I attended a writing conference near Chicago. During the day I drove past an old theater and snapped this picture with my iPad.
I was intrigued by it and showed the picture to my family. My father mentioned that he had gone to this theater as a youngster with my Grandmother and Grandfather. They would go to DesPlaines for an all-day excursion in the summers and, as a special treat, see a movie. This occurred once or twice a year.
I like the fact that I found a “touchstone” of my family history by accident. This discovery also makes me marvel at the differences in the generations; I can literally watch any type of movie today with the click of a mouse and/or the swipe of my finger on a screen. My father literally saw one or two movies a year when he was a child.
I did some research and found out that the Theater had been built in the 1920’s for Vaudeville. It has undergone a lot of transformations since then in the interior of the theater. They are chronicled at http://www.desplainestheatre.com/content/spaces.
This is a photograph of the theater from 1925. The exterior really has not changed:
It is nice to see that these old buildings have been preserved. I especially like the comedy and tragedy masks on the exterior that reflect the twin themes of joy and despair. This is a close up picture of a tragic mask:
Categories: On Writing