Monday, June 15, 2009

The local movie house

Many here in the slammer are old enough to have had the pleasure of going to the local movie house when they were kids. I am not talking about second run art houses... just local movie houses, converted from old stage theatres usually that seemed to be in every city and town when I was young.

I grew up just outside of Boston in a horrible little town called Everett. Want to know what Everett was like? Just watch «Blue Velvet» and add 1000 Frank Booths and a few more girls dancing with snakes on cars and there you have it. We did, however, have a local movie house.

In the 60’s growing up, this place was a haven from all the horrors of this little «mid-burb» as another Everett film maker, Zack Stratis, called it.

For 50 cents, every weekend there was a double or triple feature that included short films and even old serials. I actually first saw the Flash Gordon serials starring super hottie Buster Crabbe there. I went to every Godzilla double feature. I particularly loved "Godzilla versus the Smog Monster", which I have to mention because I can then show a clip of the go-go number it started with. Buster Crabbe and go-go dancing in a Godzilla movie, no wonder I ended up the way I am!

In any case, these small locally owned movie palaces were like drugs to young kids like me. It was our introduction to film in many ways and we got to see them in a real theatre, with a real audience. Sadly, kids today won’t have anyhting close to to the same experience. They have the ability to carry these films around on their phones to watch whenever they want, something we would have killed for back in the day, but that ability would never have stopped us from going to the movies every weekend anyway. Discovering new films, good and bad and sharing the experience.

The Everett Park Theatre was destroyed.. torn down to make some of the ugliest (even by Everett standards) condos ever seen. I am sure the city gained some tax revenue, but it lost a lot more.
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