WICHITA — Who is Marvin Autry, and why did he wish Warren Theatre East moviegoers happy Thanksgiving?
That’s what some Warren visitors wondered when they saw, “Marvin Autry says happy Thanksgiving,” on the theater’s marquee last week.
The marquee is the latest in a little joke between theater owner Bill Warren and Autry, who owns Midwest Corporate Aviation.
A couple of years back, Warren lost “some stupid bet” to Autry. Warren claims he can’t remember what it was for, but he had to give Autry his own parking space at the theater, complete with his name on it.
“People over the years have asked about the parking spot,” Warren says.
Then, when Warren named parking lot poles after movie stars to help people remember where they parked, he named one for Autry.
“And so he started getting phone calls and texts and e-mails asking what’s going on,” Warren says. “We told people it’s Gene Autry’s younger brother.”
His latest trick was the marquee, and Warren told Autry he could have put up something much worse.
“So you better be really nice to me or I’ll put your name up again,” Warren told him.
His staff wouldn’t appreciate it, though.
“My staff got irritated with me because all the customers were asking, ‘Who’s Marvin Autry?’”
Warren hears Autry, who was deluged with questions and comments following the marquee incident, may be contemplating how to get back at him.
“Apparently, there’s a plot at hand,” Warren says. “I have no idea what to expect.”