Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

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Wausau Has No Movie Theatres

by on May 18th, 2009

Far be it from me to point at Merrill and say that they have one up on Wausau, but in one simple way they do.  They have a cinema.  They have a place that shows current releases of movies.  We do not.

Yesterday I went and say the movie Fast and Furious at the Crossroads Cinema.  To be honest, the movie was absolutely terrible, but I missed the showing of Earth, which I assume would have been better.  I did not go because I wanted to see Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, but rather because it was the final day of the Crossroads movie theatre here in Wausau.

I am a movie guy.  I like movies.  I like going to movies.  I like watching movie previews.  I like the behind-the-scenes stuff that movies enable you to experience.  Like Pat McCurdy said, I like movie stars.  The loss of a movie theatre in Wausau is very troubling.

I saw Star Wars at the Grand Theatre.  I saw Quicksilver at the Rogers Theatre with my girlfriend Angie Laska, and Will Fleischman and Tara St Claire.  My BFF Jill and I used to sneak flasks into the Crossroads and booze it up during lame movies.

Wausau recently lost its own screenwriter and Emmy nominated film maker Erik Cieslewicz to the East Coast after he shot his own movie right here in Wausau.  We also lost the Central Wisconsin Film Festival, and I am unsure as to where James Rubino is right now; I assume he is training to be an astronaut or a Navy Seal or something amazing.

What does it say about our community that we cannot support a movie theatre, even a small one?  Is it a reflection on movies in general?  My good friend Andy likes to watch movies at home — is that the trend?  Media on our terms?

Also, what does it mean that we have what can only be called a homogenized selection of titles available now through the Cedar Creek Cinema?  We lose the voices coming into the community through cinema.  We see only mass produced, mass marketed, corporately acceptable movies.  I am all for a good blockbuster from time to time, but I also think that the corporate power structure limits the voices to such an extent that we lose the interesting rogue story teller.

I am a movie guy.  I spend a little money on renting movies each week, and they know me at my video store.  I used to buy DVDs, but that got expensive.  There were lots of problems with the Crossroads, but I think we lose more than we know by losing it.  I think that we are losing so much, and sometimes we even choose to self restrict, and I think new voices in media should be celebrated and brought to our small town.

Will you miss the Crossroads?

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