Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Movie Theaters From the Past

The full title of this story is

Movie Theaters From the Past Live On Today

Less than two years ago

My good friend Deb Brown moved to Webster City, IA March 3, 2013 to begin her new position as the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. The local theater was closing and soon was put up for sale. In May, 2013 a group of people came together to discuss the possibilities of saving the theater. This was the beginnings of H.E.R.O., a non-profit organization to save the theater and turn it into a community theater and event place.

Note: Deb Brown is our Iowa online kid. Mr. Bruce and I are very proud of her. 

The picture on the right is the marquee now. I followed the adventure online; I wear my H.E.R.O. t-shirt proudly. This community came together and recently the marquee was shining bright on the outside of the building while the renovated interior was ready for this first new audience. The new theater manager Keri Holmes Rojas was there greeting people. Check their website to see what movies are showing. 

Learn more in these links:

Paramount Theater
Burlington, NC
Mr. Bruce and I recently attended the taping of Jeanne Robertson's  8th DVD. (FABulously Funny) This event was held in the Paramount Theater in Burlington, NC. It is another community own and ran theater that has been saved. A little history and information about the Paramount is here. It is a lovely theater, perfect for many different performances and/or events. Of course, they show movies, the screen goes up and out of sight when not in use. The volunteer staff are so helpful and Southern nice!

One thing I really admire is their commitment to the community. One little example is how they don't charge rental fees if the event organizers do something to support the community. In Jeanne's case, the guests brought can goods for the local food bank instead of paying for tickets. (Jeanne's office did pay for utilities, security, etc.) 

The good news is that all across American in cities large and small these old theaters are being saved. In Springfield, MO where I live there are three. The latest one to be renewed is The Fox. It is now part of the History Museum on the Square. 

I am thinking there is a website that list these renovated old theater, but can't find the one I'm thinking about now. Anyone know of a good theater information site?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Local Businesses Along the Highways

We loaded up the car early Sunday morning, (9/14/2014) for a road trip to Burlington, NC and back. We, meaning Mr. Bruce, myself and bestest friend Georgia Ott, had every nook and cranny of JR full. JR is our silver Buick LaCrosse and it's perfect for a long trip, comfortable and good gas mileage. This trip was planned for months and I admit to being the most excited of all. We were on the way to watch the taping of Jeanne Robertson's 8th DVD. Read a bit about the taping here on the Jeanne Fun blog. There will be stories posted soon here and on other blogs. As they say, "Stay Tuned".

I would like to share a couple of things that I found in particular interest to me. Non-touristy things. (I am sorry that I didn't take notes, my BAD!)

Billboards: Besides the normal signs for fast food, convenient stores and tourist attractions, there are many, many advertising small businesses. I spotted several signs featuring local and smaller Chamber of Commerce information. One or two were quite clever; others just a "Visit Our Town" type. That is fine since many of these were donated by the sign companies. Many mentioned "Great Place To Start A New Business." 

There were the usual, older type signs near exits telling about the churches, various civil organizations, etc. I hope this practice never changes since it was a homely feel.

Local restaurants use highway billboards to tell travelers about where to find them and what kind of food they serve. One of the minuses when traveling as fast as possible from point A to point B is not getting off the major roads, in our case most of the trip was on Interstate Highways. I miss that! Did it many times in years gone by and almost always ate in a small, locally owned cafe. 

This was the most welcome type of sign we saw. We are not the GPS generation, we are look for the DOT exit signs people. It is very helpful to see the smaller signs at the end of the exit roads to tell us which way to turn for closest gas station and/or food. 

I was both surprised and delighted to see many "farmers markets" on both the billboards and the DOT exit signs. I have a feeling that is a national movement to promote healthier eating and to support local farmers. Thank-you First Lady Obama! 

Next time of my little journey, I'll tell you about tourism stuff. 

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