Reub's journey

13 May 2010

The dark side of my town: FMTSO

The idea of the Friday My Town Shoot-Out is to post photos of your local community every Friday. This week's assignment was chosen by NanU from Aubiere, France.

All photos taken in Corvallis, Oregon

I am missing the point of this week's absorbing topic, but I can't resist. Some day I'll come back to the dark side of my town because it's worth a visit. For now... just so happens that one of my very favorite places in town is a funky little art theater called "The Darkside Cinema."

The colorful owner of this establishment named it "The Darkside" not only with a nod to Star Wars lore, but because directly across the street stood the competitor: an enormous theater showing first-run pictures; the Whiteside Theater.

The Whiteside closed down in 2002, and has been the center of some controversy in town.

Its Italian Renaissance style is super cool, but the interior needs quite a bit of work, to the tune of at least a million dollars. Because we already have another restored theater in town, it has been hard to muster the cash needed for this project. And of course we do have two multiplexes for the vast majority of moviegoers who don't really care about the Italian Renaissance.

It would be great if it works out some day. Meanwhile, across the street...

...the Darkside carries on.

The Darkside occupies the upstairs of what used to be a 3 story department store. Follow me up the steps:

Paul, the owner, likes to cover the walls with collages.

They're all over the place.

A collage on the landing.

All signs are handwritten, and pretty much unnecessary.

I don't know where this door goes, but I like it. You walk past it on the way to the box office.

What's showing this week.

The box office was closed when I visited yesterday, so I couldn't go in and get pics of the funky interior of the 4 little theaters, but suffice it to say that there are mismatched seats, mostly very comfortable, and one or two sofas. As you see from the ticket prices, this is a place where you MUST remember to turn off your cell phone, and you probably shouldn't bring your own popcorn.

In the hallway I studied the map on which customers place a star to show where they're from. Pauline, Ann...was it you I saw at the Darkside recently?

The Darkside is an excellent place to go for free advice.

Down the stairs again, and out the door. See you next week.


  1. Did the darkside cinema show all the ghost movies? And it is this genre that people like to watch?

    Before I had kids, I worked for a company that had more than 1/2 of the cinemas in this country. I watched free movies enough to last me a life time. Now I hardly go to the movies.

  2. It wasn't me, Kerry, who visited your cinema but I wish it had been! I would have loved the name and the murals, especially the door to nowhere! How lucky you are to have a place with the appropriate name right there in your town!! Loved it all!

  3. Fabulous! What a gem.
    I love those little theaters, showing unusual films and filled with odds & ends for seats. Dibs on the couch!
    And I hope they come up with something for the wonderful Italian renaissance-style theater. It's a shame to lose places of character and beauty in favor of dull boxes.

  4. What a cool place. We have an interesting theater with lots of history too. I love the name of yours. Perfect for this week.

  5. what great names, Whiteside and Darkside. very cool the way you have shown us around the Darkside. Looks like an interesting place to go. love your post!!

  6. He he I like controversy! The theater owner seems like my kind of guy, lol, all those unnecessary signs are cracking me up!

    Ewwww the door that goes nowhere, no that is a mystery I would love to solve...

    Love the post my dear, love it! oh and how odd, darkside and whiteside?

  7. Oh how fun is that!! I love small town competitions!! Wonderful! Your photos are so fun hon!! Loved your take on this one!! not really dark...there is this small part of me that wishes I could pull that off..not so much LOL!!
    Hugs, Sarah

  8. how lucky can you be, a made to order topic. I loved the detail and history you've given - great post.
    In houston there is a theater - but fake - made to look old but built maybe 25 years ago. they have a dinner theater with opera - is always packed.
    there is even an amiture night where people from the audience sing.... I love it.

  9. Hi Kerry,

    Thanks for telling me about the adware. I will see what's happening.

    Yes, when I watched Carrie, I told the manager I came from New Zealand. LOl, wonder what happened to Sissy now,

    Where's your daughter Jessica?

  10. This was great. I thoroughly enjoyed your take on the theme. I wouldn't mind taking in a movie at this theatre.


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