Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Garland Theater, Downtown Spokane 2018

21st & Bernard, fence for Manito Park.  Took 44 bus up Bernard past Cliff Park.  Got off and then took bus downtown .
Downtown Plaza
Murals, Interior State Theater
Washington Water Power. Spokane River
This delightful young man runs one of the rides at Spokane’s river front park where you can see a tatoo parlor in the background.  Thankfully the carousel building lends some elegance to this area.  Lots of sad, desperate looking people wait for buses at the terminal up the street.

“We love Seattle,” a local shouted out at the Seattle GLBT choruses concert July 7 at the restored Crosby (State) Theater in Spokane.  We all laughed.  I had a front row seat for this chorus preceded by dinner at the Davenport Hotel.  The director of the Seattle choruses said they were glad to get out of their “Seattle bubble.”
Spokane’s mid century modern auditorium style movie theater, the Garland, reigns in regal splendor on the funky north side.  I was lost in the huge auditorium with the massive screen.  The audience loved Amy Schumer in “I Feel Pretty” but I was there to see the theater which houses a bar and hair salon.  As a kid I saw several second run movies here.  What a treat that it has been restored.

Last month I did the hometown right. Familiar on the highway going to Deer Park: Hupin Camera Electronics and White Elephant military salvage. Northtown looks uninviting. Garland, Fox and State theaters are dreamy and not to be missed. August Paulsen Medical Bldg., Spokesman Review and Realty Building all recognizable. River greenway an improvement. Most stores downtown are not attractive but Nordstrom located there even though many downtowners are homeless folks. Very sad. Historic preservation hit and miss and mostly missed.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Walla Walla, Spokane and Road Scholar class

I didn’t see the synagogue on Alder and Roosevelt or the Mill Creek Flood channel that runs through downtown, but I did get Sharon from Best Western to take me to the Barer Building and we drove past the Capitol Theater marquee which is now part of Macy’s.  Stan and I saw “Holiday Affair” with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh (RKO) at the Capitol in 1950.
Juana gave five former Spokane residents a wonderful tour July 13 of the beautiful art deco FoxTheater where we saw movies in youthful splendor that we will never forget.  Here’s one good reason to visit Spokane, where thoughtful urban design has given away to shoddy ugly commercial developments.

Ed Tatt, the father of my good friend, Bill, owned a dry cleaners store that faced the street in the Fox Building. That space is now incorporated into the lobby. The theater boasted air conditioning starting in 1929.  I saw “Psycho,” “Macabre” and Abbott and Costello Saturday matinees here growing up.

The Road Scholar Ice Age Floods Eastern Washington tour --Rod Scholar tour/class.  Beauty & wonder of Eastern Washington "scablands" rivals S. Dakota Badlands and then some.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Artsy Horror Flick Carnival of Souls

Ultra creepy 60s horror movie “Carnival of Souls” was lost and then resurrected in Europe before a late 80s revival here.  The haunting image of the deserted dance pavillion at the Salt Lake Saltair inspired former University of Kansas (Lawrence) professor Herk Harvey to commission a script built around the pavillion.  (This was before a fire destroyed the building.)  Filming the closing scene in a freezing river water in Lawrence was an incredible ordeal, remembered by actress Candace Hilligoss in her memoir, “The Odyssey and the Idiocy.”  
She was fired by her agent after he saw a preview in the 60s but found her fame when “Carnival” was revived in the 80s.  Sidney Berger, a KU student, played the creepy lecher John Linden.
This project seemed doomed from the get-go, but thanks to Sweden and Germany it gained traction in the U.S.  I saw it at the Campus Theater on Oaks St. near the U of M in the late 80s and loved it.  

I bought the DVD on a trip to see Mike and Kim in Salt Lake City.  The British Film Society lists “Carnival of Souls” as one of the 100  best movies of all time and Criterion has a restored DVD for $20.82.  (Less expensive DVDs are available.)  The film influenced a lot of horror movie directors.