Tales from The Oaks #2–American Graffiti

Episode Two…American Graffiti

In 1972 George Lucas released his classic American Graffiti. We couldn’t wait for the movie to get to The Oaks which was largely a second run movie house and saw it at another theater. However, a couple of weeks later the movie finally made it to our theater. As usual it opened on a Friday night and the owners were being real idiots in dealing with the projectionists. It was always something. They threated to fire us if we joined the Projectionists Union. They didn’t want to pay us as a union projectionist. The Union wanted us to quit or go on strike.

Because of the constant harassment, once again, I was in a dark mood. And once again I turned to the stack of records to make my statement. Weeks earlier during my last matinee I had notice that among the Sousa march albums, was nestled a gem from Pink Floyd. People who liked American Graffiti should like the Floyd, right?

So, on to the turntable went A Saucerful of Secrets. First, I kept the volume low luring patrons into their seats.  The place was very crowded, and people wanted to get the best seats. As the theater filled up, I gradually turned up the volume to bleeding ear level. Many people exited back to the lobby. Since the owners had some sort of party at their yacht club nothing could interrupt my lunacy. I looked out into the theater and saw some hippies really grooving to the sound of The Floyd. God it was loud.

Well here we go, lights down, movie start, and volume finally reduced. It was hysterical watching people running to their seats, crawling over each other. Some even shook their fists at the projection booth. Ain’t I a stinker? Everyone calmed down during the previews and were wonderfully entertained by a magnificent movie. Still I exited the booth carefully only after the theater had emptied.

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The Oaks Theatre

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