This Saturday you have the unique opportunity to put your money where your movies are.
“Admit One” is an original short film by Goshen College’s FiveCore Media about the historic Goshen Theater. Its premiere officially kicks off fundraising efforts for the renovation of this jewel in Goshen’s downtown crown.
As a sponsor for the 2016 Goshen News film series, I repeatedly heard stories from visitors who regaled me with tales of the last movie they ever saw downtown or others who would state their hope the theater can be viable once again.
These people would come, occasionally donate a dollar or two, buy some popcorn, nestle into their seat and take in the architecture that remains the same today as it did nearly 100 years ago.
This Saturday, during a red-carpet event that begins at 7 p.m., people like you and me can do more.
I always loved going to the theater; probably because as a child, I rarely got to go. In my hometown there was the Pix, a dirty red-carpeted smallish venue that always smelled of stale cigarettes and burned popcorn and where your steps sounded like suction cups from the decades of soda permanently stained into the floor.
Eighteen miles away was the Ritz; a slightly larger theater with a full-fledged lobby that wreaked of buttered popcorn and had a much larger selection of candy behind a fingerprint-stained glass. The Ritz had an eight-step balcony, often ringed in smoke and the sound of girls giggling and jostling boys would occasionally overwhelm the feature film.
When I was younger, films like “Jaws,” “Carrie,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Star Wars” would both excite and frighten me. I got my first kiss watching “Soylent Green” and suffered my first break up shortly thereafter (I’m hoping it didn’t have anything to do with the kiss). I laughed at Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles,” cried at “Coming Home,” cheered “Apocalypse Now,” was stunned into silence by “Iris” and “The King’s Speech” and most recently loved “Hidden Figures” and “Fences.”
I’ve watched “Casablanca” more than a dozen times and despite Rhett Butler’s claim in “Gone with the Wind,” he did “give a damn.” I wanted to be John Wayne and I always was happy when Harold finally got his wings. And while I can never go back to my childhood innocence and the wonder of the “Wizard of Oz,” I might be able to help another child find Nemo and let the Force take them away in their imagination.
This Saturday evening you can help too. For years, volunteers have whispered about restoring Goshen’s Grand Dame of its downtown with the renovation of the historic Goshen Theater. This Saturday, the official kickoff begins as plans to start Phase I of the multi-million dollar theater restoration.
The event is your chance to share the memories you’ve had and help make memories for generations to come. For $35 per person, you can sample hors d’oeuvres from Kelly Jae's Cafe; listen to jazz from the Jabberwock Jazz Quartet; view the story of the history of this classic theater and the people trying to revive it and have a chance to bid on silent-auction items including a chance to sail on Lake Michigan; a Janus motorcycle and dining and shopping packages from your favorite stores in Goshen and beyond.
It’s easy to say, “I hope they can save the theater.” Starting Saturday, you can be part of the solution. Go to goshentheater.com and get your tickets.
Come see the premiere of “Admit One” and become an ambassador to a theater that helps make Goshen a better place to live.
Put your money where your movies are so that your children can make their own memories right here in town.
Brian Bloom is publisher of The Goshen News, a position he has held since March 2015. He can be reached at brian.Roboto, arial, firstname.lastname@example.org.