By: Julie L. Cleveland
If you have been following my blog, you know that I am enchanted by The Wizard of Oz , and I had the chance to see some of the cool costumes and props at the EMP museum in Seattle (see post Follow the Yellow Brick Road.) Well, I got an email the other day from The Ellen Theatre in downtown Bozeman, Montana that let me know they will be showing the original movie on Saturday night. Cocktails at 6 p.m. and the movie begins at 7 p.m., which is a crazy dream come true for someone who has never, ever seen the movie on the big screen. Saturday night, I will have my red shoes on and will be prepared to be swept away in Technicolor.
While it may seem silly, I am way too young to have seen the movie when it first hit the theatres, so I jumped at the chance to put down my $5 on an evening over the rainbow. I cannot wait to experience it in its full glory on a large screen. I cannot wait to see details that I have never seen before, and much like Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard of The Big Bang Theory had to see The Raiders of the Lost Ark with 21 never-before-seen seconds, I will wait in line for this showing.
The Ellen Theatre
The Ellen Theatre is an old downtown theatre that has been running older movies, like the Wizard of Oz, for new generations to enjoy. We were fortunate enough to go one evening while they were running The River Runs Through It. I had never seen the movie on the big screen, but have a copy of the DVD and have seen it many times over the years. I just never really saw it from the beginning to the end. Since the movie was filmed here in Bozeman, this was a special treat because it was the anniversary of the movie, and the theatre was filled with special guests who were there for the first premier.
The Ellen Theatre is one of those glorious old theatres that have been restored, and people like Gary Cooper have a star on the walk in front of theatre since he went to school here and lived in the area at one point. The theatre has all the old crown moldings and ornate light fixtures of the early days of theatres, and it is a great place to spend a few hours. It represents a time gone by, and it is appropriate that I relive a childhood classic under gilded trim and seated in plush seats.
If you have an old theatre in your town, you are lucky. They are going away and being replaced by stadium seating and cineplexes that have all the charm of paste. It’s rough for a theatre like this to stay in business, but they do not need to compete with the multiplexes, they only need to do like The Ellen does, and that is have a cocktail hour and show a great classic movie. There are a lot of people like me that will go to these theatres to see classic favorites that we never had the chance to see on the big screen.
Help restore or reopen your hometown theatre and give a future generation a place to explore the past.
Julie and Blu