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TOPIC: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2'

Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 29 Sep 2006 23:50 #13455

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By JAN DENNIS
Associated Press Writer

HOOPESTON, Ill.

A small-town theater owner says he wasn't trying to send Hollywood a message when he shut down for two weeks rather than show box-office leader "Jackass 2" or other new releases that he calls "drivel."
But even if not purposeful, Greg Boardman's blank-screened protest is getting a thumbs up from moviegoers who long for family fare and jeers from others who say his theaters are one of the few diversions _ especially for children _ in this farming town of about 6,000 people.

"They're not appropriate for really anybody, but I sure wouldn't let my kids go into one of them ... Those are his convictions and he needs to stand by them," Steve Lloyd, 59, of nearby Rossville said of offerings such as "Beerfest" and the "Jackass" sequel that briefly landed a "Closed" sign on the marquee outside Boardman's Lorraine Theatre.

"Jackass" features Johnny Knoxville and his gang performing crazy stunts often involving self-inflicted pain; "Beerfest" revolves around fictional siblings who participate in an Olympics-style drinking competition.

The 84-year-old, 500-seat Lorraine in downtown Hoopeston reopened Friday, showing Disney's football biopic "Invincible," while an 85- seat sister theater down the street relit its screen with Sony's animated kids movie "Open Season."

Hoopeston native P.J. Clingenpeel 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.

Boardman says he's sorry that darkened screens cut into the town's limited entertainment options. But he says he'll shut down again if faced with a similar batch of films, adding that contractual issues with the studios _ such as guarantees on first-week receipts _ sometimes limit his options.

"The movies are so bad and I don't need the money ... I just didn't think I should use my high-quality facilities to show people vomiting on screen," said Boardman, whose theaters boast a high-tech, eight- channel digital sound system.

Boardman grew up near Hoopeston but now runs his theaters from his home near Fresno, Calif. He says shutting down the theaters was based strictly on his personal standards, not censorship or an effort to shelter people in the small town.

Over the years, his theaters have screened controversial films such as "Brokeback Mountain" and plenty of action movies, he said. And during the shutdown, the Lorraine's customer hot line told callers they could catch "Jackass 2" at theaters in nearby Danville.

"There are enough theaters carrying movies like "Jackass" that if people want to see them they can. ... The problem now is that there are too few good movies, movies that transplant you to another place," Boardman said in a telephone interview.

Yvonne Green, who manages the Lorraine, said the shutdown sent a ripple of anxiety through Hoopeston because Boardman has been trying to sell the theaters and many townspeople thought they were closing for good.

Most were understanding when she explained the shutdown was temporary, said Green, who was paid during the two weeks the theaters were closed. She also said she backs Boardman's decision, based on the movies he had to chose from.

"They're just not good. I just don't know how to say it and not say anything nasty," Green said. "They just weren't appropriate for anyone to see."

Paramount Pictures, which produced the "Jackass" sequel, did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.

Boardman said the shutdown wasn't a veiled message to moviemakers and he doubts studios will take notice, despite national media attention that followed the temporary closing.

"I think I'm way too small to make any kind of statement to Hollywood," Boardman said.

His supporters around Hoopeston agree, though some still held onto a glimmer of hope.

"I think it was a good idea to close until he had something worth seeing," said Myra Goodrum, 51, a bus driver for Hoopeston schools. "If they made more good movies, more families would go. But I doubt Hollywood's going to notice us. We're just kind of a hole in the wall."

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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 05:02 #13456

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How bizarre!! Is he saying he could not find anything else to screen for 2 weeks?? Surely even something old that he hadn't already screened would be better than closing...He prob just wanted a holiday and wasn't saying so...what a strange man
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 08:13 #13457

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I applaud him for taking a financial loss for the sake of his principles. So few people have them these days. Not only can people go elsewhere if they want such "drivel", but his is Private Enterprise, not some government facility that must accept all comers. No, maybe Hollywood will not take notice of him, but if more exhibitors took a stand as he did, eventually there might be some change for the good.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 10:08 #13458

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I applaud him also. With his two screens, he probably played everything through the summer. Found the web site for the theater.
http://www.boardmanslorrainetheatre.com
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 11:16 #13459

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For a couple of reasons, I don't have any problems with his decision not to book the films.

On the other hand, simply not booking them and moving on would have been enough. We have 3 screens here, and there are ALWAYS films we can't get into the schedule... even if we wanted them. I imagine most people here book (or pass on) films for their own business reasons. That's a privilege of ownership.

Seems this guy could have just let the film pass without the notoriety... so maybe a little more to it than just his personal standards?
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 13:16 #13460

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I agree with his decision not to play the film. Jackass 2 will never see the light of a screen in my theatre as well... BUT, I also agree with others that there certainly should have been something else to play rather then close.

However, if he had just played a couple of soft shows, no one would have known of his stand on those type of pictures, so I certainly think his actions were done on purpose to garner publicity for the theatre, which indeed he did.

He took a gamble that the publicity would be positive, and only time will tell if if was.

Having gone to his website I noticed something else rather unusual... a $5.00 ticket price for local residents. It didn't say what the price is for non-locals, but I would think that such a policy certainly wound not encourage non locals to support the theatre. What a nightmare it must be to card everyone. Of course the regulars would be known and wouldn't be carded, but suppose a regular of many years moves just over the "line". Is it fair to charge that person who has supported the theatre faithfully for years as a non-local? And if you don't charge that patron as a non-local, it wouldn't be fair to charge other non-locals the higher fee. It looks like a policy that in the long run would do more to hurt the theatre then help it.
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 16:15 #13461

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It does say $6.00 adults, in addition to the $5.00 Local Residents price.

I think he did a dis-service to his community by closing rather than showing something else. Choosing not to show Jackass 2 is his perogative (as is closing). But if I lived there I would be pissed that he chose to close, and also I would be pissed that he chose not to show the #1 movie in the nation. I don't think it is in the best interest of a business to carry products based on their personal politics, etc. If the community wants to see a film, we should show it.

I wouldn't return to his theater after finding out he had the opportunity to book a film I wanted to see, only to choose to close rather than show it. He wants to push his morals over his business, he can close for good as far as I'm concerned. There are a handful of businesses here in town that I refuse to go to after they closed for political reasons regarding the immigration debate. They want to publicly state their political or personal beliefs and remove their service temporarily because of them, fine. But I won't return to them, even if I agree with their stance.
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 19:42 #13462

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I like his willingness to stand up for what he believes. While I personally don't want to wear my politics/morals on my sleeve I do salute his boycott of what is really a raunchy movie(even though I am playing it).
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 30 Sep 2006 23:33 #13463

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Idiot. Why on earth is he booking Invincible in the 500-seater, and Open Season in the 85?
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 01 Oct 2006 00:10 #13464

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I don't think it is in the best interest of a business to carry products based on their personal politics, etc. If the community wants to see a film, we should show it.

[rant]

Most every business I know of sells their products and services based on the market they wish to serve. As such, their personal influence is most definitely part of their business personality.

A classic example for my business (a drive-in) was the choice my wife and I made to discontinue 5 dollar carloads.

If the only factor was community popularity, we'd have always been carload priced, and you indoor folks would probably be a dollar a seat.

Long before the policy became an issue with some studios, we stopped carload pricing. It was our choice, and it was done specifically to discourage a part of the community that viewed our theatre as a cheap, dark, relatively unsupervised place where you could party, get drunk, maybe get high, vandalize anything in sight and generally make the patrons around you miserable. That was not why I got into this business, and it most certainly was not the clientele I wanted to attract or serve, regardless of the numbers involved.

Dropping the carload pricing caused a certain amount of consternation around here... mainly among those we really didn't want in the place. However, over a couple of years or so the word got out that our theatre was a calm, comfortable and customer-friendly place to socialize, watch a show in the outdoors and enjoy some good food. The crowd became exactly the people I wanted to be in this business for. The party crowd found somewhere else to be.

In that same light, given a list of available films, I might pass on films like "Beer Fest", "Jackass", or possibly even titles like "Brokeback Mountain" and a lot of the indie fare out there... not so much as to the morality of the films, but more to market toward the part of the community that I choose to serve.

My choice, my business, my life, my sandbox, my consequences. And whether the film is the number one moneymaker in the country doesn't necessarily make it a "must have" for me... unless it's "Pirates", or "Cars", or the like


BTW... I raised 3 well-adjusted daughters out here. None of them have shown the slightest interest in "Jackass 2", though they're all old enough to watch it somewhere else if they want. I doubt it will leave much of a void in their lives.

[/rant]
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 01 Oct 2006 15:19 #13465

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I personally can not book most horro movies. I simply take a pass when it comes to Hostel and Sw even when they do well. I think we're talking about a cranky individual. He could have chosen to play a lot of stuff. Instead I hear Fox (Faux) News sayiong things like "he has to bid for films" and Hollywood "won't allow him to play other films" and other phony drivel. It's BS. If you don't like it don't play it. I don't extend that to things like Far 911 or Passion, etc. Controversial is fine by me. But lying and saying you closed because the bad man was going to make you play JackAss is jackassinine.


Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 02 Oct 2006 03:59 #13466

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I didn't mean he had to play Jackass. What I meant was that since he chose to play nothing at all and close his doors to his customers, he should expect to lose some of those customers permanently. Just like you expected to lose some customers permanently when you changed your pricing. I feel that passing on a film and making a moral statement about it by not booking something else for the community to watch is a slap in the face.

There were/are at least 50 other movies in current release that he could have played, and kept his doors open to give people some entertainment. I don't need him telling me what is right and wrong, and I wouldn't return to his theater when he decides there is something of high enough moral fiber for me to enjoy.
My choice, my business, my life, my sandbox, my consequences.

I agree, you can show whatever you want and charge whatever you want, and set whatever policies you want. And I have a right to never visit a business again if I disagree with any of the things they are doing, and that was really my point.
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 02 Oct 2006 07:27 #13467

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I think that was poor judgment closing a theater and depriving your community entertainment for two weeks. There were so many other features to choose from. If there was no mainstream an indy would have done fine. It was a good time to experiment with such types of movies.
There was no lose cause you were going to loose anyway by closing for two weeks!
Do you think the studios you were protesting this to really cared, it was your lose not theres.
Jackass 2 went on to be the #1 movie even with your closure!
Nex time do a film festival or liek I said play some indies..always think of your customers and don't leave them in the dark for two weeks.
It is hard enough getting customers in the theatres now a days now your giving them another reason to stear clear!
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 02 Oct 2006 10:40 #13468

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Yes, there are plenty of other movies out there that the owner could have chosen instead. He should not have closed down. Jackass is not something I would even watch, but surely he could have found a different movie to book.
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Re: Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2' 02 Oct 2006 11:55 #13469

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I used to live in Hoopeston. The Loraine is a very nice well cared for theater. I don't remember any different pricing for out of town people, but I do know that if they didn't get enough people they wouldn't have the show. That used to make me mad, to drive in and be told that it wasn't going to be shown. I know that he has threatened to sell off and on for years. It is run absentee owner.
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