When asked how he liked watching the Little League World Series on the big digital screen at the Carmike 15 movie theater, Kristian Martinez described the experience Saturday as “cool.”
He could have been talking about the super air conditioning but wasn’t. “Seeing my best friend Matthew Lang playing ball up there on that screen was great,” said the 13-year-old who attends Midland Middle School and used to play baseball at Northern Little League. “You could see and hear stuff you don’t notice at home on television.”
Carmike showed the game between the Northern Little League All-stars and Waipio, Hawaii, free of charge in two auditoriums and plans to show all of the Columbus contests. One 350-seat auditorium was filled with fans for the game. The other was more than half-filled.
Northern won 6-2.
“If you took a poll, I don’t think you’d find anyone who didn’t have a great time,” said Dale Hurst, Carmike’s director of Marketing.
Jan Rhodes certainly had fun. “I liked that I could watch with so many friends. I could never have them all at my house,” said Rhodes whose two daughters play softball at Northern.
The atmosphere was unlike anything you would normally experience in a movie theater. Hot dogs, cotton candy and drinks were sold in the auditorium.
“You smelled the hot dogs as soon as you entered,” Hurst said.
There were cheerleaders from Blackmon Road Middle School performing and encouraging fans to “Keep that Georgia spirit up.” They tossed Carmike t-shirts into the crowd.
A loud air horn blasted whenever Northern did something good which was often.
Fans took photographs during the contest, texted on their cell phones and some even tossed a ball around.
Between innings, prizes such as a jersey from the Columbus Cottonmouths and gifts from other businesses were given out.
As fans left, they received discount coupons from eateries such as Chick-fil-A, CiCi’s and Marble Slab Creamery. “I believe as the team progresses in the series even more people will want to come and enjoy a game,” Hurst said.
Larry Gierer, 706-571-8581