It was an experience that just isn’t as ubiquitous as it used to be, my night at the movies. Went to the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto this evening for a showing of Born Yesterday, that glorious movie starring Judy Holliday and William Holden.
They don’t make movies like this anymore, and they don’t make theatres like this anymore. I’m gushing a bit, but this was my first time watching an old(ish) movie in an old theatre, and I finally understood the “magic of the movies.”
I love Born Yesterday, but all these years I’d been watching it on television. Watching it on a movie screen from the balcony — my first comment was “hey! It’s in high definition!” — was even better than the best hi-def set. Black and white took on a whole new clarity, and the movie was made to be watched in a theatre like this, framed elegantly by the architecture. But that wasn’t the only fantastic thing about it all — no, the most amazing thing was watching this film with its rapid-fire dialogue and sometimes very subtle humor, with an audience. All those people laughing, clapping, rapt with attention to the intelligence of an era of film now gone, it was enrapturing.
And after the movie? An organ recital on the mighty Wurlitzer!