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.

2 comments:

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!