Sunday, January 20, 2008

[Whiteside Theatre] An Interesting Comment From a Regal Tool

I'm a little behind on blogging, so this story isn't exactly new, but I wanted to highlight something.

The background: A local group is trying to put together a bid to buy the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis with the intent to remake into "performance space."

I have no issues with that, though I trust Darkside owner Paul Turner's word that it's going to be a very expensive operation.

I do have issues with this:

The sale would include a restriction against showing any first-run movies to avoid competition with Regal’s four-screen cineplex across town.

“The intent is to not allow the downtown theater to play the same movies that are playing at the Ninth Street theater,” Nunley said.

I call bullshit, but at least Nunley is upfront about it.

I know Regal and Carmike have an agreement that stipulates that they won't both show the same movie in Corvallis, and I think that's bad enough (actually, I think it's pretty frackin' horrible since it has allowed Regal to let their theatre turn into a giant dump). For Regal to want a similar noncompete clause as part of any sale is insulting and undemocratic... and I'm not much of a supporter of the market or private property rights, but this undercuts both. It's monopolistic and infringes on the right of the new owner of the Whiteside to do what they will with the building.

I wonder if this sort of thing has been held up as legal in a court of law?


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