Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

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JFK

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Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostWed Aug 30, 2017 12:56 pm

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Last edited by JFK on Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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barry byrne

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 2:00 am

Unlike the Jerry Lewis franchise branded cinemas, the Paris Max Linder still exists, now redeveloped as the Max Linder Panorama. Max actually owned it originally and subsequent owners retained the name.

The JL cinemas were a short lived franchise operation with minimal staff.

There are also a number of other Max Linder cinemas in France but these seem to have been named in his memory.
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Battra92

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Weren't there also theaters named after Asta Nielsen in Germany?
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silentfilm

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 11:38 am

The Jerry Lewis theaters were franchised. They screened 16mm prints of current films. These theaters mainly served small markets, and certainly could not compete with larger and traditional 35mm theaters.
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Dave Pitts

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 9:34 am

I still think the best celebrity franchise ever was Mickey Rooney's Weenie World -- which actually existed for a short time. Mickey invented a round, flattened hotdog with a hole in the middle, served on a hamburger bun and called the Weenie Whirl. I believe he stole the idea from Dame May Whitty (May Whitty's Wacky Weenies), and the only part I made up is this sentence.
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JFK

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Honey, what's Playing at the Cinemax?

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 10:36 am

Click pictures for larger versions, then click those new images

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Mike Gebert

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 11:30 am

We had Jerry Lewis Cinemas in Wichita for a while. At one point they started showing porn on one screen, and according to my friend Ben who was a projectionist (not there, but this is what he heard), when the cops would come in to do the research for a bust, they always spotted them, and whatever theater the cops sat down in, they would start playing a non-X movie so they couldn't get the necessary evidence.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Jim Roots

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 11:32 am

Mike Gebert wrote:We had Jerry Lewis Cinemas in Wichita for a while. At one point they started showing porn on one screen, and according to my friend Ben who was a projectionist (not there, but this is what he heard), when the cops would come in to do the research for a bust, they always spotted them, and whatever theater the cops sat down in, they would start playing a non-X movie so they couldn't get the necessary evidence.


Those polished badges shining brightly in the dark were a real giveaway.

Jim
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silentfilm

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

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JLNeibaur

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:45 am

The Jerry Lewis Cinemas originally insisted on just running G and PG films, but it was expanded to include R movies by 1973 or so. I don't think it was 16mm prints, though, although these were second-run houses. I never asked Lewis about this, but don't really understand the concept. His idea was that edgier movies were successful because there weren't enough "clean" movies to see. He didn't, therefore, produce more G movies, he simply opened up theaters that ran the ones already available. So, this didn't increase G product, it just offered theaters limited to showing them. Oh well, the entire franchise was done by 1980, and theaters had been closing one-by-one for years until then.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:51 am

The 16mm part was weird to me. Yes, 16mm prints were struck for the non-theatrical market, but second-run usually meant squeezing the last few theatrical bucks out of something, as in, not spending money to make new prints just for that but rather getting more life out of existing 35mms. Anything's possible, but that seemed off.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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silentfilm

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Re: Before there were Jerry Lewis Cinemas.....

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 11:56 am

It was a different business model, as you would buy a franchise like you would for a fast-food restaurant or a dry-cleaner's. Most of the people involved had no experience in movie exhibition. Some were 16mm and some were 35mm theaters. Usually with a franchise, the parent company helps you get product and does a lot of national advertising. And you expect the same experience no matter which location you visit. Apparently the theater business can't work that way. Here's another Film-Tech Forum thread with more information.

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