The Minor Theater, Arcata, July 2014-1


The Minor First Thing a Week Ago Sunday

Lisa and I used to go to the movies here at least once a month. Nowadays, we may go once a year. When we first started going to the Minor during the eighties, we could buy a movie card. I think the card was good for six or ten admissions, and it provided a hefty discount. We oftentimes brought our own snacks, and even smuggled in our own popcorn. We were not alone as many of the other patrons were students. One of my art professors even brought his pillow.

The Minor often featured “art films”. This is where I first saw Rumble Fish, Repo Man, and The Man Facing East along with more established art films such as Dersu Uzala, and many others. Most showings were double features, and were often well paired.

The Arcata Theater was about a block away, and the card worked in both. I sometimes went to the midnight showings to see films such as Stop Making Sense. The Arcata usually showed more mainstream movies. It was here that I first saw/heard Koyaanisqatsi. I sat in my favorite seat, dead center and eight rows from the front. Movies like these were produced equally for the visual as well as the audio (music). The theater played the music loud enough, but not overly so. They really knew how to do it in a balanced manner.

The owners of both theaters were the same. They printed a monthly movie guide that was available in a holder at the ticket booths. I wish I had one now. They were very informative, and made it easy for me to decide on what to see. My tastes are more esoteric than Lisa’s, and there were numerous occasions where I went alone, and that was fine.

I have fallen out of the habit of watching art films. We do get foreign films via Netflix, and sometimes we see really good ones, but it feels haphazard. I think we need a source akin to the old Arcata/Minor movie guide.


About Thomas Bethune

THOMAS ALLEN BETHUNE I have been interested in photography for most of my life. I started taking photographs with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was eight years old. My early subjects were trains and engineered structures as well as landscapes and family portraits. My interests and vision have matured, but the subjects that catch my eye continue to be of the same genre as my earliest visions. A neighbor man had a darkroom, and he showed me the basics of camera operation and darkroom processing. I took courses in art and photography in high school and college. I worked as an apprentice to a commercial wedding and event photographer, and I was in charge of a recreational dark room while I was in the military. As an adult, I earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Humboldt State University. My experience with film formats included 35mm, 2 ¼”, and 4”x 5”. I exhibited at galleries near my home in Arcata California, and in Santa Fe New Mexico. All my current work is digital. I am scanning many of my legacy negatives and slides. I sometimes process and print the scanned negatives. I often post them on my blog. I process all of my prints with archival media. An award winning fine art photographer living in a redwood forest. BA Photography Director, Redwood Art Association, Eureka CA Co-curator, F Street Foto Gallery, Eureka CA
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