Theatre Revival Plagues Chrislip
The Specter Theater is haunting Chrislip once again. Dormant for the past fifteen years, the main street movie house’s neon is glowing again, thanks to Larry and Barbara Hancock.
The retired schoolteachers recently moved back to Chrislip with the intent of re-opening the Specter, only to discover, to their compassionate horror, that the scene of their youthful courtship had been converted to a homeless shelter. “It broke my heart to see these poor souls,” said Barbara, “and to see what they’d done to this cathedral of entertainment where I first felt in awe of the cinema and where Larry first felt my breast. The smell of homeless urine has a way of snapping you back to the present.”
Initially, the Hancocks planned to turn the homeless out into the street, until a caseworker threatened to tell the newspapers, and they realized that wouldn’t be kind. So the disenfranchised were allowed to stay in the theater. This has led to a sometimes rocky co-existence between them and movie-goers.
“It’s not a serious problem,” says Barbara, “as long as you don’t mind sharing your Milk Duds with an old lady who thinks her ragdoll is a real baby.”
Trouble also arose when the Specter showed the latest Twilight movie. “We found out the hard way that meth addicts and vampires are a bad combination,” says Larry. “Meth heads would jump on stage to fight Edward, but then a close up of Bella would make her head appear twenty feet tall, and that would really freak the tweekers out.”
The Hancocks hope to contain the problems by showing mostly Disney and Pixar films. Though Larry admits that Buzz Lightyear has caused more than one addict to run screaming into the night.
But that’s a rarity. These days, most of the awkward moments take place in the dark of the balcony. Says Barbara, “There have been instances where a high school girl thought she was experiencing her first romantic kiss from her boyfriend, only to realize she was being Frenched by some bipolar Vietnam veteran with no teeth.”