Early Monday morning a wrecking crew began tearing apart and knocking down the old Cinedome 70. And as wood was snapping and it's 40 year history was being wiped out - we caught up with folks who remember the theater in its glory days. One is former movie goer Sean Poole. "I grew up in Riverdale and this is where we would always come for movies." April Sajt not only watched movies here - she and her entire family worker here. "My mom worked here. My older sister worked here. I worked here and then my younger sister worked here."
Sean, April and others came to watch - just like they did several years ago. Sean says, "When I was a kid my family and bunch of friends came here for a Star Wars marathon. The original Star Wars." And April can remember "Dancing with Wolves, Back to the Future 3, and stuff like that."
But those are memories from a long time ago. In fact, the 70 foot curved screens and the two 800 seat theaters haven't been used in nearly 10 years - and, according to April, the place was getting old long before that. "I remember the carpet needed to be replaced even when I worked there. I remember the air conditioners broke down during the movies in the middle of summer."
While Sean would like to see it reopened - he understands, at this point, its best to move on. "You kind of hate to see it go, but probably time to see it go."
The plan is to level the theater, then to turn the three point seven acre lot into a new Larry H. Miller car dealership. A dealership that plans to open on the site in mid 2011. April is OK with that, but when she drives by, she says she'll remember what was here first. "I loved this place."
The Riverdale City Council approved the plan for the car dealership, even gave the Larry H. Miller group part of a road nearby because it believes that it could generate up to $200,000 per year for the city.
By the way, there were thousands who didn't want to see the theater get torn down - in fact, a Facebook page called Save Cinedome 70 had nearly five thousand members.