The Church of the Darkened CinemaThe Sunday ReckoningThe Church of the Darkened Cinema by and02626
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In a small, square room, a circle of demure figures sat on metal folding chairs. Each clasped her hands in her small lap, or placed her palms on each thigh. Slim legs were shaved immaculately, and bare knees kissed each other chastely. They were a flurry of white cup-sleeved tops and powdery pink-and-blue skirts.
Sister McCall, Jennifer's Mia Maids teacher, had just posed the following question as a thought exercise: who is a role model for you? Who do you admire?
Megan giggled her answer, like a guilty child, blushing and twisting her fingers. "My mom…"
"Yeah, my mom, I guess," Carly acquiesced.
"Well, Orlando Bloom is pretty hot," Kelsey drawled.
The circle of mice tittered nervously. A key buttress of Sister McCall's grin buckled.
"But if we're talking about 'role models'…" Kelsey amended, "I guess it would be my mom. Yeah."
All eyes flicked to Jennifer. The girls' eyes and t
The Church of the Darkened CinemaCelluloid AfternoonThe Church of the Darkened Cinema by and02626
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In a svelte city of coffeehouses, bridges, and boulevards, there stands an old cinema with a tall, skinny electric sign that once blazed.
In the lobby there stand a popcorn machine, a rotating glass pizza baker, and a row of colorful candy dispensers. On the walls are glossy posters for Super Size Me and Fahrenheit 9/11.
It is 2004, but – as though it possesses a recalcitrant spirit of its own – the physical structure of the theater does not acknowledge this.
An adolescent girl sits in the back rows, cloaked in the shadow of the balcony. She sees looping wires that snake up the walls, past several missing panels. The high ceiling is lost in darkness, from which ageless red velvet curtains cascade to the floor: the sexy, elegant dress donned 80-some-odd years ago, and never relinquished. The gussied-up date that got stood up and never lost the scars.
Well-dressed guests, either sea