Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Metro theater!!!!

Today I read that the Metro theater, the last of the great San Juan movie palaces turned 70. And that's quite a feat. It is the last remaining survivor of all the wonderful downtown theaters of my youth. The radio City, the Cinerama, the Metropolitan, the Paramount, they are all gone. But amazingly enough the Metro still stands. And it's still showing movies.

I have so many memories of this movie theater. I remember seeing " 2001" here as a little boy and being both amazed and perplexed by the movie. I saw a re-release of the "Wizard of Oz" here and of "Fantasia" too. I remember Tom & Jerry festivals shown on Saturday mornings at the Metro.

And even though I loved all the old theaters, to me, the Metro was the special one. Going there was a treat. The Cinerama screen. The smell of popcorn as one went in. The architecture of the whole place. I even had a special seat where I always sat when i went there.

The single screen theater was later turned into a triplex and perhaps it lost something. But it still remained a favorite. Sure, the theaters at the malls were bigger, but the Metro had something wonderful about it. Something about the moviegoing experience remains there. The buying of the ticket in the street. The marquee. The old memories and the new ones to be had.

Happy Birthday, Metro! You are one of a kind.

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