December 2006

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid

Author: Craig Hysell

Winter can be tough. Especially on an island in the Southeast where the stock of winter clothes can be a little iffy among inhabitants who often refer to wearing their “good flip flops” as dressing up. It gets cold, it gets dark early and people begin to feel confined in their homes instead of comfortable.

In order to keep your bout of cabin fever from turning into a scene out of The Shining, it might be best to take some proactive measures. For even though it is cold and dark outside, there is still much that the enterprising mind can do. Of course, if you can’t think of anything, then you can always replenish those “existential tanks” at the movies.

“Movies are an escape,” says John Snodgrass, manager of Northridge Cinemas 10. “It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours and get out of the rush of the real world.” (As well as keep you from doing your axe wielding Jack Nicholson impression.) And it’s little more than a short car ride to Northridge Plaza in mid-Hilton Head Island.

Way back in 1895, the first motion picture camera was invented. Although others were working on similar inventions at the time, it is Louis Lumiere’s cinematogrophe—a portable motion-picture camera, film-processing unit and projector—that would be the start of one the most profitable industries in the world.

By 1903, Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality. In 1905, the first movie theater was opened in Pittsburgh. Those nickelodeons (so named after the entry fee—5 cents—and the Greek term “odeon” for theater) spread throughout the United States with the speed of a Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie rumor. Three years later, there were approximately 10,000 of them in the country taking in 200,000 customers daily.

Today, with steadily rising movie budgets and the incessant nag of inflation, the term “nickelodeon” has become obsolete. Its premise, however, is not. According to Box Office Mojo, the website that tracks box office profits, at the time of this writing theaters have taken in a gross profit of more than $7 billion in 2006 alone. That’s one heck of a lot of nickels.

According to Snodgrass, you can get the most bang for your buck at Northridge. “We have the largest selection of first-run movies on the island,” he says. And adds that the popcorn is always freshly popped, there’re plenty of hot dogs and candy to go around and the cinema has a beverage list that can satisfy even the pickiest of pallets.

With the holiday movie season upon us, it’s time to purchase a ticket and get inspired. Grab your favorite snack, put on your good flip flops and turn off your cell phones for a little while. There’s no substitute like the movies to break the cabin fever doldrums. Even though today’s theaters might keep their audiences in the dark, it’s never cold when you’re surrounded by the magic of the silver screen.

Northridge Cinema 10
435 William Hilton Parkway

  • 342-3800*

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