… at the theater where I was honored to organize viewing/costume parties for The Lord of the Rings, all three films, owner Greg Boardman shut down The Lorraine for two weeks rather than show Jackass 2 or Beerfest. From the article, it appears that some folks backed his decision and some folks whined that he took away entertainment from the children (“Won’t someone PLEASE think of the CHILDREN?!??”):
Hoopeston native P.J. Clingenpeel [hell no, I'm not making that up] said the projectors should never have been turned off in the first place. He said the two-week shutdown only hurt children in this town where Boardman’s movie houses and a skating rink are about all they have to do outside of school and sports.
“All he did was ruin a lot of kids’weekends. That’s why I think he’s a crybaby,”said Clingenpeel, a 30-year-old welder.
Excuse me? Who’s a crybaby? The theater owner so disgusted with the product he has to sell that he loses a little money rather than sell it, or the parents of children so bereft of something productive to do that their weekends are spoiled when they can’t watch Johnny Knoxville do … whatever the hell it is that he does? As the article points out, the movie was playing in Danville, which is 25 miles away. Quite a haul. Poor parents, having to listen to their kids whine all weekend because they couldn’t make the 50-mile round-trip to see either of two movies exalting the best of the human spirit.
What a crock. The Lorraine is a beautiful theater with a kick-ass sound system. Greg is a good guy who cheerfully hosted hordes of us breathless Lord of the Rings glassy-eyeds, provided us with a lovely historical venue for our celebration so that we didn’t have to deal with a gumshoed multiplex that was going to make its money either way and couldn’t have cared less that LotR was anything other than a run-of-the-mill set of popcorn flicks. Yes, it’s in a small town, and yes, this action affects the residents more than it would have at Greg’s other theater in Champaign. But I don’t pity the residents of a small town without many resources for entertainment. I pity residents anywhere who are so poor in resources of the mind that the loss of a couple of mindless movies sends them into a tailspin over The Lost Weekend. After all, as small as it is (and I’ve been there), Hoopeston does have a library.
Well done, Greg. Not because I know anything about either movie, though I’m quite willing to take your word for it that they’re garbage, but because you certainly are not required, for anybody’s sake, to take whatever the studios hand you and be nothing but an unthinking conduit. So far, I’m not really grooving too hard over Aaron Sorkin’s new TV offering, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but something Amanda Peet’s character said on this week’s episode went down just fine with me. Asked how she would pick programming for the network, she answered that she’d ask herself three questions: 1) did she like it, 2) would her parents like it, and 3) would she let her kids watch it. If the answer to any of those three were yes, she’d air it. If the answer to all three was no, she wouldn’t.
Simple and fair enough for everybody. Or should be. Good judgment: It’s not just for studios any more.