Remembering the Cameo Theater in Brewster
I had to bring my car over to Steve Presti at Brewster Service Station on Saturday. I didn't have a ride, so I figured I would wait and just wander around the town I grew up in.
When I passed what used to be the Cameo Theater, I felt the same way I always do when I see it — nostalgic and kind of sad.
The Cameo theater was the center of my social life as a middle school kid and the early part of highs school. The biggest night out was "2 for 1 Wednesday nights". That's right, folks, two people could go to the movies for the price of one ticket, and if I remember correctly, tickets were six bucks. Now, if you want to go to the movies, you have to take out an equity line of credit on your home.
I remember how cool it was being like a 6th grader and getting dropped off by our parents at the front door and being left there for a few hours. It was our first taste of freedom. I mean, how would they know if we went in the front door and out the back? Ha! No one used to care about their kids — I miss those times. Many times, I would go to "2 for 1 night" with a girl and I assumed I was on a date. I assumed wrong, but it was always fun.
The place was dingy in the most beautiful way possible. It smelled of stale popcorn, fountain sodas, and raging hormones. Now, it's just a facade, and has been that way for many years. It sits there year after year as a reminder, at least to me, of a better time.
I'd like to see that paper come down and see a zit faced teenager behind the glass making a few bucks.
The theater opened in 1939 and closed in 1997. It should be an historic treasure, something worth protecting, but it just sits there to rot. It's, as I mentioned earlier, very sad.
This is one of those times I really wish I was a filthy rich billionaire type. I would buy the the Cameo, renovate it, reopen it and operate it at a loss so middle school kids could enjoy "2 for 1 Wednesday Nights" for six bucks.
P.S. What happened to the neon Cameo sign on top of the marquee?