Comments from Retrogarde

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Retrogarde commented about Indian Hills Theater on Feb 3, 2006 at 1:30 am

One building they should have torn down sooner was the Asarco lead smelter which dumped lead over half the city for about 100 years. Wow- lead poisening- that might explain a lot in Omaha! Mad as hatters!

Retrogarde commented about Indian Hills Theater on Feb 3, 2006 at 1:22 am

Man- don’t get me started on the big O. I left with my tail between my legs for the Northwest in 1990. You would not believe what Omaha has torn down. The World theatre- gone. The Astro (Childrens) theatre would be gone if Rose Blumkin had not stepped in. The crowning loss- I’m still angry about it- was the jobbers canyon buildings that stupid ConAgra beat the council into tearing down in the 80’s. Several blocks of incredible turn of the century (or older) historic brick factory buildings that hardly existed anywhere else. The CEO said “who cares about ugly old red brick buildings”. Of course, their ugly new office park buildings all have red brick facades and no way will last 100 years. And then Indian Hills, torn down at a time when every Cinerama left was clearly worth a fortune. I will only say this- the new buildings and the World Herald building downtown have a good modern deco style. And most important, Omaha managed to save the Joslyn and the train station- two of the best deco modernist buildings in the USA. At least at the Indian Hills I did see some amazing films (including Star Wars in 1977). And I think The Cook, The Thief, his Wife and her Lover was on that huge screen too! The only problem with Cinerama was that the picture was definitely dimmer. Comparing Omaha to Seattle and Portland, some really great things have been tragically torn down in all these cities, but by the 1980’s Seattle and especially Portland realized what they were losing and started aggressively saving even mediocre buildings. Cinerama in Seattle was saved by Paul Allen and restored to all it’s 1950’s wing-wang glory (I saw 2001 there in 2001- fantastic! too bad Kubrick did not live to see that, but maybe his reality then became more like the film then our reality). Seattle has local billionaires that occasionally do great things for the community. Omaha, on the other hand, only has the richest man in the world, who blithely let Indian Hills turn into an empty lot, despite his house, I think, is very close by. Thanks Warren for helping to maintain that fine Omaha tradition- self annihilation.