I grew up in a small town that had a one-screen movie theater called the Luez. I have so many fond memories at this theater. This is where I saw E.T. phone home, Marty McFly go Back to the Future and The Goonies find One-Eyed-Willie’s treasure. I can still taste the Twix and smell the popcorn.
Like many small town theaters, the Luez fell on hard times when multiplexes came along. It closed and reopened a few times over the years. But my town has been going through a revitalization, remodeling many of the main street buildings and holding outdoor music events and fundraisers. The Luez is one of those gems being preserved. When I heard about this I was so happy! Not only was the building going to be preserved and restored, but plans were made to make it into a multi-use movie/music venue!
I live 3 hours away, so I’m not able to attend and support these efforts as much as I’d like. But thanks to social media I can watch and support from afar. Just recently they restored the neon marquee.
I had heard from a friend that they were finally replacing the seats in the theater. I made some calls and my family picked up a couple of the old seats that were just going to be thrown out. The cast-iron isle sides and armrests, as well as the cloth fold-down seats were a little dingy but have otherwise held up. My family picked up a couple that were in good shape.
Seeing the chairs and talking about the theater sparked my parents’ memories of the dates they had at the Luez. Maybe they sat in these very chairs!
We posted pictures of the refinished chairs on facebook and the comments flew! While everyone in town knew about the theater restoration, it never occurred to anyone else to pick up some of the old seats and restore them for themselves. The theater probably could have sold them to raise money toward the restoration. Many asked us if they had any more and how they could get their hands on them. We don’t know if there were any chairs left or if anyone got some. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some show up in antique shops or find good homes in other places in the area.
As for mine, they will be proudly displayed in my living room. I plan to add isle lights into the sides just as there were in the theater. And I look forward to sharing them with family and friends who visit my home for years to come.