Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Wonders - Win Your Own Movie Theatre!

Did you used to have a favorite movie theatre growing up?

I did.  This contest made me think back to my childhood, growing up in the Bronx (a borough of New York City) in the 1950's and 1960's.

Back in the 1950's and 1960's, instead of going to the local shopping mall and going into an cinema with multiple screens, you went to a local movie theatre.  There was one screen, and you got two pictures for your admission fee.

My parents were far from wealthy, and we rarely went to a movie.  But when we did, it was a big event. This is a picture of the local movie theatre in my childhood neighborhood in the Bronx.  Several blocks away was a bigger theatre.

But the best one of all was the Loew's Paradise.  I graduated from elementary and junior high school there.

Where I live, near Binghamton, New York, there are no more family theatres.  The remains of some, abandoned for years, exist, slowly crumbling.

So what better thing would there be to do on a cold winter's day in upstate New York than to sit down and write an essay so that I can own my very own movie theatre.

No, I'm not going to write that essay.  But I am so intrigued by this contest, I wanted to share it with my readers.  

I am not a cinema buff but perhaps one of my readers is.  And I know at least one of my readers lives in Maine. So..(disclaimer: I do not know these people, and I am only reporting something I saw online.  I am not at all connected with this contest or responsible for it in any way.)

To quote from the Temple Theatre website:

" The Temple Theatre is at the center of Market Square in historic downtown Houlton, Maine. The Temple building is over 6000 sq. ft. on each floor, built to last in 1918 of wood, steel, and brick as a proud architectural addition to Houlton.....
  • The theatre and building are in fully operational condition.
  • The theatre has run almost continuously since 1918. There is space and approved plans for expansion of theatre space.
  • The Temple Theatre is the quintessential small town movie theatre. There is steady attendance and good community support for the theatre."
The new owner will also win $25,000.
 There is even a video on You Tube showing the theatre.

Houlton, Maine is a town of about 6,000 close to New Brunswick on the Canadian border.  At one time, it was rich due to its logging and potato farming industries.  Those times have passed.

I have to wonder about a town that still has a neighborhood movie theatre.  What an interesting town it must be.

Would you like to own a movie threatre? Do you remember local theatres?


  1. The City of Farmington just to my south still has a local movie theatre. With a balcony no less. They were all over Detroit when I was growing up in the 50's. Us neighborhood kids would get dropped off on Sunday afternoon at the Eastwood, pay 25 cents to get in and see two movies, trailers and cartoons. We were poor and that was a real teat.

    1. Movies were a treat - and, in the summer, their air conditioning was valuable. No one I knew had air conditioning in their apartments - you had to go to a store or a movie theatre to get relief from the heat. Happy you have these memories.

  2. I never had a favorite. Sure, I could walk to one. but, it was a dump. (OK. That's why they let us rambunctious kids rmable around in it. They had nothing to lose.) But, we also went to a drive-in theater (right next to the now-disappeared Indian reservation), or the creepier theater next to the railroad station.
    Oh, wait, I just remembered- the Syosset Theater, that aspired to be competitive to Radio City Music Hall (minus the Rockettes). Nah. It wasn't my favorite- it just got the newest movies.

    1. Too bad, Roy - you should have grown up in the Bronx!

  3. What a unique contest! Yes, I sure do remember our local downtown movie theatre, which was replaced several years ago by a restaurant.

    1. I understand the contest is getting a lot of attention now - the deadline was even moved to the end of the month. Happy you have some memories of downtown movie theatres - they are a dying breed.

  4. Huh. Now that's a cool contest. I would have no interest in owning a theater because heck, I have a hard enough time maintaining a house. (And I live at the exact opposite end of the US, climate wise.) Regardless, that's epic.

  5. What a bizarre but absolutely wonderful contest! I hope you win :)

  6. Is this one of those things where there's a $250 entry fee? It's almost tempting - there have been some lovely homes sold this way. I don't need or want a movie theater in a small town in Maine, though - that would cost an arm and a leg! Fun idea, though!

  7. Those old movie house was so cool. I just love the architectural design of them.
    Coffee is on

  8. I heard about that contest. Somewhere. It seemed like we always went to multiplexes, or drive-ins. I guess I'm just too young.

  9. I'm not sure I'd be inspired to try to win a movie theatee, but I do have fond memories of the Oxford Theater in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I grew up. We would go every Saturday afternoon for the matinees. I remember going to see "Ma and Pa Kettle" a lot. Thanks for the memories.

  10. I don't want to own a theatre! I don't mind the $25,000 though. ;)


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