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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1993)
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Reviewers pick best, worst features of Lincoln theaters
By Gerry Beltz and Anne Steyer
This article, for belter or worse, is what we
believe to be the truth.
For all intents and purposes, we are profes
sional moviegoers and, therefore, are probably
the best authorities at this university on the the
subject of what makes a movie theater good. Or
so we think.
In this article, we have taken into account all
theaters in Lincoln, and it should be noted that
only two of those theaters (the Joyo Theater and
the Mary Riepma Ross Theater) are not owned
by the Douglas Theater Co.
There will be those who disagree, or even get
downright upset, with what is said in this ar
Yeah, well... tough.
To quote Mel Gibson in “Lethal Weapon 2,”
“We’re professionals. Wc do this for a living.”
Gerry: I have to go with the Starship 9. With
10 viewings of “Beauty and the Beast” at the
theater, the music got better with every show
Anne: Best sound must belong to one of the
newer two: Edgcwood 3 or The Lincoln 3.1
used to love to sec science fiction at the Cooper;
they had great sound. The Plaza has a bad sound
system — fade in, fade out.
G: Cinema Twin, you people can keep your
seats with the handy-dandy beverage/popcom
holder. I’ll take one of the upper-deck seats
that’s soft and reclines.
A: I can’t argue. I always love to sec a show
at the Cinema. Who doesn’t like to see a movie
silling in a reclincr? Second place goes to the
Stuart for ambiance.
G: This was a toughic because nobody puts
on enough butler, but the edge goes to
Edgcwood. I had to go out for more butter the
fewest times there.
A: I hate the butler. To call it butter is to
insult oleo. Otherwise, Edgcwood or The Lin
coln, definitely not the Plaza, has the best
popcorn. I don’t know if they bum it or if it just
sits there a couple of days, but the worst pop
corn was always at the Cooper. That is probably
why they closed down.
Best place for strict enforcement of
the R rating:
G: I’d love to give an award here, but
there’s not a theater in Lincoln that really
deserves it. Sorry, people, but I’m sick of going
to R-ratcd movies with unattended children in
There will be those who disagree, or even get downright upset,
with what Is said in this article.
A: I never tried to get into an R-rated movie
as a young person.
Best place to kill time before a movie:
G: Hands down, the Starship 9, with a
dozen pinball and video games, takes it. I
missed a movie once because I was kickin * butt
on “Addams Family.”
A: Who makes it there early enough to kill
G: Yes, this matters. Now that more the
aters are getting punch, iced tea and Clearly
Canadian in their snack bars, it has become
very important to the snack bar connoisseur.
. The Lincoln definitely has the best beverages.
They have the best tasting punch in town.
A: Sometimes thepop at the Plaza tastes too
watered down. And if you just want water, you
must pay regular price for a regular cup. Oth
erwise, you are given this itty-bitty cup with
icc. I give it to Edgewood or The Lincoln just
because I like them so much.
Best snack bar:
G: Before I name this one, I’d like every
body to think about that film trailer that bom
bards audience members with weak sublimi
nal messages to make a trip to the snack bar.
In it, there is a momentary montage of
candy items, and, with the exception of the red
licorice in the upper-left comer, none of that
stuff is available at any snack bar owned by the
Douglas Theater Co., much less any other
theater company that I have visited in the last
The best snack bar is at a quiet, little theater
in northeast Lincoln that gamers this award
without a fight.
Yes, the Joyo out in Havelock takes this
No, it isn’t one of those high-tech,
fluorescently lit theaters that downtown Lin
coln claims. But, come on, can anyone out
there find me another theater in this monopo
lized city that has plain chocolate bars, Slush
Puppies and a wide variety of choices in con
cessions at a much more affordable price than
at the typical movie theater?
I didn’t think so.
A: Considering none of the concessions in
the said trailer looks tasty, my purse/backpack
is the best snack bar.
G: Although East Park 3 isgcnerally overrun
by inconsiderate, little prepubcscent monsters,
I have to go with the Plaza, but this may be a
subconscious decision because they dumped
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” years ago.
A: East Park takes it hands down. Ugh.
Best Art House:
G: This one goes to the Ross Theater by
default, but I could really care less. It never has
enough showings and its seating situation sucks.
A: Give me the Dundee in Omaha any day,
but in Lincoln, give me the Ross Theater. Of
course, it is the only art house in town, with
extremely limited showings, loo steep seats and
no concessions. But in my moviegoing life
time, it has shown wonderful films—“Sid and
Nancy,"“Henry V "and “Ho ward's End "among
them — so I will always love it.
G: I really enjoy going to the Stuart (psyche
delic carpel, lots of mirrors and a usually closed
balcony to catch teen-agers frantically groping
each other), but I’ll have to go with the Lincoln.
A: I sit in the balcony and I never sec any
groping. I love the Stuart.
The Starship is the best thing to happen to
Lincoln’s moviegoers in years. It features nine
almost-ncw movies every week, inexpensive
admission and a friendly staff. What more
could we want? And now it is bringing great
classics to Lincoln as well, c.g. “Monty Python
and the Holy Grail.”
Thank you, manager Byron Bonsall and
Douglas Theater Co.
Fine performances shine m Nazi era film
The Swing Kids and some of their friends.
, Courtesy of Hollywood Pictures
1 ' .
Nazis by day, dancers by night — an odd
premise for a film to be sure.
“Swing Kids”(Starship9,14th and Q streets)
is a story about freedom, friendship and the
struggle for individuality in a world overwrought
Robert Sean Leonard (“Dead Poet’s Soci
ety "“Married to It”) is Peter Muller, a 17-year
old boy in 1939 Germany. He’s passionate
about the freedom of dance during a period
when freedoms are limited and rigorously con
Peter is one of the many German youth
known as the “Swing Kids." Thai’s a noncon
formist youth movement that embraces the
freedom of American swing music, dancing to
express themselves and their youthful enthusi
asm for living.
When the Nazi leaders crack down on recre
ation, the Swing Kids are the first to suffer.
Peter and his best friend Thomas (Christian
Bale of “Newsies”) arc caught stealing during
a prank and are forced to join the Hitler Youth.
Thinking they can play along with the Nazis
by day and dance secretly by night, both Peter
and Thomas experience shocking revelations
While Peter continues to rebel in his own
way, Thomas succumbs to the Nazi propaganda
and the harsh reality of war-tom Germany cats
away at their friendship.
Although the story sounds strange, the Swing .
Kids actually did exist. And the movie makes
some thoughtful points about friendship and
individuality that arc not limited to Nazi Ger
The principle leads, Leonard and Bale, arc
fine actors who work well together. They arc
surrounded by a fine ensemble of supporting
actors including Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey
and the incomparable Kenneth Branagh.
In addition to the acting, the music is fantas
tic —Count Basie and Benny Goodman tunes,
among others — and the dancing is excellent.
The movie drags a liny bit, but this is offset by
“Swing Kids” is playing Lincoln’s second
run movie house, the Starship 9, but is not a
second-rate picture: For $1.50, it’s worth the
price of admission.
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