Tryon Theatre

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

To the editor:

I went to see “Wreck It Ralph” Thursday night at the Tryon Theatre. I had already seen the film, so I went to check out the quality of the new digital projector.

The last time I stepped foot in the theatre was to see the Tryon Film Society showing of “Boogie Nights” circa 1998. The seats were showing their age and the sound system was frankly unintelligible. I recall frequenting the theatre on the weekends as a child. I saw “The Toy” and “Savannah Smiles” in 1982 and watched “A Christmas Story” in 1983 when it was in first theatrical run, and not on the 24 hour TBS Christmas loop. I remember the doors would be shut when the train would come through the middle of town, so as not to disturb the patrons too much.

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The layout is still the same, a separating wall with movie posters, open on either side, which leads to the concession area. As I stepped through the double doors I was blasted by nostalgia – in both sights and smells.

There is no other smell like freshly popped movie popcorn. It makes my mouth instantly water and puts me in the mood to watch film.

The concession area walls are covered with posters and pieces of the theatre’s history. Including telegrams from Errol Flynn, Ginger Rogers and more.

The seats were updated and comfortable. I sat in the center about four rows back from the stage. I think I discovered the “sweet spot” right off.

The film was beautiful – the new projector did a great job. I don’t know how it looked before, but the images were as good as any other theatre I’ve been in locally. No, there is no 3D or other gimmicks at the theatre, but for me that is what makes this a true film experience. The majority of the time I do not go to the theatre for gimmicks.

Yes, the floor and walls are showing some wear and tear but it didn’t bother me at all. I came to see a film, not inspect the painting.

While the big chain theatres offer first run films in 3D, Real D, RPX, gigantic posters and displays, mountains of food and stadium seating they still do the same basic thing that the Tryon Theatre does – show films. Trust me, if a movie is bad no amount of displays, food, gimmicks or cliffside seating will make it any better. If this is what you want though, along with the high prices, go to a chain, but for a great experience for everyone, go local. At the Tryon Theatre, I knew the owner at the ticket window and the lady at the concessions.

I picked up an application to the Tryon Film Society and have already mailed it in. I saw 39 films in theatres in 2012. In 2013 I’ll probably see more and I intend to see many in the Tryon Theatre.

– Blake Arledge,