Each year I make a list of new things I want to try. Some are easy, some are suuuuuper hard (at least for me) and some are so, so mundane and easy to complete. You can read about previous adventures here.
Tell me if you guys know this feeling:
A just barely suppressed desire to clap like a toddler
It pains me to admit that riding a Segway gave me this feeling
and most recently, I experienced this while watching an elderly gentleman toot away on a restored Wurlitzer as they slowly rose out of a stage in a gorgeous, historic theater in Northeast Minneapolis. As our organist tootled through his repertoire of show tunes (including ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘Give My Regards To Broadway,’ obviously) the lights on the Wurlitzer changed color and I leaned back in my comfy, velvet seat, grinning like an idiot.
Growing up in rural Minnesota, it was a major point of pride that our town of 2,000 had a movie theater. Sure, we only had one stoplight but we had art deco murals, a marquee filled with blinking yellow lights, reasonably priced popcorn, and a screen twice as big as what you’d find in those cineplexes.
So when I heard about The Heights’
live, pre-show Wurlitzer performance and their $8 indie movies I couldn’t wait to hunker down and engage in some good old fashioned nostalgia. It was so wonderful and sweet I promptly signed up for their newsletter and announced to all and sundry that this is where you can expect to find me every Friday night this winter.
Ass in chair, grinning like a dork at a light up organ.
And on a related note, I’d like to pull out a tiny soap box and remind you of something you already know:
We vote with our dollars.
Each time we spend money at an independently owned business that gives back to the community and pays employees a living wage, we’re voting for the kind of world we want.
When we go to a movie at The Heights rather than Mann Cinema, we’re voting for light up organs, thought-provoking movies, and community engagement. We’re voting against $10 popcorn and movies like this
If you’re interested in your own vintage theater experience, there are still tons all over the U.S.
: The Riverview
(this is in the Twin Cities and I go there all the time! Movies are $3!), The Orpheum Theater in L.A.
, The Byrd Theater in Richmond, VA
, The Senator Theater in Baltimore, MD
, The Castro Theater in San Francisco
, The Fargo Theater
, The Alabama Theater
, Screenland Armour in Kansas City
, Galaxy Drive-In in Ennis, TX
, The Tampa Theater
(I saw a movie here in March and it was AMAZING.)Do you have an awesome, historic movie theater near you? Leave a link in the comments and I’ll edit this post to include it!