Saturday, October 20, 2007


i'm not sure if the entire regal cinemas corporation is racist, but the management at the Lloyd location surely is, and i'm SO tired of it.

once upon a time, probably about 17 years ago, the regal cinemas chain was called Act III. whenever the lloyd center/multnomah location showed black movies that addressed real issues, such as boyz in the hood or juice, there was always some sort of ruckus, or commotion of young black people acting out. it always seemed to be out of control high school and middle school kids with no supervision past curfew acting wild and crazy.

not cool. i get it. it really gave black people a bad name.

so, it turned out, that EVERY time a 'black' movie, or any movie with any type of remotely controversial black actor in it came out( or even NOT controversial, like Denzel Washington), that particular cinema would NEVER show it. instead, they started to banish all the 'black' movies over to the mall theatre, across the street(for those of you who don't live in portland, there's the Lloyd Cinemas that i'm referring to, and the Lloyd mall cinemas). now, that probably doesn't sound that bad. the movie is still being shown somewhere, right?

i guess they figure that the lloyd mall is more conducive to outbursts and fights. it's a small theatre, inside a secluded section of the mall, and although both these theatres are in close proximity, the customers who frequent the mall theatre and the customers who frequent the lloyd cinemas are totally different.

the lloyd center area is a mixed bag in terms of classes of people. there are the wealthy yuppies from the sullivan's gulch area and irvington, and then the lower middle class black people who haven't yet been displaced by gentrification .

the thing is, after all these years, would it hurt to start playing black films at the lloyd theatre outside of the mall? are they still so concerned about catering to the wealthy white audiences that they don't even want to take the chance on black movies? when Act III was bought out by Regal, i was sure this would change. but evidently managment is the same and nothing has changed.

the husband and i were thinking about going to see "why did i get married" (and we like to go to the movies on this side of town), and OF COURSE, it was only playing inside the mall. i don't want to into the mall to go see a movie. not when it's "date night" and i've gotten a babysitter, etc. there's nothing but hood-rats and tweens with no supervision hanging out there. but, of course, if i want to stay on this side of town and see a black movie, i have to go to the mall. sure, we can go somewhere else, and we do, but it's just the principle.

i know that only portlanders can appreciate what i'm talking about, and if you think i'm exaggerating, i'm not. just watch the movies that the lloyd mall plays versus the the lloyd cinema. you'll see that i'm right. i wish that i had a way to show all the black movies over the years that lloyd theatre has NOT played but the mall has. but i don't have a way to do that. and it has been this way ever since the early 1990s. if you want to try and prove me wrong, go ahead. watch which movies lloyd theatre doesn't play. you'll never see a black movie at the outside theatre.

i totally understand them not wanting thugs and hoodrats causing a ruckus, but come on. it's been years. when are they going to realize that there are decent acting black people who are not going to go to a theatre a cause a scene? when are black people going to have another chance?

i'm starting to think that it's not about the thugs and hoodrats at all, but that maybe"they" just don't want a bunch of black people at that theatre, period. that's what it sure feels like.


another anon said...

Write to them. Get your co-workers to write, get the mums at school, your friends to write. Heck ask your mum, dad, sisters, brothers and cousins to write.
Go see the management with hubby. Have a polite conversation with whoever represents their public face and ask questions, tell them how you feel about it, what you want. Then see how it goes. Do something if you are not happy; you have a right to voice your opinion. Try not to think about whether it will work or not or you will feel helpless and defeated before you even begin.
Is there some type of "cinemas board" or regulating body that controls and monitors cinemas in your city? If one exists - write to them too. Is there a newspaper you can write to/email? Do so even if it is only to the "letters" section. There is something positive about taking action, something empowering....don't you think? Go for it..and tell us how it pans out. Good luck!

Lee said...

That's how it is in my town. There are three theaters. Two play old movies at a discount and the other plays new movies. If you want to see a black movie, well, you're out of luck and have to drive out at least an hour to another town. said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

I deleted my last comment because my typing was so awful:-) I meant to write that perhaps TBG should try organizing a boycott against the theatre:-)

Natalie said...

Wow that is crazy you should certainly complain. They may not realize that anyone notices. If they acknowledge your letter you will have some excellent evidence of discrimination or a really funny letter. Either way it is worth your trouble. Then maybe take it to the next step and write a letter to the editor of the paper. That would be a true eye opener.

: JustaDog said...

It really is sickening when people try and call something "racist" just for the purpose of trying to manipulate an outcome. That in itself is racist!

How about this: Get together a group of black businessmen and open up a theater that will play only the type of movies that meet your approval as being "non-racist".

You will never ever get that to happen. You know why? Even an all black managed theater will be focused on the bottom line, and some films just don't generate the money other films do.

Get real and stop abusing the "racist" card - it's so '60's.

another anon said...

TBG did not say the cinema should only show black movies or those which meet her approval, simply that there should be a reasonable balance of features shown. There is a movie currently doing well at the box office called "why did I get married", it is clear it is making money and people are trooping out to see it. If this index cinema is not showing it - they ARE racist. Full stop.
There is noone more blind and therefore ignorant than he who accuses minority groups of "playing the race card" the minute they dare to complain about the status quo. The days of white supremacy are numbered justadog, get over it.

: JustaDog said...

simply that there should be a reasonable balance of features shown -- Why? It is up to the cinema owner what they show since it is his/her business.

The days of white supremacy are numbered justadog, get over it. -- What a stupid racist statement, left by a coward "anon" poster.

I have done more to promote equality than any liberal in existence. At the top of my list are school vouchers so the parents of minorities can send their children to private schools just like the liberals with money do. But NO - every liberal out there will favor the unionized schools over giving equal access to everyone.

So shove your lies where the sun never rises.

jasmine / jazz said...

Yeah, what Anon said. Write to whoever because what they're doing is wrong and you've got the evidence to prove it. Now all you have to do is act on it.

another anon said...

Justadog...this is my FINAL response to you. I am not a coward (how predictable, one decides they DO NOT want to set up an internet account or blog and that itself indicates cowardice? Afterall Justadog, who are you really? What's your real name, where do YOU live? Why not post a full picture of yourself? Aren't you then a coward for failing to disclose this information? Gimme a break please.) Nor am I impressed by your use of school vouchers (how magnanimous and progressive of you) to give minority kid's a chance at better schools. Gosh! between the voucher collecting and your boring blog you must lead such busy, meaningful existence. Why you hero you!
Back on point - I STILL think you are blind and ignorant but now also add (after reading your rage-filled rant)- angry, bitter with the makings of a bully.
Please feel free to continue to spout abuse at an unknown person in cyberspace. I rarely get angry when people imagine they are being clever or insulting, merely amused at just how seriously some will take a simple debate. That's it from me.
But trust me on one thing - no matter what you say next, whatever vile abuse your liberal, minority supporting mind will come up with - I will continue to remain AMUSED.

Fahnbulleh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cwayne said...

TBG, anon says it best. These days, sometimes a little negative publicity can work wonders (then again, sometimes not but its worth a try). Put that letter in the newspaper. Challenge them publically to act different. This is of course most effective if you can make a case that they may be losing revenue by their current actions. Or better yet, losing profits.

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