Wehrenberg Theatres

Wehrenberg Theatres

Wehrenberg Theatres is the oldest and largest family-owned movie theater chain in America. It is a member of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

History

Fred Wehrenberg's life was changed after he saw a short film at the 1904 World's Fair. He opened the Cherokee Saloon, a silent film theatre in 1906. The success of the Cherokee inspired Wehrenberg to open the Airdome, an open-air theater (a drive-in without cars).

The name of the corporation is Wehrenberg, Inc. The name under which it was originally organized was Normandy Theatre, Inc. The corporate name was changed from Normandy Theatre, Inc. to South Drive-In, Inc. South Drive-In, Inc. was merged with South Side Amusement Company, and the name of the surviving entity was changed to Wehrenberg, Inc.

Normandy Theatre, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Missouri on the 12th of August in 1936 with an authorized capital stock of $30,000 divided into 300 shares. The first shareholders, each with 100 shares at $100.00 per share, were W. W. Kieselhorst, James S. McClellan, and Lewis H. Carsterphen.

Wehrenberg and his son-in-law, Paul Krueger, opened Ronnie's Drive-In Theater in 1948, named after Paul's son, Ron.

Wehrenberg opened their first multi-plex in St. Charles containing four theatres. This evolved into megaplexes, with ten or more screens. They have expanded from St. Louis to faraway cities such as Springfield, Osage Beach, and Cape Girardeau. In 1999, Wehrenberg opened the Ronnie's 20 Cine at the same site of the original Ronnie's Drive-In, containing a replica of it with a huge screen, a snack bar, two-story arcade, three concession stands (although only one is open all the time), and stadium seating in all 20 screens. Ronnie's also has one IMAX screen. Ron Krueger I is the company's chairman and CEO, and Ron Krueger II is the company's president.

In 2005, Wehrenberg launched the MVP Card. Through buying tickets and concessions, points are added to the card, entitling the owner of the card to various free tickets and concessions. Currently, the rewards come every 450 points. Roughly 7 points are earned per dollar. A person would spend a bit over $64 to earn the next award.

In 2007, five theatres converted one of their screens to digital projection. More screens will follow.

Theatres

Greater St. Louis Area

Missouri

Illinois

Iowa

Minnesota

*Currently has one or more digital screens.

External links

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