The Martin Cinema

There was a time when going to the movies was the cool thing to do. In Williamsburg when I was a kid, there were two choices. There was the theater in Colonial Williamsburg. I sat through Dr. Zhivago there. That was pretty tough for a seventh or eighth grader in the late 1970s. I think I saw Top Gun there, too. But when it came to hanging on a Friday night it was the Martin Cinema.

This was the movie theater where I first started seeing movies without my parents. The carpet was old and dark. The snack counter was small and slow. The movies were usually pretty current and with two screens there was almost always a good choice. Funny, though, as I started to think about all of the movies I saw there, I’m having trouble remembering any of their titles. There was some trucker “Smokey and the Bandit” rip off movie. There was a tennis-love story flick. I think there was a Bigfoot movie. Wait, I know I saw “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” there.

Hmmm, maybe it wasn’t so cool after all. Once we snuck around the red velvet ropes that separated the two screens to see an R-rated movie. That was fun. I think the movie was Hooper or Porky’s. After about ninth grade, with the awkward dates and the forgettable popcorn, the Martin Cinema faded from my radar.

Come to think of it, the Colonial Williamsburg theater was where I saw most of the Star Wars movies, Bull Durham, and Platoon. Way better…