Archive for History

Mass Extinctions Events

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Climate Change, Earth, Fear, Fossils, Hope, Humility, Need, Volcano, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on 05/20/2014 by wooddickinson

21323999NOTE: Don’t miss the poll question at the end of this post.

 

 

 

Several mass extinctions are recorded in the fossil record. Paleontologists have been able to recognize patterns within and between extinction events. Currently, there are five major extinction patterns recognized. Steven M. Stanley, has outlined them in his book entitled, Extinction – 

Extinction Processes:

1. Extinction strikes in both the land and the sea.
2. On the land, while animals suffer repeatedly, plants tend to be highly resistant to mass extinctions.
3. Preferential disappearance of tropical forms of life during mass extinctions.
4. Tendency of certain groups of animals to experience them repeatedly (for example, trilobites and ammonoids).
5. Alleged equal spacing, or periodicity in geological time (occurring about every 26 million years).

These similarities between distinct extinction occurrences aid paleontologists in determining the agents the agents that perpetuated the disappearances of species in each extinction event. Such agents are currently divided into two types:

1. Catastrophic Agents such as meteorite impacts and comet showers,
2. Earth Agents such as volcanism, glaciation, variations in sea level, global climatic changes, and changes in ocean levels of oxygen or salinity

Although these agents can explain mass extinction, the causes of mass extinction events remains relatively unknown.

Precambrian and Vendian Mass Extinctions

The Precambrian period was 4.6 billion to 523 million years ago. The Vendian period was 523-543 million years ago. Both Precambrian and Vendian periods host to at least one mass extinction each.

Geological Setting:
The Precambrian era was a period in earth history before the evolution of hard-bodied and complex organisms. Throughout the extent of both periods, dominant Precambrian and Vendian organisms were soft-bodied, simple, and entirely marine. Diversification of the hard-bodied organisms did not occur until the beginning of the Cambrian, when the first shelly fauna appeared.

Species Affected:
Extinctions are proposed to have affected even life’s earliest organisms. About 650 million years ago, seventy percent of the dominant Precambrian flora and fauna perished in the first great extinction. This extinction strongly affected stromatolites and acritarchs, and was also the predetermining factor that encouraged the diversification of the following Vendian fauna. However, this distinct fauna, resembling modern-day soft-bodied organisms such as sea pens, jellyfish, and segmented worms also perished in a second extinction event at the close of the Vendian. This event, responsible for the demise of the Vendian organisms, may have been responsible for the ensuing diversification of the Cambrian shelly fauna.

Speculated Causes of the Precambrian and Vendian Mass Extinctions:

The first extinction of the Precambrian, which largely affected stromatolites and acritarchs, has been correlated with a large glaciation event that occurred about 600 million years ago. This event was of such severity that almost all micro-organisms were completely wiped out. The Vendian extinction, occurring near the close of the Vendian period, is currently under debate as to whether an extinction event occurred or not. Many paleontologists believe that the Vendian fauna were the progenitors of the Cambrian fauna. However, others believe that the Vendian fauna have no living representatives. Under this latter hypothesis, the Vendian fauna is believed to have an undergone an extinction, after which the Cambrian fauna evolved. Until more information can be collected, details on the Vendian extinction event will remain open to debate.

Cambrian Mass Extinction

The Cambrian period ranges from 543-510 million years ago. The most important animal group of the Cambrian were the trilobites. Four mass extinctions occurred during the course of the Cambrian period.

Geological Setting:
During the Cambrian period the world was largely covered by epeiric seas, and existing organisms were entirely marine. At the beginning of the period, only small skeletonized sponges and molluscs were present, but by about the middle of the Cambrian, diversification of the shelly fauna occurred. The most important phyla present in Cambrian communities included trilobites, archaeocyathids, brachiopods, mollusks, and echinoderms.

Species Affected:
At least four major extinctions occurred during the Cambrian. The first extinction occurred at the Early Cambrian epoch boundary. During this event, the oldest group of trilobites, the olnellids, perished as well as the primary reef-building organisms, the archaeocyathids. The remaining three extinctions were irregularly distributed around the Late Cambrian epoch boundary, and as a whole, severely affected trilobites, brachiopods, and conodonts.

Speculated Causes of the Cambrian Mass Extinction:

• Glacial Cooling Hypothesis
The advancement of the theory of glaciation as the predetermining agent for the Cambrian extinctions has been developed by James F.Miller of Southwest Missouri State University. Through research undertaken by Miller, evidence of early Ordovician sediment of glacial origin has been uncovered in South America. Miller suggests in his hypothesis that this evidence of continental glaciation at the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary is responsible for a decrease in global climatic conditions. Such a decline in temperature is implied by Miller to destroy Cambrian fauna which are intolerant of cooler conditions, producing a mass extinction of mostly warm water species. He also suggests that a significant continental glaciation would bring large amounts of ocean water onto the land in the form of frozen glacial ice. This trapping of ocean water inevitably results in the decrease of sea-level and the withdrawal of shallow seas. Miller implicates that this reduction in sea-level would produce reduced habitat for marine species as continental shelves are obliterated. Ecological competition would consequently ensue, perhaps acting as a driving agent for extinction.

• Oxygen Depletion Hypothesis
The development of a hypothesis invoking the cooling and depletion of water in marine waters as a causative agent for the Cambrian extinctions has been advanced by several geologists, primarily Allison Palmer and Michael Taylor of the U.S. Geological Survey and James Stilt of the University of Missouri. The cooling and oxygen depletion would occur when cool waters from deep zones of the ocean spread up onto the continent, eliminating all organisms not able to tolerate cool conditions. The cooling would also result in stratification of the water column. Thus, species would ultimately perish due to their inability to tolerate dramatic shifts in such limiting factors as temperature and oxygen availability. Further research is required to more fully test the validity of the above outlined Cambrian extinction hypotheses.

Ordovician Mass Extinction

The Ordovician period was 510-438 million years ago. The Ordovician extinction happened 440-450 million years ago. The Ordovician extinction was second most devastating in earth history.

Geological Setting:
The Ordovician period was an era of extensive diversification and expansion of numerous marine clades. Although organisms also present in the Cambrian were numerous in the Ordovician, a variety of new types including cephalopods, corals (including rugose and tabulate forms), bryozoans, crinoids, graptolites, gastropods, and bivalves flourished. Ordovican communities typically displayed a higher ecological complexity than Cambrian communities due to the greater diversity of organisms. However, as in the Cambrian, life in the Ordovician continued to be restricted to the seas.

Species Affected:
The Ordovician extinction occurred at the end of the Ordovician period, about 440-450 million years ago. This extinction, cited as the second most devastating extinction to marine communities in earth history, caused the disappearance of one third of all brachiopod and bryozoan families, as well as numerous groups of conodonts, trilobites, and graptolites. Much of the reef-building fauna was also decimated. In total, more than one hundred families of marine invertebrates perished in this extinction.

Speculated Causes of the Ordovician Extinction:

• Glaciation and Sea-Level Lowering Hypothesis
The Ordovician mass extinction has been theorized by paleontologists to be the result of a single event; the glaciation of the continent Gondwana at the end of the period. Evidence for this glaciation event is provided by glacial deposits discovered by geologists in the Saharan Desert. By integrating rock magnetism evidence and the glacial deposit data, paleontologists have proposed a cause for this glaciation. When Gondwana passed over the north pole in the Ordovician, global climatic cooling occurred to such a degree that there was global large-scale continental resulting in widespread glaciation. This glaciation event also caused a lowering of sea level worldwide as large amounts of water became tied up in ice sheets. A combination of this lowering of sea-level, reducing ecospace on continental shelves, in conjunction with the cooling caused by the glaciation itself are likely driving agents for the Ordovician mass extinction

The Devonian Mass Extinction

The Devonian period ranged from 408-360 million years ago. A major intra-Devonian extinction occurred at the Frasnian – Famennian boundary.

Geological Setting:
Following the Ordovician mass extinction rediversification of surviving groups occurred throughout the Silurian and Devonian. In addition, the Devonian saw the first appearance of sharks, bony fish, and ammonoids. During the Devonian the world’s oceans were dominated by reef-builders such as the stromatoporoids, and corals, and some of the world’s largest reef complexes were built. Terrestrial newcomers in the Devonian included amphibians, insects, and the first true land plants, giving rise to the first forests.

Species Affected:
The Devonian mass extinction occurred during the latter part of the Devonian at the Frasnian – Famennian boundary. The crisis primarily affected the marine community, having little impact on the terrestrial flora. This same extinction pattern has been recognized in most mass extinctions throughout earth history. The most important group to be affected by this extinction event were the major reef-builders including the stromatoporoids, and the rugose, and tabulate corals. This late Devonian crisis affected these organisms so severely that reef-building was relatively uncommon until the evolution of the scleractinian (modern) corals in the Mesozoic era. Among other marine invertebrates, seventy percent of the taxa did not survive into the Carboniferous. Amongst the severely affected groups were the brachiopods, trilobites, conodonts, and acritarchs, as well as all jawless fish, and placoderms.

Speculated Causes of the Devonian Extinction:

• Glaciation
Evidence supporting the Devonian mass extinction suggests that warm water marine species were the most severely affected in this extinction event. This evidence has lead many paleontologists to attribute the Devonian extinction to an episode of global cooling, similar to the event which is thought to have cause the late Ordovician mass extinction. According to this theory,the extinction of the Devonian was triggered by another glaciation event on Gondwana, as evidenced by glacial deposits of this age in northern Brazil. Similarly to the late Ordovician crisis, agents such as global cooling and widespread lowering of sea-level may have triggered the late Devonian crisis.

• Meteorite Impact
Meteorite impacts at the Frasnian-Famennian boundary have also been suggested as possible agents for the Devonian mass extinction. Currently, the data surrounding a possible extra-terrestrial impact remains inconclusive, and the mechanisms which produced the Devonian mass extinction are still under debate.

The Permian Mass Extinction

The Permian Period was 286-248 million years ago. Terrestrial faunal diversification occurred in the Permian Period. About 90-95% of marine species became extinct in during the Permian Mass Extinction.

Geological Setting:
With the formation of the super-continent Pangea in the Permian, continental area exceeded that of oceanic area for the first time in geological history. The result of this new global configuration was the extensive development and diversification of Permian terrestrial vertebrate fauna and accompanying reduction of Permian marine communities. Among terrestrial fauna affected included insects, amphibians, reptiles (which evolved during the Carboniferous), as well as the dominant terrestrial group, the therapsids (mammal-like reptiles). The terrestrial flora was predominantly composed of gymnosperms, including the conifers. Life in the seas was similar to that found in middle Devonian communities following the late Devonian crisis. Common groups included the brachiopods, ammonoids, gastropods, crinoids, bony fish, sharks, and fusulinid foraminifera. Corals and trilobites were also present, but were exceedingly rare.

Species Affected:
The Permian mass extinction occurred about 248 million years ago and was the greatest mass extinction ever recorded in earth history; even larger than the previously discussed Ordovician and Devonian crises and the better known End Cretaceous extinction that felled the dinosaurs. Ninety to ninety-five percent of marine species were eliminated as a result of this Permian event. The primary marine and terrestrial victims included the fusulinid foraminifera, trilobites,rugose and tabulate corals, blastoids, acanthodians, placoderms, and pelycosaurs, which did not survive beyond the Permian boundary. Other groups that were substantially reduced included the bryozoans, brachiopods, ammonoids, sharks, bony fish, crinoids, eurypterids, ostracodes, and echinoderms.

Speculated Causes of the Permian Extinction:

Although the cause of the Permian mass extinction remains a debate, numerous theories have been formulated to explain the events of the extinction. One of the most current theories for the mass extinction of the Permian is an agent that has been also held responsible for the Ordovician and Devonian crises, glaciation on Gondwana. A similar glaciation event in the Permian would likely produce mass extinction in the same manner as previous, that is, by a global widespread cooling and/or worldwide lowering of sea level. 

• The Formation of Pangea
Another theory which explains the mass extinctions of the Permian is the reduction of shallow continental shelves due to the formation of the super-continent Pangea. Such a reduction in oceanic continental shelves would result in ecological competition for space, perhaps acting as an agent for extinction. However, although this is a viable theory, the formation of Pangea and the ensuing destruction of the continental shelves occurred in the early and middle Permian, and mass extinction did not occur until the late Permian.

• Glaciation
A third possible mechanism for the Permian extinction is rapid warming and severe climatic fluctuations produced by concurrent glaciation events on the north and south poles. In temperate zones, there is evidence of significant cooling and drying in the sedimentological record, shown by thick sequences of dune sands and evaporites, while in the polar zones, glaciation was prominent. This caused severe climatic fluctuations around the globe, and is found by sediment record to be representative of when the Permian mass extinction occurred.

• Volcanic Eruptions
The fourth and final suggestion that paleontologists have formulated credits the Permian mass extinction as a result of basaltic lava eruptions in Siberia. These volcanic eruptions were large and sent a quantity of sulphates into the atmosphere. Evidence in China supports that these volcanic eruptions may have been silica-rich, and thus explosive, a factor that would have produced large ash clouds around the world. The combination of sulphates in the atmosphere and the ejection of ash clouds may have lowered global climatic conditions. The age of the lava flows has also been dated to the interval in which the Permian mass extinction occurred.

The End-Cretaceous (K-T) Extinction

Numerous evolutionary radiations occurred during the Cretaceous 144-65 million years ago. A major extinction occurred at the end of the period and 85% of all species died in the End-Cretaceous (K-T) extinction

Geological Setting:
Following the Permian mass extinction, life was abundant but there was a low diversity of species. However, through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, major faunal radiations resulted in a large number of new species and forms. New terrestrial fauna that made their first appearance in the Triassic included the dinosaurs, mammals, pterosaurs (flying reptiles), amphibians (including frogs and turtles). In addition, the first birds appeared in the Jurassic. Among the terrestrial flora, the gymnosperms of the Permian remained dominant until the evolution of the angiosperms (flowering plants) in the Cretaceous. In the Cretaceous there was also major radiations occurring in several established groups including the the marine reptiles, rudist bivalves, ammonoids, belemnoids, and scleractinian corals. Bivalves, and brachiopods. Marine groups that were present but did not undergo major evolutionary expansion in the period included the gastropods,bryozoans, crinoids, sea urchins, and sponges.

Species Affected:
During the End-Cretaceous (K-T) extinction (65 million years ago) eighty-five percent of all species disappeared, making it the second largest mass extinction event in geological history. This mass mass extinction, extinction event has generated considerable public interest, primarily because of its role in the demise of the dinosaurs. Although dinosaurs were among the unfortunate victims to perish in the K-T extinction, several other terrestrial and marine biotic groups were also severely affected or eliminated in the crisis. Among those that perished were the pterosaurs, belemnoids, many species of plants (except amongst the ferns and seed-producing plants), ammonoids, marine reptiles, and rudist bivalves. Organisms which were severely affected included planktic foraminifera, calcareous nannoplankton, diatoms, dinoflagellates, brachiopods, molluscs, echinoids, and fish. Remarkably, most mammals, birds, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and amphibians were primarily unaffected by the End-Cretaceous mass extinction.

Speculated Causes of the End-Cretaceous Extinction:

The End-Cretaceous mass extinction has generated considerable public interest in recent years, in response to the controversial debates in the scientific community over its cause. The more prominent of these new hypotheses invoke extra-terrestrial forces, such as meteorite impacts or comet showers as the causative extinction agent. Older hypotheses cite earthly mechanisms such as volcanism or glaciation as the primary agent behind this mass extinction. 

• The K-T Boundary
Evidence for catastrophism at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is found in a layer of sediment which was deposited at the same time that the extinction occurred. This layer contains unusually high concentrations of Iridium, found only in the earth’s mantle, and in extra-terrestrial meteors and comets. This layer has been found in both marine and terrestrial sediments, at numerous boundary sites around the world.

• Meteorite Impact
Some paleontologists believe that the widespread distribution of this Iridium layer could have only been caused by meteorite impact. Further, these researchers cite the abundance of small droplets of basalt, called spherules, in the boundary layer as evidence that basalt from the earth’s crust that were melted and flung into the air upon impact. The presence of shocked quartz – tiny grains of quartz that show features diagnostic of the high pressure of impact – found in the boundary layer provides additional evidence of an extraterrestrial impact at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary layer. Recent research suggests that the impact site may have been in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

• Volcanic Eruptions
The high concentrations of Iridium in the boundary layer has also been attributed to another source, the mantle of the earth. It has been speculated by some scientists that the Iridium layer may be the result of a massive volcanic eruption, as evidenced by the Deccan Traps – extensive volcanic deposits laid down at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary – of India and Pakistan. These lava flows came about when India moved over a “hot spot” in the Indian Ocean, producing flows that exceeded one hundred thousand square kilometers in area and one hundred and fifty meters in thickness. Such flows would have produced enormous amounts of ash, altering global climatic conditions and changing ocean chemistry. Evidence that volcanism was a primary extinction agent at this boundary is also relatively strong. In addition, and the presence of spherules and shocked quartz worldwide in the boundary layer may also have been the result of such explosive volcanism. Thus at present, both the volcanic and meteorite impact hypotheses are both viable mechanisms for producing the Cretaceous mass extinction, although the latter is more popular.

The Holocene Mass Extinction?

The Holocene epoch is the geologically brief interval of time encompassing the last 10,000 years.

With the evolution of humans beginning in the Neogene, humans have evolved into a significant agent of extinction. For example, David Western of the New York Zoological Society, has speculated that for the destruction of every two hundred square kilometers of tropical forest and one hundred thousand square kilometers of rangeland there is a resultant loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of species. Most of these have never been (or ever will be) documented by science.

Deforestation, agricultural practices, pollution, overhunting, and numerous other human activities result in numerous species being threatened everyday. However, more information is required to see if the level of extinctions being experienced today are the harbinger of a mass extinction or merely reflect natural background levels of species replacement.

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This was taken from the following web sources. Most of text was copied directly with minor editing for spelling.

The Hooper Virtual Paleontological Museum

http://park.org/Canada/Museum/lobby2.html
http://park.org/Canada/Museum/extinction/tablecont.html

The Touch

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Faith, family, Fear, God, Home, Hope, Humility, Kansas City, Love, Need, Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/06/2013 by wooddickinson
like a whisper
my hand plants in yours

unaware

scared you’ll pull away. 

no I pull, no risk, can’t risk

when you sleep sometimes, I steal a touch,

placed my hand upon your back
but
only for a moment.
 
sometimes you reach out to me
take my hand
 
I feel life unfolding like a breath
knowing it will be gone soon.

what is it that makes your touch so powerful?

only you

it holds me in fear and awe,

i wish for it

that you will snuggle toward me in the night
needing me

like air.

11/5/2013 – fairway, kansas

Movie Days

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Color, family, Fine Art Photography, Home, Journalism, Kansas City, Movie Theatres, Photography, renegade pictures, Road Trip with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12/12/2012 by wooddickinson
This is one of the most innovative and fun theatres I ever dreamed up. Then I got to build it.  It was called the Northrock 14. It originally was next door to the original Northrock theatres in Wichita, Kansas. The reversed style auditorium was a concept that came to me when I was at a workshop in a live performance theatre. As you can see the projector is in the center of the auditorium and has a large glass window showing off the equipment inside much like the old Imax theatres use to do. The auditorium is backwards in that the wide part of the room is at the front and the small end at the back. It isn’t a box. It’s also backwards from a conventional live theatre auditorium. You enter the auditorium from under the screen. I built a larger version of this type of complex in Tulsa, OK.
Funny, John Hartley the past owner of Dickinson (bought it from me) built his Palazzo Theatre in south Overland Park, Kansas using the same type of design concepts then went ahead and took credit for the concept and design. In actual fact TK Architects worked with Dickinson and John was the construction manager. I spent hours poring over the plans trying to bring the concept to life.
I never learned if this concept design had a place in Exhibition. That’s still a question but I had a lot of fun and really, the auditoriums were awesome. Huge screens and super sound systems. The complex was at 3151 North Penstemon Street  Wichita, KS.
Unfortunately like many things done to the demise of Dickinson Theatres, Hartley closed the complex in late October of 2012. Probably had too. Hartley was notorious in running theatres into the ground. Here is part of a patrons comment  found on the Internet;

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Tips for Northrock 14 Theatre

Doesn’t Recommend
jentribue
November 22, 2009
The dirtiest theater I’ve ever been to. I took my 4 year old to the 11:30 Sunday showing of “Planet 51.” When we walked up, the trash bins outside were OVERFLOWING with trash and the parking lot looked like there had been a party in it last night. It was obvious no attempt was made to clean up from the time before. We walked inside and the carpet was filthy and it was dark and smelled like a urinal. I mentioned to the kid selling me tickets that the front was a mess, and he apologized and said they would get it cleaned up. We bought out tickets and went to the concession stand to buy popcorn, and of course, the floor was sticky, the counter was filthy and there wasn’t an adult working to be found. Just a bunch of high school or perhaps college kids, and they weren’t too enthusiastic to help us out. We finally sat down (the theater was so dark you couldn’t see anything, which was probably a good thing, judging by the sound of crunching under our feet) and waited for the movie to start. And waited, and waited. The projector showing commercials before previews locked up, so we were stuck watching the same logo flash before our screen. FINALLY at 11:45, some kid shows up in the projection room and starts the movie. Now we get to sit through trailers….Halfway through the movie, my daughter has to go to the bathroom. Of the six stalls in there, four had out of order signs on them. The other two were filthy, sticky floors, etc. The toilet paper dispenser was broken, and there was in industrial sized roll of TP on the floor. I picked it up, it was wet, and when I turned it over, it was moldy! We moved to another bathroom, it wasn’t much better, only three working stalls, The trash was overflowing. About that time, we had had enough, and left. I noticed as we left, that NO ONE had made an attempt to clean up the trash out front. I will NEVER go to this theater again, and I’m going to tell everyone who will listen not to go there either. Not worth the health risks and for what you pay to attend a movie, I at least expect a working toilet with mold-free toilet paper!!! —  From Citysearch 

_______________________________________________________________Northrock 14 Theatre To Close

The Northrock 14 Theatre at 29th and Rock Road is set to close as Dickinson Theatres Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The theatre has been leasing the space from Occidental Management after it sold the building in January.
“It was not going to be a long-term tenant anyway, so, we’re just moving forward with our plans to convert the building into Class A office. It hasn’t impacted any of our plans or proformas for the building,” said Chad Stafford, president of Occidental Management.
 
According to our news partners at the Wichita Business Journal, the Overland Park-based movie theater chain hopes to have a reorganization plan soon, but in the meantime will close theaters in Wichita, Oklahoma City and Blue Springs, MO. Another Dickinson location in Leavenworth recently closed.
 
Northrock 14 customers were saddened by the news but said they expected the closure after seeing less attendance at the theatre.
 
“It’s sad for the economy. It’s sad for the people who are working there. Sad for me ’cause I can’t come here to see a movie. I’ve got to go somewhere else. Most of the places are more expensive,” said Nancy Bye, customer.
 
The theatre will like close its doors by the end of the year when their lease ends.
Dickinson Theatres currently operates 18 locations across 7 states.
 
KAKE.com reported this story on Monday, September 24, 2012 – staff photograph
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Northrock 14 to be office space by BILL WILSON

Wichita office developer has a contract to purchase the Northrock 14 Theatre, with plans to close the struggling movie house and develop 95,000 square feet of office space on two floors.Gary Oborny, CEO of Occidental Management, said he hopes to close later this spring on a cash deal for the theater, owned by Overland Park-based Dickinson Theatres.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but Oborny said the office conversion project, slated to open in the third quarter of 2012, will carry an $8 million price tag. “Each floor will be 47,500 square feet of Class A at a two-floor minimum in a contemporary style,” Oborny said. “We’ll cut windows in the building, redo the outside in a pattern a little bit different than our other design, renovate the parking lot and landscape.”
 
The theater will be the second building of what Oborny envisions as a 200,000-square-foot, three-building Class A office complex at 32nd North and Rock Road, including the company headquarters at 8111 E. 32nd St. North.
That building, renovated in 2008, also was a Dickinson movie theater. Oborny said it has 6,000 of 84,000 square feet remaining. Tenants include Corporate Lodging.
 
Plans call for a third building between the headquarters and the theater, with between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet of office space, Occidental president Chad Stafford said. “We’re next to Rock Road, next to K-96, so the convenience of getting here from 96 just to the north allows all our different employees, customers and vendors to really get here from anywhere in Wichita in 18 minutes,” Oborny said.
 
He said he has several large tenants on the hook for the new office facility, including some interested in as much as 40,000 square feet. Lease rates should range between $19 and $20 per square foot, about $2 under the city’s going rate for Class A space. The theater’s closing date is up in the air, Oborny said, and will be tied to the purchase closing. No general contractor has been selected, but Wichita architect Ron Spangenberg of Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture will design the new facility.
 
John Hartley, president of Dickinson, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
 
The market for Class A office space in Wichita is showing signs of life, said Stan Longhofer, director of Wichita State’s Center for Real Estate.
 
“Very clearly in the market right now, there’s some good product and there’s demand for it,” he said. “There’s average product and there’s not a lot of demand for average product. “People are always going to be interested in high-quality space, and since he can demonstrate what he’s done with similar projects, that’s a positive for him.”
Northrock’s closing leaves Warren Theatres as the sole Wichita movie operation, other than the Starlite Drive-In.
Nonetheless, Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren said the Northrock closing has no bearing on his business plans.
“They aren’t a competitor. Haven’t been for a long time,” Warren said. “Entertainment is my competitor — baseball, basketball, events, things like that.” Wichita Eagle – to read more here
 

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Northrock 14’s parent company files bankruptcy By Dan Voorhis and Jerry Siebenmark

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story had an incorrect date of Northrock 14’s opening.
 
Once the east side’s premier movie theater, Northrock 14 will close, following a decision by its owner Dickinson Theatres to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Overland Park-based Dickinson is trying to reorganize to save the company, but has petitioned the bankruptcy court to allow it to break the lease on the Northrock 14 building and close the business down. If the court grants the request, the company could be out of there within 30 to 60 days, said attorney Sharon Stolte of Stinson Morrison Hecker. Stolte said there was no clear time frame for closing Northrock 14, and that Dickinson could shut down its theater operation in Wichita at any time.
 
The theater building at 3151 Penstemon in northeast Wichita is owned by Occidental Management, which bought the building in 2011 with plans to convert its 95,000 square feet into Class A office space. Chad Stafford, president of Occidental Management, said Monday the bankruptcy filing was not a surprise, and he described the theater’s lease as a “temporary arrangement. It was an interim solution, not anything long term that we were banking on.”
 
Stafford said Occidental’s plan all along was to start converting the theater building into office space in 2013.
“That’s the same track we’re working on,” he said. Dickinson, which filed its bankruptcy papers in Kansas City, Kan., said it had $2.2 million in assets and $7.6 million in liabilities. According to court documents, the company operates 210 screens in 18 locations in seven states. “Some of these locations are expected to be closed prior to confirmation of the (reorganization) Plan, but the remaining business operations will be stronger,” the company said in court documents. The company cited competition, fewer box office hits in recent years, and higher licensing fees from film distributors as reasons for the bankruptcy, according to court documents.
 
The closing of Northrock 14 would signal the end of Dickinson’s long-running battle with Bill Warren for local movie-goers loyalties. Dickinson opened Northrock 6 in 1987, and instantly dominated the east-side movie scene. Warren started a few years later with the second-run Palace, then opened his own plush $10 million first-run theater at 21st and Tyler in 1996, splitting the town between east and west. In 1998 Dickinson came back with the $10 million Northrock 14, futuristically decorated in purple, pink and black with a touch of neon and a reflective ceiling. It opened to large crowds. Warren fired back by adding eight more screens at his west-side theater a year later.
Dickinson’s then-owner John Hartley sought unsuccessfully to build an 18-screen theater at Maple and Maize Road in 2002, and the company’s fortunes began to dim. At the same time Warren continued to expand, opening his large east-side theater, then a downtown theater. He has continued to upgrade and expand his properties since.
Northrock, during the same time, became less competitive. On Monday, Warren said he didn’t run Dickinson out of Wichita. “It has not been a well-run company for 20 years,” he said. “You can see it’s pretty obvious the customers have rejected their business model.” But Warren didn’t gloat about the departure of his once-bitter foe.
“It’s not good for the industry, it’s not going to help us,” he said. “It’s too bad.” – Read more here

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My thoughts – When I ran Dickinson Theatres I would create a white paper at least 4 times a year. That paper detailed our ability to serve the patron, present a perfect show, keep the theatres clean, safe and well staffed among other things. John Hartley would receive a copy of this document along with everyone else and he hated it. The white paper was one way I could measure our effectiveness at motion picture exhibition. When I left Dickinson that all left with me. The Dickinson Theatres I could go to free (until John took my pass away) was getting run-down, dirty, poorly staffed and etc. I started going to AMC. What a pitiful statement on the operation of Dickinson Theatres. The last family member to be involved with Dickinson won’t even go to a theatre with his name on it. I felt John hated the “Dickinson” brand and would have dumped the name if he could have. I wish he had. I still get asked if I’m involved with Dickinson and I’m very quick to reply NO!
So here I am 13 years out from my sale of the company and Dickinson’s 1st bankruptcy and two of the most wonderful theatres I ever built, and attended are gone. The SouthGlen 12 and Northrock 14. I told John (and this upset him) that the chances of a company making it after bankruptcy declines with each year. I told him he wouldn’t make it 20 years. He didn’t.
Scars of war I guess. Show business is truly like no business I know. Today’s crop of exhibitors know nothing about showmanship. Frankly, the film companies don’t either.
If you are interested in old theatres here are a couple of websites to get you started:
http://www.drive-ins.com • http://cinematreasures.org
Enjoy.
Photographs of the Northrock are by Wood Dickinson 

Where should one start when writing a screenplay?

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Book, Feature Film, Telly Awards with tags , , , , , on 11/28/2012 by wooddickinson

I came across this question on Quora:

“I have  all these ideas in my head just waiting to be written. I have a broken plot line and can picture some of the  scenes. I just can’t seem to start it. Every way I do it seems wrong. Should I reorganize my thoughts first? Am I looking at it the wrong way? What should I focus on when writing the first draft?”

There is no ONE right answer to this so here are some of my thoughts – Having written scripts (some even made into movies) the best place to start is 1) define the central conflict 2) write character studies for main characters 3) decide what in act 1, act 2, and act 3. The Avengers is a good example of the 3 act film (screenplay). Act 1 defined the central conflict to be resolved. Act 2 (most of a screenplay & the movie) is about the question: Can I (the protagonist or in this films case, a team of protagonists)  find it within myself to do what needs doing to save the day or will I just fall apart? This is man vs himself. In act 3 of Avengers the unified team goes after the bad guys and come out on top. The meat of the story is always in act 2.

Visit http://www.writersstore.com.com and buy “Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing” maybe it will help. Buy a copy of Final Draft 8 for writing. Rule #1-There is no one right way to do this. I have outlined, created beat sheets, on and on. Rule #2-Write the story first. Make it 1 page or 100. Even more (ugh). Shorter the better. Remember 1 script page is equal to 1 minute of running time. (90 page script is a 90 minute movie) Rule #3-Research and research and when your done research some more. Fiction or bio pic. For software I like Contour. Great for getting ideas down and not letting you forget key elements.

You will need a ONE SHEET (the movie in a page) and a log line (the movie in a couple of sentences) if it isn’t doable then the script won’t work. And last but not least REMEMBER Rule #4-The director will direct the film not you so leave out all the directorial comments and stick to key elements. Oh, and Rule #5-Write every day! Good luck.

‘Big Tex’

Posted in 100 in 365, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Fine Art Photography, Holga, Patti Dickinson, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on 10/20/2012 by wooddickinson

Shocked to pick up on a story that ‘Big Tex‘ burned down today. I check the Internet and sure enough it had burn. I remember well the year Patti and I went to the Texas State Fair and like most tourist I had to snap a picture of ‘Big Tex.’ This goes back to my days of shooting film while in college. Probably 1973. When I heard the news I resurrected the negative and brought it into the digital world where I could make a piece of art from a tourist shot. Don’t know what they’ll do about ‘Big Tex’ but here he is preserved forever.

Propaganda Lesson

Posted in Abstract, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Blogroll, Fear, Fog, Home, Hope, Need with tags , , , on 08/17/2012 by wooddickinson

Watch this “new video” or maybe just “opinion piece” and fact check it. If you want to be a victim of propaganda go ahead but I say, ‘We are smarter than that.’ Just report the facts (if that isn’t asking too much) and we can decided what’s good or bad. I’m sick of this from ALL sides.

Truth

Posted in Andrew Dickinson, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Book, Cape Cod, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/21/2012 by wooddickinson

The idea behind art is to tell the truth. I know that it’s art’s principle purpose. It isn’t to create nice pictures, fun sculptures or cool photographs. It is about telling the truth. Primarily I am writing this for those seeking to become photographic artists.

Many films made today don’t do that. Especially the “Tent Poles” that pepper the summer and Christmas seasons. A film doesn’t have to be a heady Sundance winner to tell the truth. Really some of those “critically acclaimed” films are lies as well as films like Immortals.

I damn Immortals because it in no way reflects the truth found in Greek Myth. Greek mythology describes a past that is as real to those who lived it as it should be to the story tellers of today. It’s reality reflects the culture, the fears and hopes of an ancient culture.

Many characters from Greek myth have been highjacked by modern movements. Take Hecate for instance. She is also called Hekate, it depends on the transcription you are using. She was a pre-Olympian goddess. That means she was one of the Titians that Zeus left out of their condemnation to Tartarus (basically hell for those who don’t know).

Over the millennia since her inception she has been highjacked by different groups like Aleister Crowley’s Golden Dawn. Since then the followers of Wicca have attached her to dark magic and witchcraft. None of this is true. Simply she was thought by the Greeks and Romans to be a goddess of the crossroads. A protector of women. Her ties to the Underworld come from her efforts in saving Persephone from Hades (the god of the underworld) for her friend Demeter the mother of Persephone. After that Hades would take Persephone into the underworld for a portion of the year and Demeter would let the world die during that time. So here is an explanation for fall and winter for the people of that ancient time.

As explain in Hesiod’s Theogony, she held sway over many things:

“Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother’s only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honours.” (Hesiod, Theogony, English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White)

In contrast Apate was the daughter of Nyx. She lived in Pandora’s box and escaped when it was opened. Apate is a personification of deceit. Some of her siblings included Nemesis (made popular by the Resident Evil movies). The Roman’s called her Fraus which became the root of our word ‘fraud.’

In truth Hecate was primarily associated with liminality. This word comes from a Latin word means “a threshold.” A limit or boundary between things. I think of a beach as a perfect metaphor for boundaries. You can’t cross this boundary in your normal physical state without losing your life. The same goes for the creatures living in the seas. Even the air breathing whales can’t survive if beached. I’ve seen this myself on Cape Cod.

This is truth. Witchcraft and dark magic are not. Now I know there are those devoted to Wicca and all that and that’s fine. People are free to chose their faith but it should, like art, be based in truth. Hecate isn’t part of that faith or practice no matter how hard one wants to believe she is. In fact she is a myth. A story from ancient times used as part of the explanations of why the natural world is they way it is.

As artists we must question everything and seek out truth and use our art to represent that truth to the world. To many people artists seem to be useless hangers on unlike philosophers, religious leaders and our political leaders. This is flat out not true. Artists are the (or should be) the ones who question and seek true meaning in all that is. If you are a photographer and you think you take pretty sharp photos I challenge you. Do you know and understand the purpose of art?

I would ask this as well, have you studied history, science, anthropology, sociology, psychology and politics? Artist are not stupid people who just could’t cut it in the “real world.” A good artists knows more about the world, natural sciences and humanity (including history) than most of her peers around her.

Put your camera away for now and pick up a book and learn so when you do return to your camera you will be able to seek truth and show the rest of us what it is. A great example is Andrew Dickinson’s web site.

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