It was Friday night and we were in Montpelier to celebrate Hubby's birthday. A 45 minute drive from our house, we do not come here often. But Hubby loves the town and so we braved the soft, wet snow and headed out for a movie and dinner. We arrived early and so spent some time ambling around downtown, shivering in the cold. A fire dancer drew a crowd on the steps of the Lost Nation Theater. An unexpected gallery opening pulled us in for a while for a showing of Vermont artists' imagining of the future of our state. Later, we climbed the steps to the Black Door Bistro and sat in their art deco bar for a pre-movie martini. The bartender stirred my martini- no shaking here- and gave me three olives which immediately made me love her.
At quarter after six, Hubby and I walked less than a block down the street to the Savoy Theater. Opened in 1980, Casablanca was the first film shown on this theater's tiny single screen. They continue to show classics, art house, and independent movies. And that's nice enough, right? There aren't many places in Vermont to see independent films these days, but I'll bet that there's nowhere within driving distance that melts butter on a little two burner stove in a cast iron pot to ladle onto hot popcorn behind a wooden counter. Real cultured butter... did I emphasize that? And not only that, the girl behind the counter filled our popcorn bucket half way then ladled some butter on it, then filled it up the rest of the way and added a second layer of butter. This was inspired, truly. It left us both with greasy fingers and was exactly the thing to tide us over until our post-movie dinner. The shaker of nutritional yeast on the counter only adds to the aging hippie feel of the place and this reminded me of why I love this theater.
The film, A Serious Man, is the Coen Brothers' most recent movie and it was excellent. Even better than the movie, however, was the man sitting three or four rows in front of us with the laugh that filled the tiny room with huge, rolling guffaws, uncontrollable and impossible not to laugh along with. Helplessly, Hubby and I giggled, snorted, and snickered along with him as the serious man progressed from one tragi-comic event to another. Even later, at dinner, the snickering continued each time we'd think of it.
Sadly, this lovely theater is up for sale now. The customer base for the Savoy is aging- Hubby and I were without question the youngest in the crowd- and apparently competing with Netflix and the host of multi-plexes popping up all over hasn't been easy. Whatever happens to the Savoy in the next couple of years, I very much hope they keep their real-butter popcorn.