07 June 2009
I grew up a block away from The Hollywood Theatre, a once glamorous art deco movie house. The Hollywood opened in 1935 closing 52 years later in 1987. I was 9 years old when it closed, but remember the theatre vividly and fondly.
A few weeks ago, The Hollywood was open to the public. My friends Meg & Mark were with me and I likely bored them as I excitedly exclaimed, "I remember watching E.T. up there!" and "Over there was a Pac-Man video game table. Remember those? Oh all the big kids got to play on that, they were so cool." Amazingly, despite all of the decay from being closed for 22 years I could still see what it once was and it remarkably felt the same.
It was phenomenal to be inside the theatre and to have all those old memories jogged. But more striking was all the memories people shared while walking through. We ran into my grandpa there. He was with 2 friends who he grew up with blocks away from the theatre. The three of them strolled around reminscing over movies they'd seen there the pennies they saved for admission, and the sodas they'd shared at the drugstore on the corner after. I overheard people talking about seeing Star Wars, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf & Splash. It was a little bit moving.
I lingered in the theatre for a while, not feeling quite ready to leave. There is no set future for the Hollywood and a lot of talk of what should or shouldn't happen with it. So, I just wanted to savor it a little longer and try to memorize details of what was left. When I walked out the door, I looked back & made a wish that the next time I enter those doors it will be to see a film inside an again glamorous movie house.