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PCR #171. (Vol. 4, No. 27) This edition is for the week of June 30--July 6, 2003.
Matt's Rail

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BACK TO THE MOVIES (a.k.a. Terence's Chagrin)
Sorry bro, but there has to be yet another installment of "My Favorite Theaters" in the PCR. True, it doesn't have a whole heckuvalotta tie in to Pop Culture, but it does have a lot to do with culture as a whole, if not pop, then personal.

First up in my musings has to be Hillsboro Theater. While there was a theater not too far from home, it was the "rocking chair" experience everyone wanted to check out. Up until the big "H", the movies was a stoic experience of sitting straight up in your seat. Heck, you almost expected to walk away from it with the usual neck cramp. As a kid, it wasn't a theater in my mind, but a movie palace, with ultra-padded seats and seat backs to go along with the rocking sensation. While Mike, friends and I saw many movies here such as Superman, Dawn of the Dead, and ET, it was a lone venture that really opens the floodgates of memorial tears. That of course, would be the Horror Classic JAWS. I had to laugh when I read about Mike's throwing of the popcorn as I did the same when Ben Gardner's head popped out of the hole in the boat. The guy behind me who got the free treats seemed to understand.

Next up is the Britton, alluded to previously as the one close to home. It is also the first movie house I ever ventured into, staking the claim as the one that started my love affair with the movies.  Back in the day, it wasn't the multi-plex it is today, but one big, massive screen. In essence, it was IMAX before IMAX (the complete in-your-face scenario). Fond recollections of JAWS 2 when Mike and I skipped out of school early (with our teacher's permission, no less). The anticipation of the crowd was intense as applause erupted at the UNIVERSAL logo. The line to get in was massive for everybody except the 2 guys who got there 2 hours before show time and were the first in line. I'll give you one guess who they were!

Next up is TWIN BAYS, the first multi, multi-theater in town, if my recollection is correct. Saw several of my all-time favorites here included Poseidon Adventure ("You want another life....then take me!!"), and the now-famous APE-A-THON. Surely Nolan remembers this historic event, ushered in by the release of Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Twin Bays showed all five ape movies in a row (that's 10 hours of ape fun) and it was just too cool. My dad dropped me off at the first showing (which was around 10am) and laughed when I told him to pick me up at around 8 that night. He looked at me and smiled, knowing my ape affliction, gave me some extra concession money for the duration, and told me to have fun. What a great guy he was! Also where Nolan and I saw Evil Dead and, I believe, Nightmare on Elm Street. (Evil Dead, yes. Nightmare, I think was at the Britton.---N)

Last but certainly not least, is the now defunct Austin Cinema where I used to work. As Mike Smith stated previously, it is now the spot of the Marriott hotel on Cypress. It is also where I had the best job of my life. Free movies, free popcorn, free Coke, free movies, it was just too much. The lobby was incredible with large murals of past movie greats adorning the walls. My favorite memory here has nothing to do with movies, but of Mike. Back in the day, many managers didn't understand how someone could just want to hang around a theater, which was something Mike and I frequently did. Some people hang around in bars, some cars, some...the movie house. I believe Mike actually got banned from General Cinema at one point because of this. Today, the chain would have its ass sued off for pulling such a stunt, but at least we have this: Mike filled out an application form for a job there and under the "Do you have any physical defects that would hinder you from doing this job" section, Mike put "Yes, I'm Mike Smith". LOL. My manager, who was not only a jerk, but a first-class idiot as well, called me into his office and grilled me about Mike, saying I shouldn't hang around with him if I knew what was good for me. I told him Mike was the best friend I ever had and he could kiss my ass if he didn't like it. Oh yeah...a few months later, my manager was fired for stealing the deposit bag. Mike, meanwhile, continues to be the excellent friend, the best you could have, in fact.

There are many theaters I'm missing, such as Horizon Park and Nolan's favorite, the Todd Triple-X (Har har--N), but I only had a couple experiences there (Right.--N). Thanks to Mike for not only bringing up this great topic, but for being such a huge part of it all.

Till next time, take care, and God bless.

"Matt's Rail" is ©2003 by Matthew Drinnenberg. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.