At the end of September, Cinemark Theatres announced that they were going to begin renting out their theatres for guests to bring a group of friends to enjoy a screening of their choice. For $100, you could pick your date and time and choose a movie from their list of choices. I texted a friend that I’d do this in a heartbeat, but the problem was, all the Cinemark branded theatres in Minnesota were still closed.

Someone I follow on Instagram posted how he was able to do this at the Emagine Theatre in Rogers. I contacted him and he provided me with the information to check it out. I called Emagine Lakeville to see if they offered the same opportunity. Sure enough, they did, PLUS, what made it better than the other theatre chains doing the same thing was that you could bring in any movie that you wanted to show. You can also rent a theatre to watch a sporting event or play video games or even home movies.

It didn’t take me long to put this in motion and begin planning. First was a survey to friends and family to find out what dates worked best and what movies people wanted to see. The response was through the roof. People loved the idea. November 7th was the best date for the most people but because of the response, I decided to add a second date as well.

The days were easy. The movies though, now that was a different story. My video library of 2500 movies got narrowed down to 235. From there I dropped it to 50 and gave those as options. Wouldn’t you know it, almost every movie listed got votes? Yes, there was an overwhelming favorite, but I nixed that after some thought and input from a few people.

Saving Private Ryan got more votes than any other movie, and it wasn’t even close. Now, I think Saving Private Ryan is a great movie and one that needs to be seen on a big screen. It is also a very heavy and powerful movie and with Veteran’s Day next week, it would have been a great choice. However, I was looking for something a little more upbeat so I picked a different movie where the hero dies at the end. Yes, I see the irony. Gladiator received the 2nd most votes along with a few others so that was my selection for the first screening and no one seemed too disappointed.

If you’re wondering what the movie for November 21st is, well, it will be announced soon but I am going to choose a movie that is one of MY favorites that maybe not as many people would have chosen. Stay tuned!

For most people that rent a theatre, they bring in a DVD or pick a current movie and it’s all pretty simple. For those that know me, they know I’m a little bit of a movie snob. Picture and sound quality are very important to me. To that end, I downloaded a Hi-Def copy of the movie and spent a few hours at the theatre tweaking the picture and sound to make sure it met my standards. I also put together a trailer reel of movies to show before the feature. One of those movies will be the next selection.

I’ve had a blast so far and I can’t wait for the actual event!

Screening is done. Here’s my quick recap.

The first screening is in the books.

Thanks to those who came out.

Thanks to Ron and his team at Emagine Lakeville.

Thanks to Paul for his idea.

Even with 70-degree weather, everyone who said they’d be there came out. It was great to see everyone and even with some slight tech issues, it was great to see Gladiator in a theatre again after 20 years.

Looking forward to watching Skyfall on November 21st.

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