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Story by Jerry Vasilatos
Screenplay by Jerry Vasilatos


PALACE TREASURE is the story of TOM VARVERIS, a freshman film student at City College of Chicago. Tom also works part-time at the Palace Theater, last of the majestic movie houses still gracing the city's north side. To an idealistic dreamer like Tom, the Palace is a magical place and stands as a monument to the movies. As the center of the neighborhood he's grown up in, Tom has forged strong friendships there, especially with aging projectionist PHIL STERLING. When the historic landmark is slated for closure and demolition, Tom and his co-worker FELICIA DAVIES discover evidence that not only was Phil one of the theater's original financiers, but a silent film star to boot. Having faded into obscurity, some of Phil's early films along with many others may be hidden in an ancient storage vault somewhere within the Palace. Films unseen for over eighty years.

Time is running out though. Along with the impending demolition date, the theater's corporate liaison CHARLES LEEDS and local slumlord LEO WOLFF stand ready to make a real-estate killing. Having forged a secret alliance, the two men set their sights set on gentrifying the neighborhood in an effort to force small businesses out so that they can then sieze the properties at rock-bottom prices and in turn resell them to developers at huge profits.

With Sterling in the hospital after suffering a sudden stroke, Tom must unravel the web of mystery leading to the hidden film vault on his own. Although Leeds has set the theater off limits, Tom takes it upon himself to search for the vault, theorizing that such a discovery would prove the building's worth and thus save the neighborhood. Enlisting the aid of his best friend and sidekick PETE MORGAN, Tom embarks on several expeditions into the theater after its closing. Tom's commitment to the theater and saving the neighborhood inspires Felicia, and romance blossoms. While their visits into the labyrinth castle-like structure yield a variety of unexpected perils and adventures (including one very close call with Leeds), ultimately the trio's tenacity pays off. Finding the hidden vault deep within one of the theater's sub-basements, Tom discovers one of Sterling's films among the lost classics and grabs it as proof. On their way out of the giant movie palace however, the young adventurers stumble onto a new threat. Not only is Leeds selling the property to Wolff, the two are torching it as well, thus forcing the surrounding mom and pop business owners out much, much sooner.

With his insurance scheme discovered, Leeds grabs Felicia as a hostage. With Pete's help, Tom tackles Leeds's henchmen and sets after the executive. Committed to Sterling, the Palace, and the neighborhood he's grown up in, Tom must not only save the film-print now, but Felicia as well. As flames spread through the building and police fill the street, Tom eventually faces Leeds in a life and death rooftop struggle whose ultimate stakes are PALACE TREASURE.


PRODUCER/DIRECTOR:

Jerry A. Vasilatos
NITESTAR PRODUCTIONS
6200 Franklin, #410
Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone / Fax: 213-469-5111




"PALACE TREASURE " 1996 Jerry Vasilatos

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