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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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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Glitch sends texts about nearby escorts to Warren Theatre security

WICHITA – Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren is pleased with the latest security measure he’s taken at his theaters except for one small glitch.

Warren instituted new measures at his theaters in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri following the theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., this summer.

“We had good security, but we just looked it over after Aurora and said, ‘Is there anything we can improve?’

“You do things to make it a lot tougher,” Warren says. “I mean, I spent $100,000 doing this.”

The new system is a custom-designed system on all exit doors that immediately sends texts to the phones of Warren managers and security personnel when the doors are opened.

“So they always know what’s going on in theaters for safety reasons,” Warren says.

He says it’s working well except for at the Palace West theater near Kellogg and Ridge.

“We’re getting texts from escort services,” Warren says. “Can you believe that?”

He says the texts have messages such as “Bubbles is in room number five.”

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You don’t say

“We’re not talking ‘Dark Knight’ here, but it’s in our second-biggest theater, and it’s been selling out.”

Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren on the popularity of “2016: Obama’s America” and how he’s had to add extra shows at his east-side theater and now plans to show it on the west side due to demand

SpringClean Laundry owner to open what he thinks will be the third-largest Laundromat in the country

WICHITA — Perry Duncan is, perhaps arguably, the Laundry King of Kansas.

He’s owned many himself, built plenty of them for others and now is working on what he says likely will be the third-largest Laundromat in the country.

Duncan owns SpringClean Laundry, which in 2009 he told Have You Heard? he wanted to develop into a chain of large, upscale laundries – with large dryers, flat-screen TVs and carpeting.

His newest SpringClean will be in the former Spear’s Restaurant and Pie Shop space at 1930 N. Woodlawn, which is just south of Brittany Center at the corner of 21st and Woodlawn.

Duncan is adding to the building for a total of 13,000 square feet.

So how does he know this might be the third-largest?

“I’ve been doing it 30 years,” he says.

Duncan says he’s quite familiar with the business nationwide.

His first two SpringClean sites, at 416 N. Ridge and 1224 S. Webb, are about 9,000 square feet each.

Duncan says he’s inspired by cinema entrepreneur Bill Warren of Warren Theatres.

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Wichita film experts take umbrage at actor Johnny Depp’s characterization of filmgoers here

WICHITA — Actor Johnny Depp apparently thinks Wichita movie audiences aren’t too smart.

In a Sunday interview with Britain’s Guardian, Depp discussed his new movie, “The Rum Diary,” which is based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson.

“I believe that this film, regardless of what it makes in, you know, Wichita, Kansas, this week — which is probably about $13 — it doesn’t make any difference. I believe that this film will have a shelf life.”

Depp believes the film will do better in Europe than it’s been doing in the United States.

“Most definitely. It’s something that will be more appreciated over here, I think. Cos it’s — well, I think it’s an intelligent film.”

The Guardian reporter wrote that Depp then took “a meaningful pause” before saying, “And a lot of times, outside the big cities in the States, they don’t want that.”

A few Wichitans beg to differ.

Johnny Depp

“That’s just sour grapes,” says Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren. “Last time I heard, it didn’t do well in New York, either.”

Warren says he’s seen the movie and didn’t care for it.

“Ninety nine percent of people in America go to movies for entertainment, and it wasn’t a very entertaining movie, period.”

Lela Meadow-Conner, executive director of the Tallgrass Film Association, says she respects Depp but wonders what he was thinking in this case.

“First of all, don’t bite the hand that feeds you, Johnny Depp,” she says. Take people “who make you a movie star, and then you’re going to call them unintelligent?”

“People have these preconceived notions about cities like Wichita and cities in the Midwest,” she says. “Because his movie has been deemed a critical stinker . . . and audiences haven’t gravitated toward it, obviously he is trying to displace the blame onto audiences here who he deems unintelligent.”

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You don’t say

“I really don’t think my Christmas-carol teenagers want a police record.     . . . And I don’t think my managers of my theaters want police records.    . . . So what choice do we have?”

Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren, who is canceling the young carolers he used to hire at Christmastime due to the city’s law against businesses hiring musicians without having entertainment licenses

Shanannigans on South Oliver is closed; West Street to reopen with liquor license renewal

WICHITA — Shanannigans on South Oliver has permanently closed, and the one on West Street has temporarily closed while owner Dean Bratt awaits a liquor license renewal.

“It’s ridiculous,” he says of the wait.

Bratt says he submitted a renewal for the license three weeks ago.

“The airport got their license back right away,” he says of HMSHost recently forgetting to renew at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

Tom Groneman, director of the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, says he can’t go into details, but “we did not have everything we needed” from Bratt.

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Warren Theatres won’t show NCAA Tournament in 3-D — at least not this year

WICHITA — CBS announced this week that about 100 theaters nationally will broadcast the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament in 3-D.

Wichita’s Warren Theatres won’t be one of them — at least not this time around.

“It’s distributed by a company that we don’t do business with,” Bill Warren says.

He says this year’s 3-D broadcasts are on something of a trial basis.

“If it becomes popular, it’s real simple. We’ll do it.”

He’s already ready for it.

“We’ve got the Dolby 3-D process, which I think is the best in the world.”