Dells Theatre Hosting South Dakota Movie Premieres

Armando Gutierrez as the Ringmaster in Little MermaidThe Dells Theatre is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month by hosting back-t0-back South Dakota premieres of two movies and bringing in the stars or producers of those movies. The art deco theatre was designed by famed Minneapolis theatre architect Perry Crosier. It opened on August 19, 1938. Logan Luxury Theatres Corporation purchased it in 1998 and is the third and current owner of the theatre. They have constantly restored and upgraded the theatre since purchasing it.

“The Little Mermaid” will premiere Thursday night (August 23rd) with a special reception for actor/producer Armando Gutierrez at the Dells Rapids Museum at 5:30. At 7:00, Gutierrez will go to the red carpet event at the Dells Theatre where he will introduce the movie and answer questions following the screening. The movie will play for the next eight days through Thursday, August 30. It will start a week’s engagement on Friday, August 24 at the other Logan Luxury Theatres locations, the Luxury 5 Cinemas in Mitchell and Huron Luxury Cinemas in Huron.

Armando Gutierrez plays a lead role and is the producer of the live action version of “The Little Mermaid.” This movie is based on the characters from the original story by Hans Christian Anderson.   Gutierrez will be in Mitchell Friday, August 24. He will make an appearance at the new Mitchell Indoor Aquatics Center at 5:30 with a live mermaid. At 6:30, he will be driven to the Luxury 5 Cinemas for a red carpet event. Gutierrez will introduce the movie and answer questions after the movie.   “The Little Mermaid” will play for one week through Thursday, August 30, and may be held over another week.

In this new story, a grandmother (played by Shirley MacLaine) tells her daughters the story of the Little Mermaid but they don’t believe until she tells them a tale of her own. A young reporter finds a circus with a beautiful mermaid trapped in a glass box. The mermaid appears to the girls as a woman with legs. The girls soon learn of a prophecy about a girl born on land blessed with the heart of a mermaid. As the prophecy comes to life they become entangled in a plot by a sinister wizard.

Gutierrez produced “Walt Before Mickey” which had its Midwestern Premiere at the three Logan Luxury theatres two years ago. Gutierrez is excited about his new movie and is anxious to return to South Dakota. He said, “We hope that the South Dakota Premieres will bestow “The Little Mermaid” with the same attention and success as “Walt Before Mickey” enjoyed.”

More information and the trailer can be found on the movie’s website at

“Farmer of the Year”, which was shot around Tyler, MN and in South Dakota at the Corn Palace, will have its South Dakota Premiere on Friday, August 31. The film was written by Tyler, MN native and farmer’s daughter, Kathy Swanson. It was produced by her and her husband, Vince O’Connell, who have been taking it to film festivals around the country.

O’Connell and Swanson will be in Dell Rapids Friday afternoon (August 31st) to promote the film. They will then travel to Mitchell for a public reception with the producers at the Second Floor Art Gallery at the Corn Palace at 5:30. They will be driven to the Luxury 5 Cinemas at 6:30 for a red carpet event where they will introduce the movie. They will also answer questions following the screening.

Saturday they will be at the Freedom Stage at the State Fair in Huron as guests of the SD Farmer’s Union.   That evening, they will be at the red carpet event at 7:00 the Huron Luxury Cinemas to sign autographs and introduce the film.

The comedy-drama is an affectionate look at farm life and generational differences. A widowed 83-year-old Minnesota farmer sells his farm to his daughter. Bored with retirement, he decides to travel with his rebellious granddaughter across country in his 40-year-old Winnebago to a reunion of his World War Two army outfit. On the way, they stop at the Corn Palace and other locations in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Sioux Falls resident and Stepping Stones counselor Arin Winger along with Mitchell residents Cheryl Miller, John, Lori and Ryan Solberg have parts in the movie.

“Farmer of the Year” has been selected to play at film festivals across the country. It won the Audience Choice Award at the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival and was an Audience Choice finalist at the Sedona, Arizona Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Feature Film and Best Actor for Barry Corbin at the Soho International Film Festival in New York City.

More information and the trailer can be found on the movie’s website at

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