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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Movie injustice

August 11, 2001

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To the editor:

Saturday's "inquiring reporter" responses do not really adequately address the situation in Lawrence created by a monolithic, out-of-state cinema ownership group whose practices have resulted in discrimination against people in the older parts of Lawrence or less wealthy citizens.

There was a time when theatrical competition existed in Lawrence, and we could wait a few weeks after the release of new films and take our children to the "dollar house" at Cinema Twin. When it was torn down, the present owners of Hollywood Southwind turned the Hillcrest screens into "dollar houses" but closed them after a few months and sold that facility to a health club. After they purchased the former Fox cinemas on Iowa Street, they operated it largely for longer-run films at a "slightly" lower price than Southwind. Now, it is to go this very week.

Liberty Hall is a treasure, but it shows art films, rarely the kind of movies one takes a grandchild to; and it is the only local cinema not in the monopolistic hands of the Hollywood Southwind people. Thus, anyone wanting a child or grandchild to see a family-oriented film can drive to Southwind on very south Iowa, to that tacky and overpriced horror of game-machines in the lobby and overly loud sound system. Or he or she can wait six months for the video, and stop going to the movies. That this situation has been allowed to happen, whether because of the laws or because of municipal indifference, is a sickening injustice.

Nan C. Scott,

Lawrence

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