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Spotlight on Cinema: Celebrating Community and Connection Through Film

HighRock recently joined up with FilmFrog in a cinematic journey across America to capture the stories behind six independently owned movie theaters and the passionate individuals who run them. This series of profiles not only showcases our commitment to high-quality production but also celebrates the profound connection between movie theaters and their communities.

At HighRock, our video production service is dedicated to helping you tell your story to people all around the world. It’s why we do what we do. Movie theaters mean different things to different people. To some, it’s where they can go to be with people just like themselves and experience something on the silver screen that will be talked about for years. To others, it’s a place where memories were made - a first date or regular trips with the family, just to name a few. For creatives, it’s a place where they can see their vision brought to life, bringing joy to countless fans. Everyone has a reason they love theaters, and that’s what makes them a core part of communities across the country. Let’s take a look at some of the most historic theaters in the country and the people whose passion keeps them running to this day.

The Common Thread: Community and Inspiration

Despite differing locations and backgrounds, a common theme resonates throughout all six profiles: the power of cinema to foster community and inspire individuals. Each leader emphasizes the importance of giving back and engaging with their audiences in meaningful ways. Whether through hosting underprivileged kids or revitalizing downtown areas, these cinemas are more than just entertainment venues—they are vital parts of their communities.

Meet the Visionaries

1. Lauren McChesney & Matt McClanahan (Shankweiler's Drive-In, Orefield, PA) – Step into the nostalgic ambiance of America's oldest operating drive-in theater. Lauren and Matt share their journey of preserving a piece of cinematic history, emphasizing the importance of maintaining such cultural landmarks for future generations. This beautiful drive-in has been a mainstay for nearly 100 years and has been a place where core cinema memories have been made for generations.

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2. Emelyn Stuart (Stuart Cinema, Brooklyn, NY) – Discover how Emelyn's vision for a community-centric cinema has turned into a beacon of hope and entertainment. Her dedication to representation and community involvement highlights how theaters can be a force for social good. At Stuart Cinema, Emelyn has built a theater that feels like a second home for many residents of Brooklyn. Never underestimate the impact a theater can have on a community.

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3. Francisco Schlotterbeck (Maya Cinemas, Las Vegas) – Join Francisco as he discusses the crucial role of family and community in the cinema experience, especially in areas with limited entertainment options. His story underscores the importance of cultural values and familial bonds in business.

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4. JD Loeks (Studio C/Celebration Cinemas, Grand Rapids) – Learn about the transformative impact of the Studio Park project, spearheaded by JD, on downtown Grand Rapids. This development not only enhanced local entertainment but also invigorated the city’s economic and social landscape.

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5. Mayte Alquicira (Cinepolis, Dallas, TX) – Explore how Mayte blends the art of loyalty management with her personal passion for art, creating unique customer experiences that cater to diverse audience segments. Her approach illustrates the artistry involved in cinema beyond the screen. Mayte’s passion is clear to everyone she works with and everyone who visits Cinepolis. Blending her work into art, Mayte has built one of the most unique cinema experiences around.

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6. David Haywood (Cinemark, Plano, Texas) – Experience the passion David brings to enhancing the movie-going experience with food and community outreach. His commitment to creating memorable experiences is a testament to the power of cinema to bring joy and security to underprivileged children.

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Each profile serves as a compelling vignette, inviting viewers to witness the profound impact these individuals have on their communities. Through our role in capturing the essence of these interviews, HighRock, in collaboration with FilmFrog, demonstrates its capability to deliver top-notch, engaging content, showcasing our versatility and commitment to quality in every frame.

Why Watch?

These videos offer more than just a glimpse behind the scenes—they provide inspiration and a reminder of the critical role entertainment plays in community cohesion and individual happiness. By choosing HighRock for your next project, you're not just selecting a production company; you're partnering with a team that understands the importance of storytelling, community impact, and quality craftsmanship.

At HighRock, we're proud to bring these stories to life, capturing the magic of movies and the people who make them special. Everyone and every business has a unique story that can be effectively brought to life with the help of an experienced video production service. Our visual storytellers here at HighRock love getting the chance to hear stories from people of countless different backgrounds. Being able to bring these stories to life is something that we’re all proud of. If you’re interested in helping us bring your story to life, contact us today to work with a video production service that is dedicated to capturing your vision.

Pieter Bickford

by Pieter Bickford, Marketing Executive

As a HighRock Marketing Executive, Pieter works with our clients to identify solutions, enhance their brand, and align their business goals with a comprehensive marketing strategy. With a rich background in journalism, and close ties to community organizations, Pieter enjoys working with customers to tell a story that captures the essence of their brand. From his days in journalism to now, Pieter is inspired by interesting stories and exceeding client expectations. His favorite part of his job is getting to know the motivations of the people behind the brand.

Pieter’s involvement in the community is deep, having worked with a number of nonprofits throughout the years and currently serving on the Washington County Board of Education. He lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Stephanie.

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