austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The stage is a world

On my commute in, near my workplace, I pass a movie theater. Like most it seemed to be running an experiment in how few letters it could put on the signs and still have the movie title be recognizable; it also seemed to keep any animated movie around way longer than all the other theaters. Case in point, the week before New Year's they still had Megamind, which even the director had forgotten about.

No more, though: the sign now reads nothing but ``Theater Closed'', and the newspaper ran a front-page article about the decline of this local and, it turns out, independent movie theater. In retrospect it's not surprising it was closed; it was, after all, independent, and several decades old without recent renovations or upgrades, and up against an Imax-equipped AMC theater a few miles away. Plus it's in a strip mall staggering its way to natural death, with the other big draws being a shuttered Hollywood Video, a Radio Shack, and, well, a Subway, not to mention the two letters missing from the main sign announcing the plaza's name.

Putting aside the general modest shame of anything ending, the newspaper --- and let's not wonder if that's long for this world --- kind of captured the inevitability of it when the only person they could find to interview about the theater said she'd been meaning to go to it, since it had an interesting name, but she never did actually get around to it and it's too late now. Possibly inside the paper they found someone who'd actually been to it; I only looked at the front page. And, of course, now I need a new way to challenge myself in figuring out movie titles from a handful of letters.

They did have all the letters needed for `THEATER CLOSED', at least.

Trivia: For the inaugural broadcast from the RCA pavilion at the 1939/40 New York World's Fair, Burr Tillstrom operated The Kuklapolitan Players, ``Kukla and Ollie'', in a puppet-show presentation of ``Saint George and the Dragon''. Source: Please Stand By: A Prehistory Of Television, Michael Ritchie.

Currently Reading: The Battle For Rome: The Germans, The Allies, The Partisans, And the Pope, September 1943 - June 1944, Robert Katz.


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