DEDHAM, Mass., - April 29, 2008-National Amusements, Inc. and The Kraft Group today announced plans to launch the first Showcase Live!, a 16,000-square foot, world-class, live entertainment venue. It will be located next to the 14-screen Showcase Cinema de Lux, National Amusements' signature theatre that will be featured at Patriot Place, the super-regional retail and entertainment destination located adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Designed to offer the finest in music entertainment, Showcase Live! will host top artists in all music genres including R&B, rock, country, jazz and hip-hop. The Showcase Live! concept was developed by National Amusements to create a first-class venue providing outstanding music, comedy, corporate events, children's theater and other special programming. Showcase Live! will debut at Patriot Place in August 2008. National Amusements is planning to roll out additional unique entertainment venues in select U.S. and international locations.
Artist booking and promotion will be conducted through a partnership with the Blue Note Entertainment Group owned by the Bensusan Family of the Blue Note Jazz Clubs (NY, Japan & Milan), B.B. King Blues Club and the Highline Ballroom in New York. Showcase Live! will host a variety of corporate events and conferences to utilize its unique entertainment facilities and its state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities.
Showcase Live! joins two of New England most prominent families in entertainment and sports. National Amusements Inc., led by Shari Redstone, is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry and is the parent company of Viacom and CBS. The Kraft Group is the holding company of the Kraft family's diverse business interests, which include sports and entertainment as well as real estate development. Their sports holdings include the three-time World Champion New England Patriots and the four-time conference champion New England Revolution. They host both teams in Gillette Stadium, New England's premier sports and entertainment venue that the Krafts privately financed and opened in 2002. The Redstone and Kraft families have joined together to create an exciting new entertainment concept that will be truly unique.
"We set out to make Showcase Live! the preferred venue for major artists and a unique entertainment experience for music fans everywhere. I am delighted to see that this vision is now becoming a reality with the opening of the fantastic Showcase Live! at Patriot Place. I am also personally gratified to be partnering with our close friends at The Kraft Group for this first location at Patriot Place. The Kraft Group is one of the most respected companies in the world, known for their entrepreneurial approach to creating new business ventures and their extensive experience in the entertainment industry," said Shari Redstone. "When you leverage that expertise with the broad and rich entertainment experience that National Amusements is globally recognized for, there is no doubt that Showcase Live! patrons will be enjoying a schedule packed with many memorable and exciting events. We are proud to join forces with the Krafts to build this world-class entertainment venue."
"We are proud to partner with Shari Redstone and National Amusements to develop the first Showcase Live!," said Robert Kraft, Chairman of The Kraft Group. "National Amusements is a local company that has grown under Redstone's leadership into a world leader in the motion picture and entertainment industries. We are confident that Showcase Live! will be one of the key attractions at Patriot Place, drawing visitors from throughout New England for premier live entertainment in an intimately unique setting. It will also provide the opportunity to host creative events, adding more function flexibility to Patriot Place, which will be one of New England's most popular function locations."
The expansive venue, which seats approximately 500 for dinner and an evening of entertainment, features a flexible interior design which enables rapid layout changes to accommodate a variety of events, from an intimate acoustic performance to a standing-room-only concert for 1,000 fans. The flexibility will allow the venue to be re-sized to accommodate corporate business meetings or educational seminars as well. Patrons will have the option of sitting at the luxurious, 52-foot long bar, reserving a table for groups of varying sizes or enjoying the privacy of VIP banquettes. The venue also features the latest in audio visual technology with three larger-than-life digital projection screens and six HD LCD televisions designed to provide patrons with even greater visual impact as they enjoy watching their favorite entertainer or group. The venue features a state-of-the art kitchen that will offer a top quality menu with a variety of signature offerings. Guests can pair their dining experience with specialty drinks, cocktails and beverages from the expansive showroom bar.
Showcase Live! will be located adjacent to National Amusements' new Showcase Cinema de Lux theatre at Patriot Place, expected to open in August 2008. Showcase Cinema de Lux is the signature theatre concept
of National Amusements featuring lush interiors with baby grand pianos and special amenities like: concierge service, a restaurant featuring American fare in a relaxed, sophisticated setting, and the Lux Level experience offering the luxury of in-theatre dining and drink service. Showcase Cinema de Lux and Showcase Live! are being created to transform the movie-going industry and make National Amusements theatres a community entertainment destination.
About The Kraft GroupThe Kraft Group, headquartered in Foxborough, Mass., is the holding company for the Kraft family's various businesses, with concentrated interests in five specific areas: the distribution of forest products, paper and packaging manufacturing, sports and entertainment, real estate development and private equity investing. Together, the Rand-Whitney Group and International Forest Products do business in more than 80 countries annually and form one of the largest privately-owned paper packaging and distribution companies in the world. The Kraft Group's sports and entertainment division features Gillette Stadium, New England's premier concert and entertainment venue and home to the National Football League's three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution. Their real estate development team oversaw the construction of Gillette Stadium and is now developing Patriot Place, a 1.3 million-square-foot super-regional lifestyle and entertainment destination located in Foxborough, Mass. For more information, please visit www.patriot-place.com and www.thekraftgroup.com.
About National Amusements, Inc.
National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 1,500 screens in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Russia. National Amusements delivers a superior entertainment experience in theatres around the world under its Showcase, Multiplex, Cinema de Lux, and KinoStar brands. Based in Dedham, Massachusetts, National Amusements is a closely held company operating under the third generation of leadership by the Redstone family. National Amusements is also an equal partner in the online ticketing service, MovieTickets.com, and is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corporation.
About Blue Note Entertainment Group
Founded in 1981, Blue Note Entertainment Group owns and operates the Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill and the HighLine Ballroom in New York City with licensed locations in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka & Nagoya) and Italy (Milan). Blue Note books the talent for each of their licensed clubs in addition to the Regattabar Jazz Club in Cambridge, Mass.. Subsidiaries of Blue Note include a Grammy award winning record label, Half Note Records and Blue Note Management, artist managers of McCoy Tyner and Cassandra Wilson. Blue Note is the exclusive talent buyer and consultants for all Showcase Live! venues. For more information please visit www.bluenotejazz.com, www.bbkingblues.com & www.highlineballroom.com.