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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Hoopeston, IL: Theater closes rather than show Jackass #2

Author Topic: Hoopeston, IL: Theater closes rather than show Jackass #2
Kyle Muldrow

Posts: 143
From: Laguna Hills, CA
Registered: Jul 2003

 - posted September 29, 2006 07:28 PM      Profile for Kyle Muldrow   Author's Homepage   Email Kyle Muldrow         Edit/Delete Post 
No Jackass for this town

Cinema Owner Closes Over `Jackass 2'
Sep 29 6:19 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


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."


On the Net:

Lorraine Theatre:

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Dave Felthous

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted October 02, 2006 06:19 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Kyle, for posting the Hoopeston story. It's also been on the internet, tv and print news, as you no doubt know.

I wrote the owner (address is on the Cinemas part of Cinematour) and said "bravo!"

I worked for a money-grubbing chain, and I was embarrassed to sell tickets to some of the really awful movies we showed.

I'm pleased to now work at an indy, single-screen neighborhood cinema where we refuse to book crap. We have a loyal customer base and I frequently hear compliments about how glad they are to have easy access to quality films in a good theater not too far from home.

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Mark Richey

Posts: 90
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted October 04, 2006 03:32 PM      Profile for Mark Richey   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Richey         Edit/Delete Post 
It's an interesting story, but I don't really understand why it got any media play outside of theater-geek sites like this one.

There were a couple of things I found amusing. The first was the quote from the town local who was upset that the theater was shut down because the kids wouldn't have anything to do. Does that mean he would have been fine with the town's youngsters filing in to see Jackass? The other funny thing was the decision to put the month-old, out-of-the-top-10 movie in the huge theater, and put the brand-new, #1-film-in-America title in the theater 1/5th the size.

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Dave Felthous

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted October 04, 2006 07:30 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
Au contrare, Mark. I've worked in movie exhibition for a long time, but I was never able to say "enough, already" to the crap we were forced to show. Greg Boardman is a hero to me. Especially since his theaters are in a small town; too many rural communities have no movies at all.

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John Robert

Posts: 135
From: Addison, TX
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted October 29, 2006 11:32 PM      Profile for John Robert   Email John Robert         Edit/Delete Post 
During my 3 1/2 years at a chain 3-plex back in the 80s, there was 1 week that all 3 movies sent to us were R-rated. OMG, did we hear about that from church members!! They thought we could just pick and choose what movies we wanted to get. Unfortunately, we weren't really in a position to 'veto' any movies we got. 'There's nothing for the kids to watch!' Ugh, what a week.

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted October 31, 2006 05:42 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
If you were a 3-plex, why couldn't you choose what films you wanted? There are far more than 3 films in general release at any time.

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Richard A Stegman Jr

Posts: 267
From: Calimesa,CA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted October 31, 2006 09:04 AM      Profile for Richard A Stegman Jr   Email Richard A Stegman Jr         Edit/Delete Post 
It was obviously a business decision from the higher ups in the chains' ownership.

I've never seen or heard of any theatre changing their movies right in the middle of their runs.

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