Let’s all go to the lobby

Andrea McKinney - Editor

Don’t get me wrong — I love London — but for about 103 minutes Thursday evening I forgot I was here.

Much like the butter slathered onto my popcorn, I had melted into a comfy seat in front of the big screen watching a classic American musical: “Singin’ in the Rain.”

There was a glass of bubbling champagne (thanks for that second glass, Treynors) in my non-greasy hand, and a camera around my neck, but it had been untouched for an hour. Maybe it was Gene Kelly’s infectious smile and perfectly white teeth, or Donald O’Connor’s glittered dancing or Debbie Reynolds’ angelic voice, but I had forgotten I planned to come quickly to shoot a few photographs and leave. This was for work.

But I was sucked into the State Theater. I stayed for the entire show.

Admittedly, Thursday was my first time inside the single-screen theater, which opened to the public Friday after the private event the night before. Those in attendance treated it like a real Hollywood premiere, and dressed to impress. A spread of tasty hors d’oeuvres rounded out the elegant evening, which seemed to be a throwback of classier times.

After the guests settled into the theater itself from the lobby, the show began.

The screen first came to life with a scrolling list of those who donated to the Treynor family’s cause. Then, Tom Cruise’s face lit up the massive wall with a preview of “Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation” — the theater’s inaugural flick. I sat back further into my seat as the sounds of special effects swarmed around my ears.

“I will leave as soon as this preview is over,” I thought.

But by the time “Singin’ in the Rain” started, I could feel the grin spreading across my face. I unwrapped the camera from my neck and put it into my bag. I gave in.

I’m not a huge movie-goer, actually. I like to talk, and that’s frowned upon at the movies.

The few times I did go to the movies as a child and teenager at the Chakeres theaters in Springfield, I remember hearing this classic 1953 animated jingle:

“Let’s all go to the lobby;

Let’s all go to the lobby;

Let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.

Delicious things to eat;

The popcorn can’t be beat.

The sparkling drinks are just dandy;

The chocolate bars and nut candy.

So let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.

Let’s all go to the lobby

To get ourselves a treat.”

Of course, the jingle is more than something cute — it’s meant to be obeyed. Many movie houses make most of their money from the concessions, and not the admission revenue, because most of that goes back to Hollywood.

The State is no different.

When I followed the crowd out the door after the movie ended, my car was just a 30-second walk away, and my drive home lasted just five minutes. It was pleasantly strange not having to commute from Columbus or Springfield. No traffic; no interstate; no problem.

“That’s right. I’m already in London,” I thought.

Maybe I’m a movie person after all. Maybe you are, too.

So come support the State Theater. Come support local business. Come support London.

And while you’re here, grab a Coke and some popcorn. Extra butter, please.

Andrea McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.


Andrea McKinney