Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Beverly

The next time you’re walking from the subway on Church Avenue, make sure to make a left into the "T-Mobile Store".

Take out that two dollars you have in your pocket, and hand it to the lady in the ticket booth on the side where that guy sells all the hats
and gloves.

She will probably not smile and give you a small "Admit One" ticket. You will then walk up the long entranceway that leads inside the Beverly and immediately start to smell stale popcorn. But not to worry, because you see them popping it in the machine on the other side of the heavy wooden doors.

As you open the door to the go inside, a young man will be standing there to take your ticket. You hand it to him and he rips it in two, one half goes into a wooden box, the other you put in your pocket.

Hey, how about some fresh popcorn and a Coke? You walk up to the concession stand and immediately notice a roach under the glass, walking upside down. You pass on the popcorn and opt for "Snow Caps" instead. You hand the woman a dollar and wait for your change, you think for a second about telling her you saw a roach.

But hey, this is the Beverly and Church Avenue isn't exactly Madison. So you just walk away and up the ramp that leads to the main theater. And there it is again, no matter how many times you've been to the Beverly the chandelier that’s bigger than a house is just beautiful as ever, hanging from the ceiling. It must have over a thousand lights, and hundreds and hundreds of crystals. It simply gleams like a star in the darkness, even though it's covered with dust.

The 70's have not been good to the Beverly and you wonder what that place was like when your Mom was young. Did the screen still have that giant stain on it? Was the floor always sticky? were the seats always torn?. Suddenly the lights dim to black, the screen awakens and the movie starts.

You just sit there staring at that big magnificent chandelier, its crystals still sparkling in the darkness, and you can't help but imagine a Beverly that you never knew, a long, long time ago.

Ron Lopez


Just Me said...

As a child the Beverly Theatre was "majestic" to me, a place to let my imagination run wild.

Just Me said...

As a child the Beverly Theatre was "majestic" to me, a place to let my imagination run wild.

Anonymous said...

AHHH yes the stain how hilarious. I loved that theatre. $1 movies. All 5 ape pix for $1 too. AND the sticky floors. My mom said she always felt itchy in there. After that-I always imagined things crawling on my skin and I'd be scratching when I was there. BUT I still loved the place. Where could you go on a Fri or a Sat and WALK and pay $1 and see a movie and then go to Korner Pizza for a slice and walk home? What a great local economical evening of entertainment OR a rainy sat or sun? THE BEST. Sorry to see that movie house go!

Randy Reis said...

I remember when it was 50 cents, and the stain was there then too. and so was the short fat cranky matron ( yes she would walk up and down the aisles with her flashlight). She was always yelling at me and Inky to put out those cigarettes! we were only 9 or 10, so we'd go smoke in the bathrooms. The Beverly was our playground.... we'd put folded ketchup packets under the rubber bottoms of the toilet seats and wait for the explosion when someone say down and got covered with ketchup. Years later, we'd drink in the balcony on Friday and Saturday nights an d Steven Gumpert would beat up anyone who had the guts to yell "Quiet!" up at us. Inky and i went to the premier of the Posieden adventure, sat in the 1st row, smoked some funny stuff, and laughed out lot hysterically the whole movie. Great memories!!!

Mark B. said...

I remember going to the place just to get some air conditioning on a hot summer day....Stagecoach with Van Heflin.
Loved the Saturday double features too

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I spent alot of Saturdays in that theater and saw many of those cheapo matinee movies like "The Christmas that almost Was*nt" in the '60"s. I cracked up reading Randy Reis's memory of the Beverly, especially the Inky and Steven Gumpert parts. I was in their class in IHM and I can picture them doing the ketchup thing in the bathroom. They were hysterical.