Showgirls Showmanship

September 30, 1995

Hip, Hip, Hooray; Hip, Hip, Hooray; Hip, Hip, Hooray; three cheers for Dickinson and Crown Cinema’s. Both chains have just pulled the NC-17 rated “Showgirls” from theaters across the midwest. The cheers however, are quite cynical. In the Sept. 29th issue of “The Eagle”, Richard Durwood, owner of Crown Cinemas is quoted “we didn’t feel it was right for the community.” Wood Dickinson “we have a reputation of family entertainment and I do not want to bruise that image.” Yeh right guys. Currently showing at your “family” theaters is some really great family fare. The same edition of the Eagle, (in the GO!) section relays the following information on different movies currently showing at these wholesome theaters: Graphic violence, drug abuse, rough swear words; Swear words, violence; Vulgarities and adult themes; “upbeat comedy about two teens who embark on a lesbian affair”; yeah boy, that sounds like a real family adventure. Come on honey lets take Sally and Sarah to that new movie about teen age lesbians. Director Paul Verhoeven attempted to cinematically illustrate a degrading, pathetic life. For some, that means the result is a degrading, pathetic movie. That’s fine, that’s their opinion. But in America, adults are supposed to have choices, as long as those choices don’t harm others. The fact is, sex and nudity in movies has always brought harsher censorship than violence and other controversial themes. And censorship is exactly what happened with the pulling of Showgirls. I could understand it better if the chain owners at least would have seen the movie, said we don’t like it, and we’re pulling it. But no, they get free press coverage by announcing that it didn’t fit into their “family” or “community” image. While at the same time there is crap showing at their other theaters that teenagers can go see. (Remember “Showgirls” was rated NC-17, No-one under 17 admitted, period. Adults only.) I don’t know who’s worse, the owners for their hypocrisy, or the Eagle for allowing the paper to be used for such a hoax.
According to the owners they were protecting the masses by pulling the movie. Yet ironically, the masses didn’t seem to notice. The most damning in the article was that some Cinemas East employees said “several” people had called to complain. “Several” is far from definitive. There was no picketing, and even Durwood himself admitted he had been flooded by all of two calls, concerning the movie. I wonder if that’s all it would take to get some other, much more damaging to kids, movies pulled. I doubt it. By pulling the movie, they get free publicity, and can portray themselves as defenders of family entertainment without challenge.
I suggest these two men change careers and run for Congress. After all, where else in this country is hypocrisy so openly embraced?

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