Thursday, July 14, 2011

Places To See Old Movies: The Majestic

There's few things I love more than getting a chance to see an old movie in the theatre. Movies are made to be seen in a theatre - and even though nowadays you can recreate the theatrical experience at home - nothing beats a good old fashioned movie up on the silver screen.

I used to go see alot of old movies. The Baltimore area where I grew up was home to a number of venues that offered vintage flicks on a regular basis. The number of theatres that show classic cinema is dwindling. Baltimore is now an hour away from me, not to mention the time constraints of being a parent and having a family and all that other grown-up stuff, I just don't get out to many movies at all - yet alone old ones.

The Majestic Theatre in historic Gettysburg, PA is about as old as theatres get. It originally opened in 1925. When I moved to the area in the early 2000's, the theatre was a twin screen cinema that showed current Hollywood fare. The theatre was delightfully untouched since perhaps the 50's. It was also kind of a run down theatre and when a super-de-dooper Stadium Seating 16 screen cineplex opened up down the road, the Majestic's days were numbered.

Somewhere around 2005, the theatre rejuvenated itself with a complete overhaul. They renovated the entire property in order to make it look more like the original 1925 theatre. It's a really cool place to see a movie or even a show. They have live theatre here now as well.

They have two screens which now show art house releases and every summer The Majestic hosts a lineup of classic films which they show every Wednesday night in their main performing arts center theatre. I've been lucky enough to make it out to one of these events for the past three summers. Last night, I took my 7 year old to see Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956. I had never seen it, although it's always been on my radar as it's referenced in Gremlins. My son Elias, the budding film nerd, was all about seeing some classic sci-fi/horror...plus he was excited to see his first black and white movie in the theatre. (I told you he's gonna be a movie nerd like his Pops!)

A cool thing at the theatre is where the two art-house screens are. In the concession area there are floor to ceiling replicas of vintage movie posters on the walls.




Elias was very happy to see The Blob represented. It's one of his favorite movies (which I enjoy too.)


Attached to the theatre is a cafe. It used to be a stuffy "fancy" cafe but since I've last been here they've turned it into a more laid back flatbread cafe called Flats, where you can pick up a pretty good flatbread pizza before the movie. We had just enough time before the show to scarf down a quick classic cheese flatbread.



This simple pizza met with Elias' approval!


The classic films are held in the performing arts theatre which has been classically themed to reproduce the feel of an early 20th century theatre. Of course, any theatre that looks old fashioned on the inside looks like The Muppet Show theatre to me!






No advertisements for the new season of TNT dramas before the movie. Nice Touch!




Here's the fanciest Emergency Exit you'll ever see. It looks like The Muppet Show, doesn't it?



There's also a balcony in the theatre.


I guess I should try out a balcony seat at least once. I like to sit close to the screen, so I always feel like I'll be back way to far if I sit up there.

It's a beautiful theatre, and I'm glad they run the old films in the summer. Any chance to see a classic is great. Elias and I both enjoyed Body Snatchers very much even though he was a little disappointed it wasn't scary. I tried to explain to him that things people found scary in the 1950's don't necessarily scare us anymore.




The ticket prices are fair ($6.00 for the old movies) and the concession stand prices are way lower than the mall movie theatre. My only complaint with The Majestic is that it's such as shame to have a beautiful theatre like this and then use a video projector to screen the movies. It's disappointing because it just looks different -it's not a true movie going experience. In fact, at last nights screening they had the wrong audio track on and the Spanish subtitles and dub were playing for the first 3 minutes. It sure took them a while to shut it off and fix it. Finally, they started the movie over again - in English!



1 comment:

Tom said...

mmmm. pizza looks good!

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