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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Queen keeps it classic

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

After reopening in May, The Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan began showing classic films once again.

Walking up to the recently-restored Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan, moviegoers immediately notice the giant, colorful rotating crown atop the building and the retro marquee that distinguishes the Queen from any regular theater.
After nearly a decade of renovations, the Queen was reopened in May with new additions that remained as close to the original architecture as possible. The 130-seat theater has a balcony, a catwalk and $5 tickts. Perhaps the most intriguing, however, is the Queen’s commitment to classic films.
House manager Jim Bob McKown runs the theater, makes programing decisions and selects a wide variety of movie showings. Most recently, McKown led the charge to bring silent films to the Downtown Bryan theater.
“We also like to provide arthouse movies,” McKown said. “You’re not really watching it for the story. You’re really watching it to be amazed that they had the technology to do this 100 years ago.”
McKown recently played the silent movie “The Conquering Power” from 1921 starring Rudolph Valentino. McKown plans to start showing a silent movie once a month from now on.
“It’s a really neat experience, especially at the theatre,” concessions worker Hefti said. “It’s really like going back in time to come here.”
Sandy Farris, executive director of the Downtown Bryan Association, said the inclusion of silent films is part of an effort to keep with classic film history at The Queen.
“Silent films started being shown just at the turn of the century in the early 1900s at the Queen, and so we just think it’s a cool way to look back, and it’s exciting that those films are still available to be shown,” Farris said. “It’s not for everybody, but it’s a piece of film history that fits right in with the Queen history.”
Hefti said the theatre offers a variety that can appeal to a diverse audience.
“We have pretty fair mixture of movies,” Hefti said. “It’s a little bit of everything for everybody. I love the whole atmosphere.”
Farris said she likes that the Queen can introduce new generations of movie lovers to silent films.
“It’s a pretty awesome experience to sit there and realize that almost 100 years ago there was an audience sitting there probably watching that same movie,” Farris said.

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  • After reopening in May, The Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan began showing classic films once again.

    Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

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