Hello, my dearest movie-loving friends! I’m glad to announce that I’ve finally returned home from my camping adventure, and I managed not to miss a single day of blog posting despite having very little cell service since August 15. It turns out that with a bit of patience (read as: willingness to attempt posting 20 times when the signal inevitably drops), even in the woods, you can get just enough of a data connection to get a drafted post up from the WordPress app every day.

You may be wondering (but probably aren’t, since some of you probably didn’t even realize I left, haha) why it took me a few extra days to return, when I’ve had a promise of “TMP will return to business as usual on August 25” plastered on the sidebar since the trip began. Car trouble kept me stranded in a one-stoplight town for three days, and the trouble still hasn’t been resolved, which has been the largest figurative road-bump in our journey home. Having only one stoplight, said town was not large enough for a normal car rental establishment, but after a few days of dealing with the incompetent liars at The Car Dealership Which Shall Not Be Named, we were able to weasel a rental car out of The Competing Car Dealership Which Shall Also Not Be Named (But Has Much Better Customer Service). So our camping gear and car are being held hostage three hours away from home until the parts come in (they were supposed to arrive yesterday), but at least we made it back.

Long-winded travel stories aside, I’ve got a few bits and bobs of information to share.

Gish Sisters Blogathon update!

The Gish Sisters Blogathon, co-hosted by myself and Fritzi of Movies, Silently, is fast approaching!

…But that being said, there’s still plenty of time to choose a film and whip up a post, as well as plenty of unclaimed films to choose from. Any topic related to either Dorothy or Lillian Gish is welcome in our blogathon — nothing is off limits! (We’re not like regular hosts, we’re cool hosts.)

For more information on the blogathon and to view the roster, click the pretty banner that you see to the right side of this page. The action begins on September 7 and carries on through September 9.

Help save a historic theater!

Kickstarter projects have been all the rage lately, with mixed reception from the internettin’ public. Kickstarters linked with the entertainment industry have received a particularly large amount of flack — “Why are rich actors asking for money when they’ve got enough in their bank accounts to fund multiple films?”

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of movie biz crowd-funding, you must admit that every once in a while, a very worthy project comes along. While traveling, I stumbled upon one such project.

One of the cities closest to our campground was Rogers City, Michigan. It’s a beautiful place, situated directly on the Lake Huron shoreline. It is possibly most famous for its connection to one of the Great Lakes’ infamous shipwrecks, the loss of the Carl D. Bradley. (Sidenote: There is a fantastic documentary, November Requiem, about the Bradley’s sinking and the aftermath in Rogers City. Even better, if you ever find yourself in Rogers City, visit the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum. This museum is home to the Carl D. Bradley’s bell, which was recovered from the wreckage and replaced with a bell engraved with the names of those who lost their lives.) On a lighter note, Rogers City also home to the world’s largest limestone quarry!

While exploring Rogers City, I fell in love with their single-screen movie theater. We didn’t catch any films there — there were none showing last week, as the stage was being used for a community theater production — but it also doubles as an ice cream shop (which I made great use of) and a bicycle rental shop!

The Rogers City Theater has been in continuous operation since 1937, and it’s really the only place to see first-run movies in the Rogers City area. A passionate and dedicated owner has put a whole lot of time and money into renovating the theater, restoring some of its original decor, keeping up with building repairs and installing the technology required for the theater to serve not just as a movie house, but as a venue for concerts and stage productions as well.

The Rogers City Theater in 1942, via cinematreasures.org
The Rogers City Theater in 1942. In This Our Life starring Bette Davis is advertised on the marquee! via cinematreasures.org
The Rogers City Theater in 2010, via waterwinterwonderland.com
The Rogers City Theater in 2010, via waterwinterwonderland.com

I love historic theaters and like to give as much support as possible to the wonderful people who make sure that theaters like this stay open. Unfortunately, the dream of preserving Rogers City’s gem of a theater can’t stay alive much longer without the public’s help. With Hollywood continuing to transition to exclusively digital distribution of new releases, the Rogers Theater’s projection equipment is becoming obsolete.

…And that’s where your help (and cash) comes in! The Rogers City Theater’s Kickstarter project has 30 days left. They’re trying to raise $100,000 and so far have raised a little over $60,000 of that, so they’re more than half-way to the finish line! If the $100,000 goal is exceeded, the rest of the money will be used to bring more updates to the theater, particularly more comfortable seating. I urge you all to donate to this project and others like it to keep small, independent theaters alive and well.

To donate to the Rogers City Theater, visit their Kickstarter page. (You’ve already seen this link if you follow me on Twitter, but I can’t share it enough.)