RIP Key Cinemas 


I killed Key Cinemas.

You killed Key Cinemas.

We all killed Key Cinemas.

Key Cinemas shut its doors on Sunday with a triple feature of “Sunset Boulevard,” “Ed Wood” and, appropriately enough, “The Last Picture Show.”

Getting off work at WFYI after 8 p.m., I drove down to the theater to pay my respects to owner Ron Keedy. I peeked in during “The Last Picture Show” and there was Ben Johnson saying how the world was changing.

Perfect timing.

It was the biggest crowd I had seen at that moviehouse since I saw the documentary “Grass.” Keedy said that the regular crowd was finally there in one place.

“I should close down every weekend,” he joked, sorta.

Those who never went there, you know who you are. Those of us who did attend films there, we didn’t go there often enough. Call it customer’s guilt. You know the scene. Word gets out that a semi-frequent business in your life closes and you think, “Aww, damn. I should have gone there more.” The last film I viewed there from start to finish was the Werner Herzog documentary “Encounters At The End Of The World.”

I have excuses. You have excuses. We all have excuses.

The closing of Key is another example of the plight of the arthouse cinema in a multiplex world. When Castleton Arts closed and Keystone Arts opened, it irked me because I asked, “Why can’t Indianapolis handle more than two arthouse cinemas?” Now we’re down to just one. Chalk one up to the multiplexes opening the films of Dane Cook. Chalk one up to the video store with 50 copies of the last Dane Cook film on DVD. Chalk one up to the depressing Red Box DVD vending machine whose memory doesn’t go further than a few months.

(Pulls up black socks) Now get the hell off my lawn.

Key Cinemas has a special place in my film-going heart. It was there that I reviewed my first film for NUVO (the so-so documentary “Year Of The Yao”). I’ll always remember seeing “Mary Poppins” and Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” with my daughter.

Here’s hoping Ron relocates this cinema dream to another venue. Here’s to making sure we do more than just make excuses.

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