Rosebud Cinema to host free public viewing of presidential debate

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MILWAUKEE -- President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney square off in their first debate Wednesday, October 3rd -- a little over a month before voters take to the polls November 6th. The Rosebud Cinema on North Avenue in Wauwatosa is hosting one of several watch parties being held Wednesday night across the state and country.

The historic Rosebud Cinema reopened in early September after closing down last spring, Lee Barczak bought the theater and made renovations.

Wednesday night, the Rosebud's couches will cradle politically-included patrons, and the giant screen will showcase two men vying for the position as America's leader. It's an event being held free to the public -- with help from FOX6's media partners at the Patch.com.

"I think what we're offering here is a really nice living room. I think it's going to be a fun night," Larry Widen with Rosebud Cinema said.

UW-Milwaukee Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee says the debate provides a chance to analyze the composure of the two men, as well as hear what they have to say on the issues.

"Usually what happens is they go in there and their goal is to not lose. In other words, not say anything spontaneous that'll get them in trouble and not engage in a gaffe, and not get provoked by the other side," Lee said.

Lee said voters should watch for the candidates to be provoked and to provoke one another, and to see how each candidate handles it. Lee says it's also important for voters to hear both men out.

"The key is to not sit there and be a debating coach as far as who won and who lost, but generally, we should rather listen to the substance," Lee said.

Lee said he feels the public gathering at the Rosebud provides a great environment for taking in the debate.

"I think this is wonderful for democracy because think of the difference between watching a DVD at home on your couch and going to a movie theater -- sitting in a crowd, reacting to it, seeing it on a big screen," Lee said.

"It's a shared moment among 100 strangers, and I don't think there's anything quite like it," Widen said.

The Rosebud Cinema is located on 68th and North Avenue in Wauwatosa.

CLICK HERE for additional details on the Rosebud Cinema's debate event Wednesday night.

Wednesday's presidential debate will be broadcast live on FOX6, and available via live streaming at FOX6Now.com.