Monday, March 7, 2016

3.7.16 Bee-otches of the Day: Michael Moore haters

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Names: various
Ages: various
Occupations: various
Last Seen: around the Traverse City area
Bee-otched For: dissing Michael Moore and getting shat on in the process
Until ten years ago or so, Traverse City was a one-horse town when it came to going to the movies.

TC had two multiplexes: one was at Grand Traverse Mall and had nine screens and the other was at the dead Horizon Outlet Mall and had 10 screens. Both cinemas were erected shortly before the stadium seating boom of the mid-90s; the Horizon, as a matter of fact was cramped and uncomfortable.

Both cinemas were owned by the George Kerasotes Cinema chain - GKC - whose history in the Cherry Capital could be traced back to the 1920s when one of its ancestors, Butterfield bought out the old Lyric Theatre downtown. Butterfield sold out to GKC in 1983 and GKC was sold to Carmike in 2005.

Meanwhile that same year, local resident and filmmaker Michael Moore started the non-profit Traverse City Film Festival. Eventually, TCFF bought out an old Butterfield/GKC property. the State Theatre and started showing movies year 'round at the newly-refurbished movie house built in 1949 on the same site as the two old Lyric Theatres, which were both gutted by fires in 1923 and 1948. TCFF also bought the old Con Foster Museum and converted it into the Bijou by the Bay.

Recently, Carmike shuttered both the Mall and Horizon Cinemas and opened the new Cherry Blossom 14, which also contains an IMAX screen. Since its opening, many in TC - even Moore himself - have marveled that an actual modern cineplex would ever come to town. but it's also worth noting that some use the Cherry Blossom as an excuse to spit on Moore and the people who volunteer their time at the State and Bijou by trashing Moore and his liberal views.

But in the end, it's Moore who will be getting the last laugh.

Last week, it was announced that Carmike - which is based in Georgia and owns houses in other towns in Michigan such as Alpena, Big Rapids, Ludington, Jackson and a few others - will be sold to AMC Theatres for $1.1 billion. The deal will give AMC Carmike's nearly 3,000 screens - mostly in smaller towns like Traverse City (pop. 15.000) - bringing that chain's overall total to 8,380 screens. Since AMC mostly serves bigger cities while Carmike serves smaller towns, there will be little overlap in regard to competition, making it easier to be approved by the government to merge.

However, despite AMC standing for "American Multi Cinema" and being based in Missouri and is publicly owned, what gives Michael Moore the edge in Traverse City is the fact that AMC is controlled by a company called Wanda Group.

Wanda is based in (drumroll, please) Beijing, China. Its owner, Wang Jianlin is one of the world's weathiest men, valued at around $30 billion USD. And yes, he's a member of the Communist Party.

So yes, all those Moore haters who love the Cherry Blossom because they're not support a big fat guy who is against evil American companies will now be supporting a rich Commie from China instead. True, the theatres in nearby Elk Rapids and Suttons Bay are still American-owned by people who care a lot about their communities, but so does Moore, even if his little chain is a 501(c)3.

OK, I'll admit that I like AMC's newly-refurbished cinema here in Grand Rapids (formerly the Star). The new leather recliners rock and it gives their auditoriums a nice, intimate feel. Plus, even with the renovations, they're still cheaper than Celebration! Cinema. True, we should all support local, but since the Loeks family kiss the asses of the local elite - especially the fat moron known as "Huge" Bill Simonson - sometimes, it's kinda tough to know who the lesser of the evils is.

But in TC's case, it's sad that the right is all about supporting America, but Michael Moore IS America. I think if people understood his politics, this country would be 1000% better. However, there's a lotta stupid people out there and they should not be allowed to procreate.

No wonder why we'll probably be speaking Chinese in 30 years. 


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