While looking at the newspaper this morning we saw that The Fox Theater was showing The Wizard of Oz at 4:00 this afternoon. The Fox is one of the few remaining movie palaces, enjoying its heyday from 1930 to 1945. For the past three years - soon after New Year's - they've screened The Wizard of Oz. It's the first time we've been to a screening, the first time I've seen it on a big screen, and the first time I've set foot inside The Fox.
We sat in the first row of the upper balcony.
Some folk take this very seriously. Jack whispered to me, "Look! There's the actors of the Scarecrow and Dorothy!" He failed to notice that Dorothy was a man, wearing a hospital gown under his pinafore, with his front teeth blacked out and a pack of Camels and a 40-ouncer in his basket.
The movie's great on the big screen. I noticed things I hadn't noticed when watching it on TV, broadcast or VHS or DVD. I barely know the second half of the movie... maybe because my first exposure to it was on broadcast TV maybe once or twice a year, and after the first half and all the commercials I was pretty much asleep when Dorothy and her posse finally made it into the Emerald City. What's particularly sad about this, however, is that in high school I performed in the local community college's stage adaptation as a male citizen of the Emerald City, which required me to sing that whole "Ha, ha, ha / ho, ho, ho / and a couple of la-dee-dah's" before an audience not just once but many times, and I barely remember that song. I think I was distracted by trying to get jiggy with another male citizen.
After the movie we explored the theater a bit, discovering the loveseats in the lower balcony, where you can cuddle with your sweetheart during the movie.
Jack at the top of the upper balcony, while I stand nervously below. That little wall keeping him up there is pretty short. See the awesome art deco details?
The restoration is breathtaking.
And outside, downtown, still feels a little like Christmas. Tomorrow, Epiphany. And Monday? Back to school.
There's no place like home.