I knew the story as soon as I saw the headline. “Warner Theater to Close” is a rather simple and self-explanatory statement, but for an avid movie-goer such as myself, I knew what it really meant. It meant my afternoons of limited release films and late nights at the Rocky Horror Picture Show would end immediately. It meant that my high score on the Dig Dug machine would not be challenged again. But most of all, it meant that the movie theater that made so many memories for me would never make another memory for anyone.
The Warner Theater was definitely a hidden gem. The facade looked rough, but the lobby and cinemas were absolutely beautiful, having been restored in 2004 to make it look as awe-inspiring as it did when it first opened in 1931. The theater had a tendency to bring old movies back from the dead. I remember seeing “Pulp Fiction” with some friends last year, and I took my first serious girlfriend to the Warner to see “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” as a first date. That was in 2007. “Holy Grail” was released in 1975. Finding an original print takes lots of dedication.
While many patrons are sad to see it the Warner pass, we were blessed with one last special showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show last Saturday night. Having been my 31st time seeing it at that theater, I knew that the event would be a big deal. Management stated that they sold out one cinema and opened another, something they had never done in the 5 years of playing the movie. The next day, the theater projected a film for the last time. Today, a company from Ohio will open the doors long enough to take away my Dig Dug high score, and when they close the doors, I’ll never see the inside again.