Yesterday, I found out some horrible news: My favorite movie theater in Minnesota is closing for good. The Edina Cinema had one of the best, if not the best, selection of movies in Minnesota. The theater originally opened in 1938 but was completely remodeled in 1988. It was owned by the Cineplex Odeon chain and offered first-run movies. Even then, the theater still felt really a part of the community and was more known for focusing on drama and dramatic action movies than the known studio fare, as I remember seeing films there like "K-19: The Widowmaker," "The Boxer" and "Saving Private Ryan."
However, Cineplex Odeon (then known as Loews Cineplex) wanted out of the Minneapolis market and faced competition from a newly built theater in the nearby Southdale mall and sold the theater to the art-house Landmark theater chain in 2003. It soon showed movies that could not be seen anywhere else or before anyone else could. However, it did not usually show the risqué avant-garde films that its sister theater in the Lagoon in Uptown Minneapolis would show. Instead, it focused more on dramas, including international ones. The theater still would show films that dealt with controversial subjects. That said, I think the goal of movies is to make one feel and think as well as be entertained, and that is what the Edina theater set out to do.
Additionally, I lost count of how many times I saw a film there and the patrons literally clapped at the end of it. I remember even attending special events at which the filmmakers would talk about their movies. The theater also was one of the few in later years that would show movies released on Netflix for those who preferred the theater experience or who refused to fork out for a subscription for just one movie.
I knew the staff so well that they would work to make it right when something I thought was wrong.
But, alas, COVID-19 has changed the movie landscape, Theaters are now betting that it will be the studio fare that will bring the filmgoer back, not arthouse films that could likely be seen on streaming services. Even the Riverview Theater in south Minneapolis (which was also known for its low-budget arthouse fare) is reopening as a typical first-run theater.
The closure of the Edina Cinema also will mean that the 50th and France shopping intersection will lose a major part of its character. Hopefully the theater might open again. If so, may the next stage be as wonderful as the last one.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul
Stabber, Hagedorn could learn better lessons here at home
The May 23 Star Tribune reported that U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn were headed to Texas to "see the southern border crisis firsthand," with the goal of bolstering the case to spending our tax dollars to make it tougher for immigrants to cross into the United States. Using dog-whistle terms such as "unvetted," "unscreened" and "illegal aliens," they perpetuate the myth that these people, fleeing desperate circumstances in their home countries, pose a danger to this country. In short, just keep them out.
I wonder if the representatives have had a chance to hear what business leaders in our state are saying about immigrants? If they had taken just a few minutes to peruse the report issued in March by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, they would have learned: We need them!
The executive summary of that report also said:
Immigrants contribute to our economy.
Immigrants link Minnesota to the world economy and make valuable and meaningful contributions to our state — as consumers and taxpayers.
Many of Minnesota's most important industries have a strong immigrant presence. Without immigrants, key industries such as agriculture, health care and food manufacturing could not be as successful in the state.
Over time, immigrants are upwardly mobile on multiple fronts, including improved poverty, unemployment and homeownership rates.
Instead of trying to make it harder for immigrants to enter this country, we should be making it easier. Yes, we should take reasonable precautions against those who could pose a security risk. But given our need for what immigrants have to offer us, it would seem that if more money needs to be spent — I don't hear anyone in Washington arguing otherwise — wouldn't there be a bigger payback for building our capacity to accommodate more people seeking a new life in this country? To say nothing of the morality of creating a more compassionate immigration system?
For now, let's stick with what makes the most economic sense. This is doable. Let's drop the dog whistles and the xenophobia and do the smart thing.
Gregory P. Olson, Eden Prairie
Point: Sack is wrong. Counterpoint: Men are unaccountable.
I was appalled at Steve Sack's caricature in the May 28 issue of the Star Tribune. Is he really pushing for abortion? Perhaps he could have used the same header — "IF THEY HAVE THEIR WAY" — with a drawing of a young, happy, vibrant and joyful child on the Republican side and the unfortunate drawing of a fetus in a jar of formaldehyde on the Democratic side. I don't understand how Sack's extreme liberalism furthers the paper's mission.
Jeff LaPoint, Eagan
There is a big elephant in the room that we, as a society, have ignored for 50 years. It is this: Women don't create these unwanted pregnancies. Men do. Men seed these pregnancies. If we as a society intend to limit women's reproductive choices by limiting/denying access to abortion, shouldn't we also limit men's reproductive choices about where and how they drop their sperm? We haven't so far!
Why do we give men a free sexual pass? Is it because our legislators are and have been overwhelmingly male and have no appetite for curbing the male sexual appetite in any way but would rather have women bear the burden of our cultural morality?
Instead of denying access to legal abortions done in sanitary conditions by trained medical people, let's get rid of the need for it! Let's start by finally holding men accountable for where they drop their sperm! So, men, what legislation would it take for you to behave responsibly around women? What legislation would it take for you to care about not creating a child you don't want? Don't point fingers at women and don't cast blame. Step up and act like the big boys you all pretend to be when you answer.
By the way, you anti-abortion and religious right types have been especially disappointing in addressing this issue over the past 50 years, but then you have plenty of men at your helms, don't you?
Deborah J. Pallansch, Minneapolis
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