I found this in one of my mother’s album. This was taken in 1967 during the inauguration of Crown theater. Why do we have this photo? My grandmother baked this cake.

My grandfather worked in the theater. He checked box office receipts to be submitted to international film studios.  I grew up in the 80’s and my grandfather had long retired from the “checker” job yet his previous job still allowed the family some perks- free movie privileges up to the last member of the family (including grandchildren). No passes needed for entry. Just our faces. We watched movies every week. It was a simple life.

The movie theaters we enjoy no longer looked like the one in that cake.  I scoured through my files and these are the movie theaters of my childhood: Crown and Empress.

In the past decade, the movie theaters no longer operate.  The building was converted into commercial spaces rented out to different businesses.

Yesterday, May 9, at around 3 AM, fire broke in the building. From my house, I can see smoke billowing from the building that was a fixture of my childhood.

This is the video of the fire from youtube user mrhimp.

There were 17 people who died in that fire.

My city mourns.

Flag is at half-mast.

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