The Rapidian

Final Presidential debate to simulcast for free at Wealthy Theatre

Wealthy Theatre is providing a community viewing of the fourth Presidential debates Monday night. The Rapidian's politics beat will be meeting beforehand to discuss local coverage in upcoming month.
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The first debate this year was also simulcast at Wealthy Theatre

The first debate this year was also simulcast at Wealthy Theatre /Erin Wilson

This Monday, October 22 at 9:00 p.m., the Community Media Center (CMC) will present a simulcast of the final presidential debate at Wealthy Theatre (1130 Wealthy Street SE), an historic theatre in the Wealthy corridor. President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will be debating on the topic of foreign policy, with Bob Shieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS, moderating.

The theatre provides a large-screen presentation of the broadcast event with the community, and looks to foster a neutral and non-partisan arena for the event.

"We ask folks to avoid booing any candidate or statement, to ensure everyone in the theatre feels welcome. The events are non-partisan, which is unique among viewing parties. Some folks would rather watch the debates at home, others prefer a view party with a definite political affiliation - but it turns out there are many people who want to see the debates in a neutral environment. We're happy that the CMC can fill this need," says theatre director Erin Wilson.

The first presidential debate was also simulcast at Wealthy Theatre. The event this time will be quite similar, with one new addition to the plans.

"Simulcasting the debates allows us to enhance that conversation, for those drawn to experience this part of the electoral process together, in one space. We are exploring ways to further that interactivity, with a second screen for Twitter conversations that take place in realtime. It's not often that we actually encourage people to use their phones during an event," says Wilson.

Preceeding the event, Wealthy Theatre is providing a space for Rapidian politics beat members to discuss their own coverage of the upcoming local elections. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. and all are welcome to join. 

The politics beat, a group of passionate citizen reporters that work together to ensure coverage of local government issues and elections, is preparing to provide a series of informational articles about politician's standings on issues, in an effort to assist informed voting on local ballots. The politics beat is looking for additional members of the community to join them, and invite anyone of various political persuasions joining them in their work to keep Grand Rapids citizens informed. 

To offset costs for the simulcast debate event, which is free to the public, donations will be accepted at the door. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and the simulcast begins at 9:00 p.m.

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