Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lost Palaces

Last week, while I am not sure what brought it to my mind, I was thinking of the old Brighton Theater on Archer. I had only visited the theater a couple times (most notably to see ESB with my mom). What a great theater it was - balcony, murals...a classic. And I say was, cuz it was closed and torn down a while back.

Anyway, thinking of the Brighton made me want to see the old gal again, so I did a little googling. And what should I come across, but this website. Holy Cow! For someone that just adores going to the the movies, seeing some of the past greats was fantastic, but at the same time, disheartening. What have we lost by putting up yet another strip mall with a dry cleaner, Blockbuster and pizza joint? As a society that needs everything right now, we have lost the pure joy and beauty of going to another world for a couple hours in a beautiful room, ornate and pristine. In our hurry-up lifestyle, we have replaced the pleasure of a night at the movies by going to a mega-googa-├╝berplex where we can see one of 700 movies, all starting in the next 5 min, sit down in a sterile, cold, unfriendly room on top of the person next to you, shovel in stale popcorn and gigantor drinks that we needed a small loan to afford....all to see a movie that quite frankly sucks.

I ask you to browse that site and see all we have lost and will never get back. Thank God that many have seen just what these are worth to us, and many have been spared the wrecking ball. They may not be in their original state and purpose (The Oriental comes to mind), but the beauty of the architecture remains, and that is a bonus to us all.

For those that wish to really enjoy a great night out with a loved one, your family, or even a little trip to the past with friends, may I recommend a trip to to Downers Grove and a visit to the Tivoli for a experience that should take you back, or your first real movie theater experience if you have never seen an ancient jewel. The Tivoli is the 2nd movie theater ever built in the United States exclusively to show "talkies". From an over 1000 seat auditorium to beautiful reliefs, you can be like my children and spend the first 20 minutes just staring at the walls. I highly suggest a Friday or Saturday night show to get the joy of the organ before the show.

I want to thank the owner of the Lost Palaces website for allowing me to post a picture and link to his page. I lost your email, but thank you so much for sharing your love of old movie theaters with the rest of us!

Now playing: "(Keep Feeling) Facination" by The Human League
via FoxyTunes