The Movie House During A Dark And Stormy Night by Gene McCormick

Rain drips from the neon edges of the movie house marquee, patters to the sidewalk and puddles, with the entrance to the box office locked for another ten minutes while the corn is being popped and the part-time high school senior candy concessions girl, always at least ten minutes late, lines up the rows of Hershey, Jujubes, Skittles, Bit ‘o Honey bars and more, refills the napkin holder  while butter melts for the ‘corn and the cheese melts for the nachos and with its broad selections the candy counter as much as anything reminds that the theatre has come full circle from a vaudeville house when it first opened nearly a hundred years ago to flickering black-and-white silent then sound films, to Technicolor, 3-D, and Surround Sound all the while with heavy dark curtains sweeping across the stage to open and close each movie showing and now, put out of the film business by cookie-cutter modern 16-screen theatres offering the latest show, the old neighborhood movie house is an ornate, fading pop culture entertainment gilded relic back to offering live shows featuring retro revival rock ‘n’ rollers with paunches as big and hair as white as the smiling ticket taker who always, always says Enjoy the show as he tears the ticket in half and hands back the stub in case during the movie you want leave fantasyland to return to the lobby for more popcorn or candy but for now, finger rivulets of rain leach off from the puddles at the theatre entrance and meander to the thick glass entry doors as the buzz of marquee neon is over-ridden by thunder, the sign’s garish colors trumped by shards of lightning.

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Gene McCormick has written sixteen books, a mix of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, and claims to have read them all, making him the only person in the galaxy to have done so. He divides his time between Wayne, Illinois, and Paris, France, and much prefers Paris…but then, who the hell wouldn’t?

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