Thursday, December 23, 2010

My old theatre is closed and I'm inexplicably sad about it.

I got a text from my friend, Tami, who is in Pennsyltucky for the Holidays--
"The theatre is closed. They're building a 12-plex next year."

Such a simple text, just two sentences, and yet it made my heart sink a little. I worked at the theater for 7 1/2 years (1988-1995), but really, you could say I grew up there.

The theatre opened in the late 70's as a 3-plex Music Makers theatre, which expanded to a 5-plex, and then was purchased by Loews. They took over an old nightclub location at the other end of the mall and became a 7-plex (5 at one end, 2 at the other). Loews gave way to Sony, which (due to brand recognition issues) became Sony Loews. It's latest incarnation was AMC. I began working there in January of 1988.

I was in my early 20's, going to college in spurts, and still goofy as all get-out. In the next 7 years, I became a manager and learned all about theatres operations--concessions, inventory, money management; how to thread a projector, how to build a print and tear it down, how to re-align the gears of the projector when they jumped out of frame, how to handle an ugly mob when films shredded in our ghetto projectors (which happened more often than I care to remember), and how to rig an arcade game to get free plays. I had my first bomb scare, my first porn movie (although not at the theater), my first car accident--all with people whom I loved and hated on any given day, but would defend with my life if someone else pushed them around. I met some of my best friends there (like the aforementioned Tami, with whom I moved to LA) and made some enemies too. I learned that universal truth (Ladies' rooms are ALWAYS disgusting but for some reason Men's rooms are not), and contemplated life's great mysteries (how man Sour Patch Kids can you eat before vomiting)(too many).

I left on bad terms. I was not in a good place emotionally, having ended a bad-from-the-start relationship with my boss (NOT a married man at the time, lest you think I'm that kind of girl). For a long time, I've had some not-so-fond memories of the theatre because of him. Now, I'll admit, I'm a little nostalgic. Knowing that the place, which truth be told was a dump even when I worked there, is no longer around makes me kind of sad. So many things from home have changed since I left and I've been fine, but this really kind of hits me right know the place.

Goodbye Loews Stroud 7 Cinemas ( In my head, I'm saying that in the voice my ex-boyfriend used on the movie times recording, which was a great voice (very sexy), even though he was kind of--okay, REALLY --a dick to me).

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