Duncan Suzuki

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Let’s go to the movies

I can’t say for sure what the last movie was I saw at the Pulaski Theatre before leaving for college in the fall of 1980.

It could very well have been “The Shining,” based on the chilling Stephen King novel by the same name. It was released shortly before I left. I know I saw it on the “big screen,” but I don’t recall where that screen was located.

Nevertheless, having lived many years in Franklin County without a movie theatre in sight, I became quite accustomed to watching movies on TV.

I didn’t have much time to travel to Roanoke to catch a show and mom and dad never cared much for movies, so I didn’t go when I was visiting them in Henry County.

So, it’s fair to say I may have gone 10 years or more without ever stepping foot in a movie theatre.

Then, maybe two years before I returned home, Franklin County got a theatre. It’s amazing what a popular lake can do for a community.

It was a nice theatre, with stadium-type seating that kept you from having to play dodge with the head of the person in front of you while watching a movie.

The complex had five or six theatres and was constructed inside converted Kroger and CVS Pharmacy stores.

I saw quite a few movies there before I moved back to Pulaski and found myself having to travel to a theatre again.

That’s why I’m thrilled to find out movies are soon going to be returning to the Pulaski Theatre.

Hopefully people will support this new venture since so many of them like to complain about how there is “nothing to do around here.”

Of course, Pulaski Theatre will not be able to show first-run movies. That may upset some people, who will gripe that Pulaski can’t even get a new movie.

However, based on my conversation with Bob McKinney, manager of Pulaski Theatre, I fully understand why they won’t be showing first runs.

Paying as much as $10,000 to lease a first-run movie and still having to pay the studio half of door sales can really eat into the pocketbook – especially if you’re a theatre fully-reliant upon donations and ticket sales for events.

I could care less if the theatre shows a first-run movie. To be perfectly honest, there are very few new movies I have a hankering to see at any time.

But if there is a new one I want to see, I could care less whether I see it the day it’s released or three months later.

Personally, I like McKinney’s plans to show classics and hold themed weekends. I’d love to be able to see some of my favorite classic Christmas movies at the theatre whether it’s this December or next.

The theatre has a lot of potential that some people may refuse to see. All it takes is community support and the willingness of those who have difficulty finding anything good to say about their community to stop being bitter, open their eyes and shut their mouths.

No, Pulaski Theatre will probably never be a full-time movie theatre. I hope it never is because that would mean it has abandoned its stage performances, as it did many years ago.

With the ability to have movies, concerts and plays, the theatre has more potential than it would ever have by simply showing movies.

I hope the community – especially the younger folks who find it so important to be among the first to see a movie – keep that in mind.

Also, pick up a snack and a drink while you’re at the movie – regardless what theatre you’re at.

I never used to buy food at the movies because it is so expensive there. Then I found out that many movie theatres wouldn’t be able to survive without their food sales.

Given the rental fees on movies – especially first runs – I can see where that would be true.