Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You Can't Go Home...But I Guess You Can Shop There

The title of this blog is based on a line from the movie Grosse Pointe Blank. John Cusack returns to his childhood home, only to find it's been turned into an Ultramart. As he's speaking into his cell phone, he says: "You can never go home again, but I guess you can shop there."

My childhood home isn't an Ultramart. It's still a home. But there are only a few "childhood memories" still standing in my hometown. My junior high was demolished. My high school is now a middle school. The first placed I ever worked, a Burger King, is still standing, but I think I still have PTSD from the six months I spent at that job.

There is one place I remember fondly that's still standing. And on the few occasions we drive past it on our way to somewhere else, I always torture my husband with stories.

"That's where I worked when I was sixteen," I'll tell him. "Best job ever." (Except for writing, of course.)

So imagine my surprise...horror...shock when we drove by Monday on our way somewhere else and saw the words "CLOSED" on the marquee. Before I figured out the run-down theater was actually an abandoned theater, my husband was just talking about how small it was--and I was saying that in the 80s, a theater with eight screens was considered fairly large. "Back in my day" we didn't have megaplexes and villages with restaurants and shops. We had a mall with a movie theater behind it. And that was normal. Here's the "small" theater...when it was still open.

Here's how it looks now that it's closed.

It was nice knowing I could go back if I wanted to take a tour down memory lane. It was there for two full decades and I may have gone back two or three times--all more than ten years ago--but that's beside the point.

I would say the next time I go back, it will be an Ultramart, but that entire area of town is in rapid deterioration. I have a feeling Rivergate 8 will probably be an abandoned building for a while.

No, you can never go home again. But you can drive past its abandoned carcass on the way to somewhere else.