By RON MOSES
Fort Collins, Colo.
Formerly of Los Alamos
I am writing this as a former resident of Los Alamos who still maintains a strong interest in the viability of the Los Alamos community. My family and I spent 36 years in the city, the longest any of us has lived in one place. Although our nuclear family all now live in northern Colorado, we all periodically return to Los Alamos and maintain interest in and support of the community.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I write in support of retaining the Reel Deal Theater, as already commented on by Sandra Charles in the Los Alamos Daily Post (link). Some of our fondest memories of life in Los Alamos revolve around that theater.
Let’s admit it, life in such a small town can become pretty dull. For example, if one is into eating out, here in Fort Collins one could eat at a different restaurant every day of the year and not repeat, albeit there may be some that would not be a draw to you. By contrast, the Reel Deal was a bright spot in the entertainment and social life of the community. Not only did you have a choice of several current films at any time, you inevitably had the chance to rub shoulders with the many friends you have in the community. It was always a friendly place of social gathering.
I greatly appreciate the Deal family for creating the theater and maintaining it so well over many years. I realize that it is very difficult to sustain such an enterprise economically in a small town like Los Alamos, despite its social value to the community. One cannot expect a single family or business to maintain such a facility indefinitely.
There have been suggestions to repurpose the Reel Deal building to something such as a “tween” center, even though there are existing programs for that purpose in the county. One more redundant facility of that nature seems like it would be a matter of diminishing returns, while whole segments of the community are left out, such as seniors like myself.
A possibility that comes to mind is whether or not there could be a public-private partnership to reopen the Reel Deal facility as a theater once more? I am not a “legal beagle” qualified to pass judgement on that possibility. Nevertheless, I will note that throughout the nation it is frequently the case that public money is offered to private business to entice development of certain industries and businesses.
If Los Alamos wants to be more than simply a bedroom community to the Lab, it needs to spruce up its pubic institutions and its “downtown”. A rejuvenation of more restaurants, shopping AND a theater would certainly enhance those potentials.