Friday, February 16, 2007

the commodore theater

The destruction of the Commodore totally breaks my heart. I have mentioned this theater before, quite a few times actually, it moving me incredibly for all that it had seen and all that it had shown. It is, or now was, this gorgeous old movie theater by my house, far and away the prettiest relic in my neighborhood, which I would walk by everytime I was coming home drunk from the JMZ on weekends when the L was shut down. Drunk, it would look even more magical against the night sky and the elevated subway tracks next to it, this boarded up movie house from the 1920's. Kids who watched weekend matinees in those early years are probably all dead, and so many people have written of what theaters meant culturally in those early years of cinema, writing of them as palaces of dreams, places where the underclass entertained dreams of escapism or wealth, and I think about those things every time I see an old movie house, thinking of all those people who sat there and watched movies. And to think that some developer was so short-sighted, so lacking in this same reverence for old movie houses, and tore down this really gorgeous building upsets me so much, especially when I imagine the bland condo that is likely to rise in its place. Following is a picture from October when it was still standing, and then pictures from today as it is being torn down.

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