OnCentre | Around Philipsburg: Rowland movie series a ‘reel’ treat

You always remember the first time you fall in love.

That first date. A darkened theater. A seat in the balcony. Sharing a bucket of buttery popcorn. Giving him a Twizzler. Having one of her Raisinets. Jumping at the scary parts. Holding hands when it got romantic.

That’s when it happened, when you fell in love. Not with that guy from student council, or that girl from the library. No. Your real first love was the movies.

At the Rowland Theatre in Philipsburg, it has always been easy to fall for the old-fashioned grace of the experience.

You don’t have to imagine that 1930’s movie-star glamour. It’s all around you, from the gilded pillars to the heavy curtains to the wide double sweetheart seats in the first rows of the balcony. Those two right in front? That’s where President Jimmy Carter and his first lady sat when they came to town.

But sometimes, when the movies are new, it can be harder. Sure, lots of people showed up for “American Sniper” and “Unbroken” on the biggest indoor screen around, but hey, not exactly Cary Grant, right?

But you know who is Cary Grant? Cary Grant.

On Valentine’s Day, the nonprofit theater is kicking off a new feature, “Rowland Reels” with a black-and-white classic that is everything modern romantic comedies want to be, “His Girl Friday” with Grant as a newspaper editor to Rosalind Russell’s feisty investigative reporter. Get your popcorn and be ready at 9:15 p.m.

Spokeswoman Chris Wilson said the event is the first of many such special showings. They plan to do the Reels on the second Saturday of each month, after the 7 p.m. feature.

Sure, you might be able to catch a movie like this on AMC, although sadly, some of the recent “movie classics” have been more of the 1990’s variety. Or maybe you have some on DVD.

But like seeing your first love her prom gown or that letter jacket, there is just something about catching a classic the way it was intended that can’t be replicated on a small screen.