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February 06, 1997 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-06

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6B - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, February 6, 1997


The Michigan Daily Weekent

21 About Town
Campus Bike & Toy equips kids
of all ages with cycles, playthings

'Star Wars' stars at box office

By Jenny Rubinfeld
For the Daily
Campus Bike & Toy Center is a well-
established Ann Arbor tradition, serv-
ing the community with bikes, dolls
and games for more than 60 years. The
colorful sign hanging outside the down-
town store is a reminder of something
from the old school, when "bikes were
toys," Vickie Plotner said.
Founded in 1933 by Walter Grimston
and Bennett French, the shop originated
on the corner of E. Liberty and Maynard

Rackham student Andrew Campbell trues a wheel at Campus Bike & Toy.

streets as a bike rental outlet. The store
moved twice, eventually ending up in its
current location on E. William St., in
1945. French ultimately bought out his
partner and after some time, the shop
changed hands from French to his half
brother Farrell Dewight Plotner II. The
store remains a family establishment,
owned and operated by the Plotner clan.
The original
store was strictly Campus B
rental and repair,
because "during ~ Where: 514 E. W
the war you could
not get bikes," V Phone: 662-0035
said Alice
Plotner, wife of ~ Hours: Monday-&
Farrei4. 5:30 p.m.
Entering the
store is like walk-
ing into a cyclist's haven; the walls are
covered with bicycling gear, ranging
from clothes to water bottles to tires, and
there are rows of bikes in the middle.
Campus Bike & Toy Center carries a
selection of bikes directed towards both
the student and commuter markets. The
store specializes in Schwinn, Trek and
Gary Fisher bikes.
"We carry your basic S250 bike to
get from class to class. The students
mostly want the cheaper bikes," said
employee Dave Pratt, an Engineering

Campus Bike & Toy's bicycle service
center has a reputation for friendliness
and experience. The store offers free air
and safety checks for bikes. Third-year
Law student Jason de Bretteville said,
"They are always more than happy to
fill my tires and tune up my bike, and I
didn't even buy my bike there."
"We give people
ke & Toy estimates which we
-stick to. We also
Ian St. have a 30-day guar-
antee on all repairs,"

Los Angeles Times
When George Lucas and 20th
Century Fox eChairman Tom Sherak
met in 1992 to talk about reissuing an
old but improved "Star Wars" on the big
screen, neither had any idea that the
force would be with them as much as it
was this weekend.
"Star Wars," first released in 1977,
was brought back to theaters Friday and
drew record-setting numbers across the
country. It is estimated to have made
$36.2 million by Sunday night, having
played more than 2,100 screens in the-
aters packed with die-hard fans from
ages 6 to 60. The blockbuster figures
bring its cumulative box-office take to
$358 million, the second-highest film
gross of all time, behind "E.T. The
A spokeswoman for Lucas said he had
no expectation that the movie - which
has been out on videotape for years and
has been shown often on television -
would come back in such a big way.
What Lucas had hoped above all,

according to Sherak, was for his film to
serve as a bridge between generations.
"When 1 met with George, his first
comments were 'I want families to be
able to see it on the big screen,"' Sherak
said. "Friday and Saturday we got the
zealots and also the families." He said
that according to exit polls, one-third of
the audience on opening weekend were
"You take your child to the movies
and you relive the experience that had
some impact on your life, and you're
also trying to transfer that to your child,"
said Sherak. "I watched kids come out
with their parents. I watched some
fathers come out and smile and ask
'Well?' and the kids said, 'I loved it."'
"I saw it first at 4 years old and I've
seen it more than 20 times since," said
Joe Gjonola, 24, of Los Angeles. "It was
one of the first movies I heavily connect-
ed with. Now it's sort of deeply embed-
ded in my mind and emotions. For about
10 years, every birthday and Christmas
revolved around the acquisition of 'Star


Wars' toys forme andmy brothers.... So,
I came to this on opening night out of
respect. It's that important."
The hype having reached fever pitch
this weekend, competing movies didn't
stand much of a chance at the box office.
According to the estimates, "Star Wars"
drew a startling $17,205 average per
screen. It was the ninth-highest opening
weekend estimate ever and an easy
record for any weekend in January or
Coming in second was "Jerry
Maguire," with an estimated $5.6 mil-
lion (and a total, after eight weeks, of
$117 million). In third place was
"Scream" at $4.8 million, followed by
"Metro" with $4.4 million. "Evita" and
"Beverly Hills Ninja" tied for fifth with
$4.3 million.
In seventh place was "In Love and
War" with $3.9 million. "The Relic"
was in eighth place with $2.9 million.
"Gridlock'd" was in ninth with $2.8
million. "Mother" and "Michael" tied
for 10th place with $2.6 million each.


5 y
Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-

The famous star-struck tr
Group Discounts anc
Greek Specials!
Ask How YOU Can
Travel FREE!!!

said employee
Andrew Campbell,
a Rackham student.
The Plotners

have expanded to
three other loca-
tions: Washtenaw Cycle & Fitness
Center in Ann Arbor; Wheels in Motion
in Fenton and Bike Haus in Brighton.
These other locations focus more on the
serious biker, and less on the student
and commuter market. These other
stores also lack an important element of
the main store - toys.
When the shop moved into its present
location, something other than bikes
was needed to to fill the larger space.
Toys became the suitable solution.
See BIKES, Page 7B


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for miovie
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