Monday, February 16, 2009

Ranch Mart dressing

Me being the romantic chap I am, I booked a babysitter last Saturday and took the missus out to a romantic comedy (well, it was billed as a romantic comedy but it definitely missed on the comedy part -- more on that later) at the local neighborhood theater.

The Leawood Theater is part of the Fine Arts Group, a group of entrepreneurs that has salvaged several "legacy" theaters -- the Leawood at 95 and Mission, the Glenwood at 95th and Metcalf and the Rio in downtown OP. What I like about these theaters is that they are very neighborhood focused, as opposed to recent trend of locating cinema multiplexes in very heavily commercial areas.

Anyway, we arrived at the theater at about twenty past five and I was surprised and pleased to see such a crowd of people. The Ranch Mart shopping area has been under heavy construction for the last few months. Before the renovation started, it has a nice retro-70s kind of look.

Now, the parking lot is pretty torn up. About sixty percent of the parking spaces are occupied by construction materials and equipment. But you can see the form of the new, renovated Ranch Mart coming into shape.

Sure, they've got a ways to go. But the point is, for all of this construction the theater on Saturday was very busy. All age groups seemed to be represented, and the screens are offering the newest releases. You're not going to be able to choose from 30 different screens, but I can only watch one movie at a time anyway.

So, even though I was more entertained by the life-sized statue of Gort in the lobby than by the romantic-so-called-comedy we watched in the theater, I'm glad to see our neighborhood cinema seemingly thriving.

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  1. This was my neighborhood theater growing up. We'd race the neighbors to be first in line at the Saturday kiddie matinee. House on Haunted Hill, Santa Claus vs. the Martians, etc. It's still great, and so are the Mossmans and Wade Williams, who have renovated the RanchMart and other local gems.

  2. I lived a 1/2 mile away and in the summer that was my hangout. Between the theater, the bowling alley( across the street) and the 7-11 our time was spent there. I saw all the kid movies and my first Bond movie. But the most fond memory, sneaking in at 14 to see my first R-rated movie. It was Kentucky Fried Movie. I loved the movie. I got a chance to see it again a couple of years ago. Not as good as I remembered. Great Place.


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