During the 1920’s and 1930’s, major film companies owned their own chains of movie theatres. Warner Brothers had their self-named theatre division, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer operated Loew’s Theatres and Paramount Pictures oversaw their Paramount-Publix Theatres Corporation.
In 1930, with nearly 2,000 screens nationwide Paramount-Publix continued to add theatres to their chain. Studio head Adolf Zukor ordered his theatre chain operator Sam Katz to target independent or smaller corporate theatres in the northeast. An offer was made to Thomas Alexander and Louis Marinos Sr. for their interests in all of their theatres with the exception of the Wyoming Theatre. The offer was for $250,000 – an enormous sum of money for that time.
Considering the Great Depression was showing no signs of letting up, Alexander and Marinos accepted the offer. Alexander retired (albeit temporarily) and Marinos, along with his brother Peter continued to operate the Wyoming Theatre.
Between 1948 and 1954 the studios battled anti-trust laws that eventually ruled studios could no longer monopolize their product by playing it exclusively in their own theatres. All of the studio’s theater divisions were forced to either sell off or close. Though Paramount-Publix went bankrupt in 1935, it would soon reinvent itself as United Paramount Theatres. But UPT eventually fell victim to the laws and they were out of the theatre business forever.