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NATO docu aims to promote moviegoing

Pic to celebrate 100 years of 'Movies'

As Hollywood suffers its third straight year of decline in movie theater attendance, the National Assn. of Theater Owners is partnering on a documentary to promote moviegoing.

“Now Showing! America Goes to the Movies,” written by A.J. Roquevert, David Strohmaier, Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs, will celebrate the history of movie exhibition and tell how moviegoing has influenced cultural and social life in America over the past 100 years.

NATO has announced that it will fully cooperate in the project, though details of the exhib trade org’s involvement are still to be announced.

Doc is skedded to be released theatrically next fall.

“Our membership recognizes this opportunity to celebrate all of the fun and excitement that makes going to the movies one of America’s favorite pastimes,” said MaryAnn Anderson, NATO veep and exec director. “Through this exciting documentary, we look forward to sharing our passion to entertain with audiences around the world.” Strohmaier and Melnick will share helming duties, while Roquevert, who is head film buyer for Starplex Cinemas, will produce along with Fuchs and Melnick.

“We are, in fact, mobilizing the entire industry to get behind this project in creating the best and most entertaining documentary possible,” Fuchs said. “In addition to offering a contemporary, very much of an insider’s view, ‘Now Showing!’ will have a unique theatrical distribution and marketing plan with profits benefiting charities of the entertainment industry.”

“The grandeur of the movie theater and the excitement of moviegoing is a story that can be best told through the medium of motion pictures itself,” Melnick said. “We look forward to capturing this exciting story through contemporary interviews as well as historic documents and photographs, ephemera, newsreels and oral histories, to share a part of film history with audiences that most documentaries about Hollywood leave out.”

Strohmaier added, “These incredible human stories and events, some hilarious, some tragic, will be told through personal reminiscences of not only the exhibitors themselves, but also from well-known actors, noted film directors and industry executives, public figures and, of course, the moviegoing public.”

Previously, Strohmaier helmed doc “Cinerama Adventure,” Roquevert produced “No More Joy: The Rise and Fall of New Orleans’ Movie Theaters,” and Melnick and Fuchs penned “Cinema Treasures: A New Look at Classic Movie Theaters.”

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