Dear Dollar Theater,
I remember when I was little, and I would always get out of church then head over to eat and if my parents wouldn't have any errands I would suggest the movie theater.
Of course, my parents always went to Allen Park because it was so affordable, and they were going to sleep through the movie anyway. It was rare the days they didn't, but I didn't care because those couple of hours I would become engulfed in the movie and a kids pack felt like an endless supply of popcorn.
Ah yes, the kids pack. I remember when you were only 5 bucks and my parents were delighted at the fact that they could take me out to enjoy myself with less than 10 bucks. I would usually finish my popcorn before the previews were even over and I would quickly go for a refill before the movie started.
I would sit down on the seats, eat some snacks, and enjoy the movie. I could be there all day and sometimes it felt like I was. I always looked forward to the days my parents didn't run errands so we could go see a movie. I still remember how my dad would carry me in on his shoulders during a movie if the seats were too high up for me or how my mom and I would run to the bathroom right after the movie ended to not get stuck in the line because all the movies ended around the same time.
I also remember going into high school and everyone would always talk about how they had seen the newest movie and I could never be a part of that conversation because my parents would always ask me if it was out of the dollar theater yet. Those were bitter moments but looking back at it, they were bittersweet and I wouldn't trade them for the world.
You watched me grow up and over time I started going with different people whether it be friends or different family members.
Then, a couple of years ago, you saw me go with my boyfriend. It was always a good time to go get some ice cream nearby or go bowling or go get food and finish up the night in your seats enjoying the night with peace and quiet. The only noise that we could hear was either me gasping at a horror film or him laughing at a kid's movie. You always had such a great variety of movies.
However, your fun didn't start and end inside of the movie hall because once we left we always hit the arcade. We would spend hours playing different video games or countless dollars on your claw machine. I still have all of the stuffed animals my boyfriend got me from those claw machines. I think those were some of his favorite claw machines because they always let him go down a little at a time and the claws had a good grip. I still remember the time he went on a frenzy and got, like, 10 stuffed animals out, and we just laughed on the way home because I was drowning in stuffed animals. I'm gonna miss those moments.
I always remember the time my cousins came in from Mexico and that became our spot. Whenever we would go out, we would go bowling or to the movie theater. We would each get some popcorn, a drink, and snacks and race down the halls of the movie theater to sit at the very front seat. I'm not sure when that tradition started but I am glad it did.
I know many people didn't like going there because they said that the seats were dirty or that the staff was rude, but I didn't think so. I thought it was a good bargain. I also saw other teens grow up there with me. I saw different employees go in and out as they moved on and grew up. I still remember wishing I could work there because I thought it would be so much fun. The staff was also always super nice to me and my family. You were never one of the places I had to speak for my parents because people didn't make funny faces at them there when they spoke with an accent. Thank you for that.
You are truly one of the greats and I will forever remember all of the memories that we created within those barriers. It was like a playground, especially when it was winter and staying entertained was nearly impossible.
I went yesterday - my last showing. I watched Secret Life of Pets 2, and it was hilarious. My cousin took her kids, and for a brief moment, I looked at them and wondered where they would make their memories now that you won't be around.
Anyway, thank you for everything. You really taught me the value of a dollar and showed me a lot of great lessons. Thanks for the memories. We had a good run.
So long my friend.