Month: March 2007

The Last Picture Show….

I have spent a lot of time lately trying to dispute the claim that “you can never go home again” but am slowly beginning to succumb in anguish to that old quote. I began a few weeks ago checking on the well-being of some of my favorite places when I was growing up. And the various movie theaters (picture shows is what they really are by the way) around town was to be one of my main endeavors.

Here is a photo of my old neighborhood theater called the “Nabor Theater” where I watched Hopalong, Tim Holt, Roy and Dale, Lash Larue, Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Superman and Rocket Man. If I hadn’t known where it use to stand, I may not have even recognized the old friend. Click on image to enlarge….

Nabor Theater

Another of the local neighborhood theaters in another area of town has been turned into a plush retail outlet hosting several business. It was known as the “Heights Theater” and only the remnant of its marquee statuette remains still towering over its domain. Click on images to enlarge….

Heights Theater - 01

Heights Theater - 02

We had three major picture shows in our downtown area. They were the “Arkansas Theater”, the “Capitol Theater”, and the “Center Theater”. The “Arkansas Theater” is now a parking lot while the “Capitol Theater” has gone through an apparent metamorphosis turning into the USAble Corporation, a multi-storied office building housing many various businesses. Only the “Center Theater” still clings to life standing among other buildings of like nature, all dying of old age and abuse.

My first real memory of my relationship with the “Center Theater” was that it was where I first saw the movie “King Kong”. Although that movie was first released about eight years before I was born, in those days movie theaters functioned a bit like television does today and would bring movies back after several years for a rerun. In those days there was no way to ever see a movie again unless they brought it back to the theater again. I’m guessing it was probably around 1949 when I got to see the movie. But I spent many an hour in that wonderful old theater watching a movie. I even recall seeing my first 3-D movie there.

There are several theater multiplexes now in and about the old home town but there remains only one “picture show”. A picture show who was my friend and comforter and I felt it completely necessary to pay homage to such a dear friend before our passing…..as well as the term “picture show”. So below are a few remaining glimpses of this dear old friend. Click on images to enlarge….

Center Theater - 03
Center Theater - 02

Center Theater - 01

As I sadly starred at the deteriorating condition while snapping these photos I realized that in a way I was looking in a mirror. Neither of us having quite the stature and shine we had fifty-five years ago. Living together in a world where days are numbered and death inevitable. So in this post I am sharing what is indeed left of “the last picture show” in my old home town. Perhaps you have had a similar friend and experience yourself.