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up in lights

September 6, 2010

el campanil

It’s a beautiful evening tonight; quiet and clear. I took this a couple of weeks ago– the same kind of evening. But then there was more of summer left than just a few hours.

This is our “restored” theater. When we were kids, it was unrestored and absolutely dead closed. About the only thing that went on there was a recital once a year for Doreen’s School of the Dance.

This is who everyone in town took dancing lessons from. I took lessons there for about a year, and was in one recital. When I first wanted to take ballet lessons, my parents found some crazy Russian teacher who taught first in the Veterans Hall, and later in a studio in Pittsburg. I did a couple of years with him. His quiet little wife played the piano. He was serious and passionate about ballet and would never have given a student recital that ended with everyone singing “Put On A Happy Face.”

He was really friendly, and interesting, with a wonderful heart– I remember at one point he was paying loads of money for surgery to save the life of a dog he had accidentally hit– but he was loud and emotional and physical and he freaked me out a little. Plus, I didn’t want to be a Russian ballerina– I just wanted to take dancing lessons like my friends and fit in. Before I realized that was a losing battle.

So I spent a year at Doreen’s. And back to the Campanil… at that time it had been closed for decades, and inside it was crumbling and haunted. We got ready in the basement dressing rooms– I wonder who had been there before us? It was a vaudeville theater. I wasn’t old enough to appreciate its historical coolness.

Now it’s all restored, after being reopened a while back as a movie house, and then spending a few years as a church. They have some good programs there, although recently not as good as in years past– they’re a little overbalanced to tribute bands. I’m not really interested in fake Beatles.

It looks beautiful all lit up, doesn’t it? Of course what it desperately needs are some things lit up around it. Cafés and restaurants and other places to go after the show. NOT the bar at Riverview.

I was going to ramble on a bit more, but I decided this entry needs a sequel. I might have to take another picture before I write it, though.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. HappilyGoingMad permalink
    September 15, 2010 10:49 PM

    Love this photo, it looks both solitary and romantic!

    • libbiali permalink
      September 15, 2010 11:06 PM

      Don’t be fooled!

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