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Dad exited the red, darkened, air-conditioned lobby into the sunny, bright, hot D. He stood in the Uptown’s doorway, stunned for a moment, carrying a bloodied child who shrieked “” over and over again while sobbing into his now-ruined shirt as a few hundred parents with a few hundred small children stared at him with increasing worry. With the dignity of the condemned, my father walked past the line of parents with his head held high.

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All of my profound childhood movie viewing experiences would happen at the Uptown.

Designed by John Zink for Warner Brothers in 1936 with a screen over eighty feet wide, the Uptown can legitimately lay claim to being one of the greatest movie palaces in America.

But by the time we went to see “Fantasia,” the Uptown, like the city that contained it, had slumped into a gray, dingy decline.

He placed his large hand on the brass of the Uptown’s front door.

With his other arm he held me, trying to soothe or at least contain my grief.