Theater struck with terrible “Thunderdome” nickname

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket, Date: April 25, 2013

The Robert M. Smith Student Center Theater is a key location on the Slippery Rock University campus.

Located in our brand new, multimillion dollar student center, it is the home to many exciting events on campus, including most SGA meetings.

That is why we as a staff are a bit concerned over a new nickname the theatre has been getting labeled with in recent weeks.

That nickname is the “Thunderdome.”

The purpose of this article goes far beyond a lighthearted end of the semester staff editorial on something that isn’t of real importance.

A nickname like the “Thunderdome” should not be taken lightheartedly.

Our staff has many complaints about the nickname, starting with the simple fact that the student theatre is simply not a dome.

Regardless of how thunderous the theatre may get at times, the lacking of any recognizable dome or dome-like feature makes the nickname downright confusing. Guests have a hard enough time navigating around this campus, let’s not confuse them any more.

Another issue is the origin of the nickname. From what we can tell, the name “Thunderdome” comes from the 1985 post-apocalyptic film titled “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”

The film stars Mel Gibson. Let’s not associate the fine art that is shown in our brilliant student theater with a terrible 80s film that starred a anti-Semitic jerk.

A third reason for our strong opposition to the “Thunderdome” is timing. We have been calling the theatre the Robert M. Smith Theatre for a whopping nine or 10 months.

Have the fond memories of Dr. Smith really faded so quickly? At least give it a year before we start tossing out ridiculous new nicknames for a key part of the building he worked so hard to bring to the campus.

Granted, we understand the appeal of giving the theatre a more “hip” nickname to make college students want to wander into it, but if that’s the case should we really choose “Thunderdome?” It sounds like something a middle-aged parent would say while trying to sound cool in front of his or her kids’ friends.

We’re not trying to be buzz-kills or anything of that nature. We appreciate good humor and clever nicknames. But we’re missing something here with the “Thunderdome.” Perhaps we are out of the loop on a funny joke with the name. Perhaps.

We don’t know who started the nickname. That’s not important at this time. Everyone makes mistakes, and we can all just move on.

But what is important is the legacy of our theatre. If this catches on we could be faced with a long crisis that may never end.

More likely is anyone that finds the nickname amusing forgets about it over the summer months and it becomes a forgotten disappointment.

We can only be so lucky as to have the lifespan of the “Thunderdome” be as quick as a flash of lightning.


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