On the rare occasion when my husband Ernie has had a rough night, either from a legitimate flu or from, dare I say, celebrating life with just a bit too much enthusiasm, he prefers to spend an afternoon on the couch watching old movies. His repetoire consists of a selection of either Shane (1953 Western starring Alan Ladd) or the 1985 Clint Eastwood remake Pale Rider, perhaps a war film such as Kelly’s Heroes (1970, starring everyone) or The Longest Day (1962, starring everyone else). Without a doubt, his hands-down favourite is Casablanca. In fact, we own a dvd of the 1942 black and white film starring the very cool Humphrey Bogart and the very beautiful Ingrid Bergman. Ernie has watched this film too many times to count, and his enjoyment never waivers.
I was never a great fan of Casablanca, and was a bit bewildered why he was so entranced by this movie.
I always seem to be coming in during the middle somewhere and couldn’t figure out who everyone was, where they were and what was going on… which, admittedly, makes any film impossible to enjoy. However, to deny my husband the opportunity to see this film on the big screen would have been cruel, and perhaps grounds for divorce… and we have come too far for that.
The Patricia Theatre in Powell River is this year, 2013, celebrating their 100 years of operating. Starting from very humble beginnings, the Patricia moved into it’s current building in 1928. It is a movie theatre evoking much history and charm all the while featuring current first-run films with their new digital format. (We recently saw Gravity in 3D.) But part of their Centennial festivities, an agenda filling the entire weekend, was the screening of… you guessed it… Casablanca.
Ernie was thrilled at the prospect. What better way to spend a Saturday night in November? We were not the only ones who thought so, as the movie house filled up in the half hour, with live organ entertainment, leading up to feature time. I now have a new appreciation for the 1944 Academy Award Winning film, having finally viewed it from start to finish, on a movie theatre screen no less, the way it was intended to be seen. In the nostalgic atmosphere of the Patricia Theatre, Casablanca truly shone on the screen.
Here’s looking at you, Kid.