Ever since I was a little girl I have always been drawn to old theatres. I remember doing community theater as a young teen and walking into my first “old theatre” space. It was Marblehead High school. We were doing our first dress rehearsal for a musical in that space. Walking out onto that stage gave me a spiritual feeling. It was something special. Looking out at the vast rows of seating, the sweeping stage, the beautiful velvet stage curtains, and gazing up into the theatre rafters which held many set dressings gave me an unexplainable high.
From that point on, I became enthralled with older performance spaces. Several old theatres still exist in my area of New England and we are lucky to have access to them.
In my neighborhood, The Larcom Theatre and The Cabot Theatre are our gems from long ago. From the moment you walk in the door of either space, you are transported back to a time when audiences were treated to “an entertainment experience”. For a night out you could go and see a theatrical presentation or a movie and sit in a beautiful space. Many people would get dressed up to attend such shows. Between the architecture and the attention to detail for a time you could feel like royalty. There was definitely a certain stature about being entertained in a space such as this. Being in an environment of sweeping ceilings, beautiful murals, colorful and mood enhancing lighting, and the grandeur of the whole outing was something to be truly cherished.
Because these spaces are so special and so rare nowadays, anytime I have the chance to explore a new one I “geek out” a little. I suppose everyone’s got their thing, but nothing makes me feel more inner magic and connection on a spiritual level than exploring these old places, and better yet to get to PLAY at one of them!
On May 14th, my band Venus Mars Project has the privilege of performing at The Larcom Theatre. We are opening for Savoy Brown. Performing here is on my “bucket list” for sure. Anytime we get the chance to perform in one of these historic spaces, I consider it a privilege.
Since my fascination with old theatres is strong-I have surfed the web to find more like the ones we have in Massachusetts. There’s a cool site (for anyone interested) where you can see what theaters still exist and which ones are just distant memories. Here is the link: www.cinematreasures.org. I know there are more sites out there, but this one is a cool place to check out some photos and the history of these magnificent places. I would love to know of any other sites as well. Feel free to post anything you know of. Thanks!