The Paramount Theater is an Oakland treasure. Sure the Fox gets all of the attention, but the scale and grandeur of the Paramount is unparallelled. It's a classic art deco gem with a stunning architectural features throughout. The Paramount really makes going to the theater a magical experience. They feature a mix of live performers and classic movies. They show classic movies a couple of times a month in the summer. Tickets are only $5 and they sell beer, wine, and snacks in the main lobby. Secret I didn't know the first time: there is also a full bar on the balcony level and in the downstairs lobby.
The movie this weekend was Stand by Me. I went with a friend who is a bit older than I am, she remember plastering her childhood bedroom with pictures of River Pheonix from Tiger Beat. This movie was just a bit before my time, I was two when it came out. But I owned a VHS copy during my formative years, and I put some serious wear on that old-time magnetic tape. It was really fun watching a personal classic surrounded by others who shared the same appreciation. We sat in the balcony and could hear the whole audience cheering, laughing, and misting up at all the appropriate parts. Stand by Me captured the period that we now call the "tweens" perfectly. The confusion, the desire to be older, the inescapable fact that you are not, the impending future, and the intensity of the friendships you form with those going through all of that insanity with you. It's funny that I identified with this movie so strongly when the only female in in the whole thing is Gordy's mom, and she only had two minor lines. But I think the truth is that this movie could have just as easily been about all females, how awesome would that movie be? Do you have any favorite formative movies?