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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD


The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Movie tickets for $2 and popcorn for $1? Yes, in Lewiston

By Natalie Buckley

April 6, 2009 | "Can you imagine, only 10 to 35 cents and you are going to a movie," said manager Rosie Williams as she showed the prices from a flyer from 1945.

Looking around the foyer the community theater has upheld the historical spirit of Lewiston as old ticket stubs, pictures, and flyers are posted around the room announcing the showing of classic movies like "Grease" or those of James Dean. Amongst those pictures is an invitation from the grand opening of the theater Aug. 2, 1935 in which a dinner was held at the grand total of $1 a plate.

Lewiston Community Theater, at 29 South Main Street, is named as one of Cache Valley’s historic treasures and theater board members and city residents work hard to keep it as such.

"It’s great! I should go more often," said city councilman Robert Barlow. "What other city has its own community theater that only shows good family shows?"

Each Friday and Saturday the theater sells tickets for $2 a person at 7 and 9 p.m., and at 7 p.m. Monday night the theater sells tickets for $10 per family. All concessions are sold for $1 and under.

"The theater only shows good, wholesome movies," Rosie Williams said.

The theater is run by eight paid employees and a volunteer theater board of seven. Last year the theater board did a fundraiser to repaint and restore the concession and theater area and put in new seats. After local donations, grant money, and closing the theater for all of November and December of 2007, the theater was re-opened Jan. 4, 2008.

"The community really put in a lot of work," said Williams. "We had someone who volunteered to do our paint job, someone who put the bolts in the floor, an Eagle Scout project that included taking all the old seats out, and a lot of cleaning and loading from community members."

Williams has worked at the theater with her husband for about 15 years, and said that a lot of times the 247 seats are sold out. She said that the theater used to be open Monday through Friday and that they use to have live theater as well, and the names are still written on the back walls.

"Looking at this theater and seeing these old stubs you can imagine how it use to be."

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