Greg Boardman, owner of the independent movie theatre The Lorraine in Northern California, closed down his shop a week or so ago in “protest” over “Jackass 2.” The fellas over on Libertas are, somewhat predictably, giddy for this:
I said my peice on this in a response to their story, a portion of which I’ll repeat here:
I had never, ever heard of Greg Boardman or the Lorraine theatre prior to reading about this earlier today. My immediate, fully-formed response is that this is a marvelous, impressive, commendable, ingeniously-mounted…
…completely shallow, self-serving and gallingly-obvious PUBLICITY STUNT. Mr. Boardman, one huckster to another: Well done, sir, well done.
Oh, come on. Don’t tell me ANY of you are actually BUYING this? Give me a break. I don’t doubt that this fellow’s sincerity in being repulsed by Jackass… but read what he said CLOSELY:
” “There’s just so much lousy material out there — people vomiting on the screen,” said Boardman, 52, who grew up watching movies in the Lorraine and now runs the business from Northern California. “I have one of the finest sound systems in the world, and I don’t want to waste it on such drivel.” ”
That one little bit right there TELLS YOU that Mr. Boardman is both A.) a previously-unknown natural-born genius of self-promotion and B.) completely and utterly full of it.
FIRST, note the very general-sounding description of Jackass in specific but all “bad movies” by association: Broad enough to appeal to both “liberal” parents concerned about violence and “conservative” ones concerned about sex.
SECOND, catch that bit at the end where he’s sure to add in the plug for one of the prime selling points of his independent theatre, “one of the finest sound systems in the world?” Slick.
THRID, and most importantly please observe that Mr. Boardman not only OWNS the theatre, but the actual article explains that he recently aquired and re-opened it as a new business venture. This means that he is not part of a chain, and is running the show, and thus NO ONE was forcing him to show “Jackass 2″ or anything else. He could’ve shown 2nd runs of “Monster House” instead. Or could’ve scooped up “Everyone’s Hero” for a run. He could’ve shown classics. (All of those, btw, would have cost him less to exhibit than Jackass.)
He’s in CALIFORNIA, he could’ve put out an open call for local independents to submit their stuff. Hell, there are roadshow/revival entities by the truckload out there that specialize in delivering certain kinds of programming to places just like the Lorraine. BUT doing that just makes you one of a dozen other indie theatres doing what they can to get by. But THIS… this “protest” against bad-taste in general… THIS makes him and his theatre statewide and now nationwide news. He and his establishment are now mini-celebrities, and probably MAJOR ones where it counts: in his neighborhood of business.
Mr. Boardman is going to re-open his theatre (this weekend to show Open Season, apparently) to BOFFO boxoffice, the place will now be “on the map” for the locals and he’ll undoubtedly get some devoted repeat-customers for his “stance.” And good for him. This is American ingenuity and creative-thinking at it’s best, and for his saavy as a self-promoter Mr. Boardman has my salute and my admiration; ANYONE who can pull a stunt this transparent and have THIS many people buy it is a flat-out master. His kung-fu is strong indeed.