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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.

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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.

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Comments

Gail Powell Oct. 29, 2011 @ 6:32 p.m.

Ahhh..this brings back so many memories. I recall seeing The Sound of Music several times there with my mother and both of us weeping tears of joy when Maria marries the Captain in that big Austrian church! What a beautiful theater that was. I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience the magnificent Loma Theater in her prime.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 29, 2011 @ 11:13 p.m.

"Lone Star" was one heck of a good picture........

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Scott Marks Oct. 30, 2011 @ 1:43 a.m.

Note the date and time for the record books! For once Puppy and I agree!!!

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 31, 2011 @ 3:20 p.m.

I think we have agreed on many things!

Kris Kristofferson was fantastic in Lone Star, as was Chris Cooper. I really enjoyed the way John Sayles did the flashbacks and how the story finished in the end with the twist.

BTW-I have noted this here a few times, Kris Kristoffersons brother Kraig has worked as a local commercial real estate broker here in SD for over 3 decades. I don't know who is older, Kris or Kraig.

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tomjohnston Nov. 1, 2011 @ 10:09 a.m.

Kraig is the younger one. I think he's been in Sd close to 40 yrs. As i recall, ne was stationed in SD in the ;ate 60's, while he was in the Navy.

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Jay Allen Sanford Nov. 1, 2011 @ 9:14 a.m.

Ha, thanks! Anyone interested in more photos of long-gone San Diego theaters can check out the San Diego Historic Neon page on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoHistoricNeon ), and/or the Reader's own cover features about downtown's old grindhouse moviehouse row ( http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs... ), the complete history of every drive-in theater ever to operate in SD ( http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs... ), and the local-centric history of the Pussycat Theatre chain, whose operators also owned (and had apartments at) the long-gone Hotel San Diego ( http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs... ) -

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