Warner Bros. Tells Texas Theatre to "Cease And Desist" Dallas Screenings. Now.
The Texas Theatre began screening the Dallas TV series at the end of March, but this week, the new-found tradition ended abruptly -- with a voicemail, two faxes, and two emails from Warner Bros. ordering theater employees to "cease and desist" the screenings because of copyright laws.
The Texas Theatre is obliging. "We're totally shocked that they care at all," Jason Reimer, the theater's creative director told Mixmaster. "We don't know the exact reasoning...I'm not sure why they're upset about it."
The Sunday night screenings of Dallas, the late 1970s to early 1990s nighttime soap series about the wealthy Ewing family, were just gaining momentum with over 100 people -- some in costume -- attending every week.
"In our world we thought that was a cool thing...apparently not," Reimer
said. Warner Bros. did not immediately offer a way of rectifying the
situation and continuing the screenings, but Reimer said if there is a
way to accomplish that, he will.
Reimer is not releasing a copy of the letter or the name of the person contacting him from Warner Bros. because the two entities are handling the matter internally. "It's a huge, huge company. We are four guys, and we do not have a team of lawyers on our side," Reimer explained. "We're cautiously optimistic that they may come to our side of the fence."
He tried to contact Warner Bros."a handful" of times, but hasn't received a response yet. Mixmaster left a message for the PR contact at Warner Bros. Entertainment this morning, and we will update if we hear back.
UPDATE: Paul McGuire, a Warner Bros. spokesperson, returned our call with more information. He said that in general, screenings are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, and that this is a complex issue because people originally involved with the show are paid for subsequent viewing opportunities. He said the Dallas Sundays at Texas Theatre were unauthorized, and therefore, Warner Bros. had to take action to stop them.
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