I think the last time I was at The Civic Theatre in Lehigh Valley was during elementary school to see a Christmas play or something. I wonder a lot of things about myself back then. Why did Pokemon seem so cool? Did anyone who told me they believed I could play in the NBA actually mean it? Who thought showing The Ring to an easily-traumatized coward was a good idea? And now I can add another question to that list: How did I not realize how awesome The Civic Theatre is?

I went with my friend Pat, a film major, to a screening of Terrance Malick’s The Tree Of Life, which included a “talk-back” with one of my favorite professors from Muhlenberg College afterwards. While the film was really cool, and the talk-back was appreciated and illuminating, I pretty much knew I liked the place the moment I walked in. At the risk of sounding like an idiot (I know nothing about architecture), it has what I think is an Art Deco style and an atmosphere that gives it that air of authenticity you expect from an independent theater. The best part, though, was that instead of piping some radio station through the sound system while waiting for the film to start, they had a live organist playing. Perhaps this may sound stupid to some, but I was utterly charmed by the older gentleman and his classic organ tones.

I really can not recommend the place enough. They offer movies (not to mention plays) outside the mainstream at non-exorbitant prices, in an environment that is a neat part of Allentown’s history. I can’t wait to check out what they show next!

...Unless it’s Pokemon: The First Movie or The Ring 2.