You don’t say

“If they don’t have Haysville jokes, I’m not going.”

Bill Warren of Warren Theatres, who already has tickets for this week’s Gridiron show, on the city’s complaints that it’s the butt of too many jokes

Warren Theatres in Wichita may benefit from Broken Arrow theater upgrades

Check out Bill Warren’s picks for this year’s Oscars.

 

WICHITA — Broken Arrow may be the future home of Bill Warren’s latest theater, but whatever new features are popular in the more than $40 million complex may eventually be added to his Warren Theatres here.

“If some of the ideas work like we think, yeah,” Warren says.

He compares each of his new theaters to a new Mercedes Benz.

“You still know it’s a Mercedes. It still has the same look, but there are all these improvements,” Warren says. “You always try to keep up. You always try to be innovative.”

He won’t share what those innovations are yet, though.

“No, because we’re actually working on some patents.”

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You don’t say

“It was a nice little theater, but in this day and age, a couple of screens just doesn’t work.”

– Theater owner Bill Warren, responding to a customer’s request to save the city’s first multiple-screen cinema, which is about to be demolished at Twin Lakes

Bill Warren says his theaters are safe even if his driving isn’t

WICHITA — Bill Warren says his Warren Theatres are safe, and he doesn’t see a time when he’d ever institute metal detectors or similar measures.

“No, not really,” he says. “I could see that in high crime areas.”

Warren says he knows the owners of the Cobb Theatres chain, which owns the Florida theater where the most recent shooting occurred.

“I think what happened there was a fluke,” he says. “Obviously, someone just snapped.”

Warren says there are already many obvious security measures he takes at his theaters along with a lot of measures people don’t necessarily see.

“I’m very comfortable with the security that we have with the theaters,” he says. “To be honest with you, most theaters, you’ll never see stuff like that.”

Warren says he expected a reporter’s inquiry to be about a different criminal issue.

“I thought you were calling about the speeding ticket I got last night,” he says.

Warren was on East 13th Street not far from his east-side theater when he was stopped for doing 51 miles per hour in a zone marked 40 miles per hour.

The policeman asked Warren why he was speeding.

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You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

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“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

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“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

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“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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Bill Warren prepares to launch new website; also contemplates a new theater company

WICHITA — He has a $40 million theater in the works in Broken Arrow, Okla., but apparently that’s not enough of a new project to keep Bill Warren busy.

“I am thinking about starting a different theater company,” he says. “It’s just a different concept.”

Warren isn’t sharing details about it yet, but he probably will in a few months.

“I’ve been working on it for about eight months, and I think I’m probably … three months away from making the final decision on whether I’m doing it or not.”

One thing that is for sure happening a little more quickly is a new website for Warren Theatres.

“Unlike the government’s, ours will work,” Warren says. “We test ours out.”

It’s been about five years since the website was last revamped.

“We’re making it much easier to navigate,” Warren says.

He says the work is done in house, and the company takes suggestions from people who visit the site.

“We get some pretty good traffic on there,” Warren says.

On average, he says there are 45,000 visitors a week.

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Fire causes small amount of damage to the same Warren theater hit by a tornado

WICHITA — Bill Warren claims he isn’t worried about locusts, but perhaps he should be.

His IMAX theater in Moore, Okla. – the same one that was hit by a tornado in May – had a fire Sunday night that did about $10,000 in damage to the theater’s roof.

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Warren says. “It could have been a big deal.”

An air vent motor caught fire, he says, though it’s still not clear what caused it.

“We don’t know if maybe the fan got some debris in it from the storm,” Warren says.

He says it could have been electrical damage that didn’t immediately show up.

Whatever it was, Warren says he feels nothing but lucky.

“To be honest with you, I feel very fortunate,” he says.

He knows the tornado hurt other businesses in his immediate area much worse than his.

Warren says he wondered if movie sales would return to what they were before the tornado, but he says even those have been good.

“I never had a theater shut down maybe other than a day of my entire career,” he says.

The theater shut down for eight days.

“I just didn’t know if there would be some lingering effect of people going elsewhere.”

That hasn’t happened, Warren says.

All the way around, he says, “If you think about it, we were lucky.”

So the threat of locusts – or any other natural or man-made disasters – isn’t a concern for Warren.

“Not even close.”

Bill Warren’s theater in Moore, Okla., has some tornado damage but is fine, he says

UPDATED — Bill Warren’s theater in Moore, Okla., sustained damage from a tornado that tore through the city this afternoon, but he says everyone there is fine.

“The theater had a little bit of damage, but I don’t care about that,” he says.

He says staff and customers are safe.

“We talked to the staff, and everyone is safe.”

The glass front of the building is damaged, Warren says.

“I just saw the theater on CNN,” he says. “Well, the front looks kind of bad.”

Then Warren talked with a manager at the theater.

“He said that the front of the place is superficially pretty torn up,” Warren says. “That looks pretty tore up, but the building’s fine.

He says a nearby hospital is damaged as well.

“The bowling alley next door is leveled,” Warren says. “The houses behind the theater are flattened.”

He says he believes the tornado veered and mostly avoided his building.

Warren says he’s been told by a Wichita news outlet that his theater is being used as a staging area for responders, but he hasn’t confirmed that with anyone in Oklahoma.

“The building’s whole and safe, and it’s got emergency lighting.”

Warren says he’s relieved about everyone’s safety at the building.

“That’s all that counts. I don’t care about the building. I’ve got insurance for that.”

There’s also a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers a block south of the theater.

Freddy’s COO Scott Redler says there’s no word on the condition of the restaurant yet but that everyone there is OK.

“No one in Freddy’s is injured,” he says. “Our regional manager actually had to park a distance . . . and walk to the restaurant.”

A text from the manager to Redler says that no one is hurt and that there aren’t any phones.

“That’s the important stuff,” Redler says. “No one’s injured, so that’s really all that matters.”

Redler says he spoke with Warren, who told him he thinks he saw the restaurant on TV and that it looks OK.

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You don’t say

“I’ve contracted with Bill Warren to be my campaign manager.”

– Former Mayor Bob Knight’s joking response when asked if the reason he’s moving back to Wichita (from the Crestview Country Club improvement district ) is to run for mayor

Bill Warren’s IMAX theaters again are the top-grossing IMAX theaters in the country

WICHITA — Bill Warren is getting a bit of a reputation, and he doesn’t mind.

He says his Moore, Okla., and Wichita IMAX theaters again were the No. 1 and No. 2 top-grossing IMAX theaters in the country over the weekend and that the Empire IMAX in New York City was No. 3.

Warren’s theaters have been on top so much, soon it’ll hardly be news if they make it again. Warren admits he now has something to live up to.

“As opposed to my normal thing – something I have to live down to.”

Warren says the numbers, which he won’t share, are particularly significant given that his prices are less expensive than tickets in New York and elsewhere.

He credits his staff and the design of his theater, which opened at 21st and Tyler in 2010.

The IMAX theaters are all showing “Oz the Great and Powerful,” Warren says.

“For a movie this big to do that, that’s pretty incredible.”

Warren admits he’s proud and perhaps a bit braggadocios about the whole thing.

“You’re right. I am bragging. admittedly so. Out-grossing New York? I mean, come on.”