An Open Letter to American Theater…


Dear American Theater,

This week you will close after about 74 years of providing entertainment to thousands of Parkchester residents. I’m not going to lie and say that I have always loved you, because I haven’t. During countless summer camp trips we visited you and I spent the majority of my time using my full strength to free my foot from the sticky trap that was your floor. Even at a mere 11 years old, I knew that you had fallen from grace. I saw the glimmers of glamour you once must have proudly shown off. Sometimes it wasn’t your fault. Sometimes your patrons sullied your reputation – bringing their shrieking infants to R-rated films, littering,  and believing it was okay to provide commentary on the films.  But lately, I noticed you tried to clean up your act. Last weekend, I saw that the carpets were clean and the wood polished. I even took note of the artwork on the ceiling in theater five. And the floors were not nearly as sticky as they had been before. I left happy, knowing you were making strides to improve. (Even though the film was so blurry, I felt like I was watching a bootleg.) Your dedication to keeping your prices reasonable always made you a viable destination for the money-conscious, especially in the wake of the recession. I’d hoped that with the closing of Whitestone , you’d pick up more visitors. But, alas, your lease is up, and for some reason, it seems like people aren’t fighting for you like they should. Today, I will fill out a request for evaluation form and send it to the Landmark Preservation Commission.  The Bronx has so much forgotten and overlooked history, I would hate for you to become a part of that.


The Bronx Socialite



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