The producers of Before the Curtain Rises
just recently spent a week researching Interstates's history and examining its photo archives at the Dallas Public Library's, Texas/Dallas History Archives, Interstate Theatres Collection. The over 500 box archive includes Interstate's corporate papers from 1905, when it was a small circuit of Vaudeville houses to 1976 when it ceased business operations.
The rich and varied collection includes such gems as transcripts of mangers meetings and employee conventions where 'Interstaters' discussed how to best satisfy vaudeville star's dressing room demands, how to care for the new (and explosive, as in nitrate films) medium of motion pictures, many suggestions for wildly creative promotion gimmicks, and much talk about the emerging science of television and how it might impact the business of theatrical exhibition.
The producers will be returning to the Dallas archive as well as conducting research at the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, and the Bob Bailey Photo Archive at The Center for American History, also at the University of Texas, to construct the historical framework for the film.