December 2, 2010

Rio Theater – Overland Park, KS

I love the historic downtown of Overland Park. I love the architecture, I love the shops, I love the Farmers Market and I love the Rio Theater.

The old Rio Theater is a sanctuary for a film fanatic like myself, because it is a theater like theaters should be. This is not a modern multiplex with an over-priced concession stand and crappy movies on all of the thirty screens. This art-deco theater has an elegant lobby with plush velvety seats, and selective screenings. The theater doesn’t just show whatever crap has been released. No, it chooses the best of films – independent, art, foreign, documentary, and anything else that is truly worthy of being on their enchanting silver screen.

The last time I went to the Rio Theater was with my father to see the Woody Allen film “Whatever It Takes.” My father taught me about great films from an early age. When other kids were watching Disney, I was watching “The Philadelphia Story” and “Arsenic and Old Lace.” That doesn't mean I haven't seen "The Lion King," of course I watched the classic kid movies. But I also knew that "You've Got Mail" ripped off Jimmy Stewart's "Shop Around the Corner." Now in my twenties, I'm still a film nerd and I still like the old ones the best. For example, Humphrey Bogart will always be the greatest on screen detective in my opinion, whether it is in "The Maltese Falcon" or the film noir classic "Dead Reckoning."

My love of old movies makes my love of the old Rio movie theater quite natural. Going to the movies used to be a classic evening out. Men wore hats and women wore their nicest dresses to see the latest film. Now, tickets are over-priced, concession-stands make a candy bar cost more than a nice meal out, and there is always somebody texting or talking through the film. Going to the Rio Theater is going back in time and experiencing the cinema as it was, and still should be.

Total Time Traveled: 1.5 hours
Total Distance Traveled: 73 miles
Soundtrack: "Drunken Lullabies" Flogging Molly


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