Pharos-Tribune

Business

March 9, 2014

Back to the big screen

Cinema airs TV shows as alternative entertainment

For years, video and audio systems makers have been pushing movie buffs to bring the theater home. One local cinema manager says it’s now time for the movie theaters to bring TV to the big screen.

“You have a stove in your kitchen where you can cook your own meals,” Richard Dieffenbach pointed out. “Why would people go out to a restaurant?”

Drawing on that analogy, he says watching TV in a movie theater is all about the experience.

Dieffenbach was brought on to manage Logansport’s new theater last year. Barely 4 months old now, Mary Max Cinemas Logansport 5 began showing episodes of AMC network’s “The Walking Dead” when the show’s new season launched in February.

Devotees of the show who’ve visited the theater for its weekly airings say they’ve been longtime fans, but were intrigued by the idea of watching it on a big screen.

And it’s certainly big — at about 40 feet wide, it’s wider than some houses.

“I don’t know of any home that can give you a 40-foot-wide picture,” Deiffenbach said. A longtime cinema manager, he came to Logansport soon after construction on the theater got under way.

The big screen is just what drew some “Walking Dead” fans to the theater last week.

“It’s my daughter’s birthday,” explained Logansport resident, Brenda Bowman, one of the first to arrive last Sunday night. “We’ve been wanting to come see it on the big screen. ... A lady at work told me about it.”

She and her family watch “The Walking Dead” together weekly, she said. But, as family member Jack Delp noted, they wanted to get “the movie experience,” too.

Dieffenbach says airing the TV show on the big screen is just part of a package of what he terms “alternative content” meant to complement movies the cinema is contractually obligated to show.

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