There is a unique sadness to learning that the building that housed the place where you saw your first movie has been torn down. The Lindenhurst movie theater closed more than 15 years ago. The closure came after decades of getting by as a second run theater where you could see recent films for $1.
When I was a kid, it was a place where my mom and dad could take the whole family to a movie and get snacks for $10. It was also the theater we got thrown out of after my sister slapped a nun. When I was a teenager, it was the best place to go on cold nights. The fact that the place was staffed by other teenagers led to a very relaxed policy on outside beverages or all kinds.
As an adult it was the place I watched slowly deteriorate and finally close down. In the 15 years since I moved away I’ve almost always driven past it on trips back home and tried to count how many hours I’d spent inside that building. A few days ago a friend sent me a photo of a pile of bricks and dirt on the corner of Wellwood Avenue and Montauk Highway. I hope that the put something good there. No matter what they build in it’s place I will always point to the spot and say. That place mattered to me.