Re: Let's all go to the movies

03/07/18 - posted by jb

As a kid, going to any movie in the City was a thrill; however, the Market Street Celluloid Palaces were “ the top of the heap, A#1..”.

And as if one were buying a plane ticket to some exotic land, each theater had its own visual landscape, textures and even smells. Some even had snack bar treats no Avenue venues carried. I recall these orange shaped wax globes which, after chugging the contents for a sugar rush, the wax container could be chewed or molded into various monster-pieces that my parents wanted no part of. Movies played on Market often had unusual wordings like Overture and Intermission and rarely showed a serial or cartoons. The sound was always spectacular and to view a flick in Cinerama was real enough to make folks nauseous at the Orpheum. I recall all the gimicks and saw 13 Ghost at either the Fox or Warfield in 3-D.

By far, my favorite was The Fox and I caught flicks there as diverse as Parent Trap to Peeping Tom. The guilded glamour of the Fox was never wasted on me and I can still feel the velvet cushions on my palms. If movies were an escape, a visit to the Fox was a sensual vacation with the taste of royalty and high fashion, the likes of which we may never see again. Only the Radio City Music Hall in NYC comes close and the M car won’t get you there. And again, it only comes close.

In fact, that M car is long past your carage daze to cinematic bliss on the east side of Twin Peaks. Market Street Cinema was tossed under a fast passing BART train and carried off the the burbs, where their remnants were tossed together into smaller sections, devoid of any character.: Their walls stripped bare of Art Decco unicorns and ribbons that lead the way to pure fantasy.

For those of you who want your hearts warmed on a cold rainy afternoon, rent “Cinema Paradiso,” pop some premium corn with real butter, some iced champagne and get out the Kleenex. It ain’t Market Street but it’s as close as the M car may now take you.


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