Movie theaters are heart of downtown

posted by Michael Zoldessy on August 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

HOLLISTER, CA — In this story from the Gilroy Dispatch, the writer looks back to childhood memories of going to the nearby State Theatre. He also discusses the importance of the ritual of going out to the movies.

There’s a ceremony involved with “going to the movies” that TV can’t duplicate. You buy your ticket at the little booth under the marquee overhang, bending a bit to place your money through the little window. After stepping into the lobby, the uniformed usher takes your pass and tears it to show you are among the elect allowed to pass into the cinema sanctuary. Buttery popcorn, Junior Mints, Jujubes and Raisinettes – the holy communion of movie-goers – are displayed behind glass. Coca-Cola pours forth from the sacred soda machine. After buying your sacrament snacks, you proceed into the holy of holies … the darkened movie theater.

In the State Theater in Hollister, a heavy black curtain hid the screen before the show. When the theater dimmed to darkness and the drapes parted, the projector revved up and cast its image-filled light in a dust-mote beam over the audience. That night when my dad introduced me to the magic of movies, I found myself transported to another world where the drama of a duck that laid golden eggs unfolded before my eyes.

Theaters in this post

Comments (7)

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Did anybody read the article though? He supports tearing down a theatre built in the 50’s because it’s “no grand movie palace” and replacing it with a modern theatre. I’m sure that theatre was grand and palatial to those who grew up going there and just because it’s not gilded in decoration doesn’t mean there isn’t some sort of significance to the building.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on August 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Yes, I read the whole thing.The first part sounds like he teaches some course in “Religion and Hollywood: the Ritual of Movie Going” at some “progressive” Adult Ed program.
That said, even if he gets his way to destroy the “old” cinema, what makes him think anyone wants to build a new 16 Plex downtown?
Most companies want to build out where the land is cheaper, so they can have lots of parking, and still be freeway close.
True most people don’t go a theatre just because it’s old. But most people don’t go downtown either unless they have to go to traffic court!

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on August 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Kirk, take a look at Hollister via Google satellite. It doesn’t have extensive suburbs or freeways. Revitalizing the downtown makes perfect sense.

ron1screen
ron1screen on August 8, 2010 at 12:11 am

Agree, I enjoyed the first part but not the end. Why not restore the theater and build a new section next door and incorporate the new screens there. Making the whole building look like the original theater. You get the best of both.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 9, 2010 at 2:05 am

The theatre he’s talking about is in Morgan Hill.

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on August 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I see what you mean, Scott. He starts talking about Hollister, then jumps to Gilroy and Morgan Hill. The weird thing is, Hollister also has a theater called the Granada. I got derailed when he started dissing the Art Moderne style as “uninspiring.”

The other weird thing is that he recognizes how important the environment is to enjoying the show, then completely dismisses it in favor of new, upgraded technology; does he really think that a black box multiplex will inspire people the same way?

DonSolosan
DonSolosan on August 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

By the way, Morgan Hill has an 11 screen multiplex, with 3 stadium auditoriums just added recently (sorry, no IMAX) — and it’s near the freeway, Kirk! Apparently it’s not good enough for Mr. Cheek.

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