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Sunday, February 27, 2005

10 Things I don't like about Richmond - No Movie Theaters.

No. 1. No movie theatres!!

Well, not exactly true, there are two, count 'em, two. It just so happens they are the best two theaters in Richmond, metro Richmond, that is. There is The Byrd, which is my number one favorite place to see movies, and The Westhampton, which while coming in a distant second, shows a better selection of movies and is miles ahead of whatever might be number three. Really there is no number three. All the rest of them are dismal mega multiplexes in the outer rings of the suburbs. They are fun places to go when your done at Sam's Club or Home Depot. After the show you can stop at Olive Garden or Friday's for a cheerful dinner before heading home, entertained, stuffed and satisfied, efficiently fleeced your entertainment dollar and oh please deposit trash in the receptical provided. I so dislike movie going in Richmond, with the two aforementioned exceptions, that I have stopped going to most movies. Tonight is the Academy Awards and I've only seen one of the best picture nominees, Ray. I remember going to the movies in Kansas City. There were several theaters in the Plaza and Crowne Center. I always felt like I was going somewhere better that just a theater. It had a feeling of place and context. It was more than just a mall, it was part of the City. Now the Byrd and the Westhampton are both those things, but they are just not enough. Three screens in a city of 200,000 is pathetic. Richmond desparately needs at least two more theaters, just to catch up a little. There needs to be a new theatre complex downtown somewhere, probably in Shockoe Bottom, and one of the closed theaters needs to reopen as a $1.00 ($2.00?) movie house. I saying more than I want to right now, but I used to see a lot of movies at the $1.00 theatres in Kansas City. Somehow I don't feel too cheated seeing a stinker when I only paid a buck and I really hate paying $6.50 or more, even if I like the show. Also I'm one of those who feel like movies should be seen in a theatre. There just something wronge with sittin at home watching a movie, no matter how nice the TV is. Movies are communal experiences. You should be able to hear the people around you laugh, cry or scream. There is a feeling of having shared something together and I miss that. I still go whenever I can, but not as often as I would like. Here's hoping that someday soon Richmond, the city, will have it's brand new first run movie house. The place is just screaming for it. At least I am.



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