AMC Empire Theatre
Traveling the Midwest in the early 1900s, three brothers were happy to invite you into their grand tent. Not for any circus acts or to sell snake oil, but for a little melodramatic entertainment. Maurice, Edward and Barney Dubinsky were actors who settled down in Kansas City, Missouri when they purchased the Regent Theatre in 1920. Changing their family name to Durwood, their company was soon known as Durwood Theatres, which Edward grew into a prosperous chain of a dozen movie houses and drive-ins. That was just the beginning.
“Handsome Ed,” as Edward came to be called, served the best films and entertainment of the day, and he served his guests the same way he wanted to be treated. He even shared this quasi-secret approach with his son, Stanley H. Durwood, when he joined the company in 1945. Stanley graduated from Harvard University and was a navigator in the Air Force during World War II. He brought new levels of organization and management to the company and ran with his father’s promise of superior service. Heck, he even thought of creating the first multi-screen theatre in the early 1950s.