Friday, November 11, 2011

A night of firsts

Today is Veterans Day. Support those who served and their families, plus those currently serving. Thank you.

Last night, I went to the Laurelhurst Theater for the first time. I saw Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic film, "Rear Window," on the big screen for the first time. I walked home from the movie theater, a total of 10 blocks, for the first time since I was a little girl in Norco, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans.

Back then, the movie theater was a couple of blocks away, and I remember going several Saturdays to watch episodes of a serial. Don't remember which one, but I vividly remember walking down the shell road in the trailer park where we lived, walking toward the street perpendicular to the road between two rows of trailers, walking toward the levee that enclosed the Mississippi River. That levee soared above me, it seemed. I remember once seeing the smokestack of some sort of ship moving slowly by. I was in elementary school, maybe eight years old. I was short which added to my impression of the height of the levee. I remember that the smokestack was blue and white and yellow; there might have been a star on it. And here's why I only saw several episodes--my Daddy's job, building water cooling towers for industrial purposes, took us from place to place all across the country. The longest we lived anywhere was three months, the shortest overnight in Enid, Oklahoma--the supplies to build the cooling tower were not on site, so we were sent back to Borger, Texas, to work on another one there.

I don't have any trouble remembering scenes and the setting and the plot of "Rear Window." It is my favorite film, probably seen it on TV a dozen times. I feel blessed to have been able to see it tonight on the big screen. I never get tired of watching Jimmy Stewart act, seemingly without effort. I never get tired of watching Grace Kelly glow on screen. The characters played by Thelma Ritter, Wendall Corey and Raymond Burr-all so well done. And let's not forget the folks who lived in the other apartments overlooking the courtyard. Intriguing to be sure. No wonder Jimmy Stewart's character couldn't stop watching. He could go no where else, so he found the perfect way to spend time.

The lobby, looking toward the box office.

The theater where I watched "Rear Window." There are narrow, rectangular tables in part of the seating area, on every other row, I think. Until everyone ate their slices of pizza they'd bought in the lobby, I have to admit to sensory confusion--smelling pizza in a movie theater struck me as weird.

And the icing on the cake, this delicious neon all over the marquee.




parker said...

Beautiful old Theater. Fantastic neon lights! You captured them well!

Enjoyed your narrative. A family on the move!

Jack said...

Terrific post today, Lynette. I like the old movie theaters. So few are still open. I have seen Rear Window several times, always on TV. It would be a delight to see it on the big screen.

RedPat said...

That neon sign is incredible - love it!

Louis la Vache said...

What a fabulous retro sign!

A tip of the hat to you from «Louis» for remembering Veterans Day.

Bob Crowe said...

WOW - WEE. That top one sure is a great photo. It is so hard to expose neon correctly and get anything around it in balance.

Randy said...

Wow I just love that neon. I would have loved to have seen that on the big screen.

bfarr said...

Great theater and neon...a blast from my long ago youth...