Bits and Pieces

Friday, June 04, 2004

Are You Guys Still Here?

What a week. I picked up the car on Monday, only to have the timing belt break yesterday. Bugger 1. My brother left today for three months charity work in India, and he has less common sense than me (and that's really saying something). Knowing him he'll have his passport stolen, find himself caught up in a dastardly plot to end the world and contract a life threatening illness from contaminated water. All in the first day. I'm worried sick. Bugger 2.

I went to see The Day After Tomorrow yesterday with the family. It's not at all bad. Sure, it's a bad movie, but it's entertaining all the same. The problem was that we went to one of these sprawling out-of-town multi-screen cinemas, and watched the film in a tiny screening room with a screen the size of a credit card. Now I realise that at the age of 22 I have little grounds to get all nostalgic, but I remember going to the movies as a kid to local one-screen cinemas called the Palace and the Metro, all decked out in dark wood with ornate carvings, the carpets a deep red. There were balconies from which to drop popcorn onto the heads of those poor fools below. There was a smell - not a good smell, exactly, but a cinema smell. There was magic. A visit to the movies was a rare treat, birthdays and Christmas. Nowadays it's just a matter of hopping into a car, driving a few miles out of town, and sitting down in a sterile screening room in a cinema next to a bowling alley, McDonalds and assorted retail outlets. Where's the magic in that?

The cinemas of my youth have both closed in recent years. The first, the Palace, closed in 2002 after 90 years of business. The Metro, I believe, either closed last year or is open only occasionally. We have no choice but to go out-of-town. What a sad state of affairs.
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