Here's the Ames Tribune article on what I found to be a surprisingly rich history of movie theaters in Ames. I had no idea the first theater opened here in 1907. Talk about the early days of cinema.
I mention this because Saturday was the last day for the Noth Grand 5 theaters. I'm disappointed in this on a number of different levels--some of them personal, some of them communal. First, the personal:
Before we became parents, my wife and I lived close to the mall. There were many a Friday and Saturday night, and the occasional Tuesday, where we'd go see a movie just for the experience. Man, did we some some BAD movies just for the popcorn and dimmed lights. Someone had to see "Big Mama's House," right? After the kids were born, we'd go to the mall theater because, to be frank, it was cheap. Well, cheaper. No kidding, taking the three kids and I to a matinee show at Movies 12 is a $40 adventure. The North Grand mall made it a tad more reasonable.
Beyond my movie going experience, I think those of us who love the movies are also losing something greater with the closure of the North Grand 5. We are now stuck, for lack of a better word, with whatever big money film Movies 12 schedules. Don't get me wrong--the kids and I saw Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier on opening weekend. I loves me some big, noisy escapism as much as the next guy. But, think about what happens this summer when all those kind of movies come out. We're gonna get "The Amazing Spider Man 2," "Guardians of the Galaxy,"The Fault in our Stars" their 3D versions, and others of their kind, on 2 or three screens each. Doesn't leave too much room for smaller, more serious movies--you know, the ones that win Oscars every year.
When Movies 12 first opened in 1999, Cinemark said they would dedicate one or two of their screens to smaller, art house films. That lasted about 2 years. I think we need to ask local managament if they'd go back to that, and maybe schedule some second-run movies with a cheaper admission. Never hurts to ask, right?
If not, it looks like I'll be holding on to that Netflix subscription a little while longer.