12/09/02
The Interstate Documentary Project saw a major round of production in December. In Washington D.C., the production team interviewed MPAA President Jack Valenti who grew up in Houston and worked in downtown theaters near the Interstate Majestic, Metropolitan, and Kirby. Mr. Valenti's career in the motion picture business also offered a unique perspective on how history changed the the theatre exhibition business and saw an end to companies like Interstate that were built around single screen movie palaces.

Io also shot footage at the D.C. offices of Martinez and Johnson Architects, the contractors hired to design and supervise the restoration of the Interstate Plaza Theatre in El Paso. Io would then follow several teams from their firm to El Paso in the following week, where they were involved with surveying the theater for various restoration issues... details that would go into the next round of design revisions.

While in El Paso, Io also interviewed Cynthia Farah, Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. Ms Farah is working on a book about the history of motion picture theaters in El Paso. Her interest in doing the book began with the efforts of the El Paso Community Foundation to save the city's landmark atmospheric theater, the Plaza.

In an interesting reversal of roles, Cynthia also interviewed director Jeff Mills about Before the Curtain Rises on her weekly radio program about film aired on NPR.


   
 
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