The Campus Theater by Ken Bailey

THE CAMPUS THEATER. Rangely's movie theater opened during the oil boom as the Rig theater. It was remodeled and reopened about the time the College came to town, redubbed the Campus Theater.

It was down the block from the cluster of stores that included Strain Drug, Mr. "S" Clothing, Gambles/Peacock's, and the barber store. Mr. Yeager owned it, and it was managed by a number of people including Cliff Mann.

A movie was $1.00 -- unless Mr. Yeager appeared with a broom while you were waiting in line. Then, fifteen minutes of sidewalk sweeping, and you got in free.

Junior Mints (tm) were ten cents. Popcorn may have come for a quarter, but it came in a box the size of a quart milk carton, not a tub the size of a galvanize trash can such as is done today.

There was a cartoon before the movie -- Pink Panther, if you were lucky -- and lots of previews of coming attractions.

On Saturdays, you could stay and see the same film twice!

It was rumored that the building was falling down -- there were cracks in the plaster of the interior walls as it aged and settled -- but it held up, for year and years. (One year, the college yearbook featured a photograph of the Campus Theater with the words, "This Property Is Condemned" on the signboard marquees -- but, that was the actual name of the movie that was showing at the time, not a statement about the building!

It was a sad day to learn this hallowed structure -- where this writer had sat therein on the BEST School Christmas Break Ever and watched "Thunderbirds Are Go!" -- had at last BEEN condemned, and was consigned to the bulldozers.

Last I saw, it is still a vacant lot. With competition from cable, DVD's, and on-line movie services, Rangely no longer can support a full-service movie theater, I guess...