John Burkley founded Midwest Cine Services in 1974 in Kansas City, Mo. The company began by building it’s own truck mounted camera crane/insert car with the help of a local machinist. Building a lighting and grip truck for commercial productions followed this. Midwest Cine Services capitalizes on the booming agricultural and regional commercial production market.
Tom Dischert moves from St. Louis to join the expanding company in 1978 providing experience as a Key Grip with John Burkley as Gaffer. Soon Midwest Cine Services was providing equipment and technical skills for New York and Los Angeles based major production company’s throu out the Midwest. The company added additional personnel and even helped set up the Missouri Film Commission. The company had a custom 5th wheel trailer built for larger productions and started into feature film rentals. This led to a full size 65’ tractor/trailer complete with a Crawford Generator for large commercial productions and bigger feature films.
John Burkley and Tom Dischert incorporate Midwest Cine Services in 1980. The company adds more trucks and moves to a larger facility in South Kansas City, Mo. By 1984 the agricultural production market had slowed down and the company had more equipment than the Midwest production market could support.
Tom Dischert takes half the equipment and opens an operation in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The company changes the name to Cine Services, Inc. With in a few short years Cine Services grows to the largest rental/sales facility in the Philadelphia area.
John Burkley takes the other half of Cine Services in 1985 and moves back to St. Louis, Mo. Cine Services continues to grow in St. Louis expanding the facility to include a retail showroom for expendable supplies and a rental production stage in Hanley Industrial Court. The St. Louis office become the primary base for feature film truck rentals as John Burkley goes on to work on over 30 feature films as Chief Lighting Technician. In 1999 Cine Services buys a 30,000 sq. ft. building on South Broadway in downtown St. Louis. Expansion includes set construction, custom fabrication of production equipment, and adds The Prop Source.
In March of 2001 tragedy strikes Cine Services with the sudden death of Tom Dischert. In August the company splits into two separate companies allowing the sale of the Pennsylvania operation to a local investor and friend of Tom Dischert. 9/11 and his lack of experience resulted in the company being liquidated within 2 years.
John Burkley chooses to quit life on the road lighting movies in 2005. Cine Services began a year long sale of all of the production trucks, cranes, generators, and lighting & grip equipment, including The Prop Source. The company transforms itself into providing theatrical lighting design, dimming systems and controls. The years of experience in feature films provided the background to design and provide the equipment for churches, schools, professional theatre, TV studios, and even architectural exteriors. The key to the growth was the need for experience in lighting for television for churches and the need to coordinate the house lighting into the system. With all the space available Cine Services is able to perform testing and evaluation of many manufacturers equipment to find the best performance and value for the customers.
Cine Services sold the building in 2005 signing a long-term lease for 1/3 of it. The St. Louis facility grew very rapidly surpassing the former annual rental revenue in a few years. The showroom is stocked with the best lighting fixtures that can be demonstrated for the user to compare performance. The expendable supplies inventory meets the needs of local theatre, schools, churches, and still photographers. Cine Services grows to become one of the largest stocking distributor/dealers for Rosco and other fine companies.
Today, Cine Services, Inc. operates the finest showroom and design facility in the Midwest. Our design room utilized LD Assistant AutoCAD software allowing us to open most architects CAD drawings to add lighting, dimming, and controls. We have access to the manufacturers CAD files on all their dimming and controls hardware. The web site provides just a small sampling of the many projects we have done.