It's been vacant for years, minutes and hours, days and weeks have passed with no one entering, no one leaving--a playground for ghosts and memories. I've passed the structure a couple of times a month since it closed and each time, a feeling of melancholy washes over me, as if a great unfairness has occurred, for how can a place that held such wonder, such creativity, such beauty, fun, heartache, and passion sit idle for so long?
It can because it does.
Yesterday a dear friend posted several pictures of the place we knew simply as RMC, or Rodger's, or our second home. As with all things--since all things are temporary--the building is being razed to make way for places to live. My friends were there to record the moment, to share the space's fleeting moments. I borrowed one of their pictures for this post. They went because they felt compelled to be there as if the building called out to them wishing them to be there as it will soon vanish.
They answered the call because they had to.
Accompanying the pictures my friend explained just how special the theatre was for her and her husband. She included a couple of memories as to why it's so important to them, but she could have listed hundreds more. I wish I could have been there with them to see the space myself, but their captured moments will have to do.
It is in the places of creation where the memories have the strongest hold on our lives. Theaters, homes, (sometimes work...), schools, and studios, beside lakes and atop mountains--it's where inspiration finds us and intertwines with our souls. And when those theaters, homes, schools, studios, and other places where we've been touched by creativity go away, a part of us dies.
Rodger's Memorial Theatre's success also sealed its doom. It could no longer hold back the wave of anticipation for a bigger space, newer facilities, multiple bathroom the paying public demanded and so it was abandoned when the new shiny theater opened a few miles away.
There's a saying in theatre everyone knows. "The show must go on." This means, of course, that the show must inevitably end. A theatre is built and therefore, it must be destroyed--everything's temporary. A theatre may last millennia, or for one night, but like all things, it's time must come.
And the curtain has fallen on our friend.