Letter to the Editor

Old theater holds memories

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

To the editor:What do Mayor Jay Knudtson and others see when they drive down Broadway looking for buildings they want to raze? I'll tell you what I see. Let me use the Esquire Theater as an example.

I see the neon blazing and the woman in the box office and the man who took our tickets as we went in and oversaw us as we left to make sure we behaved ourselves. They were the same for years.

I smell popcorn fresh out of the popper and the lights reflected in the mirrored wall right across from the tiny refreshment stand.

Once more I'm sitting with my sisters and grandma watching Atlanta burn and feeling my daddy's arms around me when Old Yeller dies. I'm with my sister and her husband at my first real grown-up movie: "Goldfinger." I'm being kissed for the first time during "The Reivers."

I'm shivering in line in the winter waiting to buy tickets to an R-rated movie just because I'm finally old enough, and hugging my niece while she cries over Bambi's mother.

The Esquire is more than a rotting building. It holds memories of simpler days and happier times, and it could be restored to show our young people what they missed. Please, don't destroy these old movie theaters.

MARY M. MILLER, Oak Ridge