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February 04, 1999 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-04

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68 -: The M igan Paily - Weekend,* tMagazine - Thursy F ary, 1999
New-look events provide fans
excitement on the hardwood

': r0

* The Michigan Daily - \ ekend, etc. Maga

etc Road-Trip of the Week
Star Theater offers
more than just latest
Hollywood features

r : . J e t

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
Like it or not, much is different
with the Michigan men's basketball
program this year. The team has
struggled and looks as though it will
miss post-season play for the first
time in over a decade. In addition, a
new floor, tweaked jerseys, new
shot clocks, relocated banners and
the free "Maize Rage" T-shirts are
all changes that have happened
since the end of the 1998 season.
Crisler Arena has become much
livelier this year and much of this
can be attributed to the Maize
Ragers and the high level of enter-
tainment that is provided to fans
during the game's breaks.
Going to a men's basketball game
at Crisler Arena, you could get a
free T-shirt, catch another one in the
crowd, have your seats moved to the
first row and win a gift certificate to
the M-Den. And that's just in the
first half. Granted this sequence of
events would take quite a stroke of
luck on your part, but it's possible.
The man behind these contest and

events is the new Director of
Marketing Tom Brooks, who sets up
what he calls "basically the whole
game entertainment package."
"One of my big pushes here with
Michigan is to increase and try to
improve our overall game-day
atmosphere. The venue falls into
play there in addition to the enter-
tainment, not only half-time but all
of the TV timeouts," Brooks said.
Brooks has set up a series of con-
tests for the first three television
timeouts in the first half to keep the
intensity high during stoppage of
play. For the first timeout, two fans
from the top row are moved down to
front-row seats courtesy of Staples
- at these seats, you might even be
able to hear what Bobby Knight
says to the officials.
During the second timeout, 25
Michigan basketball T-shirts are
thrown into the crowd by cheerlead-
ers. At first, fans in the lowest seats
seemed to get all the attention from
the throwers, but now a catapult sys-
tem, along with cheerleaders com-
ing into the crowd to toss the shirts,

has given some of the higher-seated
viewers a better chance at the prize.
According to the master plan,
during the third timeout, two stu-
dents are selected to compete in a
free throw shooting contest, with
the winner snagging a gift certifi-
cate to the M-Den. Competition for
this contest is hard-fought and fans
who don't practice their throws are
sure to face the fury of the crowd -
the "Crisler Crazies."
In the past, half-time shows at
Michigan seemed to be a combina-
tion of highs - the Alexis Brothers;
lows - country line dancing; and
musical chairs (which always
seemed to come down to a large,
hungry adult and a small child bat-
tling for the free pizza). But now,
fans can look for a combination of
contests and shows throughout the
Brooks recognizes the impor-
tance of half-time to both the team
and the fans. "It's really important,
you want to keep that spirit up. You
don't want to have a lull there

The cheerleaders are not the only attraction at the basketball games anymore.
University officials have worked to bring in a variety of half-time acts.

Are you thinking about law school?
Plan to attend and bring a friend to..... 0j

By Erin Podolsky
Daily Arts Writer
. SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - The lights
are blaring, the crowd is roaring and
drunken revelers stand transfixed by the
sweet sounds coming from the boxes on
the walls. A disco it isn't - a movie
mecca it is.
The Star Southfield movie theater is
like the garden of Eden to movie fans, a
place where nearly every movie in
release is playing on one of its 20 screens
(soon to be expanded to a whopping 30),
and it's no coincidence that this massive
building has had the highest attendance
of any theatre in the nation since it
opened in June 1997.
The huge lobby of the the Star
Southfield is packed with movie memo-
rabilia (as are the halls leading to the
actual screening rooms), video games,
big screen TVs on which trailers play and
various stands where salespeople hock
jewelry and designer coffee.
As a special nod to the Motor City, a
classic car stands on a pedestal at the
back entrance. The teeming masses cre-
ate long lines for tickets - although the
automatic ticketing machines provide a
speedy alternative for credit card holders
- and snacks. The actual screening
rooms flank both sides of the lobby away
from the noise of the main drag.
One restaurant, Johnny Rocket's,
finally opened several months ago after
many delays. Several other restaurants
are slated to be a part of the main lobby,
though nobody is holding her breath. The
Johnny Rocket's burger joint serves up
burgers and other semi-fast food treats
that taste much better than anything com-
ing off the scary hotdog cooking mecha-
nisms at most other theatres.
Then again, there's always the central-
ly located snack barn run by slower-than-
molasses Star Southfield employees,
who sometimes also operate the smaller
snack bars on either side of the screening
room halls. Standing in line for these and
still getting back to the seat before the

movie starts - regardless of the 15 min-
utes of trailers that precede each screen-
ing - is something of a crapshoot, so it
is best to get food early.
But nobody really goes to the movies
to play arcade games or snarf down
pathetically garnished chicken tenders,
despite what the Star Southfield manage-
ment would have us think. As one would
expect, the actual movie-going experi-
ence inside the screening room is where
the Southfield proves itself as the
Cadillac of movieplexes.
Beautiful plush rocking chairs with
room for the most ample derriere make
up row upon row of stadium seating.
Crystal-clean floors that shine without
unpleasant stickiness flow between aisles
of red carpet. Dozens of speakers line the
walls, offering the very finest sound stan-
dards in THX certification (the special
setup pioneered by George Lucas),
SDDS and Dolby Digital.
Most importantly, the screens are
mammoth. No matter where the seat is
located, the view is unhindered by heads
or other appendages that block line of
sight at non-stadium theatres.
There are rarely problems with projec-
tion - a nice treat in this day of laissez-
faire movie theaters - and when there
are, Star Southfield's policy is to offer
free passes to disgruntled customers in
order to keep them coming back again
and again. A simple complaint at the cus-
tomer service desk can solve any prob-
The Star Southfield stands as much
more than an experience - it's an addic-
tion. Whatever the reason for the journey,
the best place for catching mainstream
movies in southeastern Michigan is pro-
vided only at the Star Southfield. The
tickets are cheaper than Showcase and
matinee prices are available until 6 p.m.
A mere 30-minute drive from campus,
it's worth the time to hop in the car and
experience movies as they were meant to
be seen: In style.


The Star Theater in Southfield, Mich., is a bright and shinning example of the
much better. Wether sitting in the theater's stadium-style seats or just soakin
-- the Star has something for everyone. Just don't forget to actually watch th
Get Writing!
The Deadline for submissions f
Literary Magazine is two weel
Call Dail Arts at 763-03





" Collect application information and explore
options in legal education.
" Win t-shirts, sweatshirts and other stuff from schools
attending the event!
" All students interested in law are encouraged to attend.

Saturdays - 7 nights
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(Beachfront) 33
Air/hotel pkg from $5499s air only,
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Thursdays/Sundays . 3, 4, 7 nights
Best Western British Colonial
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Fridays/Saturdays " 7 nights

Feb. 4: Theater thrill-ride
/ What: The Star Southfield Theater
/ Where: Southfield, Mich.
/ How to get there: Take U.S.-23 North to M-14 East to 1-275 North.
Follow that to 1-696 East to the Lodge. Get off at the Telegraph Road
exit going East. From Telegraph turn left on 12 Mile Road. The theater
is about a half-mile up the road on the left.
/ How long: 30-45 minutes depending on traffic
~ How Much: $5.50 for matinee shows, $7.50 for all seats after 6
J What's There: 20 stadium-seating screens all with cockpit-style bucket
rocking chairs. Lots of candy, popcorn and over-priced soft-drinks waiting
to be bought. Johnny Rocket's '50s era diner, where if you're not killed by
Brando and some of his "wild" biker friends, the grease will get you in the

Playa Los A
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$209 air only,
round trip

The University ofMichgn
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Cosponsored with
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