The special screenings of Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, apparently have been very successful. Originally plans were to open it to general release in the top 25 markets on February 1. Instead, the general release will include 500 theaters in 150 markets.

In Kansas, this will include theaters in Topeka, Manhattan, Wichita, and the Kansas City Metro area. In Missouri, aside from the Kansas City Metro, the screens will include Springfield, Columbia, and the St. Louis Metro area.

The article (see link below) indicates a pre-show at most theaters on Thursday evening, January 31. We are not certain what this means. One guess is that the pre-show includes Jackson’s commentary about how the film was made. It is not certain that the commentary will be part of the general release. That would be unfortunate, because the commentary is very revealing about some of the scenes in the documentary,

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Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.