October 18, 2000
My computer has been in the shop for more than a week after suffering an attack of some awful problem. Its memory was failing, although it's only three years old, and it was unable to carry out any of the functions that I needed. While it was undergoing restorative treatment, the technicians also discovered that the computer has recently suffered an allergy attack - that dreaded ailment we've all read about. Good news, however! The tech people were able to save the patient and restore all of its functions, including its memory, but many of them are in new formats and I will be obliged to spend some time figuring out how to do what I was so accustomed to doing, almost without thinking. So, you may have noticed that the Northwest Corner has been missing the past few days. Or, maybe you haven't noticed. Anyway, now you know why, and now we're back.
Friend David Payne adds his special remembrance of the movie houses that once operated and flourished here. He recalls that the Roxy Theater, on the east side of the square, next door to Foster's Corner Drug, projected its movies onto a smallish, square screen, the type that was in general use at theaters all over the country. The Perry Theater opened in the early 1940s at 412 Sixth street, and was on the cutting edge, technically, of that period.
As I've written previously, the Perry was in a 50-foot front building between Delaware and Elm, about where the Exchange Bank drive-through lanes are now located. The Perry originally had the usual square screen, but eventually it offered an exciting new-fangled feature - a large, wide screen, like those that were being introduced nationally for CinemaScope and Panavision movies. Films in those wide formats came along after World War II to compete with the gimmicky 3-D pictures that caught the public's fancy briefly but required special glasses to get the third dimensional effect.
The wide screen movies eventually won the public's favor and those goofy 3-D shades were quickly abandoned. Its owners closed the Roxy when the Chief Drive-in Theater opened north of town. The drive-in also had a wide, screen. It quickly became popular with young folks and families with its informal setting for movies, popcorn and hot dogs on balmy evenings in the great outdoors. Few in those audiences cared if their movies were in 3-D, wide screens or the old small screens. The joy came in escaping the heat and being casual in a kind of idyllic setting. All that quickly ended when television arrived. Those were the days when movies were inexpensive, wholesome entertainment. Remember when?