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The Scoop - 'Desperate Riders' stirs excitement
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There's always great excitement anytime a movie is shot in McMinnville. I remember Main Street came to a near standstill years ago when "The Cursed" was filmed downtown and in outlying areas of Warren County.

Now there's considerable interest in "Desperate Riders," a movie which was filmed for two full days at our beloved Warren County Fairgrounds. Trace Adkins is the villain so this Western has the promise of being entertaining.

In anticipation of the "Desperate Riders" opening in theaters Feb. 25, there's talk of having a red carpet ceremony at Park Theater. Perhaps even Trace Adkins himself would show.

The problem with this plan, as city officials have encountered several times since reopening Park Theater in May 2015, is there's a rather sticky stipulation on the property deed. It declares no movies shall ever be shown on that tract of land, regardless of who owns the deed or how many times the property changes hands. There shall never be movies shown there ever again.

City officials talk about trying to work around this arrangement for Fourth of July festivities or other downtown events, but the language is very clear. No movies. Ever.

Three Star Cinima owner Bob Bassham made sure that stipulation was in place when he sold the land decades ago. I asked Bob on Thursday if he might let the city buy him out of the no-movie clause for, say, $20,000. 

Bob says he's not interested.

"If I did that, it would become a week-to-week concern," said Bob. "The movie business really has a lot of risk. You take a chance every time you bring in a movie. Who knows what the public wants to see."

Bob makes a great point. If he were to relinquish the no-movie stipulation, the Park Theater could show movies every Friday night. And since the Park Theater is owned by city government and the taxpayers, it wouldn't have to turn a profit.

The movie industry is much like the live entertainment industry in that the theaters or concert promoters assume the risk. In the case of movies, the theater owners have to pay large sums of money up front to land big films, then cross their fingers they will sell enough tickets to cover costs. It's the same way for concerts where big-name performers command top dollar and tickets have to sell for $149 to break even.

I think Bob Bassham and his crew do a great job of bringing first-run movies to McMinnville so we don't have to drive out of town to see the next blockbuster when it's released. 

Bob has also booked "Desperate Riders" to be shown at Three Star Cinema when it's released on Feb. 25. It would be great for everyone to come out and support Bob and a movie that was filmed in Warren County with possibly some local residents popping up as extras.

As for a red-carpet ceremony, that would be a great idea and Three Star Cinema would be the perfect spot. Bob is agreeable to that arrangement if officials are interested in having a movie premiere at a venue where movies can be shown.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.