I would like to start off by saying that this is a very biased list. When I moved to Kearney in the mid-2000s I wanted to continue my ‘work in cinema’. I had started my love affair with cinema at the Cinema 3 in McCook, NE and was NOT ready to break it off. When I moved here The World embraced me into it’s band of misfits, allowing me to continue my passion for theater work.
So when I learned that the World was closing, I was obviously pretty heart broken. I was keeping my job, but we were moving to the Hilltop 4. I missed the World for many years, from my last day there until its renovation and re-opening. Since it’s re-opening I have become a volunteer at the World, which allows me to relive, and sadly reminisce on, the dream job that got away. But it also affords me the opportunity to see the moments when I am most proud of the Kearney, NE community: when the World is packed to the gills with excited movie goers. As a rabid cinephile, nothing fills me with more joy.
And I get it, life is tough, people get busy, we can’t always be there. I’m not here to judge, just to help sway the tide. For all the times I see a great movie come through, only to be viewed by a handful of people, here’s something to reconsider when you decide to stay on the couch for the evening.
5. It’s Good For Kearney – People coming to the World Theatre means people coming to downtown Kearney, one of the main arteries of local business. If you’re going to be spending your money, wouldn’t you rather spend it on your own community?
4. It’s Classy – Since it’s renovation The World is through the roof on the classy scale. You won’t get such an elegant experience anywhere else. Plus, you can drink wine while enjoying your show. What could be classier than that? (beer is available for you slightly less classy movie-goers)
3. It’s Cheap – $5 tickets, $1-3 drinks and popcorn… yeah, The World definitely does it right.
2. Booze – There’s booze at the World. I’m not a drinker, but the availability of booze is a pretty big deal for most Americans. In fact, during my heyday working for the World, I recall that quite often people would joke ‘a beer’, when asked what they would like to drink. And if you want a beer with your flick, the World has it, several top national brands and some locally brewed varieties from Thunderheard Brewery, as well as white and red wine. Did I mention the booze?
1. The Movies – Of course, the top reason to go to the movies is the actual movie selection. Last year several of the year’s top critically acclaimed movies (Whiplash, Birdman, etc) didn’t play at the local Mega-cinema, they played at the World. Several (like Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Life Itself) even showed BEFORE awards season! (which is when most big chains get on board with critical fare) They also play classics, cult favorites, documentaries and art house flicks you won’t see from theaters fed by bigger distributors.
The World Theatre is hands down my favorite local theater, (I worked at all but one in my time) But the World only stays this way as long as we support it. And Kearney has been doing a great job, so let’s keep up the good work. So what are you waiting for? Go ‘like’ their Facebook page to keep up to date! Check out their calendar to find something up your alley and stop by the World ASAP!