The Interstate Documentary Project is a media initiative designed to preserve an important part of motion picture theater exhibition history—the story of Interstate Theatres and founder and lifetime president, Karl Hoblitzelle. The film will also examine the current crossroads we face as classic movie palaces are threatened by the wrecking ball and as the tradition of going out to the movies is being abandoned by a new generation of movie watchers.

This saga will be told in a one-hour documentary film, titled
Before the Curtain Rises, that the producers plan to submit to PBS
for broadcast consideration. An educational outreach program will also be developed to compliment the film and will consist of an educational website that expands on the story and places it in context of 20th century history and technology. A teacher's guide will be developed for integrating the film (distributed to schools as a DVD) and website into secondary school curriculum as well.

Interstate was a giant among motion picture theater circuits in America, and its many innovations and dedication to serving its community set it apart. Karl Hoblitzelle also had a love affair with the state of Texas and become one of its most cherished philanthropists. Even though the company no longer exists, its philosophy of Dedicated to Community Service continues today. In El Paso, citizens have saved one of Interstate's last movie palaces. As the curtain rises again on the Plaza Theater stage, a new chapter in the Interstate story is opened.

To read the full proposal, download the PDF.



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