The other day, I was at Walmart and near the restrooms, there are photographs from Neosho's past. There was a photo of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the Newton County Courthouse, the Neosho Square and two others that caught my attention: Neosho's Drive-in Theatre – located near Edgewood Bowl — and the Orpheum Theatre, located near Charley's just off of the Square.
These two theatres bring back fond memories of my past. I can't tell you the number of movies we saw there when I was growing up. I remember seeing "Superman" at the Orpheum, with my dad and brother on a Sunday afternoon. We stood outside in line for at least 30 minutes, waiting for the doors to open. Being young kids, before we left the house, my parents surprised us with a Superman action figure with a red cape, removable red boots and it actually looked like Christopher Reeve. When we did get into the theater, there was a concession stand near the entrance. As one got their drinks and popcorn, they walked through some big red curtains, and moved toward the seats. At that time, there was even a balcony (and no, I never did get to sit in the balcony). Anyway, every row would even have a two-seater at the end.
I remember other movies we saw there including "Star Wars," "Close Encounters", some Disney movies and later on in life when I was a teenager, one of the last movies that I saw was "Moonstruck" – twice in one weekend.
The drive-in was also a great place. In the summer, it was a Higdon family favorite. We loaded up coolers filled with soda pop, mom made popcorn, dad loaded up the truck with lawn chairs and the four of us headed to Neosho. I remember there were times Greg and I played on the playground swings at the front of the drive-in, prior to watching the movie. When it was time for the movie to start, they had a cartoon or even, a commercial with the popcorn box dancing telling the fellow moviegoers to purchase items from the concession stand.
Today, the Orpheum and the Neosho Drive-in are gone. There is a drive-in near Carthage and for Neosho, we do have B&B Theatres Neosho Cinema 6 which, from time to time, Tina and I will go out for a movie. I am glad that we do have movie houses like that. It gives us a chance to see movies, and eat some theater popcorn and candy.
Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter at @toddghigdonNDN.