Every now and then I am surprised by the new and different things I stumble upon. I’ve lived in the Twin Cities since 1980 and while I would never presume to know all there is to know about Minneapolis/St. Paul, I like to think I’m in the know on a lot of what is here.
In August a friend/neighbor asked me to teach him how to make pesto. Kind of a tempest in a teapot – a quick internet search will show you dozens of recipes and “how to” videos – but it wasn’t an imposition, so I went up and showed him how. As a thank you he asked if I had ever been to the Heights Theatre and when I said “no”, he insisted that we go to one of their special shows. Apparently every month they do a screening of a vintage movie on their big screen which is preceded by the playing of their “Mighty Wurlitzer”.
The vintage movie on Monday night was Singin’ in the Rain. My friend has been to the theatre many times, so bowing to his experience we sat in the front row, just off to the right. It turns out that this is the best vantage point to watch the Wurlitzer player (and not a bad seat for the movie itself). In addition, my friend knows everyone who works there, so I got a great tutorial about the organ from one of the engineers, including all kinds of photos of the pipes and instruments behind the scenes. Suffice it to say I had no clue about how extensive a set-up a big Wurlitzer has.
I’ve never seen Singin in the Rain on the big screen and it was amazing. It made me a little sad to think about how thoroughly our society has taken to the small screen – phones, tv, ipads, laptops. Even most movie theatres have cut down screen size to make room for more. Made me think back to when I saw Star Trek: Wrath of Khan on the massive screen at the now-defunct Cooper. The opening shot of stars and space took my breath away. Even without the Wurlitzer experience, I may have to keep going to the Heights to enjoy films on a really big screen!
What’s the last thing you saw on a big screen?