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Leon Delozier film buying and booking guide and papers

 Unprocessed — Object: 1
Identifier: 2020-0004

Content Description

Leon and Mary Jean DeLozier moved to Cookeville for Leon’s job with the Rockwood Amusement Company in 1961. Leon, hired to manage the Princess Theatre (1931-1978), purchased the theater from E. C. Reeves. He purchased the Putnam County Drive-in (1952-circa 1990s) on Route 70 and built the Varsity Twin (1969-2001) and Highland Twin (1977-). The Varsity opened as single-screen theater and was made into a twin in 1979. Consolidated Theaters bought both theaters from DeLozier in 1983 and Carmike purchased the theaters from them in approximately 1989. Carmike then made the Highland Twin the Highland Ten and Carmike relegated the Varsity to second run films. The Varsity Twin ceased operating as a theater in 2001. At the time of closing, Leon DeLozier is quoted in The Oracle: “I am really sad to see it go. I was the father of it since day one.” When the Varsity Twin closed, it was owned by Carmike cinemas, who also owned the Highland Twin previously owned by DeLozier. In 2014, Tennessee Tech University Foundation purchased the Varsity building from Mike McCloud of MMA Creative. For decades, Leon and Mary Jean DeLozier were two of the most influential people in the cultural life of Putnam County. For 20 years, they owned and operated every movie house in Cookeville. They championed the revitalization of Cookeville's historic downtown and in doing so, pulled an enduring symbol of the area, the Tennessee Central Depot, from obscurity into new life as Cookeville's first history museum. After selling the theatres in 1981, the DeLoziers concentrated on civic and volunteer activities, including the historic preservation of downtown Cookeville. In the 2014, the DeLoziers moved to California to be nearer family. This ledger was used to keep track of movie rights from numerous film studios. It shows how long the theater rented the movie for and when they could show it. It is organized by film studio and was used for the management of the Varsity and Highland Theatre.

Acquisition Type

Gift

Provenance

These items were loaned to Tennessee Tech Alumni and Development for an exhibit in 2019 at the Varsity Theater celebrating the renaming of the building from the Crawford Alumni Center back to its original name, the Varsity Theater. This change occurred because most alumni were more familiar with the original name. After the exhibit, the Monty and Dawn, the children of the Deloziers, children agreed to donate these specific materials to the University.

Restrictions Apply

No

Dates

  • 1978 - 1985
  • 1970
  • 1994 - 1995
  • 1972

Extent

1 Volumes (One binder.)

6 Sheets (Six items unrelated to the binder. )