STAY IN TOUCH

Join our mailing list and never miss an update!
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

NEWS

Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin describes the experience: “You were giving people a complete escape from their ordinary lives, from the moment you walk into the lobby. Plush carpeting, gilded relief work on the walls and on the ceilings, magnificent chandeliers, decor from different periods of art and architecture around the globe. This at a time when most Americans didn’t have the opportunity to travel.” April Wright, director of “Going Attractions,” tells KCRW that going to a movie palace creates a memory -- not only of the movie you saw, but who you were with and where you were. “It's just a whole different experience. And I think people are thinking about that now; if we're losing some of that communal experience and some of that relationship that we have with movies.”

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.30.21 AM.png

Several Pittsburgh-area filmmakers will present their work, including director April Wright with “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of Movie Palaces,” at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at The Harris; and National Geographic documentarian Kenneth Love premiering “Jewish Memories of Pittsburgh’s Hill District,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19, at the Regent Square Theater.

Another tribute to the (almost) past is “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace.” The film is a celebration of the ornate movie theaters of the past, Morrison says, many of which are now repurposed as performing arts centers.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 6.13.09 PM.png

Seattle Times: “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace” (not rated; 94 minutes): A celebration of the grand American shrines to cinema that rose to glitzy prominence during the 1920s (including New York’s 6,000-seat Roxy and Chicago’s 46,000-square-foot Uptown), April Wright’s well-researched documentary might not quite live up to its title, but it does a decent job of capturing those golden years. Grand Illusion. — Michael Rechtshaffen

The Rowland is an extraordinary venue. It hearkens back to the golden age of cinema, when movie-going was a special event in people's social calendars. As you will hear in our opening night film, Going Attractions, directed by April Wright, the movie palace movement at the turn of the century was an attempt at the democratization of entertainment. People of all socioeconomic backgrounds could all equally enjoy the marble columns, red carpets, velvet seats, gold inlay in the wood, for the same affordable ticket price. We believe moviegoing still is, and should always be, a community event, an instigator of conversation. The grandeur of the space is a reflection of the grandeur of the ideas and images presented onscreen. We feel so fortunate to have this awe-inspiring space as the home for the festival.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 5.55.32 PM.png

Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace,” a history of the great theaters from America’s rich history of film and cinema, followed by a Q&A with the director April Wright; photographer Matt Lambros, who is featured in the film; and Rebecca Inlow, a Rowland Theatre Board of Directors member who wrote a book chronicling the theater’s history.

After chronicling the rise and fall of American drive-ins, the second installment of her Going Attractions series explores the origins of lavish movie palaces and documents the fight to save these cultural landmarks that are today facing extinction. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.20.09 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.27.35 AM.png

In part 2 of our coverage of the 28th Heartland Film Festival, I share the award winners from this year’s festival and I interview several filmmakers at the HIFF press junket!

Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin describes the experience: “You were giving people a complete escape from their ordinary lives, from the moment you walk into the lobby. Plush carpeting, gilded relief work on the walls and on the ceilings, magnificent chandeliers, decor from different periods of art and architecture around the globe. This at a time when most Americans didn’t have the opportunity to travel.” April Wright, director of “Going Attractions,” tells KCRW that going to a movie palace creates a memory -- not only of the movie you saw, but who you were with and where you were. “It's just a whole different experience. And I think people are thinking about that now; if we're losing some of that communal experience and some of that relationship that we have with movies.”

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.30.21 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.38.24 AM.png

Documentary "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace" showcases the golden age of theaters, their decline and preservation movements. Well-researched... a timely reminder of the once unquestionable value of a shared viewing experience in this era of personal streaming.

Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Amy Nicholson and Tim Cogshell review this weekend’s new movie releases.

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.49.37 AM.png

This is a wonderful and important time-capsule of our heritage. This film captures a time that is sadly leaving us with the advent of streaming. As a viewer, I ask the question if we have returned to the '1950s and are seeing what T.V. did to Cinema? This film does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the Cinema. April Wright's POV took me down memory lane of all the old theatres I grew up with that are now a Home Depot or Whole Foods. 

April Wright likes to get the word out about grand things. As with Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie (available on Amazon Prime and iTunes), her thoughtful 2013 ode to the outdoor moviegoing experience, she has offered up another loving, exhaustive tribute to the large architectural wonders of indoor entertainment. All hail the Movie Palace.

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 8.55.22 AM.png

To do this week: scope out some interior decor at WestEdge Design Fair; reminisce about movie palaces at a screening of "Going Attractions"; attend a discussion on architecture and capitalism; get a foot in the door at Sneakertopia; and learn how parking rules have shaped LA, at Second Home Hollywood.

Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace celebrates the splendor and grandeur of the great cinemas of the United States, built when movies were the acme of entertainment and the stories were larger than life, as were the venues designed to show them: Thousands of seats, giant screens, exotic and ornate interiors with balconies and lounges, in-house organs and orchestras, amazing marquees, and air conditioning back when houses had none. The film also tracks the eventual decline of the palaces, through to today’s current preservation efforts. A tribute to America’s great art form and the great monuments created for audiences to enjoy them in. Featuring film historian Leonard Maltin.

The moviegoing experience is a pale shadow of what it once was. Today, multiplexes offer cookie-cutter, dull-looking, theaters of 100 to 300 seats with screens sometimes comparable to large-size flat-screen televisions. They lack the ambiance that used to make going to the movies a magical time.

What started as individual entertainment in penny arcades moved to a shared experience in nickelodeons. Next, when movies evolved from a lower class entertainment to mainstream, large movie palaces were built and the studio system grew in the teens and twenties. All of the grand movie palaces were built in a very compressed period of time between approximately 1915 with many converting from Vaudeville, through the early 30s. The addition of sound spawned the golden age of cinema in the 1930s in these architecturally gorgeous theatres in metropolitan areas which thrived as an escape from the great depression.

The film’s L.A. run kicks off Thursday, October 24 with the world theatrical premiere at the historic Ahrya Fine Arts, followed by a discussion with filmmaker April Wright and subject Escott O. Norton, executive director of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. Several of the film’s other subjects will be in attendance as well! Following the premiere, GOING ATTRACTIONS will play for a week, from October 25-31, at the Music Hall (showtimes here), and Monday, October 28 & Tuesday, October 29 at four additional Laemmle theatres — the Claremont, Playhouse, Royal and Town Center — as part of the Culture Vulture series (see list of shows and ticketing links below).

It’s a niche subject, but credit to Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles (which has operated some classic theaters) for showcasing this documentary about a different era of movie exhibition. It didn’t reach many people, but at least it brought notice to a cinephile subject.

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 9.15.29 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 2.20.46 PM.png

“Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace” — Documentary showcases the golden age of the great movie theaters in the years between the World Wars, their later decline and current preservation movements to save those that remain. Directed by April Wright. (1:24) NR.

All guests are invited to stay for a screening of the new documentary film, featuring the Michigan Theater, titled "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace" at 7:30 pm at the Michigan.  The film explores the plight of historic theaters across the US and highlights how certain theaters have been saved and gone on to become economic catalysts to their communities.  The film is also open to the public at regular ticket prices. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 2.08.27 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.41.39 AM.png

The movie-going experience is a pale shadow of what it once was. Today, multiplexes offer cookie-cutter, dull-looking, 100-300 seat theaters with screens sometimes comparable to large-size flat-screen televisions. The theaters lack the ambiance that used to make going to the movies a magical time. The documentary, “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace” tries to capture and explain how these cinematic cathedrals heightened the joy of seeing your favorite stars on the big screen.

“Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace," including Q&A with director April Wright and Steve Sigel of the Garde, at 7 p.m. Friday at the Garde Arts Center

Screen Shot 2019-10-08 at 12.32.28 PM.pn
Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 5.20.29 PM.png

The Heartland International Film Festival is no stranger to Franklin’s Artcraft Theatre, where “Best of the Fest” movie lineups have been presented each spring since 2013. This year, the Artcraft will be a festival venue for the first time. One of the films being shown — a documentary titled “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace” — is a logical fit for the 97-year-old Artcraft, 57 N. Main St. But don't worry; there’s no indication the Artcraft and its beautifully restored marquee are going anywhere soon.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 5.30.30 PM.png

Matt Shapira’s BIG MUDDY took home the award for Best Narrative Film, April Wright’s GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF THE MOVIE PALACE was given the nod for Best Documentary, and C.D. Malloy’s SING YOU A BRAND NEW SONG: THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF COLEMAN MELLETT won the Audience Award.

The centerpiece, on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., is “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace.” April Wright’s doc is about the rise and fall of movie palaces. The screening, with a Q&A with Wright, will be in one of the state’s last movie palaces, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St. in New London. Admission is $15.

Jay says they have been having a number of fund-raisers at the theatre and members of the community have stepped in to help out. This Sunday at 3pm they will premiere a documentary about old movie theatres called 'Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of The Movie Palace'.

April Wright’s feature documentary, Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace, will premiere in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Fine Arts on October 24th in Beverly Hills after winning The Director’s Choice Award at the 23rd Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival. It’s been a long road for April and her producing partner, Rachael Ponn, to get here. I shot five days on the project way back in May and July of 2016. Having seen the film, it’s sure to entertain and educate most film buffs.

The festival’s founder and president, Bill Cowell, said “it’s always thrilling to grow the festival with more screenings and more filmmaker appearances for local film fans to enjoy.” He continued, “with the best in independent film, [this] is going to add up to an incredible week for the city and the people here that truly love movies."... A highlight of the documentary program is April Wright’s “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story Of The Movie Palace.” A red carpet gala celebrating director Fuller at The Rapids Theatre on Wednesday, September 18 kicks off the festival.

Screen Shot 2019-09-18 at 4.04.11 PM.png

GOING ATTRACTIONS is the ultimate movie lover’s documentary and I was thrilled when DocUtah programmers suggested I champion the film at the festival this year because obviously, I’m quite the movie fan. I spent my formidable years a hop, jump, and skip away from Hollywood, and a trip to the legendary Chinese Theater was a weekly occurrence for me. But going to the Chinese was always so much more than a night at the movies. It was an experience! This documentary does a great job delving into the history of movie palaces like the Chinese and when it’s over, you’ll wish that the old school movie palace would make a comeback.

The festival kicks off on Friday, September 13th at 7:30pm in the Coney Island Museum with the New York Festival Premiere of the Documentary Feature "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace", Directed by April Wright. The film covers the evolution of the movie business over the past century, from penny arcades and nickelodeons, to the grand movie palaces built by the studios, and what happened over the decades as they were challenged by television, decaying downtowns, multiplexes, and cell phone cinema.

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 3.26.10 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 3.30.41 PM.png

The festival kicks off on Friday, September 13th at 7:30pm in the Coney Island Museum with the New York Festival Premiere of the Documentary Feature "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace", Directed by April Wright. The film covers the evolution of the movie business over the past century, from penny arcades and nickelodeons, to the grand movie palaces built by the studios, and what happened over the decades as they were challenged by television, decaying downtowns, multiplexes, and cell phone cinema.

“Going Attractions: The Definitive Story Of The Movie Palace” has it’s world premiere this Wednesday, August 7, at Flickers – The Rhode Island International Film Festival. She shot us an advance screener a couple weeks ago, and once again, April has captured the wonderful feel of the history of the movie palace as well as their sadly fading place in today’s theater world.

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 7.17.21 PM.png

Director April Wright and Producer Rachael Ponn were interviewed by KTLA News Gayle Anderson live in downtown Los Angeles for a preview of “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace." The screening was hosted by Theatre Historical Society as a fundraiser and celebration of those who work so hard to restore L.A's historic theatres.

Going Attractions Drive-In Documentary released June 7, 2013 and had a total domestic gross of $52,458. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 1.35.11 PM.png

Five projects focusing on the American West were selected to enter the IF/Then pitch competition at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on February 22, 2018.