Monday, July 20, 2015

Four New Things You Should Know About Aksarben Cinema

Here at Aksarben Cinema we are always improving the cinematic experience for each of our guests. We thought it best to give you a behind-the-scenes look at recent arrivals here at Aksarben Cinema. These are the Four New Things You Should Know About Aksarben Cinema.

1.     ACX

Daily we get calls about three letters that have suddenly appeared on our website next to certain films. The three letters in question are ACX and what they stand for is the Aksarben Cinema Experience. You may be asking yourself what is the Aksarben Cinema Experience? A fair question and one we’re glad to answer.

ACX (Aksarben Cinema Experience) films are featured in our largest theater. Theater 4 contains an oversized wall-to-wall screen, custom immersive sound system, MDI bright screen technology, and is simply, Omaha’s premiere viewing experience at no extra cost to our guests. That all may sound like a bunch of technological mumbo jumbo, but really all you need to know is that ACX at Aksarben Cinema gives our guests the best quality cinematic experience. So next time if you want to see a film on the biggest screen possible at our cinema then you need to ask if it’s playing in number 4 or look for those three little letters: ACX.

2. YouTube

You might already be following us on Twitter or checking us out on Facebook, but did you know that Aksarben Cinema now has a YouTube channel? That’s right, Omaha’s favorite cinema now has a YouTube channel that features videos created in house (by individuals working for Aksarben Cinema). The videos that have been published in the last few weeks have already reached a cumulative view total of 2,386.

Our channel contains a lot of variety so that everyone can find something to enjoy. Our first video which received 595 total views featured our Jurassic World buckets and cups for the release of Universal’s dinosaur film. There was humor and excitement showing that we know how to have fun at Aksarben Cinema while still selling a quality product. More recently we’ve released videos for the celebration of Independence Day and a dancing minion video that has already reached 625 views after only being online for a day. We haven’t reached viral status yet, but we’re optimistic for the future as we plan to continue our online video presence.

3. Minions Costumes and Event

Some individuals who have been and will continue to be featured in our videos are the lovable minions from the Despicable Me franchise and more recently their own film titled Minions. In anticipation of the film’s arrival we purchased two awesome minion costumes. Our plan was originally to use them for our Minion Mania event on Saturday, July 11th from 9 to 10:30 a.m., but when they arrived we had trouble not throwing them on every chance we got.

The minions have now been featured in our YouTube videos, on WOWT, and at special events prior to the Minion Mania party. The Minion Mania event will feature the minions (of course), the Pancake Man, a mini tattoo parlor, play workshops, and a photo booth. If you would like more information about this event and all others please visit us at our website.

4. Small Business of the Month - July
The fourth and final new thing you should know about Aksarben Cinema is that we were recently named Small Business of the Month by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. We are thrilled to be recognized for our work, but the real winners are our guests who come in and choose to donate to all the wonderful organizations in Omaha. To see the video celebrating our award achieved with guests like you then check out this link.

Thank you to you all for the support. We would not be able to continue to grow as a company without you. Continue to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Instagram, and YouTube for more exciting updates. For showtimes and tickets visit our website. See you at the movies!

Who is Ant-Man?

Marvel’s Ant-Man came to Aksarben Cinema last Friday. Many fans were excited about the tiny hero’s arrival, but others are baffled by this “new” superhero from the creators of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Ant-Man is the name of several fictional characters from earlier Marvel Comics. The original Ant-Man debuted in Tales to Astonish number 35 in January 1962. He was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby.

The superhero suit was originally worn by Hank Pym, a famous scientist in the Marvel Universe. Pym first appeared in Tales to Astonish number 27 prior to the appearance of Ant-Man in number 35. He also is known for creating the robotic sentience, Ultron, which starred in Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Scott Lang originally was a thief who stole Hank Pym’s Ant-Man suit so he could save his daughter Cassie from a heart condition. Eventually, Lang became Ant-Man after Pym saw the reformed thief’s potential.

Ant-man’s special power is to shrink in size but increase in strength. Ant-Man was a member of the Fantastic Four and later became the smallest of the Avengers.

The film stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. The story occurs several months after Avengers: Age of Ultron. Lang must help Pym protect the secret behind his Ant-Man suit from a new generation of threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

For more information about Ant-Man and other films released at Aksarben Cinema visit our website and like us on Facebook. See you at the movies!

Minions Critical Response

The Minions phenomenon continues at the Aksarben Cinema. Moviegoers continue to flock to the animated tale about the origins of the Minions.

“This is our second time seeing it,” said one Aksarben Cinema customer. “We wanted to see it without the kids distracting us. It’s seriously funny.”

The film claimed the highest opening for an animated 3-D film of all time and the second highest animated opening day, behind only Shrek the Third in 2007

If you haven’t had the chance to see Minions at the Aksarben yet, here are reviews by some top critics.

Tom Huddleston, Time Out

“If you like your animated family movies noisy, imaginative and seriously silly, this one’s for you. From sidekicks to centre-stage superstars, the Minions have busted out of the Despicable Me franchise and gone rogue in this berserk slice of semi-silent slapstick silliness.”

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

Minions, the new movie, tests the notion that what audiences enjoyed as a side dish can satisfy as an entree; I don’t know if the movie picks up as it goes along, or if it merely beat me into submission, but after an initially slack 20 minutes or so, I did finally start laughing. It helps that, once the story moves into a world we recognize (albeit the world of 1968), screenwriter Brian Lynch (Hop) and directors Kyle Balda (The Lorax) and Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me) can riff on wonderfully absurd gags about everything from time travel to killer clowns to the musical Hair.

Peter DeBruge, Variety

“A Despicable Me prequel that traces Gru’s comic-relief henchmen all the way back to the time when they were single-celled organisms, Minions hilariously imagines centuries in which the little guys have sought to serve the greatest villain they could find, but quickly settles into more conventional cartoon territory once they fix on a dastardly new master named Scarlet Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock.”

David Edwards, Daily Mirror

“After proving such an audience favourite in the two Despicable Me movies, those little yellow Tic-Tacs get their very own film. Bright, breezy and brought to life with some impressive 3D, make no mistake, Minions is going to be one of the biggest hits of the year.”

Mark Kermode, Observer
“Although the opening “minions through history” sequence proves a very tough act to follow, this slice of burbling slapstick animation did keep me grinning and giggling throughout.”

Andrew Osmond, Sight and Sound
“The conventional cartoon story arcs of self-realization and redemption are skipped, but any sacrifice in emotional resonance is compensated for by the pace and purity of the fun.”

For more information on Minions and all Aksarben Cinema’s offerings, visit our website and like us on Facebook. See you at the movies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Check out this video produced by Jordan Green Productions!

It is opening night of one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters – and the action has literally come to life. An 8-foot velociraptor roams the lobby. An imposing-looking gate beckons guests to enter Jurassic World.

“We try to make every event an event,” said Bill Barstow, co-owner of Aksarben Cinema, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s July Small Business of the Month. 

For the local premiere of ‘Jurassic World,’ the theatre had local artist Amanda Shannon create a metallic-looking replica of the “real” gate to Jurassic World. It also arranged a special visit by Dinky the Raptor, an 8-foot, human-powered predator. 

“Opening night of ‘Jurassic World’ was probably one of my favorite days since this theatre opened,” said marketing director Andrea Barstow. 

The shared last name isn’t a coincidence. Andrea is Bill’s daughter; Aksarben Cinema is a family business, one of the last locally-owned and -operated theaters in the metro. 

“It’s kind of a foreign concept, these days, that a big commercial theatre would be family-owned,” Bill Barstow said. 

The family aspect of the business also includes Bill’s wife and theatre co-owner, Colleen, daughter Amy who assists in the front office and son Michael who, like Andrea, is involved in marketing. 

“The family’s been involved from the beginning. It’s the only way we know how to do it,” Bill Barstow said. 

Under the umbrella of Main Street Theatres Inc., the Barstows own eight theatres in Nebraska and Iowa, the first of which was a single-screen theatre in Plattsmouth. Aksarben Cinema opened in 2010, five years after developers first raised the prospect of bringing a Barstow-owned theatre to a yet-to-be-constructed, mixed-use concept called Aksarben Village. 

“Bill came in an educated me on what’s possible,” said John Hughes, president of Magnum Development Corp., Aksarben Village’s Zone 5 (entertainment zone) developer. “Bill said, ‘I need 12 screens. I’ll live with 10. I won’t live with 8.’ And, we have 10 screens.” 

“I came in with a lot of enthusiasm and passion,” Barstow recalled. “We thought what if we made the most cutting-edge theatre not only in Omaha, not only in Nebraska but maybe in the United States. We were going to go way out on the edge of this digital revolution.” 

That vision was fully realized. Aksarben Cinema – with its single master control room – offers a total digital movie-going experience for up to 1700 people as well as RealD 3D technology, the largest 3D auditorium in Omaha and a full-service bar. Despite all the cool enhancements, the Barstow family’s guiding principle is simple: treat moviegoers as if they are guests in the family living room. 

“We’re entertaining people how we want to be entertained. That still drives our customer service and our culture,” Bill Barstow said. 

Community involvement is another cornerstone of the company’s culture. Aksarben Cinema, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, has hosted free screenings of the movie “Bully” for students, parents and educators; held special showings of “Selma” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and celebrated the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen in conjunction with the movie “Red Tails.” The theatre also facilitates the raising of $20,000-$30,000 each year for local nonprofits. 

“When you purchase your tickets, you’re asked to donate a dollar to our local nonprofit of the month, and it can range from the Anti-Defamation League to the Humane Society, Angels Among Us and the Open Door mission,” Andrea Barstow said. 

For Aksarben Cinema, a devoted Chamber member, the goal for the next five years and beyond is to keep entertaining and impacting, innovating and moving forward. 

“When we see something like ‘We Don’t Coast,’ we love it,” Bill Barstow said. “It’s what we do – we don’t coast. We’re not resting. We’re going to keep moving ahead and working harder than everyone else.”