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September 08, 1983 - Image 75

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-08

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Page'22-E -The Michigan Qiy;- ThursdaySeptember 8, 1983


V w




The Michigan Daily - Thursday, Septe

By Mike Wilkinson

throughout the rural midwest, to
the fast life of southern California,
video games may now be the most
common form of entertainment around.
And Ann Arbor is no exception.
If you have worries that the best
quarter-gobbling machines in town will.
be your washer and dryer, cast them
aside. Ann Arbor is the home of eight
(could be nine by the time this is prin-
ted) video arcades within walking
distance of campus.
Ann Arbor's arcades offer a wide
range of token rates, atmosphere,
game selection, and other quirks that
set them all apart.
Wherever you are from, there is
probably an arcade in town that is just
like the one in your neighborhood, and
seven that are completely different.
Atmosphere is the first thing that
immediatly separates the arcades.
Walking in to the carpeted spaciousness
of Simulation Station, is sharply dif-
ferent than climbing the neon-lit stair-
way to Mickey Rat's. These arcades
represent the two extremes on campus.
Simulation Station is a wholesome,
bring-the-parents type of place with
nice attendents and nice furnishings,
while Mickey Rat's is a small and
cramped, yet popular, college and high
school dive.'
The number of token per doller is
another area that separates local ar-
cades. Like the weather, token specials

Video Arcades: Plenty of places to pop your quarters.

are changing all the time. It's a little
game between arcades called token
wars. And this war has doubled the
average number of tokens per doller in
only a year.
When Mickey Rat's raises its token
rate to ten per doller, its neighbor,
Focus, ups its rate to eleven, and just
around the corner, Flipper Mcgee's of-
fers more token specials. "Playing
video games in Ann Arbor is about as
cheap as breathing air," commented
one arcade manager.
Although a lot of the newer games
take two tokens per dollar, he is close
the mark.

711 N. University
(near State St.)
Ann Arbor

1 '

Below are short reviews of the dif-
ferent arcades in town-what's good,
what's not, token rate (if known) and
other intangibles if there are any.
Simulation Station (500 E. Liber-
ty)-Located next to the Second Chan-
ce, Simulation Station has a comfor-
table, spacious interior. It's an arcade
you can take a date to. Token specials
are limited, usually only four for a
buck, although more if you buy in
bigger quantities. New games and old
Great Escape (1216 S. Univer-
sity)-Great Escape has a triple deck
floor plan with a diverse collection of
machines. Tokens are the standard six
per doller. Clean.
Flipper McGee (1217 S. Univer-
sity)-A token's throw from Great
Escape, Flipper's is the largest arcade
on Campus, but still has a good number
of machines. It's token specials can get
you up to 11 plays per doller on certain
days of the week.
Focus Pinball (621 E.
William)-Located close to campus,
Focus is a good place for a fast game
between classes. Many games, both
new and old and good token
(Continued from Page 21)
nual theme show will feature "Heat and
Light" during December and January.
A gallery which attests to the area's
Blixt Gallery (229 Nickels Arcade; 662-
Hailed as Ann Arbor's premier photo
gallery, Blixt opened 5 years ago and
has since built up the respect of local
and national photography buffs.
Gallery director Jill Blixt and her
husband-co-owner, Al, feature shows by
national as well as regional
photographers; recent months have
also seen a growing number of painters
and other media artists.
Previous shows have highlighted the
work of such prominent photogs as Ed-
ward Weston, Picasso contemporary
Andre Kertesz, and Imogen Cun-
ningham, whom Al Blixt calls "the first
really important woman photographer
in the 20th century." Upcoming events
for 1983 include a poetry-photography

rates - usually between six and ten
plays per doller-although new games
are two tokens. It's usually crowded.
Mickey Rat's Video Circus (603 E.
William) - Mickey Rat's
has the best token rates in town,
anywhere from eight to twelve tokens
per dollar. The newest games require
two tokens. It has a cramped, machine-
in-every-space atmosphere..
Campus Arcade (600 Packard)-In
the southern shadow of South Quad.
Campus Arcade is in a small building
with comfortable atmosphere-token
rate is a steady six for a dollar. By the
fall, they should have more new games.
Double Focus (632 Packard)-Across
the street from Campus Corners it is
owned by same people as Focus, token
rate is eight for a dollar, games are one
token per play. It's clean and well kept
Rabbit Hutch Video Arcade (707
Packard)-If you blink on your way by,
you might miss it. There are not many
machines and most of them are old. It
does, however, have a deli counter for
the hungry. There is an M-TV outlet
playing all the time.W

By Jim Boyd
F OR MANY students at the Univer-
sity, Ann Arbor is the first city
they have lived in that offers easy ac-
cess to a wide range of cultural events.
Primarily because of the University,
the city hosts a well rounded selection
of ballet, theater, classical music, pain-
ting, and sculpture.
Ironically, however, it is jazz, an art
form virtually ignored academically on
campus, that has one of the strongest
local followings.
Despite the music school's heavy
emphasis on classical music and a lack
of jazz courses elsewhere at the
University, Ann Arbor has a large and
remarkably discerning population of
Jazz fans. Eclipse Jazz, a student run
jazz promotion group, deserves much
of the credit.
Thanks to Eclipse, jazz giants like
Miles Davis, Ornett Coleman, Dave
Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and rising
star Wynton Marsalis have all played
on Ann Arbor's stages.
The presence of such great musicians
cannot be brushed aside as a charac-
teristic of large college campuses.
Population in itself does-not attract the
arts, not even a musically educated
audience can do it alone. It is Eclipse's
ability to exploit Ann Arbor's student
population, and create a highly literate
jazz following that brought those big
shows, as well as dozens of smaller
ones, to town.
Eclipse was formed in 1975 with two
primary goals: to establish public sup-
port for the jazz idiom as an art form,
and to provide an environment where
students could get hands-on experience
in the music business. Student director
Larry Bram asserts that they have suc-
ceeded in both. "We have gained a
truly international reputation as a fir-
st-rate jazz promoter," says Bram.
Eclipse operates out of the Univer-
sity's major events office, but is run en-
tirely by a staff of 25 to 45 student volun-
teers. Financially independent of the
University, the group raises all of its
$120,000 budget by itself.
The most striking thing about Eclipse

is its total committment to Jazz in the
"educational sense," as Brain ex-
presses it. To paraphrase former
Eclipse director Micheal Grofsorean,
"Duke Ellington is the Beethoven of the
twentieth century. He deserves that
respect." This type of vision and
respect make Eclipse so successful.
"This music is copied all over the
world," says Bram, with a touch of
frustration over the lack of respect jazz
gets in this country. "These musicians
make most of their money in Europe.
The rest of the world would kill to hear
this music."
Eclipse succeeds in attracting big-
name acts because it tries to show
musicians that in America, Ann Arbor
at least would kill to hear them, Bram
says. While in town, the artist is wined,
dined, given first class lodging, and
shown that Ann Arbor appreciates their
When Wynton Marsalis played town
last winter he was ushered through
record signings, interviews, and a
highly successful teaching workshop.
"We kept him busy, but that's what
musicians love-to know that the
audience appreciation is out there"
says Bram.
Once the artist hits the stage, the Ann
Arbor audiences consistantly reinforce
Eclipse's pampering. Often jazz acts
can get many more seats filled here
than they can in New York City, and ar-
tists know they can count on a
knowledgeable and enthusiastic
audience. They often come off stages
here saying they have never done a
concert like that before, that they have
never had to play that well, says Bram.
With shows like Wyton Marsalis,
Weather Report, and Dave Brubeck
last year, Ann Arbor may be the only
city of its size that can boast of such
variety and quality of jazz performan-
ce. Year round it may exceed even that
offered by Detroit.
In addition to the large concerts at
the 5000 seat Hill Auditorium or the 1400
seat Power Center, Eclipse also utilizes
the intimate atmosphere of the Union's
University Club for their smaller
shows. The U-Club is "probably the
nicest venue to see live music in town,"
says Bram. Its superior acoustics and
small size result in a very live perfor-
Pulling in prominant artist is not
Eclipse's only function, however. The
group also sponsors jazz improvisation
workshops, classes in composition,
amateur jam sessions, and sound
engineering classes among other
things. This term a jazz history lecture

Wynton Marsalis: A highlight jazz show la

series will be taught by musicians and
music educators.
Based on its support for the jazz
idiom, Eclipse won a $10,000 grant from
the National Endowment for the Arts
this year, which will be channeled back
into their workshops and classes.
Big and little things can be expected

from the
Past succ
respect in
a solid fou
Ann Art
and good
middle m.
pen. Eclip

Separate classes for:
adults: ballet, modern, jazz
children: ballet

New classes begin Sept. 12.
For current class schedule
and more
information: 995-4242
1-5 weekdays
z; Y

combination by area talents William
Pellitier and Jay Asquini.
The gallery has regular arranged
visits from University art school
classes as well as from other local
colleges and photo groups.tAlthough
prices for framed photographs might
be a little steep for most students, Blixt
also sells posters and work by well-
known artist Milt Kemnitz.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (219 E.
Huron; 995-KIDS)
. If you get tired of "art" as something
to experience from a distance, then this
is the place for you. Housed in a for-
mer fire station, the Hands-On Museum
means just that-hands on. Visitors of
all ages can blow giant soap bubbles or
get a closer look at their own finger-
prints. Many exhibits are designed by
University professors, and there is an
emphasis on science and education in
general. Fun for little and college age
kids alike.



of Dance


Lee Ann King
Ann Arbor Classical Ballet
Established 1932
Register Now!
Featuring Beginners thru
Advanced & Professionals
Phone 668-8066

525 E. Liberty St.

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