Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Movies

Can you believe how much movie theaters have changed? Gone are the days of standing in line on the street waiting for the previous showing to let out (and trying not to listen to people talking as they left so as not to spoil the ending).

Some of Charleston's old theaters that have gone the way of the wrecking ball were absolute gems. The Kearse, on Summers Street, was perhaps the grandest, but I liked the Virginian on Lee Street the best. The Virginian had plush velvet seats that were quite comfortable compared with the most theaters of their day. It also had the only balcony seating that was typically open (most others seemed to have a "blacony closed" sign perpetually placed on the stairway), and that was the preferred spot from which to watch the show.

I am glad they saved the Capitol, but it was the downtown theater with the least amount of charm in its movie configuration. I like it much better now.

And speaking of theaters, the new renovation of the old State theater on Washington Street East near the Capitol is just beautiful. Those folks should get an award for their efforts. It should be held up as a model of how an old theater should be reclaimed.

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