Sunday, July 31, 2011

Waiting for the Next Premier

Never let it be said that bar talk is idle and unproductive. I was enjoying a killer piece of rare tuna at the completely awesome Krista's when I overheard that a young guy had bought "the theater in Porter and was going to work on re-opening it". I never even knew that the little village of Kezar Falls/Porter had a movie theater, but I was intrigued. If you follow this blog, you know I like to photograph local things, off beat things... old things. I immediately thought "I want to make photographs in that place before they clean it up". So, I got involved in the conversation and before long RJ did what all good bartenders do... he hooked me up.

I met Silas Hagerty for the first time when he drove up to meet me in front of his very own movie theater. Formerly called The Playhouse Theater, and a host of other names, the building in the village of Kezar Falls was most recently a discount store. It hasn't shown a movie in years.

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Silas was leaving for the Philippines in the morning but agreed to meet me and was generous with his time, showing me around his new purchase. I've driven by this building many times and never knew that behind the asphalt shingle siding shell is a pearl of American culture.

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Silas is a movie maker himself with Smooth Feather Productions and his enthusiasm for this place is inspiring and contagious. He told me about wanting to use the building as a studio and a place to teach. He talked about wanting to show movies for the community again. As Silas handed me the keys and told me how to get them back to him, I was still trying to mentally piece together everything he had shown me in this non-descript building across the street from my dentist's office. I lost all sense of time and stayed in the building making photographs for almost four hours on this warm night. This is an amazing place that can offer so much to this small town. Good luck Silas!

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This wallet was found in the theater. It belonged to a 17 year old local boy who apparently still lives in town.

Theater Cash Register

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Kezar Falls Theater Back Room

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These projectors still work and according to Silas can run modern releases with minor modifications.

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