It is early evening and I am basking in the glow of serendipity. I was planning to spend the night scrunched into down comforters and watching DVD’s—a lovely lethargy in which I often indulge. It was not to be. My friend interrupted this lazy plan with a spontaneous invitation to the theater. “Did I want to go?” she asked. But, of course.
I love the theater and go as often as time and finances permit. Tonight we are seeing The Imaginary Invalid by Molière. It is a comedy, and I can’t wait to see it. I also can’t wait to see the Seattle Repertory Theater. I haven’t been there yet. I imagine it as one of those modern black boxes. “The Rep” sounds like such a practical place.
I am a connoisseur of theater architecture, from movie palaces to Broadway’s finest. I remember attending musicals in New York City when I was younger and falling in love with the chandeliers, a thousand shining crystal suns which rose into the ceiling before the performance. In Minnesota I became enamored with the old cinemas, many of which had palatial bathrooms. Their mirrors rivaled a star’s dressing room. The Har Mar theater, too, had intriguing restrooms, redone at some point with mock leopard fur ceilings. The stalls were in primary colors and had their own sinks. It was a novel variation on the older theme theaters, with their Greek statuary and twinkle light skies. Rochester, Minnesota, boasts a fine example which was saved from demolition by its thoughtful conversion into a Barnes and Noble. My poetry group met under the proscenium arch. Shakespeare inhabits the shelves if not the stage.
Seattle has its own gems. The Egyptian on Capitol Hill used to be a ballroom, and it is a magical place to see a campy midnight movie. Ballard has the nautically-themed Majestic Bay, and I am eager to explore the Paramount and the Moore. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many temples to joy. These are the sacred spaces where I worship films, where I immerse myself in music and drama. I am joined there by the other faithful, and we rejoice. What could be more holy than hundreds of people laughing together?
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
45. Where are your temples? Is there something about the architecture that strikes you? Go worship!