Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birthday Party Packages

“Fine. But you got to get Iron Man to stop by my niece's birthday party.”
-Captain America: The Winter Soldier

A moviegoing experience is special. Many of us have a favorite seat, a tasty treat that excites the taste buds, or a particular genre of movies that makes us happy. What if you overlapped the favorite pastime of going to the movies with another special moment of the year: your birthday?

Aksarben Cinema understands that both these experiences are important and require the best in possible entertainment. Luckily for you, we have it all covered with our many birthday packages.

Types of Birthday Packages

            Our first birthday party plan is reasonable and rewarding for the star in your life. Included in The Star Package:

      Your Choice of Movie Admission
      Kiddie Combo Including Popcorn, Fruit Snacks, and Unlimited Soft Drinks
      Private Escort into the Theatre Before the Public
      Free Pass for the Birthday Child’s Next Visit
      $12 Per Person with a Minimum of 10 Guests

If you’re looking to give your birthday boy or girl a day to remember then show them they are in charge on their special day with the Director Party Package. Included in this package are:

      Everything from the Star Package
      Free Pass for the Birthday Child’s Next Visit
      1-Hour Use of Our Private Party Room
      Host Can Provide Own Cupcakes or Cake
      $17 Per Person with a Minimum of 10 Guests

Your birthday options aren’t over yet for the little ones because with our final Producer Package your cool kid will have everything at their fingertips:

       Everything from the Star Package
       Everything from the Director Party Package
       ¼ Sheet Birthday Cake
       Goodie Bags for all guests
       $25 per person with a minimum of 10 guests

Aksarben Cinema takes care of the kiddos with style, but doesn’t leave out the tweens, teens, and adults. Who says parties are just for little guy and gals?

Our Tweens & Teens Package Features...
      Your Choice of Movie Admission
      Small Soft Drink & Small Popcorn
      1-Hour Use of our Private Party Room
      Private Escort into the Theatre Before the Public
      Free Pass for the Person Celebrating Their Birthday
      Host Can Provide Own Cupcakes or Cake
      $17 Per Person with a Minimum of 10 Guests

Adult Birthday Parties - 21 and Over...
      Your Choice of Movie Admission
      Small Soft Drink with Unlimited Refills and a Jr Popcorn
      Drink Coupon Good for One 16 oz Draft Beer, Well Cocktail, or Glass of Wine from The Bar
      1-Hour Use of Our Private Party Room
      Private Escort into the Theatre Before the Public
      $25 Per Person with a Minimum of 10 Guests

Don’t forget that you can also add Cafe snacks to your party package for a reasonable price:

      Eisenberg Hot Dog – $2
      Chicken Tenders – $4
      Dudley’s Personal Pizza – $5
      Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies (2) – $2
      Small Ice Cream – $2.50

Celebrate your birthday with us and we promise you’ll never forget it!

To Make a Reservation Contact:
Andrea Barstow
Director of Marketing
Phone: (402) 502-1914

RESERVE ONLINE - Click Here to Send Your Birthday Inquiry!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

History of Popcorn at the Movies

Casey: Popcorn!
Ghostface: You're making popcorn? I only eat popcorn at the movies.
-Scream (Opening scene), 1996

            Popcorn and movie theaters had a love/hate relationship for many years before the buttery treat was adopted as the #1 movie snack. Take a trip back with Aksarben Cinema now as we explore the exciting and unusual history of movie popcorn.

The Silent Era of Popcorn

Originally movie theaters didn’t want popcorn because they were trying to duplicate the atmosphere of performance theatres. Movie theater owners were attempting to reach wealthy, sophisticated patrons. They considered popcorn a form of distraction while guests saw their movies, so it was not allowed. Think back to the 1920s and consider how loud the crunching of popcorn was versus the silent films. Audiences wanted to appreciate the silent comedy of Charlie Chaplin, not be deafened by aggressive eaters. It makes sense and does not mix well.

A Michael Bay blockbuster and delicious popcorn, however, go together like peanut butter and jelly or peas and carrots. Talking films made popcorn a more manageable snack at the movies, but it took some time still before it was wholly adopted by theaters.

Diversity Welcomes Popcorn

            The change began in 1927 when theaters opened their doors to a larger clientele which included illiterate moviegoers. Those individuals previously struggled at the movies because they couldn’t read the word-filled title cards. This change in film brought about a rise in viewership at these facilities originally reserved for highbrow audiences.

With viewership came a need for more inexpensive snack options. Popcorn fit that bill for people deep into The Great Depression because it was cheap at 5 to 10 cents a bag. Unfortunately for theater owners, their businesses weren’t equipped to handle popcorn machines so street vendors sold outside of the theaters, fulfilling impoverished people’s needs.

World War II, Sugar Treats, and the Microwave Oven

            Eventually vendors were allowed inside to sell their product, but only if they paid a daily fee. You may not know that movie theaters, although successful, might have failed if not for their eventual embrace of the kernel poppin’ snacks. The movie business could have been finished if not for popcorn!

            This profitable discovery brought about a resurgence of movie theaters and began an American love affair with the crunchy concession. Surprisingly, World War II also had a hand in the massive popularity of popcorn. Candy and soda companies were suffering due to sugar shortages and popcorn companies stepped in to fill a void. Popcorn was soon enough the definitive movie theater snack with more than 50% of consumption happening in front of the big screen.

            This inexorable amount of business encouraged owners to use advertising to entice viewer taste buds. Some may remember the most famous video ad campaign “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” which premiered in 1957.

The industry hasn’t always been poppin’ since the 1950s though. When TV was introduced, the need for movie theaters decreased along with popcorn sales. Luckily this fall was brief and the buttery confection rose from the grave in the 1970s when more family homes featured the microwave oven.

So regardless if popcorn is eaten at home or at the theater, it’s a staple for concessions lovers and theater audiences. Join us at Aksarben Cinema for a bag of popcorn and some other sweet treats! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

The History of Aksarben Cinema Pt. 2

“History became legend; legend became myth.”
-Galadriel, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Focus on Community and Family
A historic moment was celebrated on January 20, 2012 with Aksarben Cinema when three former Tuskegee Airmen visited the theater for a special premiere screening of the George Lucas produced film, “Red Tails.” The theater overflowed with guests that night clamoring to see the three American heroes and the widow of a fourth airmen: Lt. Col. (Ret) Charles A. Lane, Cpl. Robert D. Holts and Mrs. Alma Pruitt, wife of original Tuskegee Airmen Mr. Harry Pruitt all from Omaha, and Lt. Col (Ret) Paul A. Adams from Lincoln. Getting a chance to interact and take pictures with these patriots made for a memorable night for many Omaha residents.   


On top of being a movie theatre, Aksarben Cinema has played a big role in their guests lives.  Kasey Vance and Tim Malm tied the knot on May 26, 2012 in the halls of Aksarben Cinema amongst films and frivolity complete with popcorn and refreshments. Since 2012, the theater has celebrated engagements and rehearsal dinners too. Love is truly in the air at Aksarben Cinema.

            On the heels of wedding bells came a huge announcement for the theater when Aksarben Cinema was named Best Movie Theater in Omaha in The Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O. The announcement was made October 16, 2012 on Facebook. It was now clear that Aksarben Cinema had cemented their reputation as a company committed to community and entertainment.

Aksarben Cafe

            A little over a year later, Aksarben Cinema expanded their concession options by introducing and opening the Aksarben Cafe. The cafe today features plenty of food never before tasted at the theater and drinks that are out of this world including iced coffee and hand dipped shakes. It continues to thrive, giving audience an alternative to pop or alcoholic refreshments.

            Last month brought with it two of the latest milestones for the young, always-evolving business. Demand from guests and a need to provide the audiences with affordable entertainment brought on the introduction of the $5 Tuesday deal. With the deal, families can see any 2D movie at any time on Tuesday for only $5.00. The deal has since been a huge success and brought in movie goers who don’t always have time for the weekend offerings.

The hits kept on coming in August as Aksarben expanded their discount reach to teachers in Omaha and surrounding areas. On August 18, 2014 the company announced that it would provide teachers with a discount on admissions every day of the week. Teachers rejoiced and excited Facebook sharing ensued.

Only time will tell how Aksarben Cinema will continue to serve its patrons, but you can bet that the company will always continue to develop and provide all with the best in entertainment. 

History of the Barstow Family and Aksarben Cinema Pt. 1

Many of the folks who love Aksarben Cinema have been visiting this particular movie theater since the beginning when it opened on December 10, 2010. With that relationship comes a shared history that is definitely community-focused.

Bill and Colleen Barstow, originally from Detroit, found a home in Omaha after Bill ended up here by way of the Air Force in 1988. At the time Barstow was a Hurricane Hunter for the Air Force and did not intend to stay in Omaha. The Barstow’s, however, were smitten with the city and never left.

The beginning

It was then that Barstow made a life-changing decision as he was leaving the Air Force - he put a down payment on The Ritz, a movie theatre in Plattsmouth in 1989, on his credit card. A risk, no doubt, but one that would pay off both financially and emotionally. This was the first movie theatre the Barstow family owned and marked the beginning of their company Main Street Theatres, which now owns 46 screens.
Flash forward 20 years later, and construction begins on the state-of-the-art, digital presentation Omahans know and love today. In the summer and fall of 2009 construction was underway. After nearly a year and a half of construction, Aksarben Cinema held its grand opening on December 10, 2010 with rewards for many guests and giveaways at the door. This was the moment that Omaha had been waiting for and helped mark a new era for the former Aksarben Racetrack area.

What was showing that day?

  • Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Tourist
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
  • Tangled
  • Megamind
  • Burlesque
  • Faster
  • Morning Glory
  • Due Date
  • Next Three Days

Today the theater still offers a variety of choices of movies and even more choices in concessions.

Active members of the community

Less than a year later Aksarben Cinema received the Together, Inc. Compassion Award, a prestigious honor rewarding leaders of an organization or business that have shown compassion for their community. Aksarben Cinema stands by their promise to contribute to a new organization each month.  Since opening they have raised over $71,000 from donations collected at the box office for organizations ranging from Angels Among Us, Together, Open Door Mission, Humane Society, and Project Harmony.