Saturday, February 04, 2006

Welcome to Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines!

Welcome to Lost Cinemas!

I'm Mark, a former Des Moines resident, and I've been collecting materials about all the neighborhood and downtown movie theatres of old Des Moines, and am now putting together a short 22-minute documentary about them.

As I assemble the movie, I'll be posting bits and pieces of the work in progress, as well as various items from my collection that I think you will find as fascinating as I do. Please let me know if you have any materials, stories, memories, anything regarding the vanished theatres--if it's something I don't have that fits the program, I'll be happy to discuss inclusion of the material into the film itself.

The picture above is a giveaway "lobby card" I've been including in the promo packs I mail out--the picture in the middle is a frame from the main title I have animated, which can be better seen in the preproduction trailer I've assembled to promote the project--check out a small Quicktime of it at:

You'll be hearing a lot more about the project as time rolls along, so please join the blog and check back often! Thanks.


Mark McDonnell said...

Nice Mark. What a great way to exhibit your work. I'm a big fan my friend. It's nice to see what you can cook up with basically nothing. What a talent!!!


Janet - Painted Piglet, BikerChickNews said...

Mark, you're just an amazingly talented person and this project is SUCH a cool idea!! Congrats, it's neat watching the collection go up gradually.
- Jaye

Jeff said...

Mark, What a cool thing you are doing. Of course, if I can be of any help with this project, please feel free to ask. Here's my Des Moines history:
1966-At age 6 helped my brother clean the Capri Theatre
1971-Age 11, concession at Varsity
1971-Age 11, usher at Eastgate Cinema
1973-Age 13, Cleaned and concession at Pioneer Drive-in, Concession at Merle Hay Plaza,
1974-Cleaned Sierra 3, Concession and Boxoffice at Plantation Drive-in
1975-Age 15, hired by Irwin Dubinsky to manage Ingersoll Theatre
1976-Manager of Valley 3
1978-Manager of River Hills/Riviera
1980-Manager of Fleur 4
I also did brief stints at the Galaxy, and Southridge Theatres.

I was extremely lucky early on to be mentored by Jim Glenn and Robert Fridley. These guys taught me how to be a showman.
Today, my son Cary and I own a twin theatre in Hillsboro Illinois which has been a real blessing. See links:

This year we were awarded "best business" by the Chamber of Commerce and we are competing for national honors with NATO/Showest for promotions conducted last year.

Contact me anytime. I will be in Los Angeles and Las Vegas mid march if you would like to hook up.
Jeff Eisentraut

Jerry said...

There is another lost theater in Des Moines that I'd like to know more about. I don't know what it's name was... but it was on the corner of East 9th and Hull. The building still stands, and you can tell it once was a theater. I am not sure what it is now, but think it once was a student bookstore for closeby Grandview College. I lived in the area as a kid, and it was never a theater while i was there, mid 60's. I also wished to learn more about the Hiland Theater on Euclid near 6th Avenue. LOVE this kind of history. I worked in theaters all during high school.. (75 thru 78) and remember theater life before the multi-plexes.