|The real deal at 117 Pickney in Circleville, OH.|
What goes with magic more than the smell of buttered popcorn? You know I think I’m getting way too damn old way too damn fast. I start missing shit that I never dreamt I would miss. I really miss the old twin theaters.
There was one in the nearest city to the village I grew up in but it was closed through the week until Thursday rolled around. I would catch a ride with someone I knew who was going “cruising” that Friday and ride a few laps up and down the main drag before I’d jump out of the back of the truck and hoof it to the Circle Cinema on Pickney Street.
As I mentioned before it was a twin with a paper thin wall separating the two screens. If you were at the newest romantic comedy with your best girl you could chat with your friends about the action or monster flick they saw next door because you could hear everything through that damned wall. I remember howling with laughter at LEPRECHAUN 2 and being floored by the existential horror that was IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS. I even remember when Castle Rock went to hell in NEEDFUL THINGS though I only heard it while my mind was seeking some relief from the atrocity that was FATHER HOOD.
I remember when they got the new-fangled, high-falutinest, fanciest sound system they could get. They advertised the hell out of it. It was about the time TWISTER came out and so I found myself a ride up there and jumped out on Court Street and hustled my happy ass to the cinema on a particular dark and stormy night. The sound was so shattering that the paint chips on the ceiling began to fall to the floor like lead flavored snow and caused quite a panic considering the monsoon going on outside. Fun stuff that I will probably never get to experience again. Anyway I’m getting all maudlin and shit here.
The last time I remember going there it was still as classy and as magical an experience as I could want. The carpeting, velvet ropes, and the red velvet curtain that had to be hoisted up by hand when it was show time are indelibly etched in my memory. As is the glass concession stand manned by kids I recognized from the local rival high school dressed up like organ grinder monkeys with the hat and epaulettes. Though I’d rib them and joke around I was always jealous because they worked somewhere special. I wonder if they ever realized what a great thing they had going before it was gone.
Guess what? It’s still there. It’s called The Movie House now but you can always change the name on a marquee, hell they did it every week. I may have to roll down to the old stomping grounds and see if there is any magic left. I suggest any of you who have similar memories to do some digging and if you find somewhere still plodding along go throw a few bucks at them. They may not be around much longer to enjoy.
A memory can be a funny thing. I wonder if I realized how good I had it going to see flicks there back then or if I’ve just romanticized it? Maybe the 17 year old me was pissed off because the bathrooms for filthy or some shit. If so I need to go back in time and kick my own ass. What’s the last flick I saw there? This one. I need to get back and get a better memory.