Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today I was taken back to my childhood and that is a funny thing to have happen at 5 am. I was reading a few of the questions on and one question was "What is your favorite silent movie".  I was immediately taken back to the Alabama Theater in Birmingham Alabama. The bland brick building facing the 3rd Avenue traffic, with the gleaming Box office complete with mirrors and bright lights, giving the only clue that something special was in store for anyone that crossed the threshold.  Once you stepped past the heavy lead glass doors, your breath was taken away at the mere sight of the three-story lobby and the grand staircase to the balcony.  I remember the marble floors and the velvet ropes that kept you from entering the wrong area. 
I loved to go to the Alabama Theater.  I remember the day that I was able to go and see the silent version of "The Phantom of the Opera" starring Lon Chaney. It was the version where the organ came up out of the floor and boomed out glorious chord after dramatic chord.  It was not so much songs as the dramatic and frightening sound effects that took you closer and closer to the edge of your seat. 
I think I was more afraid in that movie due to the organ than I would have been if the silent movie had been silent. The entire day was a day of beauty. Even the restrooms or lounge as they called it at the theater was decadent with gold leaf and elegant sitting chairs and chaise lounge chairs placed around on marbled floors. For a preteen, it made it a special event to go down stairs to the restroom at the Alabama Theater.   Even at a young age I was able to realize I was in a special place where no detail had been left out. To remember such beauty set the tone for my day. Thank you for joining me on my trip back to the Alabama Theater. 


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