‘Meanwhile Movies’ gives audiences nostalgic experiences

The outside of Wealthy Theatre located in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Andrew Mills

The outside of Wealthy Theatre located in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Elijah Brumback

Instead of dinner then a movie, how about beer with a movie? Now that the Meanwhile Bar and the Wealthy Theater have coupled their two services together, patrons are legally allowed to consume their favorite adult beverages while enjoying some silver screen piece of teenage nostalgia. To fully enjoy these benefits you do have to be a member, but anyone can join.

Every Tuesday, Wealthy Theater plays a cult classic film from the either the 70s, 80s or 90s. Upcoming titles include Weird Science, Kansas City Bomber, The Karate Kid, An American Werewolf in London and Nightmare on Elm with ever more horror films scheduled through Halloween in October.

“You could go to the movie store, rent these movies and watch them at home, but it definitely not the same experience,” said Wealthy Theater Director Erin Wilson. “It costs five bucks, but that’s about what you would spend renting a movie and watching it at home anyway.”

Wilson said that the Meanwhile Movie is an event that is meant for friends to come, kick back, relax and remember what it was like watching these movies for the first time a when they were younger.

“These movies are classics in the eyes of a lot of people, ones they grew up with,” Wilson said. “Watching them, having a drink and laughing about old memories are the draws, and the big a screen and community atmosphere are the added benefits.”

The base crowds on Tuesday nights are mostly college-aged adults, sprinkled with a few sentimental older folks.

“The place really caters to the college crowd,” said Tom Gunnels, an avid Wealthy Theater advocate and local film professional. “The Wealthy makes you feel comfortable and the nostalgia of the films makes you feel like you’re 10 or 12 years old again. It’s either that or the beer.”

Gunnels said that the cheesy nature of the 80s film catalogue really adds to goofy feeling of rehashing old adolescent tribulations, which now seem so trivial in a yet still meaningful way.

“It’s like playing through the past in an adult way,” he said. “It’s interesting the way everyone can connect at the theater about it too, rather than reliving the glory days alone at home.”

Tuesdays Movie, Weird Science begins at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $5, $4 for members.

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