Sunday, December 09, 2012

New Website for the Film

Greetings, all!

After nine years, the documentary film version of "Lost Cinemas" is finally completed. And I've put together a new website just for the film--check it out at:

I'm very excited to get this released to you, the public, as soon as possible--the only thing holding this up is the expense of the archival rights (pictures, footage, and music) and a few other ancillary finishing costs such as insurance.

I've been fortunate enough to secure fiscal sponsorship from the International Documentary Association (IDA), whose established 501(c)(3) status will help those of you who want to contribute by qualifying your donation as a tax deduction; of course, you should consult your tax advisor for details on how you can make your contribution work for you this way.

You'll find more details on this--as well as a gallery, more background on the film, some new clips, and even downloadable Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines wallpaper--on the new website, as well as a button that will take you to IDA's donation link.

I hope you're as excited as I am that the film has reached this stage. It's been a long haul, but I fully believe it's been worth it on so many levels. Let's get through this final stretch and get "Lost Cinemas" out to festivals, competitions, theatres, and a home video DVD release!

Thanks to ALL of you for your support, contributions, and enthusiasm over the years!

With gratitude,
Mark Heggen

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ben Hur Program, Capri, 1960

"Ben Hur" was a big deal when it opened as the Capri's first feature presentation in early November of 1960. Bob Fridley had just completed renovations on what was the Uptown Theatre on University, and a brand-new Todd AO 70mm system had just been installed. "Ben Hur" was to dazzle the Des Moines public by presenting an epic biblical tale on a giant new wide screen, with multi-channel sound playing on a system installed by Todd AO system engineers flown in from Holland.

This was still the era of the "roadshow" picture, in which the feature was presented as an entire event, often with an overture, an intermission, custom banners for the lobby, and souvenirs available for purchase at the snack counter--such as this lush color brochure detailing the making of the "Ben Hur" feature.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Here's an ad for the grand opening of the Town Drive-In, from an Elkhart paper in May 1949. This venue was later known as the Starlite, and was perhaps the most "outlying" of the Des Moines ozoners. (Ad courtesy of the Cataldo Punelli collection.)