A Relic Brought Back To Life
The smell of popcorn is filling the air with a scent the residents of this community thought they might not enjoy ever again. But after more than a decade the historic Village Theater on Coronado is finally open again.
Plagued by problems including a building in severe disrepair, asbestos and, of course, funding, this re-opening has been long in coming. Most residents of this lovely island would walk by the shut up landmark, built in 1947, and have fond memories of going to a movie with family and friends. But for so many years the seats sat empty, rotting, a lonely, seemingly unwanted relic.
However, this treasure never unwanted, abandoned or forgotten. In fact, many in this community rallied around the theater like wrapping it in a blanket of love. Now, the transition is complete and the blanket is coming off, revealing a 3 million dollar renovation that brings back the glory days of this beautiful old theater, only better.
There’s an Art Deco mural behind the concession stand, new carpet designed only for this theater, a state of the art sound system, and a new ticket booth out front reminiscent of days past. But the take-your-breath-away moment comes when you walk down the short hallway into the main showing hall. The murals on the wall are so magnificent I’m sure I’m not the only one who had tears well up in their eyes. On one side is a mural of Coronado and on the other is the downtown San Diego skyline. Both were clearly painted by a skilled craftsman that obviously fell head over heals in love with the old theater, because the end result is truly a labor of love.
I understand being completely taken with this old theater and being part of this grand opening for me brings back fond memories. My husband and I lived on this island when the theater was operating before and we would have ‘island night’. We’d walk down Orange Avenue, go to dinner and then catch a movie. It didn’t matter that the seats had so many holes that you had to bring a seat cover and do your best not to fall through. The sound system wasn’t that great and the screen had rips, tears and pieces missing. But, I think these were some of the most romantic nights I can recall in our long and wonderful marriage. We had since moved away but would occasionally visit, always saddened by the loss of our beloved theater. Recently, after deciding to move back to the island again, we were thrilled to see work being done on the place.
So, hand in hand he and I went to dinner and then attended the grand opening. The seats, perfect, plush and new were filled once again with families, kids and movie lovers young and old. Everyone attending was awed by the work and love put into this old place and moved by the commitment and passion put into the job. The smell of popcorn was wafting out onto the street for residents and visitors alike to enjoy and be enticed in. The ticket booth was open and probably the best part of the evening was that there was a long line of people wanting to buy tickets to get into the next movie.
For more information about the theater or to purchase tickets please go to http://www.vintagecinemas.com/village/