Saturday, January 29, 2011


Got out and about today, and briefly found myself in an old, somewhat dusty, prairie town.

Naturally, the camera came along with me for the ride....

Sadly -- at least for me; it might have saved all y'all some serious boredom -- I didn't have time to wander around documenting every interesting nook and cranny of this grand place, but there was one landmark I absolutely would not have let slip past, un-recorded, in my peripheral vision, no matter what.

This is the Uptown Theatre*, a 1948-vintage red-enamel, glazed-tile and yellow-brick Art Moderne movie palace out in the middle of what looks like (but really isn't) nowhere. A plaque on the wall attests to its birth year, and reports that the most famous and best-loved feature of its snack bar was the pickled Sno-Cone**.

Nowadays, the Uptown is apparently some kind of community theater, which is Good because it was saved from the destruction visited on far too many wonderful old movie houses.

But for me, it brought back memories of watching black and white war movies and Warner Bros' cartoons during the Saturday matinees of my Yoot*** at the long-ago demolished Temple Theatre, a much less-interesting theater in my home town.

With such reminiscences rattling around in my head, I wanted to display the Uptown as it might have been illustrated on the day it opened.

PARENTHETICAL I HATE-IT-BUT-NEEDED-IT-NOTE: Since the community theater folks felt compelled to replace the original marquee with cheesy electronic message boards, I felt compelled to dip into my photo software's box o' tricks and black out the offending portions. If I was a real artist, I would painstakingly have recreated the original marquee. But I ain't.

I wanted to drag the Uptown away and take it with me wherever I end up next. I'll feel that way for a long time....

*     Duh!

**   If the place had been open I still wouldn't have tried one, sorry....

*** Said matinee-going Yoot being a number of years after 1948, if you please!


John0 Juanderlust said...

I'm still puzzled about what a pickled sno-cone would be. I don't think I would like it.
The present day use of the place as a community theater sounds interesting. I guess you won't be auditioning for any local productions. never know..

MrScribbler said...

JohnO -- a "pickled Sno-Cone is the usual mound of shaved ice in a paper cone with pickle juice poured on instead of fruit syrup. You probably had to have grown up in that particular sleepy little burg to dig 'em.

aka mag said...

Might need to try one of those this summer. Ya never know!

MrScribbler said...

"mag" -- If you do, I have two words for you: Toothpaste. Mouthwash.

Yup, I'm ready to go back to the Uptown's town. So many photos as yet un-taken!

aka mag said...

Awwww, where's your sense of adventure?

MrScribbler said...

Mag -- I guess my "sense of adventure" ends where pickle juice on shaved ice begins! Who knew I was such a wimp?

*turns in his Adventurer Card*