LHH Zeitgeist: Nassau Leaders Announce Plans to See 'The Dark Knight Rises'

July 20, 2012 - An area Batman fan stands outside the Broadway Mall movie theater in Hicksville waiting for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano to decide where he and other lawmakers will see "The Dark Knight Rises."

Author's Note: This article was written on Wednesday and posted today to coincide with the release of The Dark Knight Rises. My wife and I were at a midnight showing ourselves and didn't hear about the tragedy in Colorado until just a few minutes ago. This piece is meant to satirize the Islanders/Nassau Coliseum players' inability to come to an agreement through the prism of something as simple as seeing a movie. No disrespect was meant in regards to the shootings and I apologize for any hurt feelings that may arise because of this article. If you do see The Dark Knight Rises this weekend remember that crowds will be large and to be careful.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has announced a new plan to see "The Dark Knight Rises" when it opens nationwide today and is seeking a movie theater at which to screen this summer's most anticipated film.

County offices are expected to begin accepting proposals from any interested locations by the end of business today. Mangano said in a statement that any suggested theaters would have to simply carry the film and would not specifically need to include IMAX screens, stadium seating, 3D or other amenities. The plan also calls for popcorn and Icee frozen drinks to be purchased at the winning theater.

Released by Warner Brothers pictures, "The Dark Knight Rises" is the final installment of a trilogy that started with 2005's "Batman Begins." Previous plans to organize Nassau lawmakers into movie trips have failed repeatedly throughout the years because of political fighting and stalling. But Mangano believes that seeing this particular movie as a group is an imperative.

"We've had four years of waiting since the last one," Mangano said, in reference to the previous Batman film, 2008's "The Dark Knight." "It's time to turn a Friday night at home into a Friday night of go!."

Town of Hempstead supervisor Kate Murray called her schedule "flexible" in terms of seeing the movie, but stated her preference would be to take the film in at the Westbury Drive-In theater, which closed in 1998.

"I am excited to see the movie and have been a Batman fan since I was a little girl," Murray said. "I remember all the Biffs and Bams! and Pows! of the old TV show and am glad to see Adam West continue playing his most famous role."

But the County's plan to see "The Dark Knight Rises" also faces some opposition. Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs called Mangano's efforts "misguided" and offered a counter-proposal in which the politicians rent out the IMAX theater at the Cradle of Aviation Museum for a private screening of the film and hire a gourmet catering company with at-seat waiter service to provide top-shelf food and drinks. Jacobs' plan also calls for lengthy one-on-one Q&A sessions with the film's director, Christopher Nolan, and stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. It was not clear who would foot the bill for Jacobs' proposal.

"It's time for Ed Mangano to start thinking more like billionaire Bruce Wayne and not some other, poorer super hero," Jacobs said in an engraved letter sent via carrier falcon. "Like the ninja turtles. They were poor, right?"

Islanders owner Charles Wang refused to comment on whether or not he would follow Mangano's plan to see the film. Wang has remained silent on going to the movies since an attempt to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" met with failure last August. He has repeatedly said that he will not see any movie that begins after 9 p.m. In 2005, Wang offered to pay for a County-wide screening of "Batman Begins" but the ambitious, expensive plan was ultimately shut down.

Observers and insiders predict that, in order to keep operating costs down, the Islanders will most likely try to catch "The Avengers" at a cheaper second-run theater or simply stay home and check out "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" on Demand.

In "The Dark Knight Rises," Batman returns from an 8-year hiatus to rescue Gotham City from ruthless criminal mastermind Bane and his army of thugs. When asked about the movie's plot, Jacobs openly wondered why Batman didn't simply hire the Justice League of America to do everything for him, while Murray wished Bane would just go away and leave the people of Gotham City alone.

Mangano supported Gotham's money-saving initiative to lay off some police officers in favor of letting Batman take care of all the crime in the city for free.

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