Keep the Marquee Lights On!

Image result for garde arts center marquee

Some people may think the western genre is gone for good. Those that do have yet to see the critically acclaimed film Hell or High Water, which I had the pleasure of seeing at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. When I walked in the theater on Friday, February third there was popcorn that was already filled in boxes. Many of the ushers were sitting down waiting to get their assignments for the evening.

Hell or High Water film poster.png        Yet, there is one thing that I noticed at the Garde on this particular night that wasn’t there before. On a table with a red table cloth there was a poster board with hearts on a red paper. On them were the saying “Marquees are red, lights are blue, I love the Garde, How about you?” Looking at the poster board between two water jugs I began to wonder if this campaign is for something in particular.

When the doors opened people began to flood in with many of them going over to the table for the fundraiser. Two women, who were volunteers, were telling people about the purpose of the campaign. I learned that after a certain time at night the marquee lights are turned off. Upon the lights being turned off lead to a grassroots campaign started by members of the community in order to keep the lights on.

Many people were visiting the table donating money and adding their name to the poster board. After a bit the lights flickered signaling the movie was going to be starting soon. I made my way into the theater where patrons were told they were invited to a social held in the mezzanine after the movie.

Then the lights dimmed with ads for “20th Century Women” and “Jackie” being announced as the next movies to come to the Garde. Then the movie started to play much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Many laughed, cheered, and cried as they watched this modern day western from a genre many don’t believe to be around anymore. Following two different stories of two brothers who are bank robbers and two Texas Rangers who are hunting them there were touching moments. The friendship of the Texas Rangers showed to be more of a brotherly love, while the bank robber brothers revolved around them looking for redemption.

When the movie ended the audience headed out into the mezzanine for the social held by Atlantic Broadband. Among the chatter of the enjoyment of the movie, there was enjoyment of snacks and drinks. Many patrons were talking with representatives from Atlantic Broadband. When the social started to end I walked through the lobby where there were advertisements for the musical “Once” on February 10th and Matt Anderson on February 28th. Never the less, it was another magical night at the Garde Arts Center.