The game is afoot…
All Union Station head George Gustello said he wanted was a shot. A chance to prove the station’s new state-of-the-art Extreme Screen deserved to show first run movies, not just the standard issue “fin and feather” nature flicks for school kids.
To that end, Guastello made a deal with Dickinson Theatres and Walt Disney to screen Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful.
Next up: Jurassic Park 3D this Friday.
“Oz is still doing very well at Union Station,” says KCC movie man Jack Poessiger. “In fact, if it holds up the way it has, Disney’s not going to be real happy having it come off for somebody else’s film.”
Universal Studios is the distributor of Jurassic Park.
The $64 million question: Can Guastello repeat the magic and keep Union Station’s Extreme Screen going from here on?
“The performance of the first picture (Oz) was needed to prove that Union Station was viable to operate as a single screen theater in Kansas City,” Poessiger says. “And it did well enough – it generated enough film rental to impress the film companies.
“But they’ll have to give it some time to see how it’s going to hold up. I mean, it’s not every day somebody opens up a single screen movie theater to play day and date in the marketplace. In fact, I can’t think of any first run situation like this anywhere. Let alone to have it kick butt like this.”
At this stage of the game it appears that many moviegoers are forgoing their local movieplexes and making the trip downtown to get a gander at Union Station’s eye and ear popping picture and sound.
Now let’s do some math.
“If they can get three or four weeks out of Jurassic Park 3D, that would take it up to Iron Man 3 that starts on May 3rd,” Poessiger says.
Possible subsequent bookings could also include Hangover 3 or Fast & Furious 6 on May 24th, Man of Steel June 14th, White House Down June 28th and The Lone Ranger July 3rd.
The other good news for Union Station: Universal has green lighted the Extreme Screen to host two daily morning showings of the fin and feather blockbuster Tornado Alley.
One caveat; Dickinson needs to be mindful of not selling seats to the first two unwatchable rows of seats for 3D movies, per the advisory on Union Station’s web site.
Unlike the first several days of sold out Oz shows.
Other than that, all systems are go.