Register here for the long-awaited Jack Myers Leadership Conversation with NCM's Cliff Marks and Regal's Ken Thewes. If the messaging below looks dated, yet peculiarly apropos, that's because it is something you would have seen 100+ years ago during the pre-dawn talking picture era inside your local neighborhood "movie house". In September 1918, the U.S. saw the spread of a deadly respiratory ailment, similar to COVID-19, that lasted into early 1919 and took the lives of some 675,000 Americans. Movie theaters from Minneapolis to Los Angeles were closed down for approximately 2 months, with various U.S. cities and towns challenging local ordinances that shuttered their doors, encouraged the wearing of "influenza masks" or sued their local government for financial reparation to out-of-work theater employees. Back then it was common for a movie theater's staffing to include stagehands, musicians, and other performers, in addition to projectionists, ushers and cashiers.
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