Monday, October 27, 2008
Vintage, Creepy, Beautiful Good Time
The weekends are a time to recover. And for my husband and I, it is a time to nurture our relationship the way we can't during the week. Every Saturday night, almost without fail, my husband and I go for our date night. Last Saturday, we left not really having a purpose for where we were going. Finally we settled on going to Sumo's for dinner. On the way to Sumo's we were surfing the web on spouse's blackberry and I remembered this event at the Alabama Theatre downtown. The event was a silent movie with organ accompaniment. So, we head off downtown quite late for us (the movie was to start at 8:00). I was excited driving up to the old theatre seeing the old lighted sign. We entered and saw some pretty strange characters dressed up in different ways. There was one haunt creeping around behind posts and lurking around. I am easily spooked so I made sweetie go with me to the restroom (well, not with me, but to that area - you know what I mean). The thing is, this old movie palace really played into the whole night. It is beautiful, but in a creepy, forgotten, out of the way kind of way. For instance, you have to go down a set of stairs to the bathroom into a hidden area of the theatre in the basement. Anyway, we found our seats, enjoying the heavy organ/screaming/rattling chains music. The patrons continued to be seated and we continued to enjoy ourselves, talking and being together. Maybe a little more together than usual in this setting on this night. The stage was lit eerily green with a wind-blown gauzy backdrop. There were tombstones scattered on it and the wonderfully ornate organ was prominently displayed. At 8:00, the lights went out and the drama began. Several haunts paraded down the aisle, the leading ones with huge and ornate candelabra. They proceeded up onto the stage and rolled out a casket. The casket opened and the occupant rose, "Dracula-style" from its depths. The occupant was the organist who proceeded to take his place at the organ with the haunts slowly putting out the candles one by one with their bony fingers. The movie started (silent film version of Phantom of the Opera) complete with an hour and a half of (appropriate to each scene and situation) organ music. VERY COOL!! Of course at the end, the haunts came back with the coffin and escorted the organist away complete with a Red Phantom. The movie was very strange. The story is much the same as the other tellings, but the actions are, of course, exaggerated and the actors were over the top in their facial expressions and make-up. But, the setting, the music (especially the music) and the theatrics all went together to make it a very enjoyable evening, and particularly like no other evening. During the summer last year, we went to the Alabama Theatre several times to enjoy classic movies and the organ concert before each one. They were my favorite dates that we have ever had. I loved the setting, the movies, and the company of my sweet husband. But, this night surpassed them all. We both had such a great time. It was just my speed for creepiness (not the Saw V kind) but a vintage, beautiful kind of creepy good time!!