(This column appeared in the Nov 19th edition of the Devils Lake Journal)
There is a movie theater here in downtown Brush, Colorado, called the Sands. It is a designated historic landmark and has been operating as a theater for a very long time, so long that is still showing movies in a film format. However, unless it converts to digital, including purchasing a pricy digital projector, it will have to close its doors early next year when film format will no longer be available. So the town has started a Save Our Sands campaign to raise money for the new projector. In the almost five months I’ve been here I’ve yet to see a movie at the Sands, however that may change this weekend when the first campaign fundraiser is held with the showing of the movie Free Birds.
I often walk by the Sands when I go for walks at lunchtime. Just looking in the window from the sidewalk the lobby reminds me of the old Lake Theatre in downtown Devils Lake. The Lake was located in the building that now houses Maurices. I, and many of you in Devils Lake, will remember seeing lots of movies at the Lake back in the day. I remember paying 50 cents to see a movie loaded up with penny (or was it two for a penny?) candy from the Ben Franklin store across the street. Some movies I saw that come to mind were the first “Rocky” movie, “Night of the Living Dead” (following which I slept all night with the lights on) and a “Planet of the Apes” movie marathon that I believe was held during Crazy Days.
Last weekend I couldn’t remember the name of the old Lake Theater so I put a shout out on Facebook. I received several responses, including one from my Dad, Fast Eddie, who said there also used to be another movie theater in downtown Devils Lake called the Hollywood Theater, which I don’t remember. My Dad also asked if I remembered the drive-in theater, which I do. When we were little my sister Julie and I would go the drive-in in our PJs and bring our pillows and blankets. My Dad reminded me that he and my mom would make popcorn and Kool-Aid to bring along. I also remember the clunky silver speakers you had to hang on your car window to hear the movie. As a teenager, there was at least one time I rode into the drive-in in the car trunk, I guess to avoid paying for the movie. One thing I like, and miss, about drive-in movie theaters is being able to combine a movie viewing experience with the great outdoors!
When you drive the 10 miles from Brush to the neighboring town of Fort Morgan you can see the remnants of an old drive-in movie theater. I hope that will not be the fate of the Sands Theater. So I’ll go to the Save Our Sands fundraiser this weekend where ticket sales and concession proceeds will go toward the new digital projector. Besides, being a self professed pickle aficionado, I’ve been meaning to try the Sands concession specialty, the Pickle Jube, which I understand is some kind of frozen pickle juice concoction. So if multiple movie visits and pickle jubes and popcorn purchases are in my future, so be it, because it’s important to Save the Sands.
For more information about the Sands Theatre and the campaign to save it, visit https://www.facebook.com/saveoursandstheatre