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Raves for Dallas-Based Rave Theater Chain

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Our pal Allison V. Smith has a rather nice photo in this morning's Los Angeles Times: a portrait of Thomas W. Stephenson Jr., whose Rave Motion Pictures is on the fast-track to becoming the fifth-largest movie-theater chain in the U.S. once Rave's acquisition of 35 theaters from Sumner Redstone's National Amusements Inc. is a done deal. Question is: Why is Stephenson, whose company HQs near Turtle Creek, snapping up 500 screens of Sumner (or something close to that) at a time when many consider the theater biz a dying model replaced by couches in front of high-def teevees? Mmmmm, 'cause it isn't? Especially if your theater chain is the only one fully equipped with the 3D, as Rave is from top to bottom, and James Cameron keeps making Avatars:

"They converted fully and immediately and they were the first to do so," said Bud Mayo, chairman and chief executive of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., the Morristown, N.J., company that supplied the digital equipment to Rave and helped finance its digital conversion. "It was really a milestone."

Just remember: You wanna Rave locally, you'll need to head to Hickory Creek or Hurst -- that's what you call "the Wal-Mart approach."

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