Shari Redstone

The producers interviewed Shari Redstone, President of National Amusements, the parent company of VIACOM, at one of their flagship, Cinema De Lux theatres: the Blackstone Valley 14 in Millbury, Massachusetts. Ms. Redstone's grandfather founded National Amusements in the 1930's with a single screen drive-in movie, The Sunrise, on Long Island, New York. Her father, Sumner Redstone, inherited the business and expanded it to the VIACOM empire, and Shari took the reins of the original exhibition arm,  National  Amusements, after a career as an attorney working in criminal defense work and corporate law.

Ms. Redstone has been a proponent of enhancing the movie theater experience, including new cinema designs, amenities, and presentation technology. In describing the Cinema De Lux program she said, "When I first started in the business, I was only competing with other movies theaters, then with in-home entertainment, then will all entertainment.  And now we're basically competing with people's time so we needed to give them a reason to go to the movies, and we felt that by creating a luxurious movie-going experience, it would bring people into the theaters. "

Ms. Redstone also discussed her perspective on day-and-date release window experiments (releasing a film in theatres, on DVD, and on TV on the same date), led by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner of 2929 Entertainment, and observed, "I think when you talk about what people used to do in the old days, it was about showmanship, it was about creating a 'wow' when people went to the movies. And I think what people are inadvertently doing (with day-and-date) is taking something that is really a wow experience and turning it into a commodity."

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