Saturday, February 28, 2009

No.12: The Lyric

Built originally as an "opera house" for use by traveling vaudeville acts and other entertainers, the Lyric is now the home of Tupelo Community Theatre. But in my day, it was a grand movie theater. As young children we sometimes went there on Saturdays for matinees that lasted all afternoon. Later on it was the primary destination for dating couples. It seems strange to think of it now, but in that era movies repeated on a continuous basis with only the cartoons in between. So it was not necessary to know exactly when the movie started. You could always watch the end and then watch the beginning after the cartoon. When the movie got back to something you remembered, someone would always say, "I believe this is where we came in." Of course, many would watch the movie more than once. I suppose that came in handy if they didn't really understand it the first time.

The alternative movie house in my day was the Tupelo Theater, located on the south side of Main Street next to Reed's. (It's now part of Reed's.) A long, narrow building, it only had two seats on one side of the aisle and maybe six on the other side. The other alternatives were the two drive-ins: the Lee Drive-In on Robert E. Lee Drive and the 78 Drive-In on what is now McCullough Boulevard. Who can forget pulling into a spot on the gravel lot of those drive-ins and hooking the speaker to the rolled down window. Before air conditioning was commonplace, we didn't really think about what an uncomfortable way that was to watch a movie.

Now all of those old movie houses and drive-ins have given way to multi-plex theaters. And the movies aren't quite as good, either.

1 comment:

  1. And when you had spent almost all your snack money, if you could just come up with one nickle, you could buy a large... dill pickle!