by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – Five years ago when the Marquee Pullman 16 opened its doors , the cinemas did

not have a lot of open for business neighbors. Since that time, Max & Erma’s and Frankie D’s restaurants have joined the Funny Bone Comedy Club on the second level.

Opening November 19, 2004, Pullman had 14 of its 16 screens in operations. Among the attractions: National Treasure, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Bridget Jones Age of Reason, Birth, Motorcycle Diaries, Maria, Woman Thou Art Loosed, I Love Huckabees, Ladder 49, Friday Night Lights and The Forgotten.


At the time the theatre was the first in Huntington with stadium seating, high back chairs, wall to wall curved screens, Dolby Digital sound from JBL speakers and an expanded concessions menu.


(View pictures of the VIP opening by clicking: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/pictures/04/nov/Spencer11.19/


http://www.huntingtonnews.net/pictures/04/nov/Rutherford11.19/photos/photo_19.html


Read Pullman Square opening story: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/rutherford11.18.04pullman.html )

 

 

Expressing that he has been “pleased” with the Pullman 16 performance over the last five years, McCall noted that the Huntington site has overcome a challenge --- the 12 screen stadium theatre that opened in the summer of 2008 at the Huntington Mall.


Prior to the Mall theatre’s opening Pullman upgraded all of its auditoriums to digital projection which delivers a crisp, non-deteriorating bright picture every showing, unlike 35mm film which normally deteriorates after weeks of multiple showings. Pullman also added Real D, 3D projection capability to its main auditoriums.

Unlike Pullman 16, the mall complex did not open with state of the art equipment and digital projection. They have since added some digital auditoriums and several 3D capable auditoriums.

McCall admitted that , as anticipated, downtown attendance dipped as patrons sampled the new theatre. But, McCall stated to HNN via phone from Beckley, WV that the drop was not as much as projected and now the numbers have gone back upwards. “Moviegoers are coming back to downtown Huntington where state of the art technology cannot be beaten,” the Marquee chief executive officer stated.


BECKLEY TAKES TOP BILLING

Marquee has West Virginia theatres in Charleston , near Wheeling, near Bluefield, as well as Pullman and smaller venues in Lewisburg, Summersville and Welch. Their 14 screen Galleria which replaced two shopping center theatres in Beckley has emerged as the chain’s best venue. McCall said that Beckley’s economy has surged and the Galleria’s attendance has gone upward.

 

(Outside of WV, the chain has cinemas in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New Jersey.)