The Old West Theater



The Old West Theater


Adults went to the West Theater

     in the rowdy West End of town

     and sat downstairs

     to watch the movies.

In the balcony teenagers necked.

They didn't bother each other

     until youthful giggling got too loud.

Then the usher's flash light coming down the isle

     led to some quick straightening up.

Saturday was the busy night.

For grown ups it was a Depression night on the town

     where, with care, four bits would cover

     the costs of the trip away from bleak reality.

Dancing feet of Fred and Ginger,

     champagne and tuxedos made

     the drabness of being poor disappear.

For the high school crowd it was the place to be.

It was often very cheap for them

     sneaking in past a friendly usher.

But the price was right because

      they  didn't plan to watch the movie.

Now when the dated girl wanted to watch

      Ginger or just had to sit in the front row

     instead of the back of the balcony

     the lad was in for a dull evening.

It was a house of dreams for both ages so

      the theater needed no imaginative name.

Old West Theater was enough.

But for the little kid's, dreams of love

       and silly dancing held little interest.  

They craved action.

For a dime they could go to their theater, Strand.

Strand on the Picketwire

     at the foot of the crocked brick street.

There played the men of action

      on horses with remembered names.

Too young for love.

Too young for Depression pain,

     but old enough to know the difference between

     black and white hats.

For them a double feature and a candy bar for 15              cents entertained until their hormonal surge                 took  them to the Old West Theater.

A complete cycle of family values in our times.

Doug Minnis\1996

Poems from Trinidad My Home Town written for the 50th Class reunion.