Welcome to my Wednesday meme, The Scenic Route. My journey started in Lovell, WY. While it is mostly a sleepy, little town, it has a most interesting, architectural feature:
From WyoJones’ Flickr page (used with permission):
In the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming one might expect to find archeological sites, Indian and Pioneer trails, ranches, pioneer homes, battlefield sites from the Indian wars, old bridges, and even a frontier newspaper paper office on the National Register of Historic Places.
But the last thing you might expect to find on the Register in Northern Wyoming is a 1950 vintage “state of the art” movie theater.
Lovell Wyoming contains a rare gem (rare even if it wasn’t in a small town in Wyoming), a beautiful theatre in great repair that harkens back to the heyday of the Movie palaces of the 1950’s.
We, as Americans, have lost the luxury of seeing a movie in a palace. Instead we go to crowed city theaters which are, as a Big Horn Basin resident once put it, “a tin box, with expensive popcorn, and none of the grandeur or drama of the Hyart Theater.”
Back to me: Growing up, this is where I went to movies during the winter. In the summer, there was a drive-in, but it’s gone now. Last time I was home, I was glad to see the theater back in use. My clearest memory is walking from the school to the theater, in the searing cold, that last day of school before the Christmas holiday. The whole elementary school saw a movie, then Santa Claus came and we each got a bag of peanuts and candy, then marched back to the school to go home. I had no idea it was unusual in any way. If I thought about it at all, I thought everyone’s theater was like ours.
Our theater was only open on the weekends, which probably seems weird in this day and age. It was an important part of our social world (which was very small) and the place where I started to learn to tell stories. I’ve been told my story telling is very “visual.” I hope so. I know when I write them, I “see” them in my head like a movie. So this theater is not just a historical landmark, it is a personal landmark for me.
How about your movie theater growing up? Any cool stories? Something you didn’t know until you were older? What do you think about the Hyart? Pretty cool, aye? When you read or write, do you “see” the story like a movie? Please share and in the process, you’ll be entered in my monthly drawing for a $10 AnaBanana gift card of surprising wonderfulness.