The Last Picture Show

The Last Picture ShowThe United Artist Theater on Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia has closed permanently.

The theater was part of a transformation of a decrepit industrial area into a shopping mecca that started about 30 years ago. It wasn’t a great movie theater. I haven’t been in a great movie theater since they did away with velvet curtains that opened as the show started, but it was one of the few remaining movie houses in an urban area. I stuck to matinees and movies that had long since peaked and were about to close. There were a number of shows where my son and I and maybe a couple of stragglers were the only members of the audience for alleged blockbusters. I often wondered how they held on prior to government mandated lockdowns. I guess selling concessions was their main business. Soda was $6 for a small! I think they had a financial specialist at the counter to discuss plans for financing hot dogs or nachos with microwaved canned cheese. Easy credit terms!

Well, now the well has run dry, and I’m missing the water. My son and I had a standing date to check out whatever may be playing during the various holidays. Around Easter, I was trying to assure my son that we would catch a movie during Memorial Day. That got kicked to Labor Day which didn’t work out. Black Friday was another good movie day. Nope.

I couldn’t tell you the first movie I saw there. Like a lot of movies made in recent years, they are quickly and easily forgotten. I’d like to tell you that I saw some cinematic treasure, but the last movie I saw there was Spies in Disguise on December 28, 2019 at the behest of my son. I had forgotten it, but my son reminded me.

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