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Movie Theaters and Memories

The Oz Theater (c.1939) once located in Fremont, on the north side of Main Street, next to the office of Maynard Paul Cosgrove, Optometrist.

Our anticipation had peaked; we were finally making our trip into town. After weeks of weeding the garden, hauling hay, and stacking wood, it was time to reap our reward and spend some of our hard-earned money. As we stepped up to the ticket window of the colorful theater facade, the aroma of hot buttered popcorn wafted through the small opening luring us directly to the snack counter before taking our seat.

The lobby was majestic with its opulent velvet ropes directing our entry to the ticket taker; guardian of the imaginary world beyond the huge, brass-handled, double doors. He tore the ticket, dropped it into the slot, and returned our portion to us; a keepsake reminding us of this special event for years to come.

With buttered popcorn, drink, and our box of candy, we surveyed the dim room to find the perfect seat and then struggled with full hands to lower it enough to sit down. Suddenly, the doors closed and our hearts quickened. We reveled in the cool darkness as the music began. The identifiable sound of the reel-to-reel projector held promise....

Suddenly the beam of light shot from the tiny opening high up behind us, through the dust particles, and exploded into action in front of us. For a short time, we joined another world as the large motion picture and the even larger sound threatened to consume us; we didn't just watch the movie, we became a part of it!

We never dreamed as youngsters engrossed in 2001: A Space Odyssey that we would be alive in 2017!

Time flies, but memories remain.

The Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center is a community project supported by individual donations, business sponsorships, volunteer time, in-kind donations, the Fremont Area Community Foundation, and the Gerber Foundation.

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