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Don't let political games destroy Elks Theatre

Posted 7/12/16

I am writing in response to the article in the Press And Journal on June 29 about the fate of the Elks Theatre. 

It’s a shame that the fate of an old, historic entertainment venue that has been the staple of the scene for over 100 years …

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Don't let political games destroy Elks Theatre

Posted

I am writing in response to the article in the Press And Journal on June 29 about the fate of the Elks Theatre. 

It’s a shame that the fate of an old, historic entertainment venue that has been the staple of the scene for over 100 years has to be used in the political games of the borough council. It’s bad enough that the council has destroyed the downtown atmosphere, to cater to outside interests that want to kill this town. No, now they want to use the fate of the Elks to justify their wasteful, arrogant use of money that could be used to elevate Middletown. 

By killing the Elks Theatre, they kill a historic part of a once-proud town. Many of the residents of Middletown grew up in the once-great movie house, along with their own kids. Kill the Elks, and you kill what’s left of any heart and soul Middletown has left. 

Council member Ian Reddinger doesn’t want to continue the Elks. He has stated that movies are a dying business, that people don’t go to movies anymore. That shows you the ignorance and arrogance of the members of the council. He hasn’t gone to a movie in over three years. So in his opinion, the movie industry is all but dead. Goes to show you what a blind man can see. 

He does not speak for the industry; he doesn’t speak for the majority of Middletown’s residents. He certainly does not speak for me. It’s just his opinion, as ignorant as it may be. The movie industry is a thriving business; billions of dollars are made every year. Before Reddinger speaks about something, he should know a little bit about the subject first. 

It was hoped with the removal of Chris McNamara things would turn around and get better. It seems we were wrong. Council should be ashamed. 

While it’s true that the Elks is in need of some repair and renovation, it’s worth the time and money to bring the Elks back to its glory. Do what you will with the rest of Middletown: In the end you will see the error of your ways. But heed the pleas of the citizens of Middletown and keep the Elks Theatre in business. With the right people running it, it can make money and bring in business to Middletown. Replace it with condos, pot shops or beer bars, and you just hasten the death of Middletown. Be careful what you wish for. 

Middletown is a great little town, and it can be better. But by ignoring the will and input of the citizens who live in Middletown, who work here, who play here, who love this town more than council does, you awaken something that you cannot stop. Look what’s happened in England with the Brexit vote.

Power to the people, anger of the people. That same thing can happen in a little town like Middletown. When is enough enough? To those in power, look around you and open your eyes. What happens when a revolution begins, a movement takes hold? Do you want to find out? What happens after you build what you want to build, and no one shows up? 

#OCCUPYMIDDLETOWN?

Andres Garcia III, Middletown