Friday, August 26, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

R.I.P. Miracle 5, 12/25/68-8/14/11

Miracle 5. It was a dump. It didn't have stadium seating. It didn't have the biggest screens in town. No one would ever consider it crown jewel of Tallahassee cinemas. But it did have one thing no other theater in Tallahassee currently has: history. That history gave it that hint of charm that seems to be missing from the newer theaters.

It was the Millennium Falcon of movie theaters in Tallahassee.

It's been my understanding that it didn't even start out as a "Five-plex." It originally had two or three screens and one of those "big screens" got divided into two auditoriums. If you went up into the projection booth you would find that the two projectors were really close together. From the auditorium, you could see that the projection booth windows were no centered with the screen. That was odd.

My earliest memories of Miracle 5 were as a patron seeing "Batteries Not Included" and seeing "Tombstone" with my dad and older cousins, Christmas '93. I remember freezing my ass off just like the "Apollo 13" astronauts on the screen as their instruments froze in the cold of space (take that IMAX!) I remember giggling while the rest of the auditorium gasped when Lt. Dan's missing legs were revealed for the first time (what will ILM do next?) during "Forrest Gump." That following Fall I was working the "Jumanji" crowd at Miracle 5 catching the Twister teaser every three hours, wondering: what will ILM do next?

When I started working at Oak Lake 6 (back in '95) Miracle 5 was our sister EFC theater. There were rumors even then that "the Miracle is closing." Getting sent over there to help out was seen by some as a punishment, and by others as an easy paycheck. When the Oak Lake closed her doors in the summer of '97, we employees had two transfer options: Miracle 5 (built in 1968) or the Movies at Governor's Square (built in 1996.) The majority of us took MAGs. After that, whenever I was sent of to Miracle I always questioned if I made the right move. Their employees (Miracle Workers?)had substantially more down time and a decidedly smaller and devoted clientele. Miracle 5 spent the last decade of her life as the Art House theater in town. Governor's Square (a 12-plex) had more main stream movies and larger variety of clientele much to my disdain.

I have a lot of cherished memories there with my wife. During the Late 90's, my wife (then girlfriend) and I would go dates every Sunday night to get our "Art Film" on. We caught "Slums of Beverly Hills" "Buffalo 66" "Sike and Mike's Twisted Animatioon Festival" Requiem for a Dream" "Pi" "Orgasmo," and one of my favorite documentaries, "American Movie." Betsy became a relef manager at the Miracle for a short spell. We both remember the time she got a call in the middle of the night when the alarm when off. I drove over to pick her up and we both chuckled in the cool night air as the two cops in the building, guns and flash lights drawn, used up their entire catalogue of "cop poses" casing the joint to no avail. Sometimes friends will wonder aloud: what ever happened to the independent films of the 90's. I tell them: DVD, bro!
I haven't been to Miracle 5 in years. It's spent the last few years as the outlet for foreign films and low-end documentaries (not particularly fun). I don't even have time to see the handful of tent-pole movies during the summer.

I'm still surprised to find out the Miracle is closing. It just happened so quickly and without warning. The mortgage had been paid up years ago. The theater would get one big, annual hit exclusively and that would keep it afloat (Titanic, Space Cowboys, Meet the Parents.) A good friend still managed there, and she said that the killing blow was the theft of the AC units this summer. FROM THE ROOF!
The police eventually found the units but the damage was already done; they were cannibalized for their copper. It was cheaper to close the Miracle than replace the air conditioners.

Now, Movies 8 is our oldest theater and I remember when they built that in 1989. It's an even bigger dump. Thank goodness I like the charm of dumpy movie theaters.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011