He was a trendsetter in the movie exhibition business that no one could or would deny. Sure, some in the industry thought some of his innovations were impractical and outlandish at times.
Who, for example, had ever heard of a multiplex theater? Let alone, God forbid, a four screen complex.
Then there was that December weekend in 1997 when Stan insisted on opening his three new Kansas City complexes—Town Center 20, Barrywoods 24 and Olathe Studio 30—ALL ON THE SAME WEEKEND!
It must’ve been hell on his operations staff.
But in the end Durwood Theatres transformed itself into the all powerful American Multi-Cinema and it was Stan who had the last laugh.
But time doesn’t stand still.
AMC has seen plenty of changes since Stan’s death in 1999, and a lot of his handpicked brain trust has moved on.
And yes, it involves the moviegoing experience, but no, not the way you’re used to it.
DinePlex’s protoype is an upscale-casual 300 seat restaurant that just happens to have three attached movie theater auditoriums.
And as a tribute to Stan Durwood, DinePlex calls its new operation STANDEES–The Entertaining Eatery. As in Stan and a movie advertising standee combined. Get it?
DinePlex plans to open its first Standees in Prairie Village in little more than three weeks on May 24th.
The Entertaining Eatery is located in the Prairie Village Shopping Center just north of the Macy’s store there.
What kind of movies will Standees play?
But the movies will all be first run product utilizing the latest in digital projection and sound presentation.
Yet unlike other theaters offering food and drink service during the show, you won’t have waiters rushing in and out of the auditoriums.
Why? Because you eat in the restaurant area of Standees.
Although you’ll be able to take your dessert and/or adult beverage into the movie auditoriums.
That’s OK too. Having just lunch or dinner in the restaurant at Standees is perfectly all right. Same goes for the movies. You don’t have to eat at Standees if it’s only a movie you’re wanting to see.
Movie ticket prices will be competitive with other theaters in the area. And the plentiful chef-infused cuisine ranges from $5.00 to $22.00.
As for the demographics Standees is shooting for?
According to DinePlex C.E.O. Frank Rash, the sweet spot will be the 40-plus crowd.
“There will be a cool factor that makes this a place where 21-and-up people want to come and enjoy themselves, but our core audience is mature,” Rash said.
Mature, eh. You talking about ME?
Actually, I can’t wait to try the place out. And if it works the way the ex-AMC team is hoping it will, there could be future Standees sprouting up nationwide.
My personal best wishes to Peter, Frank, Doug and PR guru Justin Scott.
Stan would be proud.