NEBRASKA CITY – Director Adam Rehmeier says the movie Snack Shack is a love letter to his hometown, but it appeared at the world premiere Wednesday the love is mutual.

A packed house roared with laughter with references to Nebraska Heisman trophy winner Mike Rozier and the state’s first female governor Kay Orr. Along with the laughter, came the heart break. A question and answer session with Rehmeier and movie stars Conor Sherry and Mika Abdalla  was delayed to process out the tears. The coming-of-age film was based on events in 1991 Nebraska City and the hometown audience felt it all.



Abdalla: “This screening has actually been so crazy because so many of the jokes hit because you know exactly what’s going on. It’s just like at every screen different things are hitting in different places and this one was just really fun because you guys were so excited and engaged and like loud and I loved that.”

The movie’s end credits named at least 80 local residents and there were scenes of well-known locations, including one scene inside the very theater where Wednesday’s audience was sitting.

Rehmeier: “It was so important to do it in Nebraska City. And to have so many of you try out for parts and get parts and to be woven in with these actors is the coolest, most surreal experience of my life. This is the screening of my life right here. “

The line that formed before opening included Scooter Edmisten, the parks and rec director when the boys ran the snack shack.

Edmisten: “Well I’ve learned a lot things that I didn’t know went on at that time.”

And Chris Adkins who was a big customer at the snack shack.

Adkins: “In 1991, we used to take our bikes and skateboards out there and hooliganize the pool. So we were regulars at the pool in the ‘90s.”

Resident Dorothy Symonsbergen said she is not used to the language that gave the move its R rating, but is thrilled to have been a part. She said she got a role in the movie by attending a Hot Topics meeting where Rehmeier was the speaker.

Symonsbergen: “Are you proud of Nebraska City and the personality of our whole city. I believe so. I think it was a good thing.”

Lucille Sharp, who lived most her 87 years in Nebraska City, was a reluctant bank teller in the movie. She talked about auditions.

Sharp: “We just sort of waited our turn and then they asked us to read a few lines and that was it.”

Sherry and Gabriel LaBelle arrived in Nebraska City two weeks before shooting to experience everything from cicadas singing to backyard Fourth of July fireworks.



Sherry: “This town. I mean, you never read a script and then land and see the storefronts you just read for a month and a half of prep. Like everything matched. It was like landing in a dream that I had been prepping and reading for weeks and weeks – it was like here.”

The movie’s release was delayed by the actors’ strike and the premiere was questioned when the Nebraska City theater closed this winter for a refresh.

Abdalla said the movie is fun, but personally challenging.

Abdalla: “Brooke is a character that has a lot of traps and Adam knew that when he wrote her. We both talked extensively about not wanting Brooke just be like a trouble maker and to be there just solely to break this friendship apart. Brooke is a fully-formed person and her intentions are pure and she has depth and she has feelings and she has tender moments.”

For Rehmeier the tender moments were also shared.

Rehmeier: “Recreating it here, there were some of the most surreal moments of joy I’ve had. Sitting here tonight with all of you was really amazing. I really enjoyed hearing you laugh. Appreciate it.”

Edmisten says a $3,000 bid for concessions at today’s Steinhart Park Aquatic Center would be “way too low.” After watching the movie, one might respond, yeah Scooter, SURE it is.