How many of you have noticed the almost complete lack of entertainment venues around the Portland State University campus that cater to people under 21 years of age? Heck, underage students do not even need a place to cater to them. A venue that would just allow minors to go inside after 10 p.m. would be a nice change from the current conditions.
Before allowing anyone to use one of the most annoying phrases, “There is nothing to do,” let’s examine what options minors do have for quality entertainment.
First, PSU offers a bowling alley and an arcade in the Smith Memorial Student Union’s basement.
Some may be of the opinion that quarter-eating video games and freshly deodorized bowling shoes are all one needs for a good time. These same folks might also wonder why the Smith basement is generally lacking any significant number of females. Boys, you must understand the one great rule of arcades: Unless you bring them in with you, the chicks ain’t coming. Most girls would rather do their laundry on a Friday night than sit in front of a slot machine that never gives them money back.
As for the bowling alley, there is a reason why most alleys sell beer by the pitcher. Has anyone under 21 gone bowling more than once since high school? Those of you that can answer a solid “yes” most likely either have friends that are all of age or you have belonged to a bowling team at one time. Do you still have the shirt with your name on it? May I borrow it? Those shirts are awfully stylish nowadays.
In Portland, there are a few music venues that allow minors inside, though with a cover charge. Underage venues do not have free “new band nights” because they make their money at the door, not the bar.
Of course, there are movie theaters and playhouses to visit.
Unfortunately, the cheap, second-run movies are played at places like the Bagdad Theater, where alcohol is served.
If you want a cheap movie, you must go to the Fifth Avenue Cinema, where the movies seem to be randomly picked and are always years old. One might as well rent a movie and eat what is in the fridge.
The problem with seeing plays is they’re often expensive, and one may be getting tired of seeing PSU’s drama department performing more Shakespeare. Can anyone afford to see a contemporary play? Lowly student reporters certainly cannot.
If all else fails, Portland is filled with “gentlemen’s clubs.” In less polite company, one might call them strip joints. Most PSU students are at least 18 and may therefore visit a local “juice bar,” if they are into that sort of thing.
However, one must realize strippers make more money with a drunken audience, so the best and most experienced dancers are usually at the clubs where booze flows freely. (You may even catch sight of that cute girl that sits next to you in your University Studies class dancing on stage, paying her way through college.)
This article may seem to condone underage drinking, but do not be fooled! This newspaper would never encourage such a terrible trend.
However, it must be realized that encouraging illegal drinking would be pointless, as last week’s on-campus study of underage consumption of alcohol will likely suggest that encouragement could not increase consumption much beyond its already very high level. Do not be alarmed at this. Anyone surprised at the idea of excessive underage drinking must have been living under a rock.
Alcohol is so readily available and easily attainable that this underager is just waiting to turn 21 in order to get into concerts and see local bands in more intimate settings than the Crystal Ballroom. Well, maybe to also drink while enjoying the show, but that’s irrelevant.