I’m not sure if I know what it means in today’s terms, but I knew what it did mean yesterday.
At any rate, I believe we all should have an evening out from time to time. I always thought that an evening out was different from other forms of entertainment; it’s entertainment that gets closer to the soul. It can do wonders by taking us from sitting in front of the television to probably a new lease on life. There have been, and are, many programs instituted by active, entertainment entrepreneurs to do exactly this.
For many years, television has been informative, but it has changed our lives such that our morals have been influenced — some changes good, some bad. Nevertheless, it has had its effect on our entertainment. Had it not been for the television, what would it look like today? This is a question each of us may answer. I have my opinion and I’ll keep it to myself.
I believe we have to accept the fact that the television has changed our attitude toward what we would consider an evening out. Although the television is a miraculous achievement for mankind, it brings along with it an influence that changes our lifestyle. Most of us can recall the times we looked forward to the excitement of a Saturday night event, being more active, being involved, dining, dancing, talking and laughing. Today, we can see one effect of the television: our physical appearance. There once was a time when the media did not need to address such problems.
It appears that entrepreneurs in entertainment have come to our aid. They are trying to pry us loose from our television and return us to the movie houses. Notice that movie houses now are referred to as cinemas, a word of Greek origin. The word tends to change an old concept of the movies.
Recently, my wife and I attended an evening out at one of these cinemas. The moment we walked in, I recalled memories of going to the movies as a youngster and memories of going to other cinemas. We found this cinema discreetly different. There was a theme to represent the appearance and effect of an opera house; instead of hearing musicians tune up in preparation for a performance, there were bits and pieces of music and scenes on the screen. Although there was no glitter of formal dress or high-brow socializing, there was a low tone of mumble, quiet conversations, the munching of food, drinking beverages and looking around at the decorations. There were aisles in front of every row of seats where waiters walked up to us showing menus to request our order. They were dressed in evening black, and spoke softly, as they took our order. The audience ordered all kinds of fast food — fries and burgers, soft drinks and even alcoholic beverages. They stuffed their faces while listening and watching random scenes of old movies on a subdued, lit screen.
It seemed that the feature movie was not the main attraction or the reason for attending the cinema. If the effect was to have been a tone or a mood of a Victorian era for an evening out, we were impressed. My wife expected the dress code to be formal, but what we saw were the usual: people wearing common street clothes, sandals, cut-offs and other clothing of extreme comfort.
Even so, if this evening is a clue to what’s coming, the entrepreneurs of entertainment are on the right track. Although there were many differences, it was an evening of delightful and pleasant surprises, and it was as close as one could get these days to returning to a more formal era.
Oh, by the way: the audience was about half youngsters and half seniors. The main feature was “Casablanca,” and we were satisfied as having an evening out.
Bond lives in Richmond Hill and writes a regular column for the Bryan County News.