Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Lensic

Sometimes you fall in love with a theatre the moment you see it and you keep on loving it even though you never or rarely see a film there. The Lensic is such a theatre for me. I missed its days as a movie theatre and have only seen a couple of films there while passing through Santa Fe, New Mexico. I've seen two films at the Lensic but it will be hard to forget either of those screenings.

Located very near Santa Fe's plaza and opened in 1931, the 834 seat Spanish Colonial theatre is now doing what so many old theatres do--musicals and theatre take up its days and nights. This always makes me a little sad for the projection booth and the movie screen. I like to see films in these places, not singing and dancing. The flickering arc of light is what these buildings were built for. The Lensic also has a balcony although I haven't gotten to sit in it as it was closed both times I've watched movies there. I'd love to watch something from the front row and middle in the balcony.

In the early 1990s I saw Silence of the Lambs at the Lensic. I'd seen the film once already but it's very good and worth watching a second time--especially in the walls of a theatre like this. My brother Luke, cousin Kenny and I somehow talked my mom into watching it despite the fact it isn't her kind of film at all. She didn't make it to the halfway mark before she took off for the exits, the sunlight and the lure of the plaza shops close by.

A few months ago I was in Santa Fe again and got to see my second feature at The Lensic: Jaws. Film print! It was screened as part of a summer series (American Graffiti was the other film) and the place was packed. The crowd was a mix of two types of people--those that knew and cherished Jaws and those who hadn't seen it. I was with SJ and she had her doubts to its greatness but left the theatre singing its praises after being jolted a few times in her seat by on screen bolts of fear. I left the theatre happy, I love Jaws but no doubt part of the appeal on this night was seeing it in downtown Santa Fe in a historic, beautiful theatre like the Lensic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...and possibly contributing to the mystique....seeing the reactions of your companion?

- sd