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home : opinions : columns November 20, 2014

3/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
COLUMN: It's up to you, and you, and you...
Bob Weete, columnist
Bob Weete, columnist

You know, I like Blythe. I never planned to live here, but I was passing by to visit some relatives on the way to Colorado, to look for a job teaching. My relatives worked in the school district, and they told me there was an opening for an English teacher at the high school.

I interviewed for the job, and I got it. Taught at the high school for 36 years. Got married here, bought a house here, had three children here, they graduated from PVHS, and have gone on with their lives.

I retired 14 years ago here, gone to church here, and all the other normal, every-day-stuff here.

But, I have not seen a single movie that was nominated for an Academy Award this year - again.

I have to go out of town to see a doctor; if I can fit it in, I sometimes get to see a movie.

The Press Enterprise won't deliver out here anymore, so basically, I have no clue as to what is happening around California or the U.S. Although I buy most of what I need here in Blythe, I find that since I am already out of town to see a doctor, I may as well stop by Walmart, Costco, and other stores to pick up a few items that I either can't get here in Blythe, or I can get cheaper in Palm Desert.

Yes, I could have bought my car here, but I can't get a Toyota Prius here. I wanted a Prius purely for the gas mileage I can get. And, since I have to drive to Palm Desert so often, I needed a car that was good on mileage.

There are probably a few people out there in much the same situation.

So, here's my proposal:  Without pointing any fingers at anybody else, why don't we, the people, do something about getting our movie theater up and running again? Let's work together and find out what it would take to get that theater running again. If it needs advertising, let's work with our Chamber of Commerce, and develop a workable plan to get some advertising or whatever it takes, to get someone to buy it.

Let's put our heads together (and stop banging them together) and see what creative ideas we can come up with to sell our town to the public. We have the Colorado River sitting there, just waiting for us to find some way we can use it to benefit our town. Yes, I know we pay taxes. No, I am not supportive of raising taxes; that is for sure.

Let's help our city council, our Chamber of Commerce to perform miracles, if we have to, but we are truly wasting our energy, our brains, our money, by expecting someone else to do our job for us.

You have seen the results of the recent call for Blythe citizens to help clean up our town. Five thousand TONS of junk! Wonderful start, but just a beginning, unless we don't really care.

Maybe the city and/or the Chamber could get a committee or committees set up with volunteers appointed to help brainstorm about certain aspects of the problem(s) with fairly specific tasks to work out, with a deadline for a report.

I must emphasize, though, that this should not become a "political" thing, and not let "power" or agendas or self-greed enter in. Been there and done that. Perhaps a committee could be selected by having people apply for a volunteer position identifying their particular interests and/or qualifications, and a couple of ideas.

As much as possible, I would think it must be composed of people of various backgrounds, races, social groups, and all that stuff. I do not personally support the "politically correct" thing, but the reality is we are a diverse community and it won't work if the committees are not representative. And, I would not exclude people who are homeless either.

I am adamantly opposed, personally, to trying to match up the content of committees based on the exact same ratio we have in the committee. That is a fight set-up for failure. We just can't get bogged down in minutiae. That is a self-killer.

People of different beliefs, different age groups, different talents, etc. have come together before and when acting with the same goal in mind, and without any personal agendas, they have proven that it can be done, and we all benefit.

It is said that, "Where there is a will, there is a way." Do we have the will to do it? Are we mature enough to let bygones be bygones, swallow our own pride and make a miracle happen? Can we let go of our own personal preferences, our own desires, and selfish pride, and let the light shine on this place we call home?

How about it? Let's grow up and use our God-given abilities to resurrect this place so others will come and see why we love Blythe. We all need something to do. And I'm not excluding those "knuckleheads", our kids!

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: @ El Pica

Now I know you make stuff up El Pica. The movie theater owners own the building that housed All Star Cinemas. They still own the building. They didn't want to have to do the renovations that it would have been required in this digital age. They were selling the business for half a million. But, why do I bother when you operate under the "I saw it on the internet so it must be true" rule. Quit trolling and get a hobby other than PVVT.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Bob Weete

C'mon Marie. I SAID we HAVE to go out of town to see doctors! In the last year, or so, we have actually gone over specifically to have dinner and see a movie ONCE. I am not what you might call "monied", though I am aware there are many who have less than I do. I went to college, with the GI bill which I earned. Retirement income is not great, but at the moment we are okay. Not one solitary tear of mine was shed. My real intent was to suggest this community realize that it is "possible" for us to join TOGETHER, share specific ideas and plans with Chamber/City Hall to make this town more attractive to potential businesses and citizens to settle here. My bad. Suggestion: if all we do is continue to beat down ideas, we deserve what we get.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@elpica. It was a rhetorical question. A while back the PVVT's did an article on the theater and gave the price of the lease per month. It was a lot per month. We know the answer to the problem, and it is money. OK now the question is how do you get the people that have that money to spend it here at the movies.

The answer is to offer them something here, that would keep them here. OK why do most people go out of town? and not here? So what would keep them here?

OK. Then why do I go out of town? Or why do you go out of town? Why do most people go out of town? Me better price's, better choices, better service. You? Them?

@B.Weete 1. Before Walmart was a good idea, now not that good. Why because the profits would not be that great because, they would have to divide the people and profits between the 2 stores. Small coke and popcorn comes out to about 10 dollars. So now it would be 20 dollars for one person.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Marie antoinette

People are struggling to make ends meet and you are crying about a movie theater ? at least you can afford to go out of town. You want us to support for this town, when you yourself, take you and your money elsewhere. What a joke. But hey get over it, right.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

the former owner didn't know how to keep the theater open or it would be open and as for what they could expect, expect to go broke lol As Pica says You can now see most movies for free online the next day they come out in the theaters. compare free to the price of a movie and snacks. I'd rather buy some pop corn and soda for the kids and let them watch movies at home. and put the rest of that money into my gas tank so I can do it again next week.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

As for being on a committee, I am too busy working and when I'm not working, I'm too tired to worry about something I can't afford anyway. This way at least my kids don't ask and I don't have to explain to them that we can't afford it.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Walt Sleptke

As for the theater, not only do you need the up front cash to purchase or initiate a lease, but you need a steady cash flow for the bills that also include its maintenance. Frankly, unless someone locally hit the Powerball lottery, I cannot see any investor(s) willing to take that gamble. The same goes with the other items suggested. Like the old saying, "Money talks and you know what walks."

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Bob Weete, part 2

Many were disappointed about the failure of the Walmart plan. Don't you think that the City Council and Walmart would be helped if the city got together to request, encourage a new effort on that behalf could help? My "understanding" of the failure before was that a couple of local businessmen with "connections" killed it. Afraid of the competition? If they just would give top-notch service and prices, they don't have to worry. But when a town and its people present a united front on an issue, I do believe that faith can, indeed move mountains. I am NOT suggesting, however, that we picket, parade, flash signs, yell and holler. That just polarizes a town that then becomes impotent. We do not have to agree on everything, but I do believe we must act while there is still power in the people. If we get the town cleaned up, physically and morally, and if we push together, we can get new industry here, resulting in more jobs, more money for the city to do new things, providing for, among other things, a theater. It doesn't have to cost that much to go, El Pica skip the large popcorn and king-sized drink.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: Bob Weete, part1

The larger point I was suggesting here was that if this town would drop their fists and instead extend our hands to the City and/or the Chamber to help, rather than complain, together we might do any number of worthwhile things.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: @El Pica

lol, i know you probably are not trying to be funny but what you said made me laugh, you are mostly right on what you say too, but the reason for the closure of the movie theater- did you ask a question there, or are you suggesting that money was a factor. Maybe the former owners could give the future owners on things that they could do to keep it open, and on what to expect.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@elpica. To solve a problem you have to know what the problem is. Why did the the theater closed? Because it lacked money to keep it open. Again what was the problem? Money, and what is the answer? Money.

The question is how do we get the people here in town that has money to spend it here? There is no lack of people that would love to go see a movie and enjoy the night out with friends and family. But again what is the problem here? They have no money to spare or indulge in a night out at the movies.

A night out at the movies for one person is
about 20 to 25 dollars, 2 people 40 to 50 dollars you get the idea? 4 people?

You can get someone to buy or lease the theater but you are going to need the people with money to spend their money there.

What did Obama say if you can't afford your Health Insurance? Get Rid of your cell phones and cable subscriptions. You have to learn to prioritize your needs.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: @El Pica Buyas

oh snap, Mr. Buyas slam dunks it.

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Article comment by: @El Pica

That's just my point. Together, we can come up with ideas to get somebody to buy the theater. Clearly, nobody in town can do it, but together we might have, for example, a massive spaghetti feed, or garage sale, and give percentage to a fund that would be saved and then advertise elsewhere. At the same time, we could become the little town that cares, and is working to clean up, to improve our town. Putting heads together and brainstorming could come up with ideas that no one person could. If we are all working toward a common goal from which we could all benefit. Unlike just sitting around and moaning, "poor us". Please don't get on a committee you're too negative.

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Nice thoughts and good ideas. The problem we have here is money. You need money to buy the theater, you need money to keep it running. the problem again is money the prices are too high here. People have no money for these expenses.

A while back you wrote an article here about the people we have living here. Most were on Government assistance, some retired, and mostly were working in low paying jobs.

So how many people do we have here with good paying jobs? How many people do we have here working for the Education system? Law enforcement Blythe Police, Sheriffs Department, Highway Patrol, Prison System, Border patrol. DMV. Next is the Hospital, Social Security Office, Business Owners, and many more.

So where are most of these people on their days off? not here, Where do they shop? not here. When they need to go the doctor where do they go? not here. When they want to have a good time or see a movie? not here, Where did they go before the theater was closed? not here. When they need big items where do they buy them? not here.

That means that the people with money are not here spending that money. All we have left are the people without money.

You can now see most movies for free online the next day they come out in the theaters.

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