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Stanley H. Durwood

AKA Stanley Hugh Dubinski

Born: 5-Aug-1920
Birthplace: Kansas City, MO
Died: 15-Jul-1999
Location of death: Kansas City, MO
Cause of death: Cancer - Throat
Remains: Cremated, ashes given to his wife

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Father of the multi-screen movie theater

Military service: US Air Force (WWII, to Lieutenant)

Edward Dubinsky was a stage actor and vaudeville performer who, with his brothers Maurice and Barney, toured and gained modest fame as the Dubinsky Brothers. When Ed Dubinsky grew frustrated at sporadic bookings, he leased the Regent Theater in downtown Kansas City in 1920, giving his troupe a home theater. From this beginning, Dubinsky (who later changed his name to Durwood) came to own several theaters in the Kansas City area. His son, Stanley H. Durwood, took over the family business in 1945, and is generally credited with inventing the multi-screen movie theater.

Durwood said his inspiration came one evening in 1962, while tallying ticket sales at the Roxy Theater in downtown Kansas City, which was at the time drawing small crowds for an Abbott & Costello movie. "I thought, if we could just run another so-so picture up in the balcony, we'd double our gross." At several of his movie palaces Durwood split the auditorium into two smaller auditoriums, and in 1963 he opened the first theater designed and constructed as a multiplex, the Parkway Twin on the Missouri-Kansas state line in Kansas City. The company built the first four-screen complex in 1966, and two years later the Durwood Theaters chain (then 12 movie houses and drive-in theaters with 22 screens) was reorganized and re-named American Multi-Cinema. AMC opened the first six-screen cinema in 1969, which had another innovation -- an automated projection system. Durwood is also credited with inventing the arm-rest cup holder, introduced at AMC theaters in 1981. In 1983, the company's name was shortened to AMC Entertainment.

Father: Edward Dubinsky/Durwood (theater owner, b. 1885, d. 1960)
Mother: Celia Taxman Dubinsky/Durwood
Sister: Marjorie Durwood Grant (d. 2004)
Brother: Richard Durwood
Wife: Pamela Yax Durwood (four sons, two daughters)
Son: Brian D. Durwood
Daughter: Carol Durwood Journagan
Son: Edward D. Durwood
Daughter: Elissa Durwood Grodin (children's book author, m. Charles Grodin)
Son: Peter J. Durwood
Son: Thomas A. Durwood

    University: Harvard University

    AMC Entertainment President (1945-84, 1988-94)
    Member of the Board of AMC Entertainment (1945-94)
    Jewish Ancestry
    Polish Ancestry

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