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Since the chances of this dream theater being built are as likely as the Cardinals winning the Lombardi trophy, our celluloid thirst is gonna have to be slaked by the "Midnite Movie Mamacita," Andrea Beesley-Brown. Having nursed a lifelong love affair with sleazy cinema since her teenage years, the 28-year-old native New Zealander has brought the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) in B-movies to Valley audiences over the past two years. The second Friday of every month, Beasley hosts "Revenge of the B-Movie Babes" at the Paper Heart, which has featured a host of gory slasher and horror titles, while over at the Chandler Cinema, on the last Friday of the month, she presents "Grindhouse Redux," a double-feature pairing of a seedy sexploitation flick like Jailbait Babysitter with a carnage-laden film such as Death Race 2000.
Save a seat for us, Andrea; we'll bring the popcorn.
Long story short: The films, in general, play to more mature audiences, though the city of Tempe will occasionally throw neighborhood nuclears a G-rated bone. As for environment, we don't mean the surroundings, however charming the Sixth Street/Mill Avenue microregion might be. We're talking about the City's laudable "green" policy of encouraging attendees to get to the park via alternative means of transportation: bicycle, skateboard, foot, or shopping carts for the residence-challenged. Only in Tempe.
Take the elevator to the fifth floor of Will Bruder's architectural masterpiece. Walk past the computers and stacks until your nose presses against the glass facing north. To the left is the west side, to the right Camelback Mountain. From here, you can see 180 degrees of nature's fury and some of the best electrical storms this side of Twister. While everyone else is rushing home to avoid the storm, we'll revel in the flashes of light, whip-cracks of thunder and haze of a quick desert rain. Lightning really does strike twice. We've seen it.
The surreal storefront of Way Cool stands out from its neighbors by boasting exotically disjointed metal work (including a curlicue jumble of electrical conduit and sheet metal) covering the front door and signage, while stickers from Valley bands and the trippy graf-style paintings of Joerael Elliot adorn the front windows.
There's also a ramp-like metal structure for skaters to pull plenty of tricks and get some air, and when the salon's open for business, a madcap mannequin covered in feathered boa and other freaky fashion sits in a wheelchair on the sidewalk.
Here are a few words that come to mind when Ron Reinstein's name comes up: Compassionate, thoughtful, even-handed, funny, egalitarian. Reinstein has presided over more high-profile cases (most of them death-penalty homicide trials) than any other judge, though his judicial star may have shone most brightly when the powers that be inexplicably rotated him off the criminal bench, first to Family Court and later to Juvenile Court. There, finally out of the spotlight, Reinstein quickly distinguished himself as a go-to guy, the judge whom everyone wanted to appear before because of his attention to detail and always-courteous demeanor.
The courthouse is more than a little darker in his absence.
In the end, once you got past the bleatings of both your court-appointed habeas attorneys and their counterparts the elected talking-head prosecutors, who would as much pass up a publicity opportunity as Barry Bonds would pass up a fresh load of 'roids you faced death with an unexpected dignity and jailhouse élan. And your last two words on this Earth, "Go Raiders," are almost as good as the Missouri killer whose last words in 2000 were, "Someone's got to kill my trial attorney." Really.