while the band is on tour i thought i would send out a dispatch here and there pertaining to some of the places we are stopping. i was excited about albuquerque because a theater i have some awfully fond memories of, the lobo, was going to be near the venue where we are performing. i thought it would be a great opportunity to stop in and take a look around the place again.
unfortunately, it was not to be. the lobo closed its doors as a movie theater in 2001. it is now a church. a fitting end, i suppose. for me, it was always a church.
the lobo sat out here in the desert and waited for me for a long time. built in 1939, it is the oldest standing movie theater along the mother road, route 66. many a wandering okie before me must have passed by the old girl as they made their way west. i started making the regular trek back and forth between albuquerque and stillwater, oklahoma a little over a decade ago for work. there wasn't much here for me to do in my down time until i discovered the lobo. it programmed mostly arthouse/classic fare and was just a few blocks away from where i was working at the time. i spent a fair amount of afternoons there, including the first time i was able to see dr. strangelove or: how i learned to stop worrying and love the bomb (1964) on the big screen. it was certainly a sanctuary, if not a true temple. albuquerque was just a big, empty city for me. it really held nothing for me once the job was finished. i was lucky to find one place where i could could ensconce myself in the lovely cold and dark. it was a humble little building, not the best screen nor the best sound system i had ever experienced. it didn't have a marquee as extravagant as you might expect for the oldest theater on route 66. it was friendly, though. it was inviting. it was providing a great service to a city and a student body (it sat right on the edge of the university of new mexico) and did it the way that appeals to me the most - straightforward, no fanfare, with a focus on quality and variety that belied what had to be a modest operating budget. it's certainly a shame that it is gone. fortunately for new mexico cinephiles, the guild is still in operation, but the lobo occupies a place in my heart like only a first love can. maybe one of these days someone will restore to it to its former function/glory. that would be nice. they have plenty of time until my next once-a-decade visit.
talk to you again soon from somewhere west of here.