Friday, July 21, 2006

Two tickets, please.

It's seen better days, but come on. Who hasn't?

I mentioned the redevelopment activity happening near my neighborhood. This piece of history is going away as a part of that redevelopment.

I grew up within a couple of miles from the "Imperial", but it wasn't one of the local theatres that I went to on a regular basis. We had "The Park" theatre in Gardena and mostly we caught the bus up to the "South Bay Cinemas" at the shopping center now know as the "South Bay Galleria".

About the only show I ever caught at the Imperial was a double feature of "Black Shampoo" and "Petey Wheatstraw, the Devil's Son-In-Law" (starring Rudy Ray Moore). This was back in 1979 or 1980. Heck, it might have been 1978. I just remember that both movies were pretty bad. Okay, horrible, but they showed a lot of sex and naked breasts.

We might have sat through more than one showing.

I don't remember if it was even an issue that they let underage high school guys to "R" rated movies.

So, as you can imagine, this particular theatre holds a small warm spot in my memories. It isn't a memory of any great significance. I won't be laying down in front of any bulldozers (kind of late for that anyway), but it was and is still a fond memory from my teen years.

I look forward to the redevelopment of the area. The Imperial has been closed for quite a few years and has been an eyesore for more than a decade.

I understand how people can get caught up in trying to hang onto the past. Happy memories really are what becomes our dreams. Shucks, I don't mind admitting, I had a notion of putting my lottery winnings (sorry, "imaginary" lottery winnings) into buying and restoring an old theatre like the Imperial.

I'm thinking that's not gonna happen here.

The thing is, I'm not giving up on the dream completely. The Imperial is pretty much gone, but I'll have the memories and I have my imagination. I can always go out and make new happy memories.

Nothing is stopping me from dreaming new dreams.


spaceyray said...

Wow, the poor thing is barely hanging on! Those are some cool pictures though.

beFrank said...

spaceyray - Yeah, I keep driving home and expecting to pass the rubble remains of a cool part of local history.

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