Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
The Loma Theatre: 1941 in 1979
In the comments section of yesterday's tirade against Spielbug's 1941, Jay Allen Sanford posted the gorgeous shot below of the Loma Theatre.
My first visit to America's Finest City was in 1985, and the yearly vacations continued until I finally made the move from Chicago in 2000. Most people use their annual getaways as an excuse to escape their jobs. Folks back home used to chide me for wasting time in a movie theater while using sunny San Diego as a weeklong escape hatch from the Windy City's blustery winters. Why wasn't I out having fun in the warmth of the California sun?
Marks don't surf.
Back then, my reasons for spending one week out of every year in SD were twofold: to catch up with people I love, and visit movie theaters I've yet to romance. I remember the bright afternoon sunlight shimmering through the rainbow-colored panes of glass the times I visited the Park for Lone Star and Faraway, So Close. Watching pieces of the Eddie Murphy version of The Nutty Professor in the then-crumbling Village Theatre in Coronado was a vacation high point.
My two most memorable pre-2000 SD screenings both involved Walter Murch. I met the influential sound editor when he attended a screening of The Conversation at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. On a more personal note, my father decided to become really most sincerely dead while I sat watching Murch's Return to Oz in Mission Valley's magnificent Cinema 21.
David Elliott promises the day he wins the lottery he plans to buy back the Loma and restore it to its former glory. Sadly, I never had the pleasure of clocking in there, and I can't bring myself to set foot inside of a once was. Every sighting of the free-standing box office and seductive art deco marquee damn near makes me want to retch. To the rest of the world, it's a bookstore. All I see is another dead family member.
Thanks for starting my Saturday with a smile, JAS. Here's a little something in exchange that I hope does the same for you.
More like this:
- Movie Poster Rejects You've Never Seen: Jaws, Batman, Supergirl, more — May 22, 2012
- The Title or Trailer Game III: The List is Life — Feb. 2, 2012
- The Title or Trailer Game — Oct. 18, 2011
- The Crazy Credits, Crawls, and Cautionary Warnings Quiz — Sept. 30, 2011
- Cinepolis: the Bar & Menu — July 21, 2011