Local venues deserve more respect

Published 9:16 pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

Since moving to Selma, one of my favorite pastimes has been grabbing a friend or two and visiting the Selma Walton Theater to catch the latest movie. There’s nothing like escaping reality for a few hours and getting lost in cinematic adventure.

David and Sharon Jackson, owners of the Walton Theater, offer such a warm and welcoming environment that I can’t help but feel like they’ve opened the doors of their home and invited me in to watch a movie. Before each film that I’ve attended, Mr. Jackson has cheerfully greeted the audience and welcomed them all to the Walton.

Although the service and environment of the Walton is exceptional, I’ve found recently that its guests haven’t treated it with the respect it deserves.

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While attending Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final film in the Twilight Saga, I was appalled by the disrespect many members of the audience showed the theater. Between constant chatter and movement, it was hard to concentrate on the film.

Within the first 15 minutes of the film, Mr. Jackson had to ask a few members of the audience to quiet down. This is something he shouldn’t have to do. Also, when leaving the theater, I couldn’t help but notice candy wrappers and popcorn carelessly left on the floor.

We are privileged to have this movie theater. The Walton offers first-run movies, a large selection of refreshments, up-to-date technology and low prices compared to theaters in Montgomery and Prattville. Also, I know from speaking with the Jacksons, that a lot of work goes in to keeping the theater up and running. I fear that if residents continue to disrespect the theater, then we will lose this privilege and go back to the days of traveling 45 minutes to see an expensive film.

The Walton, along with other downtown facilities, is a treasure that we need to respect. A first-run movie theater is something Selma and Dallas County residents have been requesting for several years. Shouldn’t we be proud of the Walton and show it the respect it deserves? Shouldn’t we take pride in having a clean, safe movie theater? Shouldn’t we feel fortunate that two outsiders came to Selma and turned a forgotten facility in to something great?

To all of the above, the answer is yes.

If we don’t take care of venues like the Walton, other businesses will not want to come to Selma and invest their time and money here. Our behavior is a reflection of how we view our city and ourselves. If we want nice things, we must take care of what we already have.

I challenge everyone to take a moment and appreciate the great things we have in Selma right now. Next time you visit the Walton, shop or eat locally, take some time and appreciate the people who make those businesses possible.