Beer, popcorn -- and a vice presidential debate?

Bend theater holds debate watch party

POSTED: 10:53 PM PDT October 11, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

Many people watched the 2012 Vice Presidential debate from the comfort of their own home. But there are some other unique ways in Bend to experience the political season.

Thursday night, the Tin Pan Theater in downtown Bend opened its doors. The vice presidential debate was the night's feature presentation.

Guests were served beer, wine and popcorn as they watched the 90-minute debate.

"Our theater is pretty much like a living room anyway," said owner Micah Lavoy. "It just kind of a way of getting people together and have a little bit of a mixing pot of folks. It's kind of a fun way to do it."

About 15 people watched as Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden squared off.

"I like this place," said Jonathan Leahey. "Secondly, it's better than sitting at home, so it was fun to be in an environment like this."

Leahey says he's an independent voter and has no plans to vote for either Governor Romney or President Obama, but enjoys watching the debates. He says the average American voter isn't paying attention to substance, but rather how the candidates present themselves.

"If you look at style and poise and being less snarky, I think Ryan has the edge," said Leahey, adding. "I'm not a Ryan supporter or Romney supporter by any means."

On the flip side, Democrat Roger Perry saw the debate differently.

"Clearly (the debate) went to Joe Biden tonight," said Perry. "I think he really out-gunned his opposition tonight."

Even though the two men disagreed on who came away the winner, both agreed being able to watch the debate and drink a local beer was all worth it in the end.

The Tin Pan Theater plans to hold events for the next three debates. They are also planning to hold party on election night.