Staring at the empty auditorium, I can’t help but marvel at just how well the restoration of the place has turned out. The gilded wall sconces illuminating the art deco walls and the high arched ceiling and its wondrous art, which draws the eye upwards. It really makes a person feel like they somehow stepped back in time. It’s all, just as I remembered it.
Of course, no one here in Pointer would remember just how majestic this old movie palace had been in its heyday back in the early 1900's. Most would remember it from the 1970's, run down and badly faded. It had closed once and for all during the great recession of 1975. It came into my possession in 1977, although I only learned about it two years ago.*
And ever since then I had gone to great efforts to restore the place to its former glory.
Naturally, there had been several ‘complications’ for the crew during the restoration process. For instance, the question of what the original seat covers looked like had become a real issue. You see, over the years, damaged seats had been reupholstered with whatever material was available at that time. So, when the crew began tackling the seats, they quickly discovered that practically no two seats were exactly alike to guide them. And what was visible had faded badly with age.
The same held true for the wallpaper in different locations of the building. Luckily, I knew and was able to help on those fronts. Of course, there was the odd question about how I could be so sure about my choices. After all, there were no colored photos of the place back in the 1910’s and 1920’s, which was the time frame I was aiming for. But I was able to show them descriptions from old handbills, and diary entries from local historians (thank you Brian). Plus, I had done a painting or two of the old theater back in its heyday, which I was able to show the crew (while carefully obscuring the signature of the artist at the same time).
Behind and slightly above my head, loomed a mezzanine, with a fully restored crying room off to one side, where parents with fussing infants could enjoy the entertainment without fear of disturbing other patrons. Next to that, hidden behind an ornate wall, stood a fully operational projection room prepped with both the latest in technology, as well as fully restored older projectors, all ready for action.
And of course, just beyond ornate doors, a gleaming ticket booth stood, under the protective cover of a huge marquee, surrounded by lights. Across that marquee, in huge black letters, was the proclamation “Opening Soon”.
"I see the sign still hasn’t changed yet,” a voice says from behind, interrupting my train of thought.
Before I can turn to address the speaker, a second voice, a young woman’s to be precise, adds, “It’s been saying that for almost two months, ever since the renovations were finished. So, what’s the holdup?”
I know both those voices, especially the second one. After all, my dearest Lisa spends more time at my mansion than she does at home. Or at least it seems that way sometimes.
Turning to face her and Brian (her father), I answer dryly, “The management has been encountering unforeseen difficulties, which must be overcome before this wonderful place can be opened. Furthermore, management, knowing the public has very high expectations for what kind of experience this facility will provide the community, are even now diligently struggling to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, much of their time is being taken up by fielding repetitive and inane questions from uninvited visitors.”
I fully expect Lisa to have some equally witty comeback, but her father beats her to the punch. “Still can’t make up your mind on what film or films to present on opening night, eh?”
Rather than openly admitting that he is correct, I give him the most dignified response I can come up with at that moment. I blow a raspberry at him.
Brian, his smile emphasized by the old-fashion sideburns he had recently began sporting, turns to his daughter and says casually, “And that my dear, is the kind of maturity you can expect from your godfather, should you ever have the misfortune of ever having to live with him on a regular basis.”
To which Lisa cocks her head prettily and responds, “Well, then at least he’d have one mature person around to keep an eye on things.”
Considering she’s only 22, compared to my 171 years of existence, I am more than prepared to differ. However, upon thinking back on some of the many adventures with Para-Earths and other strange encounters she’s experienced over time with me and Otto, she may have a point. So, I do the most grownup thing I can think of, I blow a raspberry at her as well.
Okay, maybe there is some validity to her remark about my maturity. But there’s no way in hell, I’m about to admit it. At least not out loud.
TO BE CONTINUED...
*Author's Note: this event will be covered in "The Vampyre Blogs - Family Ties" novel which is still being written at the time of this post.*