Imagine my confusion on Sunday morning when, perusing the Duluth News Tribune, I turn a page and there is an ad I’ve seen over and over recently in the New York Times. I subscribe to both and briefly wondered which paper I was reading.
The ad – and I’m talking paid advertising here – was for the current – and excellent – movie “Up In the Air” starring George Clooney. The only difference in the Duluth version was bold-lettered mention at the bottom that the popular film is showing only at the new Zinema theater in downtown Duluth. It’s across the street from the old NorShor theater which is now called a “Gentleman’s Club” featuring as its main attraction not-so-gentle women (live, on stage).
Anyway, it’s been a long time since the Duluth paper has had the good fortune of somebody buying a full-page ad to promote a movie. The New York Times, on the other hand, publishes several such ads most every day.
Movie advertising in the Duluth daily newspaper has been nil in recent years, with the dominant Marcus theater chain only listing the titles and times of its features in as small a box as they can get away with.
Zinema 2, on the other hand, is locally owned by the interests connected with of the Zeppa Family Foundation. How they managed to secure a first-run, popular movie -- likely to be prominently mentioned at Academy Award time -- is a mystery to me, but certainly a feather in the cap of whoever pulled it off.
Let’s hope there’s more of this kind of competition here. Many movies that show elsewhere – especially in larger cities – never make it to Duluth. Often they are highly praised by critics but do not contain the requisite car chases or vampires that attract large Clearasil-set audiences.
I have seen “Up In the Air” at Zinema, sitting with a full house. It’s an entertaining and thoughtful movie that should appeal to any adult. And.. the Zinema is a first class small theatre recommended to any movie-goer.