Features

Experiencing the past at the Carolina Theatre

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Jamie Biggs/ The Carolinian

 

Jamie Biggs
  Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Sep. 13, the Carolina Theatre hosted a showing of the classic 1954 movie: “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” In a time where we have the ability to stream nearly any movie we want without leaving the comfort of our couches, going to a theater to see anything other than the newest releases may seem ridiculous to some. Why ever spend money on something that could be watched at home in pajamas?

The answer comes from what the experience entails.

A trip to the Carolina Theatre takes its patrons back in time to a different era. An era where show titles were a lit with the familiar black font outside the theater, an era in which movies were projected onto a backdrop atop a stage, where plays and shows could also be performed.

The building itself can only be described as grandiose, inside and out. Despite renovations over the years, it has maintained its’ classic vibe. Adorned in neutral and gold tones, visitors feel as though they’ve gone back in time as soon as they enter — back to a time when the world was more simple and people dressed in their Sunday best to go enjoy a film — rather than the hoodie and sweatpants most are guilty of throwing on, to go catch a late night showing of a new movie these days.

  Over the years, I’ve been to the Carolina Theatre a handful of times for different events — a field trip to see a play back in elementary school, and crude comedians comic act a few years back — but “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” was my first time seeing a film at the theater not exclusively for movies.

My father once mentioned to me that the Carolina Theatre was the first place he ever saw a movie, back in the 60s’. As “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” is from a similar time period, sitting there in the theater, I imagined I was experiencing something equitable to what my father had, 50-some-odd years ago.

The film was a classic 50s’ musical — women in big, poofy dresses, and outbreaks of singing and dancing in a dozen or more scenes throughout the movie. The film-goers laughed loudly at the outdated and cliché jokes the old movie had to offer, and applauded as if they were watching a live show as opposed to a film.

Even the Carolina Theatre cannot eliminate movie-going patrons who forget to silence their phones, and when a cell phone ringing intruded about  half way through the film, it reminded all of the attendees that they were still in 2016, and had not actually gone back to the 50s’.

  While going to an old-time theater to see a movie that you could potentially watch on television may not seem like something one would enjoy, giving it a shot would likely not disappoint. Seeing a movie has always been somewhat about the experience, in addition to the film itself.

The Carolina Theatre seems concerned with preserving that experience for as long as they can. While we may never be able to experience what it was actually like to see a movie back in the day, we can experience something close with the Carolina Theatre. Of course, theater tickets may not be the 75 cents that they were when the Carolina Theatre opened, but the visit is invaluable, nonetheless.

  In addition to live performance shows and movie nights, the Carolina Theatre also hosts musicians, comedians and other acts. A collection of holiday films will be screening in December, but many events will be taking place before then. For more information on these events and tickets to them, check out the Carolina Theatre at their website, http://www.carolinatheatre.com.

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