In the Audience: The good ol’ days are back!

In the Audience: The good ol’ days are back!By NICK ROGERS

Remember when taking the family out for a night at the movies didn’t cost half a paycheck? For decades, folks cultivated this national habit on a weekly basis. Through the years, as the cost of movie-making inflated, so did the price of movie tickets.

Frankly, I lost track of the rapidly rising cost of this activity when I discovered classic movies on television, the advent of VHS and finally, today’s DVD’s. I do know that cinema prices are now in the double digits, with the matinees not too far behind! They charge even more for 3-D! Along with the escalating refreshment prices, going to the movies is a pricey proposition, indeed!

So .... let us return to the days when movie-going was an economical treat for any income bracket. And the Snack Bar didn’t pick your pockets! Enjoy Classic Movie Night at the Historic USO Building.

The “Summer of Movie Magic” continues with family-friendly films airing each Wednesday at 7 p.m., alternating each week between Disney classics and Sci-Fi thrillers. There’s no admission charge, but we sure do love those $2 donations that help keep our “theater” in movie palace condition.

To help us pay for our annual exhibit license, we have the generous support of sixteen sensational businesses and organizations —Anna Marie Bergens of Vaughn Realty, Baxendale’s, Cordell Construction Co., Cosner-Neipp Corporation, Cruise Planners of IWV, Gauss Management Research and Engineering, Inc., Jack and Dana Lyons, the Maturango Museum, the Museum of Western Film History of Lone Pine, Red Rock Books, Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ridge Writers, Roaming Dog Kitchen, Romancing the West, S & M Coins and Collectibles, and Warren’s Automotive.

For film titles, call us at 760-375-8456, or stop by for a current film schedule.

Our fabulous Snack Bar, which opens at 6:30 p.m., will remind you of a by-gone era when wholesome treats were cheap! You’re sure to love our $4 Jumbo “Crumville” Hot Dog Plate, which includes chips and cookies. For only $1, add a topping of homemade chili from the Roaming Dog Kitchen. A side of delicious potato or pasta salad from these same folks, for $1.50, makes the plate a complete dinner. Top it off with a frosty handmade soda from the Indian Wells Valley Brewery, and a bowl of ice cream, and you have a feast without the financial guilt.

Tasty candy bars for only a buck (boxed treats: $2), freshly popped corn for a measly $1 per bag, and hot coffee for only $1 (free refills) complete the treat list. Please take your treats into the auditorium where there is ample seating at round tables.

So, what are you waiting for? Bring the family. We have cushions for the chairs (first come, first serve), but you can bring your favorite lawn chair, pillow, or blanket. Re-live the days when movies were movies and filmgoing was an affordable weekly treat. “See you at the Movies — every Wednesday evening — all summer long!”

Story First Published: 2017-06-16