The Union Recorder

Columns

June 10, 2014

BROWN: Saturdays at the movies in Richland

MILLEDGEVILLE — Bullets, bandits, and ballad-singing gents; sidekicks, stagecoaches, and sweet-talking heroines all combined to create captivating chronicles filled with rolling dust, sweaty horses and on occasion, unreciprocated affection. Let’s return for more remembrances about movie houses of the past.

When an admission ticket was presented to the usher, he tore it in half, deposited part into a locked box, and returned the remaining portion. Sometime during the afternoon, prizes were awarded, so you always kept your ticket stub. In the evening, attendants carrying flashlights escorted people into the theatre, but on Saturday, we chose our seats, that is, after pausing a moment inside the entranceway while our eyes adjusted to the darkness.

Adults rarely attended the Saturday matinee therefore the entertainment was geared toward adolescents and teenagers. The first offering was a movie reel featuring current events, followed by the coming attractions. Sometimes the clips were so frightening that I clamped my eyes shut until David promised that the worst part had concluded. There was an advertisement about the irresistible specials offered at the concession stand, and for several years there was a commercial featuring our family owned business.

If the projected light-beam was angled just right, you saw wisps of blue smoke in the reflection. When you heard that familiar flop, flop, flop noise coming from the projection booth, you knew to be patient while they repaired and re-winded the film.

Our favorite presentations were serial short stories starring either Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers; it was our first exposure to science fiction cinema. Once the black and white serialized adventure concluded, you were treated to a Technicolor cartoon.

The immense structured building was ancient and the interior appeared grimy. The edges of the colossal screen were encased with over-sized, and faded red, heavy velvet drapes. Although youngsters weren’t allowed to examine the stage, we understood that the curtains were filled with the odor of stale tobacco smoke, and contaminated with musty smelling dust.

The metal framed wooden chairs, complete with armrests, had curved backs and bottoms that folded up when not in use. In our theater, the rigid chairs had no cushions. Both of the slanted aisles were covered with well-worn and stained carpet, and the concrete sections under the seats were littered with trash and the floor was everlastingly sticky.

We enjoyed attending a movie on Saturday, but I bet seeing it in daylight would truly be a frightening experience. Even so, in Richland, it was a heartbreaking day when the marquee was removed and the movie-house closed forever.

1
Text Only
Columns
Poll
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton