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NOLA Life Stories: Rene Brunet Jr.'s Lifetime Serving The Silver Screen

Although they don't own the facility, Rene Brunet Jr.'s family has signed a 50-year agreement with the Prytania Theater that allows them to operate it exclusively.
Historic New Orleans Collection
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Although they don't own the facility, Rene Brunet Jr.'s family has signed a 50-year agreement with the Prytania Theater that allows them to operate it exclusively.

When Rene Brunet Jr. was a kid, his father owned the Imperial Theater, a single-screen movie house in Mid-City. At the time, movie theaters were neighborhood institutions and played to the vaudeville expectations of the audience. But from the time he was a child, Rene saw the film industry undergo one transformation after another, which put his family’s business under constant pressure to change or get out of the way.

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Fortunately, Rene and his family were able to innovate and remain in the movie business; today, they operate the Prytania Theater. The Prytania is one of the major sites of this year’s New Orleans Film Festival, which begins on October 16.

This interview was conducted by Mark Cave for the Historic New Orleans Collection.  

Thomas Walsh is an independent radio producer and audio engineer who lives in New Orleans. You'll see him around town recording music, podcasts, short films, live events and radio features. He's practically glued to his headphones. A movie geek to his core, he's seen every film listed on the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Movies and would love to talk to you about them.