Let’s go to the movies

UA the movies in Patchogue, NY after it closed down and before it was demolished.

Time and time again, I find myself mesmerized about how disposable the culture of my childhood really is.  Granted, Hollywood in recent years has been finding ways to pillage and plunder the cartoons and movies that I loved when I was growing up, but when I think of the places where I spent most of my time, they are the malls and multiplexes that seem to be nothing but demonized.  I mean, I guess that people interested in historical preservation really wouldn’t have any interest in saving a concrete multiplex whose design is as bland and nondescript as any of the thousands that have been built, torn down, and rebuilt in the last 40 years; and I guess that said design, like a cookie-cutter multi-use stadium, dictates that it falls without any ceremony.  After all, what replaces the multiplexes and shopping malls are stadium-seating megaplexes and town centres that are upgrades and more aesthetically pleasing to the community.  Nobody misses those eyesores.

Except me, that is.  And probably others in my generation who are products of that transitional part of the late-20th Century when “medium” was “small,” but “mega,” “super,” or “extreme” sizes hadn’t been conceived. You know, when there was still something left of what most people get nostalgic for when they talk about “America” or the “American Dream.” I think the assessment that my generation doesn’t have much to look back on really is only because the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were all about knocking down the “smaller” feel of our parents’ enterprises and creating cold, impersonal places. The place, for me, that will always epitomize the era is the United Artists Patchogue 13 multiplex, which was located on Sunrise Highway, just east of Nicolls Road.  (more…)