Monday, October 6, 2008

Belcourt Theater, Nashville Tennessee

Belcourt Theater
Nashville Tennessee

About 12 or so years ago the Belcourt theater was on the brink of extinction. It was struggling financially and was in danger of being torn down to put up yet another Walgreens. The theater, a Nashville historic icon, was once a silent movie house and even did a two year stint as home to the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930's. Locals loved its quirkiness such as the many broken seats that made sitting next to your date sort of a fun little challenge, and visits by Porter Wagner, who I saw there once, watching a movie, just trying to blend into the crowd in his sparkly country western suit.

I have so many fond memories of the movies I saw there in those years before Netflix made indie movies easy to rent. This is the sentence where I was going to name a few of those memorable movies, but other than the Salt Man of Tibet, I can only picture the images on the screen and have but vague recollections of the descriptions. I do recall attending a screening of an interesting movie called Normal Life. The movie's two stars, Ashley Judd and Luke Perry, were supposed to have made an appearance but stood us all up. Almost inexcusable since both were living in the Nashville area at the time.

The area surrounding the Belcourt has a few interesting little shops and directly across the street is Fido's Coffee, home of what used to be the worlds best vegetarian burger, but last time I was there, it wasn't quite as good.

The Belcourt was eventually purchased by a local nonprofit group that fixed the place up and diversified the offerings to include theater and music as well as movies. The last time I was there, which has been a year or two, staff expressed optimisim that the Belcourt would continue to survive.

Score one for grassroots efforts.

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