Saturday, February 24, 2007

Laurel At The Movies

Joanne made me take her to a chick flick last weekend. Stosh was away skiing in Vermont and we were trying to see if we could learn to handle the looming claustrophobia of our empty nest. We saw Judi Dench in "Notes on a Scandal." ...Don't ask.

My tastes run to car chases, buxom Bond girls, palomino horses, spaceships and/or gun play. Dialogue beyond grunting and cussing is not really needed for me to enjoy a movie. Movies that combine all of these elements are usually my personal choices for an Oscar.

I've lived in beautiful downtown Laurel since May of 1980. I remember the Drive-In on Rt 1, the short-lived Hoyt's Theatres at Laurel Lakes and the Laurel Movie Theatre at Rt197 and Contee Rd.

Joanne's first-ever drive-in movie was when she went with me to see Spielberg's E.T on one of our early dates. She insisted that we take my little Honda 360T motorcycle. She said it made her feel safer. I felt pretty stupid with the speaker hanging from my helmet chinstrap.

Twenty-Seven years and many dates later, Joanne felt bad about the Judi Dench chick flick (don't ask). So she agreed to see the 40th anniversary showing of "2001: A Space Odyssey." Kubrick's 3 hour masterpiece was playing at the AFI Silver Theatre in downtown Silver Spring. The reverently restored, art deco, AFI Silver is one of our favorite theatres.

I was curious about Laurel's movie theatres so I called my neighbor Bob Bain. Bob grew up in Laurel and we've often discussed Laurel history. He was full of information. He explained that St. Nicholas' Church used to meet at the Laurel Cinema . I think the statute of limitations has run out on his hiding in the back after Mass and sneaking into the following matinee for free.

Here is an audio podcast of Bob's memories of Laurel's Theaters.

When the streaming page opens,youmay need to click the play button twice. Please let me know if you have trouble with hearing the podcast in the comments section. I'm still learning how to stream audio.

In honor of Sunday night's Academy Awards and because I'm excited to welcome a super-duper movie theatre to the reborn Laurel Mall, I've also created a a new Laurel Connections Survey. Please let us know where you enjoy a movie and popcorn by taking the:


Thanks for visiting the blog. - rick


GregK said...

2001 a masterpiece? Well, I suppose it would be if you could cut out that 20-minute long, mind-numbingly boring part where are the lights are flashing by. :-)

Rick Wilson said...

I agree that the ending is 20 minutes too long. We attended the 9pm showing last Sunday night. Usually 9pm is my bedtime. But 2001 is 3 hours long including an intermission.

Thank goodness for strong Starbucks coffee before the show. I'd never have made it through the weird ending w/o some chemical help.

I've often thought Kubrick was heavily "medicated" when he shot this part as well.

Rick Goddard said...

I'm a science fiction fan from way back. I've got more science fiction books than the Russett library. Some of them only cost 35 cents to give you an idea of how long I've been accumulating them :-)

I found 2001 a bit slow and esoteric for my taste. Of course I first watched it when I was 19 so the action was dull. I watched it again on TV when I was 46. I'm afraid I had the same opinion...sigh

I can only assume my primitive engineer artistic ability is severely lacking. Everyone says it's a masterpiece, but I still don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I remember if you got drive-through @ the Burger King you could get a quick view of the movies they showed at the old drive in in Laurel... Thanks for bringing back some memories...

Anonymous said...

Bob, I really miss your jokes. Good to see you're now the local history buff.

Jeff Loomis