Saturday, May 29, 2010

My New Favorite Place

For years and years and years my favorite summer movie place was the Westcott Cinema on the east side of Syracuse near the University. I grew up in the area, spent my quarters there on Saturdays for the 1:00 science fiction/scary movies, got spoken to, I am sure, by the owner's wife who patrolled the aisles. (I like to put my feet up.) As a teenager I went on dates there - I remember especially "A Man and a Woman," the French film with the haunting music. Since coming back to Central New York I've loved going there on hot summer nights, trying to eat at Alto Cinco and then finding success at Munjed's - the spanakopita! There was always a lecture by the owner...a good movie to be discussed over and over afterwards at a coffee house or on the ride home....what fun and great memories.

The Cinema has changed and now is more of a music venue. I've missed it tremendously.

But we've discovered Auburn Public Theater through the Patricia Neal rendering of Capote's "A Christmas Memory" last year.

Last night we went to see "A Serious Man," a Coen Brothers recent film. We both confessed that we thought we were seeing something else - A Sincere Man? - still don't know the name. But instead of drama, we got comedy, although a pretty dark one.

We went first to Connie's, a Mexican restaurant of the sort of self-serve variety in the shadow of the prison in downtown Auburn. I had the guacamole and chips, savoring them immensely.

Afterwards we drove over to Genesee Street. A bit early, we strolled down the street, looking in windows and just enjoying the warm night. We decided to "beat the rush" and went to the theater to get our tickets. A local group was putting on a show in one of the small theaters - lots of loud music and rap and high school kids. Energy!

The tickets cost $5 each. I could have gotten them for $4 online earlier, but I didn't want to open a PayPal account for it. I bought a diet Coke in a can for $1.

The theater was small, and the seats weren't the softest - but the airconditioning wasn't on and blasting me away (I bring a shawl). The people weren't talking, there was room for all 20 (?) of us. We had no one in front of us either - or on the side, or right behind. Bliss. I put my feet up.

The previews were brief. A film I do want to see is about hydrofracking and the consequences of it - June 13th at 7:00, with the director taking questions. Gasland. Go to for more information.

After we walked back down Genesee. People were still eating outside at Bambino's Bistro. A jogger passed us. Other people window-shopped. A horse whinnied from a trailer being towed.

We drove back past the hundred flags in Hoopes Park - quite a spectacle! Then on to Skaneateles, where the village was still alive and going strong. A sense of peace settled in - I felt like I'd come home again, to a new place but with great familiarity.

Thank you, Auburn Public Theater!