounge space and installing a digital cinema 2K and 3D projector.
The Texas Theatre is currently booking independent films, concerts, theater programs, parties and events. Book your event by calling: 940-391-5899