EUGENE, OR — I’m sad to say MovieLand in Eugene, Oregon has been demolished. It had sat vacant for so long and people had vandalized it really bad. I was in Eugene, looking for a vacant theater to make into a brew pub, when I stumbled across the boarded up Movie Land.
Vandals had broken the glass doors. I got brave and made a plan. I ran to Fred Meyers store and bought a throw away camera and flash light. When I entered Movieland, it was huge and ominous. The whole entire lobby had been trashed. The Electricity had long ago been shut off.
Vandals had spray painted graffiti and kicked over garbage cans. I could tell Regal had just shut the doors and locked the place up. Everything was still there, ice machines, popcorn popper, hot dog wrappers.
It still had traces of the friendly movie theater in it, but yet it was creepy. I managed to make my way down the dark hallway(my heart was racing) to the six auditoriums. God, they were scary at first sight. All the seats and curtains were still there along with the screens. It was dark as Hell, but I said to myself, “Hey it’s ok, movie theaters are supposed to be dark”. Until I shined the light around, it looked like some kind of bizarre party had taken place.
The screen was ripped and lewd images were spray painted everywhere. The wall curtains had been tied in knots and the people had left beer bottles everywhere. I found a spot where a homeless guy had been living in the projection booth.
It was sad because the seats were beautiful Massey Rockers and the curtains were glorious red velvet. I wound up cutting a deal with Home Depot(who was getting ready to demolish the building) to remove the seats and curtains.
It was a very intense experience that involved all kinds of politics, a corporate lawyer, project manager, contractors, tweekers, police and truck rentals. I was constantly under pressure that the demo was the next day. Thank God it got delayed.
I still despite everything managed to movie five truckloads of Massey rocking theater seats to Portland, Oregon. I also have all the wall curtains.
I am looking for good homes for everything.