Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Chromal and I went up to the Garman Opera House to catch Lost in Translation while it's in town. The movie is a nice but shambling, shaggy dog of a film. I liked the ambiguous nature of the relationship - it read mostly as "substitute father/child" to me, but there was a bit of confusion to give it bite. Not Murray's greatest movie, but I'm a big Quick Change and Groundhog Day fan, so take it well-salted, yes?

The Garman is a great local theatre. It's about a block from where I live, in the centre of Bellefonte. It faces out on the courthouse square, just up the hill on the High Street extension, so that you can see what's playing when you're walking down Allegheny Street by the Brockerhoff or towards Bishop Street. It's a single-screen theatre, but they get a nice mix of movies, art and action and family fare. They aren't chain-owned, so the ticket price is low - $5 matinee/$6 evening showing.

The building is literally an old opera house; it dates back to the Victorian era that Bellefonte's historical preservation society is so proud of. The theatre has a governor's box, from the days when Bellefonte regularly produced governors like Curtin, Sterling, or Beaver. These days they use it to store extra benches and chairs, and it's firmly locked up. The building is in good shape, having been recently renovated. The owners had intended to have it do double duty as both a playhouse and a movie theatre; I didn't get the whole story, but supposedly some government or pseudo-government industry association told them they couldn't do that for some sort of safety/certification reason. Bellefonte can generally support a single movie theatre, so it can run full-out in that single capacity. Some of their art films probably can't support an entire week of showings, but the State College Aht crowd keeps it above water on those weeks. I'm told that it's financially solvent, and doing pretty good for the owners.

It's nice to be able to just walk across town and catch a movie on a whim. It definitely adds to the charm of Bellefonte.

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