photo outside Hyart Theater, Lovell WY
Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

As you know, if you stop by this blog on Wednesdays, it is usually my “about books” day, either why authors wrote their books or why I love books. But the hubs came back with the awesome photo above and I realized that today I wanted to write about the movies.

When you look at that photo, you might think, “So what?” It’s a movie theater. But our Hyatt Theater isn’t “just” a movie theater, especially when you consider the size of the town I grew up in. According to Wikipedia (from the 2000 census), Lovell, WY has a population in the 2300 range. It probably went up and down a bit as I grew up, but that’s pretty close to what it was when I was a little girl.

Looking at their website, I see the Hyatt still only shows movies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (includes a matinee on Saturday afternoon). When I was a kid, the theater would close in the summer and the movies shifted to a drive-in location outside of town.

With a few exceptions (like church and school activities), movies were the primary form of entertainment in our little town. I can still remember hopping from one foot to the other while we waited in line to buy a ticket. As we’d get closer to the ticket window (there was only one), you’d get a good look at the poster for the currently playing movie.

Ticket in hand, we’d push through one of a row of glass fronted doors into a spacious lobby with rich red carpeting that flowed toward the candy and popcorn counter. It was pretty genius of them to have glass-fronted counters (though I bet they were a pain to clean after numerous noses were pressed against the glass). Oh, the choices! And the smell of freshly popped popcorn.

outside Hyart Theater, Lovell WY
Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission

Nothing like it. Ever.

Choices made and secured, we’d make our way into the theater. You could go up into the balcony or into the main area. Often the balcony was the choice of couples in love. So my parents usually steered us away from the balcony.

And then the lights would go down, the sound would come up and heavy drapes swept back. A newsreel. A cartoon, then the main event. I saw Mary Poppins in that theater, and a host of other Disney titles. How to Steal a Million. The original Italian Job. Doris Day. Cary Grant. Happy sigh I always loved the comedies the best. Or a good action flick. Saw a lot of westerns with my dad. He liked the war flicks, too.

Like the books I loved and still love, the movies swept me away into romance, danger and adventure. It has been a peculiar delight to be able to collect many of my old favorites in digital, but there is nothing—nothing—to match the experience of watching a movie in the Hyart Theater.

It was only after I grew and moved away that I realized what a truly unique place it was and continues to be. Many places that had similar theaters have torn them down. Kudos to Lovell for preserving this remarkable and historic building where a new generation of movie-goers can fall into the magic that is a movie.

Do you remember the first place you saw a favorite movie? Did the venue matter or just the movie? What is your favorite movie from your childhood?

I love movies and I love talking movies. And I love comments, so please share. I reward comments by entering them into my monthly drawing for AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). It’s not a movie, but it’s really good. I announce my winner the first blog post of the new month.

AnaBanana logo

Perilously yours,

Pauline

“The Spy Who Kissed Me will entertain you, make you laugh, give your grey cells a bit of a work out, and lift your mood. This book is such a gem and I absolutely loved it. The Spy Who Kissed Me is FUN in book form.” Manic Readers

the spy who kissed me cover art
Mama wanted her to find a guy, but not like this!

Buy it now at your favorite online bookseller in audio or digital!

Why I Love Movies
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6 thoughts on “Why I Love Movies

  • September 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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    The first movies I attended were at the drive-in. I don’t actually remember, but I’m told I’d eat the popcorn and fall asleep in the backseat.

    When I was a kid, I loved going to the theatre, but now I prefer DVDs. I can watch in my PJs, go to the bathroom without missing anything, and make better popcorn for less money. 🙂
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    • September 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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      My mom took us to drive-in in hopes that we’d all fall asleep. LOL She used to make homemade root beer and a grocery bag full of popcorn and it would be gone in a flash. My dad would go get 10 for $1 hot dogs and those would disappear, too (there were 8 of us!). I don’t miss the mosquitoes, though.

      I will admit that I’m more often found at home watching the movies. The life of a hermit. LOL

  • September 3, 2014 at 7:09 am
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    As a child, movies were a special treat. Whether it was Mom and Dad dropping kids off or a whole family event, it was fun to sit in the dark and watch a story on the big screen.

    I have two favorite movie theatres. The first is the last one I went to – huge screen, wide rows, a lazyboy chairs, where you can lean back in comfort to enjoy the show. The second is the 3-plex I worked at while I was in high school. I sold tickets and then when my work was done, would often pick one of the three movies to watch. I saw Star Wars 5 times before I actually saw the first 15 minutes. It was really a pretty cool job!

    • September 3, 2014 at 8:11 am
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      I always wanted to work at the theater, but never managed that one. Lucky you! Cool job indeed! There truly is nothing like seeing a movie on the big screen. Happy sigh.

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