Going to the theater

The Lyric and the Kozy. I’m nearing the completion of a long process of ascertaining the all-time win-loss record of my county’s football and boys basketball teams. And that is also nearly all of the home and road splits, too.

While I am doing that research for my employer, I keep coming across some interesting tidbits, at least to me. Currently, I am doing research in the early to mid-1920s here in Ludington. Two theaters continue to advertise the major motion pictures of their age, the Lyric Theater and the Kozy Theater.

After going through page after page and ad after ad, and doing a quick Google search, I believe I have found the locations for each. It’s a discovery of my town by and for me more than anything else. From what I found, the Kozy Theater is still standing, but it is not a theater any longer. Rather, it is a mattress store situated next to another longtime Ludington landmark, Sportsman’s. The telltale sign is the arched windows on the building and the ornate work to the left and right of the arched window and the double doors.

The Lyric Theater is still a theater, of sorts, and it is currently vacant after a local church moved from that location to something else. So, it is currently vacant, at least that is what I believe to be accurate.

For whatever reason, I’m fascinated by old movie halls and even old auditoriums and large event arenas, including the Corn Palace in Marshall, S.D. I’m also intrigued by older stadiums, too, but for now let’s focus on old stages.

To me, I believe it would be really interesting to see a smaller venue around here, maybe could seat 70-100 that has a screen (or multiple flat screens acting as one) where sporting events or movies can be shown. Maybe a stage could sit in front of these screens for small productions.

The floorplan would call for angled table seating so that patrons could eat and enjoy the show. There would be a balcony, but I’d like for it to also have the private seating areas similar to the old opera houses. Perhaps two on each side, above the main floor and ahead of the balcony.

Obviously, there would be dining with perhaps a full bar. There’s also a need for dressing rooms for the stage.

Then again, I’d love to see a classic two-tiered 500-750 seat arena built, too. One that only can seat those folks, but that has an indoor track. Why not dream?

Football lessons. Also in the 1920s, I keep seeing football lessons. What works, and what works, from formations to techniques. Case in point, the dropkick. We hardly ever see it and it makes sense why – you have to drop the ball on the ground, and then kick it. It was easier before because the balls were like rugby balls. But it’s pretty tough now with the oblong object we use currently that aids the passing attack.

But it has been enlightening to see shifts, the single wing and all sorts of plays that makes one thing simple: putting more guys at the point of attack than the other guy. And that’s a lesson of football that is true today as it was 90 years ago.

Two plays really stood out. One was a shift where the linemen don’t start right on the line. The lineup, shift, get down, and make the play. But here’s the shift: the left guard moves to the right of center. You now have an unbalanced light to the right. You have to be set for a second, so if the cadence of the quarterback is right, this could get three yards and then some.

Another was a another obvious single wing play, but it was a pass. There were backs stacked behind the tackle, and the fake went to fullback. To the near side. The far side end would come across the formation for a deep pass.

I tweeted both plays out, so keep an eye on my Twitter feed.

Maybe next year. I didn’t get a chance to do that card idea from before, but I think I will make it something to do in 2016. It’s something that I believe that if I dedicate myself to it, it could just be a fun project.

Going “faux” old school. My son’s hockey association ordered new sweaters with new colors and a new logo. But they’re not here, so they are wearing last year’s uniforms. So, I’m going to develop a mock throwback card that will be inspired by the Parkhurst and O-Pee-Chee cards from the mid to late-2000s, just when these jerseys were ushered into use.

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