David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Going to the Movies


Going to the movies up here can be a very pleasant experience, particularly when you compare it to places like Boulder.

We went to the movies the other night at the Village Theater in Estes Park, [which no longer exists] and I don't own it or work for it or get free tickets, but you ought to know that going on a Tuesday before the tourist season can be a lot of fun.

First of all, it's dollar night, so we got to see a very good movie for only two bucks. Second, the place is clean, which is to say your feet don't stick to the floor. Patrons seem to appreciate that; I saw quite a few making a trip to the lobby to dispose of their trash. Third, the help is nice. A pregnant lady in front of me was having quite a time with her popcorn and such, so one of the kids at the candy counter helped carry her drinks to her seat for her. When was the last time you saw that happen? Fourth, the audience is just downright friendly. The gentleman in front of me had a big bucket of popcorn and he sat down and offered some to the young man next to him. Friends, you just aren't going to see that in a Boulder multiplex theater!

Finally, the audience is well behaved. And it wasn't just a crowd of white-haired folks, either. There were quite a few young people whose parents have done a good job. It was a long movie: almost two and a half hours, but the audience sat quietly, didn't try to narrate for it, or talk back to the actors or rewrite the dialogue. They didn't even rattle their candy wrappers. When was the last time you were in a really quiet movie theater?

Many of us older folks have fond memories of the old days when going to the movies was an experience that had a little class to it. We remember audiences who had some respect for each other and theaters that were clean and looked as though the owners cared about them.

I haven't had the courage to brave the summer crowds at the theatre, and I doubt they're as nice as the group we sat with the other night. So I guess you should count yourself fortunate if you can be here in the off season, go to dollar night, have a nice sit-down dinner at a place where you don't need a reservation and drive home by the light of the full Rocky Mountain moon, for under twenty bucks. That's something you're not going to be able to do in very many places.

But the real difference isn't the moon or the prices or the theater building. It's the people who make the difference: people who care about the place and each other




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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