Sunday, October 3, 2010

Phantom Theatres

In Traverse City there is a great old theatre called the State. It’s fully restored and has a great history. It’s well attended and when we were visiting town they were pretty busy considering the last time we went it was a Monday.

Here we have “The Pines”, and it has a character all of its own. It’s a 450-seat Log Cabin Chalet that originally opened in 1941. The interior is incredible and it’s filled with trophy game animals. I’ve never seen a theatre like it and I’ve seen plenty. What you are looking at below is a shot down one of the aisles from the "family box". It's kind of special is that theatre - it's where the Mom's can go with babies and not disturb anyone. You can see a few of the animals on top of the private room.

Growing up in Mt. Clemens, Michigan we had two downtown theatres. This was before the multiplexes. I even worked as cashier in one of them when I got older. We had the “Jewel” and the “Macomb”. The Jewel was all modern for the time – marble columns inside and marble floor in the lobby. It was grand but sparse compared to my favorite.

This brings us to the Macomb Theatre. I loved that place and it is probably why I still have cravings for popcorn (my favorite snack). This place was straight out of Phantom of the Opera. They had the organ – a huge pipe organ. It had a balcony – and best of all it had opera boxes. They were so beautiful – I remember red heavy curtains on them and gilding on the fronts. It looked like a baroque painting – heavy – dark – glorious. Ushers wore suits in an olive drab green with red trim. And yes, they even had funny little hats but no one made them wear them.

I rarely got up to the balcony area. They had a fantastic concession area up there too. I avoided it and when I had to go and help get out candy from the storage areas upstairs I ran. My Father used to love the movies – my Mom did not. So I was the designated accompaniment for my Dad – even to spooky movies. Parents didn’t get the whole nightmare thing then as much as they do now. I’m sure it’s why I never wandered into those balconies and spent a goodly amount of time in a sprint up and down the steps. It’s also probably why I embrace having a sense of the macabre. Nope, I don’t “see dead people”, but I can frighten myself with an overactive imagination.

I hope you like the theatre photos – and maybe my little explanation of my “spooky side.” There will probably be two posts of theatre photos so I can get them all in. Maybe all this talk of the theatres is getting me ready for new monster beads or more skulls.


Janel said...

My son got to go to the State theater in Saginaw last year. It says a lot when the decor can impress an 8 year old!

Sharon Driscoll said...

I know how you feel. Everything is so sterile now and I think the kids miss out on the grandeur of it all. I only got to see the mezzanine in the evening when I had to run up there for something and the dim lights were on. I had seen the Phantom of the Opera with my father and with the huge pipe organ and all I was sure he was lurking there somewhere. What a chicken I was!