Earlier this week, I discovered that, without warning, the Regal Keystone Park 16 had closed its door for good.
The Regal was not my favorite movie theater in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. That honor would have to be jointly awarded to the Dallas and Plano Angelikas. In fact, if anything, the Regal was somewhat trashy. It was located right off of Central Expressway (which meant that traffic both entering and leaving theater was insane) and it sat directly across the street from a free clinic. Whenever I went to the Regal, I was always very much aware of the constantly patrolling police cars. There always seemed to be something dramatic happening at the apartments across the street from the theater.
Despite the police presence, I could always count on being accosted by one at least one homeless person. Most of the time they would just ask for money though other times they just wanted to tell me about who was actually in charge of the world. Most of the time, it seemed to be the Vatican. I would smile politely and hope they were too busy ranting to notice the St. Vitus medal around my neck.
One of the few times I actually made the mistake of going to the Regal by myself, I was greeted in the parking lot by a bearded, foul-smelling man who was about a foot taller than me and who outweighed me by over a hundred pounds. He started walking towards me as soon as I got out of my car and even though I quickened my pace, he quickly caught up to me. Walking less than a couple of inches behind me, he loudly asked me if I liked to perform a certain sexual act. He kept following me, asking me this all the way to the theater doors but he didn’t step inside the theater after me. The whole time this was going on, the parking lot was filled with other filmgoers who heard what the man asked and saw how quickly I was walking away from him. Not one of them said a word or, as far as I know, even called the police. That’s the type of theater that the Regal was.
(Incidentally, I called the police as soon as I got inside the theater. I’m not sure what happened exactly but the man wasn’t there when I left two hours later. The movie I saw, by the way, was Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson.)
Still, I’m going to miss going to the Regal. For one thing, it was close to where I live now and it was close to where I lived previously. So, even if it was by default, it was kind of my theater. As trashy as the outside was, the inside was usually pretty clean. Plus, I went enough times that I got to know — at least on a visual level — most of the people who worked there. For instance, there was the elderly gentleman who — no matter what time of day I went to the Regal — always seemed to be working behind ticket table. Usually, he’d end up giving us tickets to the wrong movie but he seemed like a nice old man and he always had a smile ready for me whenever he saw me stepping through the front doors. I’m going to miss him.
No, the Regal wasn’t perfect but it’s a place where I spent a lot of hours and I’ve got a lot of memories of that place. To an extent, I’m not surprised that it closed its doors. It was, obviously, located in a terrible neighborhood and often times it did so little business that me and whoever I had come with would end up watching our movie in an empty theater. That’s good for those of us who like to have sex while watching movies but, as a question of simple economics, it’s not a formula for success. Still, I would have liked a chance to say goodbye.
On Friday, me and my sister Erin drove down to the old Regal, specifically to take some pictures for this little memorial. Unfortunately, no sooner had Erin take a few pictures before we were confronted by some fat asshole in a golf cart who wanted to know why we were taking pictures.
To be honest, I have issues with authority on a good day and Friday was not, at that point, a very good day. So, as Erin put the lens cap back on her camera, I sensibly replied, “I really don’t think that’s any of your fucking business.”
“Some people take pictures because they want to case a place before they rob it,” Mr. Fascist-On-A-Golf-Cart replied.
At this point, Erin had unlocked her car and was attempting to lead me over to it. However, as I retreated, I politely replied, “Your mother sucks cock in Hell, Karras.”
That shut the pig up. I’m still wondering if he realized I was merely quoting The Exorcist or if he thought maybe I actually was possessed.
Anyway, the pictures in this post were all taken by Erin Nicole Bowman on Friday and I thank her for both helping me pay tribute to the Angelika and for keeping me out of jail.
Here, in alphabetical order, is as complete a list as possible of every film I saw at the Regal Keystone Park 16, starting with Iron Man on June 10th, 2008 and ending with Secretariat on October 12th, 2010.
An American Carol
The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond
The Blind Side
The Book of Eli
Burn After Reading
Clash of the Titans
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Drag Me To Hell
Eat Pray Love
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Get Him To The Greek
How To Train Your Dragon
Iron Man 2
The Last Exorcism
Let Me In
The Lovely Bones
The Men Who Stare At Goats
The Other Guys
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Toy Story 3
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
The Wolf Man
Regal Keystone Park 16, R.I.P.