Movie Theatre Transforms into NCAA Tournament Watch Party

Paul Gutierrez

OMAHA (KPTM) - For more than two hours people were on the edge of their seats. Some of them were even biting their fingernails with their eyes glued to the silver screen. Sounds like an intense action-adventure movie, right? On Friday, it wasn't.

At Aksarben Cinema, fans turned down the chance to see a blockbuster Friday because the theatre was actually airing the NCAA Tournament featuring the Nebraska and Creighton basketball games.

"I love watching it on the big screen," said Katie Pelletier, a Creighton fan. "It's almost like being there."

"You can see so much better," added Nancy Hemesath, a cousin of Creighton basketball's Grant Gibbs. "That's why I like it here. You see everything much clearer than you can on a small TV set."

The special showcase Friday also offered a change of pace. Some didn't want to deal with the hustle and bustle of a crowded bar, so they ended up at Aksarben; a more family-friendly way in their view to watch the action and, for Creighton fans, see if their big expectations come true.

"I would be extremely happy if we made it to the Sweet Sixteen," said Pelletier. "I would be ecstatic on the other hand if we made it to the Elite Eight and beyond."

On the Husker side, however, the fairy tale is over. Earlier in the day at Aksarben, fans watched the team drop its tournament opener; a result that leaves Creighton as Nebraska's only hope to win a championship.

Aksarben will show Creighton's third round game on Sunday. The theatre also hosts other special events outside of postseason basketball. Among them, UNO hockey and music awards.